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KING_JOHN_TOMB_EFFIGY.JPG
0 views*Alex
coin213.JPG
103. Hadrian19 viewsHadrian

With execution of four power men in the beginning of his reign, his relations with the senate were irrevocably damaged, never really to improve until his death, when the senate hoped to have posthumous revenge. Much was said against him after his death, and by many persons. The senate wished to annul his acts, and would have refrained from naming him "the Deified" had not Antoninus requested it. Antoninus, moreover, finally built a temple for him at Puteoli to take the place of a tomb, and he also established a quinquennial contest and flamens and sodales and many other institutions which appertain to the honour of one regarded as a god. It is for this reason, as has been said before, that many think that Antoninus received the surname Pius.

AR Denarius. IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bust right / P M TR P COS III, Victory flying right with trophy. RSC 1132, RIC 101
ecoli
1205_-_1216_John_AR_Penny_Dublin.JPG
1199-1216, John, AR Penny, Struck 1207 – 1211 at Dublin, Ireland9 viewsObverse: IOHANNES REX around triangle enclosing a crowned and draped facing bust of King John holding, in his right hand, a sceptre tipped with a cross pommée which extends through the side of the triangle into the legend. Quatrefoil to right of bust.
Reverse: ROBERD ON DIVE around triangle containing sun over crescent moon and a star in each angle. Cross pattée at apex of each point of the triangle and above legend on each of the three sides. Moneyer: Roberd, cognate with the modern English name of Robin.
Third issue “REX” coinage, struck to the same weight and fineness as the English standard.
This was the only coinage struck by King John in his own name.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 4
SPINK: 6228

John was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. The baronial revolt at the end of John's reign led to the sealing of the first Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom.
John, the youngest of the five sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was not expected to inherit significant lands which resulted in him being given the nickname John Lackland. However, after the failed rebellion of his elder brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henry's favourite child. He was appointed Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England and on the continent. John's elder brothers William, Henry and Geoffrey died young and when Richard I became king in 1189, John was the potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richard's administration whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade but despite this, after Richard died in 1199, John was proclaimed King of England.
King John contracted dysentery at Lynn in 1216 but, just before his death, he managed to dictate a brief will. This will still survives and as part of it John requested: "I will that my body be buried in the church of St. Mary and St. Wulfstan of Worcester".
Some of King John's favourite hunting grounds were in Worcester, at Kinver and Feckenham, and he had a special affection for Saint Wulfstan, one of the two great Anglo-Saxon saints whose shrines and tombs were also at Worcester. Both Saint Wulfstan and Saint Oswald can be seen in miniature beside the head of the effigy of King John on his tomb.
Medieval effigies usually show the subject in the prime of life, however the effigy on King John's tomb is unique in that not only is it a life-like image of him, it is also the oldest royal effigy in England.
King John's tomb has been opened twice, once in 1529 and again in 1797. At the first opening it was said that John's head was covered with a monk's cowl, however it is now thought that this was probably his coronation cap. When the tomb was opened for the second time the antiquarians responsible discovered that a robe of crimson damask had originally covered the king's body but, by 1797, most of the embroidery had deteriorated. They also found the remains of a sword which lay down the left side of the body along with parts of its scabbard.
3 comments*Alex
Henry_III_short_cross_penny.JPG
1216 – 1272, Henry III, AR Penny, Struck 1217 - 1242 at London, England (Short cross type)2 viewsObverse: HENRICVS REX around central circle enclosing a crowned, draped and bearded facing bust of Henry III holding a sceptre tipped with a cross pommee in his right hand.
Reverse: + GIFFREI ON LVND. Voided short cross dividing legend into quarters, crosslets in each quarter of inner circle. Cross pattée in legend. Moneyer: Giffrei, cognate with the modern English name of Geoffrey.
Issue type 7c, distinguished by the degraded portrait and large lettering.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.1gms | Die Axis: 4
SPINK: 1356C

Henry III was the eldest son of King John and came to the throne at the age of nine. He was king of England from 1216 until his death in 1272, ruling longer than any other English monarch until the reign of George III.
Henry expressed a lifelong interest in architecture and much of what constitutes the Tower of London today is a result of Henry’s work, he added several towers and a curtain wall to expand the White Tower beginning in 1238. Westminster Abbey however, is considered to be Henry's greatest building work. The project began in 1245, when Henry sent his architect Henry de Reynes to visit the French cities of Rheims, Chartres, Bourges and Amiens and Paris’s royal chapel Sainte-Chapelle to learn the Gothic technique that he much admired.
The Westminster Abbey that stood previously on the site had been erected by Edward the Confessor in 1042. Edward the Confessor was a hero of Henry’s, and he probably named his son (the future Edward I) after him. The foundations and crypt are still those of Edward the Confessor’s Abbey, but everything above ground today is the building begun by Henry III. The tomb of Edward the Confessor was moved to a new position of honour in 1269 at the very centre of the new abbey, and when Henry III died in 1272 he was buried beside Edward’s shrine in the exact position the bones of his hero had lain for 200 years.
*Alex
Edward_2_Crozier.JPG
1307 - 1327, EDWARD II, AR Penny, Struck 1311 - 1316 at Durham, England21 viewsObverse: + EDWAR ANGL DNS hYB. Crowned and draped bust of Edward II facing within circle of pellets. Cross pattee in legend.
Reverse: CIVITAS DVNELM. Long cross, the upper limb of which is in the form of a bishop's crozier, dividing legend into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of inner circle.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 7
Rare
SPINK: 1469

Undated Penny, Class 11a, struck under Bishop Kellawe. Bishop Kellawe was enthroned as Bishop of Durham in 1311 but he died in 1316 so this coin was struck during the five years between those two dates. These coins were sometimes called “poker pennies” because the shape of the crozier on the reverse is reminiscent of an old iron fireside poker. It's an unfortunate nickname considering the reputed manner of the King's death.

Edward II
Edward II was crowned King of England when his father, Edward I, died in 1307. However Edward II caused discontent among the barons by his close relationship with Piers Gaveston and in 1311 the barons pressured the King into agreeing to wide-ranging reforms which included Gaveston being banished. Angered, Edward responded by revoking the reforms and recalling his favourite, but in 1312 a group of barons, led by the Earl of Lancaster, seized and executed Gaveston.
The war with Scotland was not going well either, the English forces were pushed back and in 1314 Edward was decisively defeated by the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, at the Battle of Bannockburn.
When this was followed by a widespread famine in England opposition to Edward II's reign grew until, in 1325, when Edward's wife, Isabella, was sent to France to negotiate a peace treaty she turned against Edward, allied herself with the exiled Roger Mortimer, and refused to return. In 1326, Mortimer and Isabella invaded England with a small army. Edward's regime collapsed and he fled into Wales, but he was soon captured and in January 1327 he was forced to relinquish his crown in favour of his fourteen-year-old son, Edward III. Edward II died in Berkeley Castle on 21 September the same year, reputedly horrifically murdered on the orders of the new regime by having a red hot poker inserted into his rectum.

Bishop Kellawe, Bishop of Durham
Richard de Kellawe was sub-prior at St. Cuthbert's, Durham, and on the death of Antony Bek in 1311, Kellawe was chosen to replace him as Bishop of Durham by the monks. The palatinate of Durham was at this time in a deplorable condition owing to the Scottish wars, and in 1312 Kellawe even received a papal dispensation for not attending the council at Vienne in consideration of the state of his province. Troubles with the Scots continued after Bannockburn and the Palatinate was now so exhausted that it could not even provide for its own defence and Bishop Kellawe had to purchase peace with a levy of fifteen hundred men and a gift of one thousand marks.
On 10th October 1316, at Middleham, Bishop Kellawe died. He was buried in the chapter-house at Durham. His grandly adorned tomb was destroyed when the chapter house was demolished in 1796.
2 comments*Alex
Julian2VotXConstantinople.jpg
1409a, Julian II "the Philosopher," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.143 viewsJulian II, A.D. 360-363; RIC 167; VF; 2.7g, 20mm; Constantinople mint; Obverse: DN FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted & cuirassed bust right, holding spear & shield; Reverse: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; CONSPB in exergue; Attractive green patina. Ex Nemesis.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Julian the Apostate (360-363 A.D.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University

Introduction

The emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus reigned from 360 to 26 June 363, when he was killed fighting against the Persians. Despite his short rule, his emperorship was pivotal in the development of the history of the later Roman empire. This essay is not meant to be a comprehensive look at the various issues central to the reign of Julian and the history of the later empire. Rather, this short work is meant to be a brief history and introduction for the general reader. Julian was the last direct descendent of the Constantinian line to ascend to the purple, and it is one of history's great ironies that he was the last non-Christian emperor. As such, he has been vilified by most Christian sources, beginning with John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus in the later fourth century. This tradition was picked up by the fifth century Eusebian continuators Sozomen, Socrates Scholasticus, and Theodoret and passed on to scholars down through the 20th century. Most contemporary sources, however, paint a much more balanced picture of Julian and his reign. The adoption of Christianity by emperors and society, while still a vital concern, was but one of several issues that concerned Julian.

It is fortunate that extensive writings from Julian himself exist, which help interpret his reign in the light of contemporary evidence. Still extant are some letters, several panegyrics, and a few satires. Other contemporary sources include the soldier Ammianus Marcellinus' history, correspondence between Julian and Libanius of Antioch, several panegyrics, laws from the Theodosian Code, inscriptions, and coinage. These sources show Julian's emphasis on restoration. He saw himself as the restorer of the traditional values of Roman society. Of course much of this was rhetoric, meant to defend Julian against charges that he was a usurper. At the same time this theme of restoration was central to all emperors of the fourth century. Julian thought that he was the one emperor who could regain what was viewed as the lost glory of the Roman empire. To achieve this goal he courted select groups of social elites to get across his message of restoration. This was the way that emperors functioned in the fourth century. By choosing whom to include in the sharing of power, they sought to shape society.

Early Life

Julian was born at Constantinople in 331. His father was Julius Constantius, half-brother of the emperor Constantine through Constantius Chlorus, and his mother was Basilina, Julius' second wife. Julian had two half-brothers via Julius' first marriage. One of these was Gallus, who played a major role in Julian's life. Julian appeared destined for a bright future via his father's connection to the Constantinian house. After many years of tense relations with his three half-brothers, Constantine seemed to have welcomed them into the fold of the imperial family. From 333 to 335, Constantine conferred a series of honors upon his three half-siblings, including appointing Julius Constantius as one of the consuls for 335. Julian's mother was equally distinguished. Ammianus related that she was from a noble family. This is supported by Libanius, who claimed that she was the daughter of Julius Julianus, a Praetorian Prefect under Licinius, who was such a model of administrative virtue that he was pardoned and honored by Constantine.

Despite the fact that his mother died shortly after giving birth to him, Julian experienced an idyllic early childhood. This ended when Constantius II conducted a purge of many of his relatives shortly after Constantine's death in 337, particularly targeting the families of Constantine's half-brothers. ulian and Gallus were spared, probably due to their young age. Julian was put under the care of Mardonius, a Scythian eunuch who had tutored his mother, in 339, and was raised in the Greek philosophical tradition, and probably lived in Nicomedia. Ammianus also supplied the fact that while in Nicomedia, Julian was cared for by the local bishop Eusebius, of whom the future emperor was a distant relation. Julian was educated by some of the most famous names in grammar and rhetoric in the Greek world at that time, including Nicocles and Hecebolius. In 344 Constantius II sent Julian and Gallus to Macellum in Cappadocia, where they remained for six years. In 351, Gallus was made Caesar by Constantius II and Julian was allowed to return to Nicomedia, where he studied under Aedesius, Eusebius, and Chrysanthius, all famed philosophers, and was exposed to the Neo-Platonism that would become such a prominent part of his life. But Julian was most proud of the time he spent studying under Maximus of Ephesus, a noted Neo-Platonic philospher and theurgist. It was Maximus who completed Julian's full-scale conversion to Neo-Platonism. Later, when he was Caesar, Julian told of how he put letters from this philosopher under his pillows so that he would continue to absorb wisdom while he slept, and while campaigning on the Rhine, he sent his speeches to Maximus for approval before letting others hear them. When Gallus was executed in 354 for treason by Constantius II, Julian was summoned to Italy and essentially kept under house arrest at Comum, near Milan, for seven months before Constantius' wife Eusebia convinced the emperor that Julian posed no threat. This allowed Julian to return to Greece and continue his life as a scholar where he studied under the Neo-Platonist Priscus. Julian's life of scholarly pursuit, however, ended abruptly when he was summoned to the imperial court and made Caesar by Constantius II on 6 November 355.

Julian as Caesar

Constantius II realized an essential truth of the empire that had been evident since the time of the Tetrarchy--the empire was too big to be ruled effectively by one man. Julian was pressed into service as Caesar, or subordinate emperor, because an imperial presence was needed in the west, in particular in the Gallic provinces. Julian, due to the emperor's earlier purges, was the only viable candidate of the imperial family left who could act as Caesar. Constantius enjoined Julian with the task of restoring order along the Rhine frontier. A few days after he was made Caesar, Julian was married to Constantius' sister Helena in order to cement the alliance between the two men. On 1 December 355, Julian journeyed north, and in Augusta Taurinorum he learned that Alamannic raiders had destroyed Colonia Agrippina. He then proceeded to Vienne where he spent the winter. At Vienne, he learned that Augustudunum was also under siege, but was being held by a veteran garrison. He made this his first priority, and arrived there on 24 June 356. When he had assured himself that the city was in no immediate danger, he journeyed to Augusta Treverorum via Autessioduram, and from there to Durocortorum where he rendezvoused with his army. Julian had the army stage a series of punitive strikes around the Dieuse region, and then he moved them towards the Argentoratum/Mongontiacum region when word of barbarian incursions reached him.

From there, Julian moved on to Colonia Agrippina, and negotiated a peace with the local barbarian leaders who had assaulted the city. He then wintered at Senonae. He spent the early part of the campaigning season of 357 fighting off besiegers at Senonae, and then conducting operations around Lugdunum and Tres Tabernae. Later that summer, he encountered his watershed moment as a military general. Ammianus went into great detail about Julian's victory over seven rogue Alamannic chieftains near Argentoratum, and Julian himself bragged about it in his later writing. After this battle, the soldiers acclaimed Julian Augustus, but he rejected this title. After mounting a series of follow-up raids into Alamannic territory, he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia, and on the way defeated some Frankish raiders in the Mosa region. Julian considered this campaign one of the major events of his time as Caesar.

Julian began his 358 military campaigns early, hoping to catch the barbarians by surprise. His first target was the Franks in the northern Rhine region. He then proceeded to restore some forts in the Mosa region, but his soldiers threatened to mutiny because they were on short rations and had not been paid their donative since Julian had become Caesar. After he soothed his soldiers, Julian spent the rest of the summer negotiating a peace with various Alamannic leaders in the mid and lower Rhine areas, and retired to winter quarters at Lutetia. In 359, he prepared once again to carry out a series of punitive expeditions against the Alamanni in the Rhine region who were still hostile to the Roman presence. In preparation, the Caesar repopulated seven previously destroyed cities and set them up as supply bases and staging areas. This was done with the help of the people with whom Julian had negotiated a peace the year before. Julian then had a detachment of lightly armed soldiers cross the Rhine near Mogontiacum and conduct a guerilla strike against several chieftains. As a result of these campaigns, Julian was able to negotiate a peace with all but a handful of the Alamannic leaders, and he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia.

Of course, Julian did more than act as a general during his time as Caesar. According to Ammianus, Julian was an able administrator who took steps to correct the injustices of Constantius' appointees. Ammianus related the story of how Julian prevented Florentius, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, from raising taxes, and also how Julian actually took over as governor for the province of Belgica Secunda. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, supported Ammianus' basic assessment of Julian in this regard when he reported that Julian was an able representative of the emperor to the Gallic provincials. There is also epigraphic evidence to support Julian's popularity amongst the provincial elites. An inscription found near Beneventum in Apulia reads:
"To Flavius Claudius Julianus, most noble and sanctified Caesar, from the caring Tocius Maximus, vir clarissimus, for the care of the res publica from Beneventum".

Tocius Maximus, as a vir clarissimus, was at the highest point in the social spectrum and was a leader in his local community. This inscription shows that Julian was successful in establishing a positive image amongst provincial elites while he was Caesar.

Julian Augustus

In early 360, Constantius, driven by jealousy of Julian's success, stripped Julian of many troops and officers, ostensibly because the emperor needed them for his upcoming campaign against the Persians. One of the legions ordered east, the Petulantes, did not want to leave Gaul because the majority of the soldiers in the unit were from this region. As a result they mutinied and hailed Julian as Augustus at Lutetia. Julian refused this acclamation as he had done at Argentoratum earlier, but the soldiers would have none of his denial. They raised him on a shield and adorned him with a neck chain, which had formerly been the possession of the standard-bearer of the Petulantes and symbolized a royal diadem. Julian appeared reluctantly to acquiesce to their wishes, and promised a generous donative. The exact date of his acclamation is unknown, but most scholars put it in February or March. Julian himself supported Ammianus' picture of a jealous Constantius. In his Letter to the Athenians, a document constructed to answer charges that he was a usurper, Julian stated that from the start he, as Caesar, had been meant as a figurehead to the soldiers and provincials. The real power he claimed lay with the generals and officials already present in Gaul. In fact, according to Julian, the generals were charged with watching him as much as the enemy. His account of the actual acclamation closely followed what Ammianus told us, but he stressed even more his reluctance to take power. Julian claimed that he did so only after praying to Zeus for guidance.

Fearing the reaction of Constantius, Julian sent a letter to his fellow emperor justifying the events at Lutetia and trying to arrange a peaceful solution. This letter berated Constantius for forcing the troops in Gaul into an untenable situation. Ammianus stated that Julian's letter blamed Constantius' decision to transfer Gallic legions east as the reason for the soldiers' rebellion. Julian once again asserted that he was an unwilling participant who was only following the desire of the soldiers. In both of these basic accounts Ammianus and Julian are playing upon the theme of restoration. Implicit in their version of Julian's acclamation is the argument that Constantius was unfit to rule. The soldiers were the vehicle of the gods' will. The Letter to the Athenians is full of references to the fact that Julian was assuming the mantle of Augustus at the instigation of the gods. Ammianus summed up this position nicely when he related the story of how, when Julian was agonizing over whether to accept the soldiers' acclamation, he had a dream in which he was visited by the Genius (guardian spirit) of the Roman state. The Genius told Julian that it had often tried to bestow high honors upon Julian but had been rebuffed. Now, the Genius went on to say, was Julian's final chance to take the power that was rightfully his. If the Caesar refused this chance, the Genius would depart forever, and both Julian and the state would rue Julian's rejection. Julian himself wrote a letter to his friend Maximus of Ephesus in November of 361 detailing his thoughts on his proclamation. In this letter, Julian stated that the soldiers proclaimed him Augustus against his will. Julian, however, defended his accession, saying that the gods willed it and that he had treated his enemies with clemency and justice. He went on to say that he led the troops in propitiating the traditional deities, because the gods commanded him to return to the traditional rites, and would reward him if he fulfilled this duty.

During 360 an uneasy peace simmered between the two emperors. Julian spent the 360 campaigning season continuing his efforts to restore order along the Rhine, while Constantius continued operations against the Persians. Julian wintered in Vienne, and celebrated his Quinquennalia. It was at this time that his wife Helena died, and he sent her remains to Rome for a proper burial at his family villa on the Via Nomentana where the body of her sister was entombed. The uneasy peace held through the summer of 361, but Julian concentrated his military operations around harassing the Alamannic chieftain Vadomarius and his allies, who had concluded a peace treaty with Constantius some years earlier. By the end of the summer, Julian decided to put an end to the waiting and gathered his army to march east against Constantius. The empire teetered on the brink of another civil war. Constantius had spent the summer negotiating with the Persians and making preparations for possible military action against his cousin. When he was assured that the Persians would not attack, he summoned his army and sallied forth to meet Julian. As the armies drew inexorably closer to one another, the empire was saved from another bloody civil war when Constantius died unexpectedly of natural causes on 3 November near the town of Mopsucrenae in Cilicia, naming Julian -- the sources say-- as his legitimate successor.

Julian was in Dacia when he learned of his cousin's death. He made his way through Thrace and came to Constantinople on 11 December 361 where Julian honored the emperor with the funeral rites appropriate for a man of his station. Julian immediately set about putting his supporters in positions of power and trimming the imperial bureaucracy, which had become extremely overstaffed during Constantius' reign. Cooks and barbers had increased during the late emperor's reign and Julian expelled them from his court. Ammianus gave a mixed assessment of how the new emperor handled the followers of Constantius. Traditionally, emperors were supposed to show clemency to the supporters of a defeated enemy. Julian, however, gave some men over to death to appease the army. Ammianus used the case of Ursulus, Constantius' comes sacrum largitionum, to illustrate his point. Ursulus had actually tried to acquire money for the Gallic troops when Julian had first been appointed Caesar, but he had also made a disparaging remark about the ineffectiveness of the army after the battle of Amida. The soldiers remembered this, and when Julian became sole Augustus, they demanded Ursulus' head. Julian obliged, much to the disapproval of Ammianus. This seems to be a case of Julian courting the favor of the military leadership, and is indicative of a pattern in which Julian courted the goodwill of various societal elites to legitimize his position as emperor.

Another case in point is the officials who made up the imperial bureaucracy. Many of them were subjected to trial and punishment. To achieve this goal, during the last weeks of December 361 Julian assembled a military tribunal at Chalcedon, empanelling six judges to try the cases. The president of the tribunal was Salutius, just promoted to the rank of Praetorian Prefect; the five other members were Mamertinus, the orator, and four general officers: Jovinus, Agilo, Nevitta, and Arbetio. Relative to the proceedings of the tribunal, Ammianus noted that the judges, " . . . oversaw the cases more vehemently than was right or fair, with the exception of a few . . .." Ammianus' account of Julian's attempt at reform of the imperial bureaucracy is supported by legal evidence from the Theodosian Code. A series of laws sent to Mamertinus, Julian's appointee as Praetorian Prefect in Italy, Illyricum, and Africa, illustrate this point nicely. On 6 June 362, Mamertinus received a law that prohibited provincial governors from bypassing the Vicars when giving their reports to the Prefect. Traditionally, Vicars were given civil authority over a group of provinces, and were in theory meant to serve as a middle step between governors and Prefects. This law suggests that the Vicars were being left out, at least in Illyricum. Julian issued another edict to Mamertinus on 22 February 362 to stop abuse of the public post by governors. According to this law, only Mamertinus could issue post warrants, but the Vicars were given twelve blank warrants to be used as they saw fit, and each governor was given two. Continuing the trend of bureaucratic reform, Julian also imposed penalties on governors who purposefully delayed appeals in court cases they had heard. The emperor also established a new official to weigh solidi used in official government transactions to combat coin clipping.

For Julian, reigning in the abuses of imperial bureaucrats was one step in restoring the prestige of the office of emperor. Because he could not affect all elements of society personally, Julian, like other Neo-Flavian emperors, decided to concentrate on select groups of societal elites as intercessors between himself and the general populace. One of these groups was the imperial bureaucracy. Julian made it very clear that imperial officials were intercessors in a very real sense in a letter to Alypius, Vicar of Britain. In this letter, sent from Gaul sometime before 361, the emperor praises Alypius for his use of "mildness and moderation with courage and force" in his rule of the provincials. Such virtues were characteristic of the emperors, and it was good that Alypius is representing Julian in this way. Julian courted the army because it put him in power. Another group he sought to include in his rule was the traditional Senatorial aristocracy. One of his first appointments as consul was Claudius Mamertinus, a Gallic Senator and rhetorician. Mamertinus' speech in praise of Julian delivered at Constantinople in January of 362 is preserved. In this speech, Claudius presented his consular selection as inaugurating a new golden age and Julian as the restorer of the empire founded by Augustus. The image Mamertinus gave of his own consulate inaugurating a new golden age is not merely formulaic. The comparison of Julian to Augustus has very real, if implicit, relevance to Claudius' situation. Claudius emphasized the imperial period as the true age of renewal. Augustus ushered in a new era with his formation of a partnership between the emperor and the Senate based upon a series of honors and offices bestowed upon the Senate in return for their role as intercessor between emperor and populace. It was this system that Julian was restoring, and the consulate was one concrete example of this bond. To be chosen as a consul by the emperor, who himself had been divinely mandated, was a divine honor. In addition to being named consul, Mamertinus went on to hold several offices under Julian, including the Prefecture of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa. Similarly, inscriptional evidence illustrates a link between municipal elites and Julian during his time as Caesar, something which continued after he became emperor. One concrete example comes from the municipal senate of Aceruntia in Apulia, which established a monument on which Julian is styled as "Repairer of the World."

Julian seems to have given up actual Christian belief before his acclamation as emperor and was a practitioner of more traditional Greco-Roman religious beliefs, in particular, a follower of certain late antique Platonist philosophers who were especially adept at theurgy as was noted earlier. In fact Julian himself spoke of his conversion to Neo-Platonism in a letter to the Alexandrians written in 363. He stated that he had abandoned Christianity when he was twenty years old and been an adherent of the traditional Greco-Roman deities for the twelve years prior to writing this letter.

(For the complete text of this article see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/julian.htm)

Julian’s Persian Campaign

The exact goals Julian had for his ill-fated Persian campaign were never clear. The Sassanid Persians, and before them the Parthians, had been a traditional enemy from the time of the Late Republic, and indeed Constantius had been conducting a war against them before Julian's accession forced the former to forge an uneasy peace. Julian, however, had no concrete reason to reopen hostilities in the east. Socrates Scholasticus attributed Julian's motives to imitation of Alexander the Great, but perhaps the real reason lay in his need to gather the support of the army. Despite his acclamation by the Gallic legions, relations between Julian and the top military officers was uneasy at best. A war against the Persians would have brought prestige and power both to Julian and the army.

Julian set out on his fateful campaign on 5 March 363. Using his trademark strategy of striking quickly and where least expected, he moved his army through Heirapolis and from there speedily across the Euphrates and into the province of Mesopotamia, where he stopped at the town of Batnae. His plan was to eventually return through Armenia and winter in Tarsus. Once in Mesopotamia, Julian was faced with the decision of whether to travel south through the province of Babylonia or cross the Tigris into Assyria, and he eventually decided to move south through Babylonia and turn west into Assyria at a later date. By 27 March, he had the bulk of his army across the Euphrates, and had also arranged a flotilla to guard his supply line along the mighty river. He then left his generals Procopius and Sebastianus to help Arsacius, the king of Armenia and a Roman client, to guard the northern Tigris line. It was also during this time that he received the surrender of many prominent local leaders who had nominally supported the Persians. These men supplied Julian with money and troops for further military action against their former masters. Julian decided to turn south into Babylonia and proceeded along the Euphrates, coming to the fortress of Cercusium at the junction of the Abora and Euphrates Rivers around the first of April, and from there he took his army west to a region called Zaitha near the abandoned town of Dura where they visited the tomb of the emperor Gordian which was in the area. On April 7 he set out from there into the heart of Babylonia and towards Assyria.

Ammianus then stated that Julian and his army crossed into Assyria, which on the face of things appears very confusing. Julian still seems to be operating within the province of Babylonia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The confusion is alleviated when one realizes that,for Ammianus, the region of Assyria encompassed the provinces of Babylonia and Assyria. On their march, Julian's forces took the fortress of Anatha, received the surrender and support of several more local princes, and ravaged the countryside of Assyria between the rivers. As the army continued south, they came across the fortresses Thilutha and Achaiachala, but these places were too well defended and Julian decided to leave them alone. Further south were the cities Diacira and Ozogardana, which the Roman forces sacked and burned. Soon, Julian came to Pirisabora and a brief siege ensued, but the city fell and was also looted and destroyed. It was also at this time that the Roman army met its first systematic resistance from the Persians. As the Romans penetrated further south and west, the local inhabitants began to flood their route. Nevertheless, the Roman forces pressed on and came to Maiozamalcha, a sizable city not far from Ctesiphon. After a short siege, this city too fell to Julian. Inexorably, Julian's forces zeroed in on Ctesiphon, but as they drew closer, the Persian resistance grew fiercer, with guerilla raids whittling at Julian's men and supplies. A sizable force of the army was lost and the emperor himself was almost killed taking a fort a few miles from the target city.
Finally, the army approached Ctesiphon following a canal that linked the Tigris and Euphrates. It soon became apparent after a few preliminary skirmishes that a protracted siege would be necessary to take this important city. Many of his generals, however, thought that pursuing this course of action would be foolish. Julian reluctantly agreed, but became enraged by this failure and ordered his fleet to be burned as he decided to march through the province of Assyria. Julian had planned for his army to live off the land, but the Persians employed a scorched-earth policy. When it became apparent that his army would perish (because his supplies were beginning to dwindle) from starvation and the heat if he continued his campaign, and also in the face of superior numbers of the enemy, Julian ordered a retreat on 16 June. As the Roman army retreated, they were constantly harassed by guerilla strikes. It was during one of these raids that Julian got caught up in the fighting and took a spear to his abdomen. Mortally wounded he was carried to his tent, where, after conferring with some of his officers, he died. The date was 26 June 363.

Conclusion

Thus an ignominious end for a man came about who had hoped to restore the glory of the Roman empire during his reign as emperor. Due to his intense hatred of Christianity, the opinion of posterity has not been kind to Julian. The contemporary opinion, however, was overall positive. The evidence shows that Julian was a complex ruler with a definite agenda to use traditional social institutions in order to revive what he saw as a collapsing empire. In the final assessment, he was not so different from any of the other emperors of the fourth century. He was a man grasping desperately to hang on to a Greco-Roman conception of leadership that was undergoing a subtle yet profound change.
Copyright (C) 2002, Walter E. Roberts and Michael DiMaio, Jr. Used by permission.

In reality, Julian worked to promote culture and philosophy in any manifestation. He tried to reduce taxes and the public debts of municipalities; he augmented administrative decentralisation; he promoted a campaign of austerity to reduce public expenditure (setting himself as the example). He reformed the postal service and eliminated the powerful secret police.
by Federico Morando; JULIAN II, The Apostate, http://www.forumancientcoins.com/NumisWiki/view.asp?key=Julian%20II

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 331 or maybe 332 A.D. in Constantinople. He ruled the Western Empire as Caesar from 355 to 360 and was hailed Augustus by his legions in Lutetia (Paris) in 360. Julian was a gifted administrator and military strategist. Famed as the last pagan emperor, his reinstatement of the pagan religion earned him the moniker "the Apostate." As evidenced by his brilliant writing, some of which has survived to the present day, the title "the Philosopher" may have been more appropriate. He died from wounds suffered during the Persian campaign of 363 A.D. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




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

Thomas Rotherham, also known as Thomas (Scot) de Rotherham, was an English cleric and statesman. He served as bishop of several dioceses, most notably as Archbishop of York and, on two occasions as Lord Chancellor. Rotherham was educated at King's College, Cambridge, he graduated as a Bachelor of Divinity and became a Fellow of his college where he lectured on Grammar, Theology, and Philosophy. After his ordination as a priest, he became a prebendary of Lincoln in 1462 and then of Salisbury in 1465. He moved on to powerful positions in the Church, being appointed as Bishop of Rochester in 1468, Bishop of Lincoln in 1472, and then Archbishop of York in 1480, a position he held until his death in 1500.
In 1467, King Edward IV appointed Rotherham as Keeper of the Privy Seal. He was sent as ambassador to France in 1468 and as joint ambassador to Burgundy in 1471, and in 1475 was entrusted with the office of Lord Chancellor. When Edward IV died in April 1483, Rotherham was one of the celebrants of the funeral mass on 20th April 1483 and immediately after Edward's death he sided with the dowager queen, Elizabeth Woodville, in her attempt to deprive Richard, Duke of Gloucester of his role as Lord Protector of her son, the new King Edward V. When Elizabeth sought sanctuary after Richard had taken charge of the king, Rotherham released the Great Seal to her (though he later recovered it and handed it over to Thomas Bourchier, the Archbishop of Canterbury).
Rotherham's mishandling of the seal was perceived as indicative of questionable loyalty and led to his dismissal as Lord Chancellor. He was replaced by John Russell, who earlier had also been his successor as Bishop of Lincoln. On 13th June 1483, Rotherham was charged with being involved in a conspiracy between Lord Hastings and the Woodvilles against Richard and imprisoned in the Tower of London, but he was released a few weeks later, around the middle of July, after Richard's coronation as King Richard III. Rotherham was re-instated as Chancellor in 1485, however he was dismissed shortly afterwards by Henry VII and retired from public work.
Rotherham died of the plague in Cawood near York on 29th May 1500. His remains were transferred to a magnificent marble tomb in York Minster in 1506.
2 comments*Alex
100_6349.JPG
150 Antoninus Pius105 viewsAntoninus Pius AE Dupondius. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P, radiate head right / COS IIII S-C, Salus standing left feeding snake arising from altar to left & holding rudder to right.
Cohen 279 B.M.C. 1732 RIC 798, sear5 #4269 26mm 139 A.D.

Finally got a photo of my own that looked good enough lol.Took over a year but got it!


In 139A.D.
"The Tomb of Hadrian in Rome is completed, emperor Antoninus Pius cremates the body of Hadrian and placed his ashes together with that of his wife Vibia Sabina and his adopted son, Lucius Aelius in the mausoleum.
Marcus Aurelius is named Caesar. He marries Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus Pius."
8 commentsRandygeki(h2)
GermanicusAsSC.jpg
1an Germanicus36 viewsAdopted by Tiberius in 4 AD, died mysteriously in 19

As, struck by Caligula

Bare head, left, GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVGVST F DIVI AVG N
C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT SC

RIC 57

Germanicus Julius Caesar (c16 BC-AD 19) was was born in Lugdunum, Gaul (modern Lyon). At birth he was named either Nero Claudius Drusus after his father or Tiberius Claudius Nero after his uncle. He received the agnomen Germanicus, in 9 BC, when it was posthumously awarded to his father in honour of his victories in Germania. Germanicus was the grandson-in-law and great-nephew of the Emperor Augustus, nephew and adoptive son of the Emperor Tiberius, father of the Emperor Caligula, brother of the Emperor Claudius, and the maternal grandfather of the Emperor Nero. He married his maternal second cousin Agrippina the Elder, a granddaughter of Augustus, between 5 and 1 BC. The couple had nine children. Two died very young; another, Gaius Julius Caesar, died in early childhood. The remaining six were: Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar, the Emperor Caligula, the Empress Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla, and Julia Livilla.

According to Suetonius: Germanicus, who was the son of Drusus the Elder and Antonia the Younger, was adopted (in 4AD) by Germanicus’s paternal uncle, Tiberius. He served as quaestor (in7AD) five years before the legal age and became consul (in12AD) without holding the intermediate offices. On the death of Augustus (in AD14) he was appointed to command the army in Germany, where, his filial piety and determination vying for prominence, he held the legions to their oath, though they stubbornly opposed Tiberius’s succession, and wished him to take power for himself.

He followed this with victory in Germany, for which he celebrated a triumph (in 17 AD), and was chosen as consul for a second time (18 AD) though unable to take office as he was despatched to the East to restore order there. He defeated the forces of the King of Armenia, and reduced Cappadocia to provincial status, but then died at Antioch, at the age of only thirty-three (in AD 19), after a lingering illness, though there was also suspicion that he had been poisoned. For as well as the livid stains which covered his body, and the foam on his lips, the heart was found entire among the ashes after his cremation, its total resistance to flame being a characteristic of that organ, they say, when it is filled with poison.

All considered Germanicus exceptional in body and mind, to a quite outstanding degree. Remarkably brave and handsome; a master of Greek and Latin oratory and learning; singularly benevolent; he was possessed of a powerful desire and vast capacity for winning respect and inspiring affection.

His scrawny legs were less in keeping with the rest of his figure, but he gradually fleshed them out by assiduous exercise on horseback after meals. He often killed enemy warriors in hand-to-hand combat; still pleaded cases in the courts even after receiving his triumph; and left various Greek comedies behind amongst other fruits of his studies.

At home and abroad his manners were unassuming, such that he always entered free or allied towns without his lictors.

Whenever he passed the tombs of famous men, he always offered a sacrifice to their shades. And he was the first to initiate a personal search for the scattered remains of Varus’s fallen legionaries, and have them gathered together, so as to inter them in a single burial mound.

As for Germanicus, Tiberius appreciated him so little, that he dismissed his famous deeds as trivial, and his brilliant victories as ruinous to the Empire. He complained to the Senate when Germanicus left for Alexandria (AD19) without consulting him, on the occasion there of a terrible and swift-spreading famine. It was even believed that Tiberius arranged for his poisoning at the hands of Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the Governor of Syria, and that Piso would have revealed the written instructions at his trial, had Tiberius not retrieved them during a private interview, before having Piso put to death. As a result, the words: ‘Give us back Germanicus!’ were posted on the walls, and shouted at night, all throughout Rome. The suspicion surrounding Germanicus’ death (19 AD) was deepened by Tiberius’s cruel treatment of Germanicus’s wife, Agrippina the Elder, and their children.
1 commentsBlindado
carnuntum_11.JPG
2009-Austria - Carnuntum33 viewsTombstone for centurion Titus Calidius displaying his horse and armor, found in Carnuntum.
The text: T(itus) Calidius / P(ublii filius) Cam(ilia tribu) Sever(us)/ eq(ues) item optio/ decur(io) coh(ortis) I Alpin(orum) / item (centurio) leg(ionis) XV Apoll(inaris) / annor(um) LVIII stip(endorium) XXXIIII / h(ic) s(itus) e(est) / Q(uintus) Calidius fratri / posuit
berserker
TiberiusHierapolis.jpg
703b, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia104 viewsBronze AE 16, RPC I 2966 (1 specimen), F, Phrygia, Hierapolis, 3.300g, 15.6mm, 0o; Obverse: TIBEPIOC KAISAR, laureate head right; Reverse: IERAPOLEITWN ZOSIMOS [...], Apollo Archegetes (Lairbenos) standing left, playing lyre; reverse countermarked with star of six rays, in oval punch, 2.5 x 3.5 mm, Howgego 445 (3 pcs, 1 of which from this magistrate); dark patina; very rare. Ex FORVM.

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

TIBERIUS (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

The reign of Tiberius Claudius Nero (b. 42 B.C., d. A.D. 37, emperor A.D. 14-37) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. In contrast to the approachable and tactful Augustus, Tiberius emerges from the sources as an enigmatic and darkly complex figure, intelligent and cunning, but given to bouts of severe depression and dark moods that had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships. His reign abounds in contradictions. Despite his keen intelligence, he allowed himself to come under the influence of unscrupulous men who, as much as any actions of his own, ensured that Tiberius's posthumous reputation would be unfavorable; despite his vast military experience, he oversaw the conquest of no new region for the empire; and despite his administrative abilities he showed such reluctance in running the state as to retire entirely from Rome and live out his last years in isolation on the island of Capri. His reign represents, as it were, the adolescence of the Principate as an institution. Like any adolescence, it proved a difficult time.

. . . .

It is all but inevitable that any historical assessment of Tiberius will quickly devolve into a historiographical assessment of Tacitus. So masterful is Tacitus's portrayal of his subject, and so influential has it been ever since, that in all modern treatments of Tiberius, in attempting to get at the man, must address the issue of Tacitus's historiographical methods, his sources, and his rhetoric. The subject is too vast to address here, but some points are salient. Tacitus's methods, especially his use of innuendo and inference to convey notions that are essentially editorial glosses, makes taking his portrayal of Tiberius at face value inadvisable. Further, his belief in the immutable character of people -- that one's character is innate at birth and cannot be changed, although it can be disguised -- prevents him from investigating the possibility that Tiberius evolved and developed over his lifetime and during his reign. Instead, Tacitus's portrayal is one of peeling back layers of dissimulation to reach the "real" Tiberius lurking underneath.

Overall, Tiberius's reign can be said to show the boons and banes of rule by one man, especially a man as dark, awkward, and isolated as Tiberius. For the people of the provinces, it was a peaceful and well-ordered time. Governors behaved themselves, and there were no destructive or expensive wars. In the domestic sphere, however, the concentration of power in one person made all the greater the threat of misbehavior by ambitious satellites like Sejanus or foolish friends like Piso. Furthermore, if the emperor wished to remain aloof from the mechanics of power, he could do so. Administrators, who depended on him for their directions, could operate without his immediate supervision, but their dealings with a man like Sejanus could lead to disaster if that man fell from grace. As a result, although he was not a tyrant himself, Tiberius's reign sporadically descended into tyranny of the worst sort. In the right climate of paranoia and suspicion, widespread denunciation led to the deaths of dozens of Senators and equestrians, as well as numerous members of the imperial house. In this sense, the reign of Tiberius decisively ended the Augustan illusion of "the Republic Restored" and shone some light into the future of the Principate, revealing that which was both promising and terrifying.

[For the complete article please refer to http://www.roman-emperors.org/tiberius.htm]

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


Hierapolis in History

Usually said to be founded by Eumenes II, king of Pergamum (197-159 BC), Hierapolis may actually have been established closer to the 4th century BC by the Seleucid kings.

The name of the city may derive from Hiera, the wife of Telephus (son of Hercules and grandson of Zeus), the mythical founder of Pergamum. Or it may have been called the "sacred city" because of the temples located at the site. (The name Pamukkale is sometimes used just to refer to the white terraces, but the modern name of the whole area is also Pamukkale.)

With Colossae and Laodicea, Hierapolis became part of the tri-city area of the Lycus River valley. Hierapolis was located across the river from the other two cities and was noted for its textiles, especially wool. The city was also famous for its purple dye, made from the juice of the madder root.

The hot springs at Hierapolis (which still attract visitors today) were believed to have healing properties, and people came to the city to bathe in the rich mineral waters in order to cure various ailments.

Hierapolis was dedicated to Apollo Lairbenos, who was said to have founded the city. The Temple of Apollo that survives in ruins today dates from the 3rd century AD, but its foundations date from the Hellenistic period.

Also worshipped at Hierapolis was Pluto, god of the underworld, probably in relation to the hot gases released by the earth (see the Plutonium, below). The chief religious festival of ancient Hierapolis was the Letoia, in honor of the the goddess Leto, a Greek form of the Mother Goddess. The goddess was honoured with orgiastic rites.

Hierapolis was ceded to Rome in 133 BC along with the rest of the Pergamene kingdom, and became part of the Roman province of Asia. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD but rebuilt, and it reached its peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

Famous natives of Hierapolis include the Stoic philosopher Epictetus (c.55-c.135 AD) and the philosopher and rhetorician Antipater. Emperor Septimus hired Antipater to tutor his sons Caracalla and Geta, who became emperors themselves.

Hierapolis had a significant Jewish population in ancient times, as evidence by numerous inscriptions on tombs and elsewhere in the city. Some of the Jews are named as members of the various craft guilds of the city. This was probably the basis for the Christian conversion of some residents of Hierapolis, recorded in Colossians 4:13.

In the 5th century, several churches as well as a large martyrium dedicated to St. Philip (see "In the Bible," below) were built in Hierapolis. The city fell into decline in the 6th century, and the site became partially submerged under water and deposits of travertine. It was finally abandoned in 1334 after an earthquake. Excavations began to uncover Hierapolis in the 19th century.

Hierapolis in the Bible

Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the Bible, when St. Paul praises Epaphras, a Christian from Colossae, in his letter to the Colossians. Paul writes that Epaphras "has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis" (Colossians 4:12-13). Epaphras was probably the founder of the Christian community at Hierapolis.

Ancient tradition also associates Hierapolis with a biblical figure, reporting that Philip died in Hierapolis around 80 AD. However, it is not clear which Philip is menat. It could be Philip the Apostle, one of the original 12 disciples, who is said to have been martyred by upside-down crucifixion (Acts of Philip) or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree.

Or Philip could be Philip the Evangelist, a later disciple who helped with administrative matters and had four virgin-prophetess daughters (Acts 6:1-7; 21:8-9). Early traditions say this Philip was buried in Hierapolis along with his virgin daughters, but confusingly call him "Philip the Apostle"! In any case, it seems a prominent person mentioned in Acts did die in Hierapolis.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/hierapolis-pamukkale.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Dagger_3.jpg
AE Dagger #0325 viewsWestern Asia (possibly Luristan)
1200-800 BC
33cm (13”)

Cf. Mahboubian (Art of Ancient Iran: Copper and Bronze), 379
Cf. Malloy (Weapons: Ancient and Medieval Art and Antiquities), Fig. 53
Cf. Overleat (The Early Iron Age in the Pusht-I Kuh, Luristan), Pl. 89 (Kutal-i Gulgul, tomb A9), Fig. A9-60

Description:
Flanged hilt with no wood or ivory remaining, blade and hilt cast in one piece
Robert L3
Lg007_quad_sm.jpg
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
Maiorina_Constance_II.png
Ae2 Constantius II19 viewsAe2 Constance II A/ D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, buste diadémé (perles), drapé et cuirassé a droite, R/ FEL TEMP RE-PARATIO, Soldat allant à gauche transperçant de sa lançe un cavalier tombé a terre avec sa monture, le cavalier regarde le soldat et lève un bras dans sa direction, le soldat est casqué, porte un bouclier et a un genou sur la croupe du cheval ennemi, un bouclier à terre a droite, Γ dans le champ à gauche, SMKΔ à l’exergue – Cyzique – 351/354 – RIC.92 (C2)– 5,3 g

http://www.nummus-bible-database.com/monnaie-17166.htm
nemesis25
christ.jpg
Andrea Dandolo (1342-1354 A.D.)49 viewsAR Mezzanino Nuovo
O: AN DADVL SM VENE DVX, Doge and St. Mark holding banner, P in ex.
R: •XPS•RE[S]-VRESIT•, Christ emerging from tomb, holding banner and cross. 
.77g
15mm
Biaggi 2822
2 commentsMat
Andrew_Johnson_Peace_Medal.jpg
Andrew Johnson, 1865 Indian Peace Medal40 viewsObv: ANDREW JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, bust of Andrew Johnson (17th President) facing right, 1865 below.

Rev: Columbia, holding an American flag, clasping hands with an Indian Chief, before a tomb surmounted by a bust of George Washington. At the feet of the Indian are the attributes of native life, and behind him is a buffalo hunt; at the feet of Columbia and behind her are the emblems of maritime and industrial progress.

Engraver: Anthony Paquet

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1865 (20th Century restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
tombe.jpg
ANTIQUITIES, Roman, Legionary tomb materials213 viewsTomb found on 9 Sept. 1874 in Chassenard (130 km from Lyon) by a ploughing farmer. The items are from a Gallic nobleman having served in the Roman army, with his decorations (Torque), armour (chain mail), belt, accessories (strigils, ...), and a distinguished attribute of his former role : 4 iron dies (2 for Tiberius, 2 unrecognized).Roma_Orbis
82000559.jpg
ARGOLIS, Argos33 viewsA Neolithic settlement was located near the central sanctuary of Argois, removed 45 stadia (8 km; 5 miles) from Argos, closer to Mycenae. The temple was dedicated to "Argivian Hera". The main festival of that temple was the Hekatombaia, one of the major festivals of Argos itself. Walter Burkert (Homo necans, p. 185) connected the festival to the myth of the slaying of Argus Panoptes by Hermes ("shimmering" or "quick"), and only secondarily associated with mythological Argus (or the toponym).

Argos was a major stronghold of Mycenaean times, and along with the neighbouring acropolis of Mycenae and Tiryns became a very early settlement because of its commanding positions in the midst of the fertile plain of Argolis.

During Homeric times it belonged to a follower of Agamemnon and gave its name to the surrounding district; the Argolid which the Romans knew as Argeia. The importance of Argos was eclipsed by nearby Sparta after the 6th century BC.[dubious – discuss]

Because of its refusal to fight or send supplies in the Graeco-Persian Wars, Argos was shunned by most other city-states.[citation needed] Argos remained neutral or the ineffective ally of Athens during the 5th century BC struggles between Sparta and Athens.

The Mythological kings of Argos are (in order): Inachus, Phoroneus, Argus, Triopas, Agenor, Iasus, Crotopus, Pelasgus (aka Gelanor), Danaus, Lynceus, Abas, Proetus, Acrisius, Perseus, Megapénthês, Argeus, and Anaxagoras. An alternative version (supplied by Tatiānus[2]) of the original 17 consecutive kings of Argōs includes Apis, Argios, Kriasos, and Phorbas between Argus and Triopas, explaining the apparent unrelation of Triopas to Argus.

After the original 17 kings of Argos, there were three kings ruling Argos at the same time (see Anaxagoras), one descended from Bias, one from Melampus, and one from Anaxagoras. Melampus was succeeded by his son Mantius, then Oicles, and Amphiaraus, and his house of Melampus lasted down to the brothers Alcmaeon and Amphilochus.

Anaxagoras was succeeded by his son Alector, and then Iphis. Iphis left his kingdom to his nephew Sthenelus, the son of his brother Capaneus.

Bias was succeeded by his son Talaus, and then by his son Adrastus who, with Amphiaraus, commanded the disastrous Seven Against Thebes. Adrastus bequethed the kingdom to his son, Aegialeus, who was subsequently killed in the war of the Epigoni. Diomedes, grandson of Adrastus through his son-in-law Tydeus and daughter Deipyle, replaced Aegialeus and was King of Argos during the Trojan war. This house lasted longer than those of Anaxagoras and Melampus, and eventually the kingdom was reunited under its last member, Cyanippus, son of Aegialeus, soon after the exile of Diomedes.

Argos played a role in the Peloponnesian war and beyond.

ARGOLIS, Argos. Circa 90-50 BC. AR Triobol (2.16 g, 1h). Trypis, magistrate. Forepart of wolf at bay right / Large A; T-PY/ΠI-C in two lines around, piloi of the Dioskouroi below crossbar; all within incuse square. BCD Peloponnesos 1169. VF, darkly toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous BCD sales).

Ex-CNG eAuction 82, Lot: 559 110/150

ecoli
ath2.JPG
Athens - tetradrachm46 viewsAttique, Athènes 490-482 BC Tétradrachme 17.08g
A:/ Tête d'Athéna à dr. coiffée d'un casque attique à cimier, les cheveux rangés en petites vagues autour du front tombant sur la tempe en natte.
R:/ AθE Chouette debout à droite, la tête de face , à g. une pousse d'Olivier.
Seltman Groupe M, Svoronos pl.5 34
Brennos
Lady Head Front.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Head of Lady23 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This large sculture of the head of a lady was found in Walcot in A.D. 1715. This colossal head (much larger than life) may well have adorned a tomb. The hairstyle belongs to the late 1st Century.
maridvnvm
Lady Head Side.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Head of Lady (View of hair detail)20 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This large sculture of the head of a lady was found in Walcot in A.D. 1715. This colossal head (much larger than life) may well have adorned a tomb. The hairstyle belongs to the late 1st Century. Shown from the rear to illustrate the detail of the hair.
maridvnvm
Pomorie_Tracian_Tomb_03-lazarov-ifb.JPG
Bulgaria, Anchialos (Pomorie) Thracian Tomb311 viewsPomorie's ancient Thracian tombJoe Sermarini
calabria_1a_img.jpg
Calabria, Taras, Nomos, Vlasto 85337 viewsSilver Nomos
Obv:– Naked boy-horseman prancing right, crowning horse with right, AGAQA/RCOX below.
Rev:– Taras naked seated on dolphin left, extending kantharos in right, cornucopia in left, TARAS below, race torch behind
Minted in Calabria, Taras from .c. 270 - 240 B.C.
Reference:– HN Italy 1028, Vlasto 853, SGCV I 375 var

Slabbed by ICG - EF40

Ex-Forum

Photographed through slab. Still deciding whether to free it from the tomb.
1 commentsmaridvnvm
Nero_and_Drusus_Caes.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Brass Dupondius 10 viewsNERO ET DRVSVS CAESARES - Nero and Drusus Caesar on horseback riding r., cloaks flying behind them.
C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII PP - Legend around S C
Exergue:



Mint: Rome (40-41AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 15.99g / 29mm / 180
Rarity: R2
References:
Cohen 2
RIC Gaius 49
BMC Gaius 70
CBN Gaius 120
Provenances:
Bertolami Fine Arts
Acquisition/Sale: Bertolami Finearts Vcoins

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

ODERINT, DUM METUANT (LET THEM HATE, SO LONG AS THEY FEAR). — CALIGULA

From: Incitatus Coins
Nero and Drusus were the elder brothers of Caligula, and the sons of Germanicus. Both were heirs of Tiberius and both were killed by the machinations of Sejanus. Caligula survived Sejanus, and the subsequent years, to become emperor. He immediately proclaimed his informed uncle Claudius as his co-consul, an appointment made so that Caligula could, in essence, rule as sole consul. Claudius was given the modest
task of preparing a celebration of Caligula's brothers, including statues in their honor. According to 'I Claudius', Claudius encountered difficulty in completing these statues on time. The completed statues appear on this coinage.

From Joe Geranio:
The dupondii issues of the brothers of Caligula , Nero and Drusus Caesar was no doubt to remind the Roman populace about the Dioscuri the saviors of the Roman state. The Dioscuri won a miraculous battle in 496 B.C. and then on the same day appear in the Roman Forum to tell the populace about the victory, no doubt Caligula wanted to associate himself with the Dioscuri with this issue of the gods represented as Nero and Drusus Caesars galloping on their horses with ease as though the wind is blowing in their hair. This familial propaganda would cement that the sons of Germanicus and Agrippina would reign and were in control.

Historical Context

Suetonius states in (Caligula 22.1-2) “Up until now I have been discussing Caligula in his capacity as an emperor; we must now consider him in his capacity as a monster….

Eventually Caligula began to claim for himself a Divine majesty;…..he extended a part of the Palatine palace all the way out to the Forum, transforming the Temple of Castor and Pollux into an entrance hall for the Palace. There in the Temple he would often take his seat between the twin gods, presenting himself for worship to those he approached.”

Dio, (History 59.28.5) states, “ Caligula went so far as to divide in two the Temple of the Dioscuri in the Roman Forum, making a passageway to the Palatine that went right between the two cult statues. As a result, he was fond of saying that he regarded the Dioscuri as his gate-keepers. NEW ARCHAEOLOGY: Regarding the extension from the palace - http://news.stanford.edu/news/2003/september10/caligula-910.html Stanford Report, September 10, 2003, this was thought for years until 2003 to have been impossible.
Did Caligula have a God complex?

From Suetonius:
But he (Claudius) was exposed also to actual dangers. First in his very consulship, when he was all but deposed, because he had been somewhat slow in contracting for and setting up the statues of Nero and Drusus, the emperor's brothers.

From Roma:
Nero and Drusus were the brothers of the future emperor Caligula, and the children of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. More significantly Tiberius adopted both sons as grandchildren, and it was thought that Nero, being the oldest, would succeed Tiberius. However, Nero and his mother were accused of treason in 29 AD, and Nero’s demise quickly followed when he was exiled to the island of Ponza. Drusus suffered a similar fate a year later in 30 AD and, having been accused of plotting against his Grandfather and Emperor, he was thrown into prison in 33 AD where he was left to starve.

Additional images:
The Circus of Caligula and Nero

Circus of Nero (or Circus of Gaius (Caligula)) was a circus in ancient Rome placed at the location of today's Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican. All that is left today of this circus is obelisk that stood at its center.

Caligula (31 August 12 AD - 22 January 41 AD), a Roman emperor, began construction of this circus in the year 40 AD on the land of his mother, Agrippina. Claudius, who succeeded him, finished construction. Grimaldi says that the circus was 90 meters wide and 161 long. It was a place where Caligula and Nero trained racing with four horse chariots. In 65 AD, the first fist public persecution of Christians happened in this circus and Christian tradition says that Saint Peter lost his life there two years later. Saint Peter's tomb is in this area, in the cemetery near where the Circus was. Obelisk that stood in the center was placed there by Caligula. It was later (in 16th century) moved to Saint Peter's Square by the architect Domenico Fontana.

The Circus was abandoned by the middle of the 2nd century AD so Constantine built the first basilica (Old St. Peter) at the site of the Circus using some of the existing structure. Most of the ruins of the Circus survived until mid-15th century. They were finally destroyed to make a space for the construction of the new St. Peter's Basilica.
Gary W2
Nero_and_Drusus_Caes~0.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Brass Dupondius13 viewsNERO ET DRVSVS CAESARES - Nero and Drusus Caesar on horseback riding r., cloaks flying behind them.
C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII PP - Legend around S C
Exergue:



Mint: Rome (40-41AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 15.99g / 29mm / 180
Rarity: R2
References:
Cohen 2
RIC Gaius 49
BMC Gaius 70
CBN Gaius 120
Provenances:
Bertolami Fine Arts
Acquisition/Sale: Bertolami Finearts Vcoins

ODERINT, DUM METUANT (LET THEM HATE, SO LONG AS THEY FEAR). — CALIGULA

From: Incitatus Coins
Nero and Drusus were the elder brothers of Caligula, and the sons of Germanicus. Both were heirs of Tiberius and both were killed by the machinations of Sejanus. Caligula survived Sejanus, and the subsequent years, to become emperor. He immediately proclaimed his informed uncle Claudius as his co-consul, an appointment made so that Caligula could, in essence, rule as sole consul. Claudius was given the modest
task of preparing a celebration of Caligula's brothers, including statues in their honor. According to 'I Claudius', Claudius encountered difficulty in completing these statues on time. The completed statues appear on this coinage.

From Joe Geranio:
The dupondii issues of the brothers of Caligula , Nero and Drusus Caesar was no doubt to remind the Roman populace about the Dioscuri the saviors of the Roman state. The Dioscuri won a miraculous battle in 496 B.C. and then on the same day appear in the Roman Forum to tell the populace about the victory, no doubt Caligula wanted to associate himself with the Dioscuri with this issue of the gods represented as Nero and Drusus Caesars galloping on their horses with ease as though the wind is blowing in their hair. This familial propaganda would cement that the sons of Germanicus and Agrippina would reign and were in control.

Historical Context

Suetonius states in (Caligula 22.1-2) “Up until now I have been discussing Caligula in his capacity as an emperor; we must now consider him in his capacity as a monster….

Eventually Caligula began to claim for himself a Divine majesty;…..he extended a part of the Palatine palace all the way out to the Forum, transforming the Temple of Castor and Pollux into an entrance hall for the Palace. There in the Temple he would often take his seat between the twin gods, presenting himself for worship to those he approached.”

Dio, (History 59.28.5) states, “ Caligula went so far as to divide in two the Temple of the Dioscuri in the Roman Forum, making a passageway to the Palatine that went right between the two cult statues. As a result, he was fond of saying that he regarded the Dioscuri as his gate-keepers. NEW ARCHAEOLOGY: Regarding the extension from the palace - http://news.stanford.edu/news/2003/september10/caligula-910.html Stanford Report, September 10, 2003, this was thought for years until 2003 to have been impossible.
Did Caligula have a God complex?

From Suetonius:
But he (Claudius) was exposed also to actual dangers. First in his very consulship, when he was all but deposed, because he had been somewhat slow in contracting for and setting up the statues of Nero and Drusus, the emperor's brothers.

From Roma:
Nero and Drusus were the brothers of the future emperor Caligula, and the children of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. More significantly Tiberius adopted both sons as grandchildren, and it was thought that Nero, being the oldest, would succeed Tiberius. However, Nero and his mother were accused of treason in 29 AD, and Nero’s demise quickly followed when he was exiled to the island of Ponza. Drusus suffered a similar fate a year later in 30 AD and, having been accused of plotting against his Grandfather and Emperor, he was thrown into prison in 33 AD where he was left to starve.

Additional images:
The Circus of Caligula and Nero

Circus of Nero (or Circus of Gaius (Caligula)) was a circus in ancient Rome placed at the location of today's Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican. All that is left today of this circus is obelisk that stood at its center.

Caligula (31 August 12 AD - 22 January 41 AD), a Roman emperor, began construction of this circus in the year 40 AD on the land of his mother, Agrippina. Claudius, who succeeded him, finished construction. Grimaldi says that the circus was 90 meters wide and 161 long. It was a place where Caligula and Nero trained racing with four horse chariots. In 65 AD, the first fist public persecution of Christians happened in this circus and Christian tradition says that Saint Peter lost his life there two years later. Saint Peter's tomb is in this area, in the cemetery near where the Circus was. Obelisk that stood in the center was placed there by Caligula. It was later (in 16th century) moved to Saint Peter's Square by the architect Domenico Fontana.

The Circus was abandoned by the middle of the 2nd century AD so Constantine built the first basilica (Old St. Peter) at the site of the Circus using some of the existing structure. Most of the ruins of the Circus survived until mid-15th century. They were finally destroyed to make a space for the construction of the new St. Peter's Basilica.

Per RIC-Rarity 2
Gary W2
940548.jpg
Cyprus - Paphos - tomb350 viewsTombs were built between 400 BC and 300 AD.Johny SYSEL
23332044.jpg
Cyprus, Paphos - tomb343 viewsTombs were built between 400 BC and 300 AD.1 commentsJohny SYSEL
940923.jpg
Cyprus, Paphos - tomb76 viewsJohny SYSEL
Eagle.jpg
Eagle145 viewsA limestone sculpture of an Eagle, (representing Jupiter) clutching a Snake in its beak (representing Death). Was found in September 2013 during building work in the Minories area of the City of London. It was made in what is now the Cotswolds area of England around 1900 years ago and would have sat in an alcove of a tomb, just outside the city boundary of Londinium. I was lucky to see this back in November 2013 as it is now no longer on display.3 commentsMasis
ushabti1.jpg
Egyptian Ushabti. 26th dynasty. 685-525 BC80 viewsUshabti (also called shabti or shawabti, with a number of variant spellings) were funerary figurines used in Ancient Egypt. They were placed in tombs among the grave goods and were intended to act as substitutes for the deceased, should he/she be called upon to do manual labor in the afterlife. They were used from the Middle Kingdom (around 1900 BC) until the end of the Ptolemaic Period nearly 2000 years later.4 commentsancientone
011.JPG
France - Gévaudan- Banassac - Monétaire Maximinus 620/64027 viewsTriens, or, 1,23 g.
A/ MAXIMINVS MON, tête diadémée à droite. La petite croix au sommet du diadème sert de croisette de début de légende. Diadème retombant sur le cou en deux rubans perlés. Tranche de cou perlé. Couronne de feuillage au pourtour.
R/ DANNACIACO FIIT, calice à deux anses surmonté d'une croix. Couronne de feuillage au pourtour.
Réfs : Vente Trampitsch n°12 (même coin) ; Mirmand 2006, n°82.
Gabalor
Glanum_-_Tomb_Monument.JPG
France, Glanum - Tomb Monument264 viewsOutside the walls of Glanum (now Saint-Rémy-en-Provence) stands this wonderful monument. It was erected sometime between 30-20 B.C. The inscription reads: SEX(tus) M(arcus) L(ucius) IVLIEI C(aii) •F(ilii) PARENTIBVS SVEIS (Sextus, Marcus and Lucius Iulius, sons of Caius, to their parents), and shows interesting battle scenes.
Syltorian
germanicus_57.JPG
Germanicus RIC I, (Gaius) 57661 viewsGermanicus, died AD 19, brother of Claudius, father of Gaius Caligula
AE - Dupondius, 16.7g, 31mm, Rome AD 41-54
obv. GERMANICVS/CAESAR in two lines across field
Germanicus bare-headed and in military cloak standing r. in a slow-quadriga
ornamented with Victory holding wreath.
rev. SIGNIS - RECEPT/DEVICTIS - GERM/S- C in three lines, between them Germanicvs bare-headed in tunika standing l., r. hand raised for greeting, in l.
hand eagle-sceptre
RIC II, (Gaius) 57; C.7; BMCR. 94
VF, nice patina!

This issue commemorates the triumph of Germanicus AD 17 due to his rather poor successful campaigns against the Germans, where he regains 2 of the 3 signs of the 17., 18. and 19. legion which were lost AD 9 by Varus in the battle of Teutoburg Forest. On the battlefield he let collect the mortal remains of the dead and built a big tomb.
For Latin scholars: The grammar structure on the rev. is the infamous 'ablativus absolutus' and we find a nice Chiasmus, a crossing of words.
3 commentsJochen
Pompeiifuneral.JPG
Gladiators on Funerary tomb52 viewsPainting depicting two gladiators on a Funerary tomb in PompeiiTitus Pullo
10383b.jpg
Greece, 100 Drachmai 1992, KM # 159.74 viewsGreece,
100 Drachmes, brass (29 mm / 10.00 g), 1992,
Obv.: EΛΛHNIKH ΔHMOKPATIA / 1992 - BEPΓINA / 100 / ΔPAXMEΣ , the Vergina sun or star of Vergina.
Rev.: MEΓAΣ AΛEΞANΔPOΣ / BAΣIΛEYΣ MAKEΔONΩN , diademed head of Alexander The Great with horn of Ammon right.
KM # 159.

The Vergina Sun or Star of Vergina is a symbol of a stylised star with sixteen rays. It was found in archaeological excavations in Vergina, in northern Greece, where it was discovered on a golden larnax found in 1977 in the tombs of the kings of the ancient kingdom of Macedon.
The significance of the Vergina Sun is unclear. Archaeologists do not agree whether the sun was a symbol of Macedon, an emblem of Philip's Argead dynasty, a religious symbol, or simply a decorative design.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vergina_Star

my ancient coin database
Arminius
Lion_of_Amphipolis.jpg
Greece, Amphipolis, Lion of Amphipolis - Via Egnatia, west side of the Strymonas river71 viewsAmphipolis is best known for being a magnificent ancient Greek polis (city), and later a Roman city, whose impressive remains can still be seen. It is famous in history for events such as the battle between the Spartans and Athenians in 422 B.C., and also as the place where Alexander the Great prepared for campaigns leading to his invasion of Asia. Alexander's three finest admirals, Nearchus, Androsthenes and Laomedon, resided in this city and it is also the place where, after Alexander's death, his wife Roxane and their small son Alexander IV were exiled and later murdered. Excavations in and around the city have revealed important buildings, ancient walls and tombs. The finds are displayed at the archaeological museum of Amphipolis. At the nearby vast Kasta burial mound, an important ancient Macedonian tomb has recently been revealed. The unique and beautiful "Lion of Amphipolis" monument nearby is a popular destination for visitors.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Loewe_von_Amphipolis.jpg
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
Date 16 June 2018
Author Neptuul
Joe Sermarini
The_Lion_of_Amphipolis.jpg
Greece, Amphipolis: The Lion of Amphipolis182 viewsThe first pieces of this rather grand monument were discovered near the banks of the River Strymon in 1912 by Greek soldiers during the Second Balkan War. Further finds were made in 1916 and in 1930-32 during the creation of Lake Kerkini. The Lion was restored (and partly reconstructed) in 1937.

The sculpted Lion itself is 5.3m tall, on its base it stands over 8m high. It is plausibly dated to the late 4th century BCE. Recent work on the Kasta Tomb, which is about 4km distant, has revealed further fragments also apparently belonging to the Lion and it may be the case that the Lion originally surmounted that tomb and was only later moved to its present location.

Nobody knows what or who the monument commemorates; perhaps ongoing work on the Kasta Tomb will illuminate matters. A quite similar, somewhat smaller, statue, the “The Lion of Chaeronea”, honours the Sacred Band of Thebes, which was wiped out at the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE. But while several ancient sources (including Pausanias and Strabo) mention the Chaeronea lion and the circumstances of its construction, there is no ancient record of the Amphipolis lion.
1 commentsAbu Galyon
14094882.jpg
Greece, Mycenae - tomb of Klytaimnéstra211 viewsJohny SYSEL
harpokratescomp.jpg
Harpokrates Bronze63 viewsAn ancient Egyptian bronze statuette of the God Harpokrates, shown seated wearing the sidelock of youth, sun-disc and tripartite wig, dating to Egypt's Late Period, approximately 664-323 B.C.E.

Harpokrates is the Greek name for the Egyptian God Horus, depicted in his child form with finger to the mouth - a recognition of the Egyptian "child" hieroglyph. He was the God of the sunrise, and was often depicted as a falcon.

A suspension loop at the back would have enabled the figure to be worn as an amulet.

Height: 3 1/2 inches.

Provenance:
Ex. Collection of C.E.Best (died 1973). Cecil Best was an incredibly colorful character. Educated at Ardingley college in the late 1800's, Best trained as a banker but subsequently worked as a miner, soldier, merchant, editor and singer. He served as syllabus secretary at the Theosophical Society, England, where he met his future wife Inayat Khan, who converted him to the Sufism form of Islam and renamed him Shahbaz. Shahbaz Best, as he was now known, traveled to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to spread his religion and work as a banker. It was during this time that he met H.E.Inman, a marine engineer, who gifted him his collection of antiquities that he had acquired in lieu of payment from the Egyptian government between 1910-1912. The antiquities were excavated from tombs in lower Egypt and were on display at the Southampton Museum in England after the death of Mr. Best in 1973.

Ex. ArtAncientLtd
Salaethus
Hamadan_-_Mausoleum_of_Esther_and_Mordechai.jpg
Iran, Hamadan, the tomb of the biblical Esther and her cousin Mordechai63 viewsThe tomb in the photo, located in Hamadan, is believed by some to hold the remains of the biblical Esther and her cousin Mordechai.

Hamedan, Iran, is believed to be among the oldest cities in the world. Hamadan was established by the Medes and was the capital of the Median empire. It then became one of several capital cities of the Achaemenid Dynasty. Hamadan is mentioned in the biblical book of Ezra as the place where a scroll was found giving the Jews permission from King Darius to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. (Ezra 6:2). Its ancient name of Ecbatana is used in the Ezra text. Because it was a mile above sea level, it was a good place to preserve leather documents.
Joe Sermarini
020_17_2.jpg
Iran, Naqsh-e-Rostam, Fars Province41 viewsOn a steep rock face just a few miles north of Persepolis lies the necropolis of the Achaemenid kings consisting of the tombs of Dareios I and three of his successors (the fourth tomb is around the corner). Some time after this picture was taken, the sandy hill in front of the rock was removed so that one could see the Sasanian rock reliefs between and below the tombs from a distance.
Schatz
20630028.jpg
Iran, Naqsh-e-Rostam, Fars Province32 viewsThe tomb of Dareios I (522-486 BC)is the only one identified with certainty from the head of the relief. The others are believed to be those of Xerxes I (486-465 BC), Artaxerxes I (465-424 BC), and Dareios II (423-404 BC).Schatz
20630027.jpg
Iran, Naqsh-e-Rostam, Fars Province37 viewsThe top of this tomb shows king Dareios I worshiping in front of a fire altar with Ahura Mazda’s symbol above.Schatz
Kidron_Valley_Tomb_of_Absalom.JPG
Israel, Jerusalem - Kidron Valley (1)161 viewsThis curious structure is known in Arabic as Tantour Faroun (‘Pharaoh’s Hat’). In fact it’s a funerary monument (nefesh) marking the entrance to a substantial catacomb with eight burial chambers cut into the cliff behind. It probably dates from the reign of Herod the Great. In guidebooks it’s sometimes marked as the ‘Tomb of Absalom’, but the legend that this is the tomb of David’s rebellious son is a medieval fantasy. Abu Galyon
Kidron_Valley_Tombs.JPG
Israel, Jerusalem - Kidron Valley (2)156 viewsAnother Kidron valley tomb complex (about 60m south of Tantour Faroun). Jewish pilgrims called this the ‘Tomb of Zechariah’, while the Christian pious associated it with their own early martyrs, notably St. James. In fact, an inscription shows that this was the burial place of the priestly Bene Hezir family, who get a passing mention in the Bible (1 Chronicles 24:15). The nefesh with a pyramidal top marks the entrance to a passage ascending into the cliff on the left. The actual burial chambers (four of them) lie in the area behind the Doric-columned façade. The complex dates from the later second-century BC. Abu Galyon
Nazareth_rolling_stone_tomb_IIA.JPG
Israel, Nazareth - Rolling Stone Tomb170 viewsA really well-preserved example of a Jewish rolling-stone tomb. This one is part of a small necropolis which was found underneath the Convent of the Sisters of Nazareth, only a stone’s throw away from the Basilica of the Annunciation. Abu Galyon
The_Herodium.jpg
Israel, The Herodium146 viewsThe Herodium, 12 km south of Jerusalem, the site of one of Herod's residences and the location of his tomb. The buildings mid-slope to the left of centre are the site of the excavation of Herod's tomb.Lloyd
Herodiun_-_theatre.jpg
Israel, The Herodium Theatre154 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
IMG10304.JPG
Italy, Cerveteri - Etruscan necropolis181 viewsTomba dei Rilievi
4th century BC
Johny SYSEL
IMG10310.JPG
Italy, Cerveteri - Etruscan necropolis160 viewsTomba dei Rilievi
4th century BC
Johny SYSEL
Italy- Rome- Pyramid of cestius.jpg
Italy- Rome- Pyramid of cestius40 viewsPyramid of Cestius. In a country of extravagant tombs, this one definitely deserves a peek. Built in only 330 days in the year 12 BC, by a wealthy (and megalomaniacal) Roman who had spent time in Egypt, it is covered with marble and has survived all these years intact. Piazzale Ostiense. This pyramid was built during the last years of the Republic (1st century B.C.) to hold the ashes of Caius Cestius, Praetor, Tribune and Septemvirate of the Epulos, as the inscriptions recall. John Schou
Italy- Rome- The honoury column of Trajan.jpg
Italy- Rome- The honory column of Trajan36 viewsThe Trajan's Column -
This elegant marble column was inaugurated by Trajan in AD 113, and celebrates his two campaigns in Dacia (Romania) in AD 101-3 and AD 107-8. The column, base and pedestal are 40 m (131 ft.) tall - precisely the same height as the spur of the Quirinal hill which was excavated to make room for Trajan's Forum.
The Trajan Column
The Trajan Column is constructed of giant marble blocks and a spiral staircase leading to the top. The base, excavated inside to re-excavate the tomb, was sculpted with panels of stacked Dacian arms.
A long embellishment goes around the column shaft like a roll of papyrus, leaving the fluting under the Doric capital visible.
The embellishment narrates two Dacian wars, representing the enemy with pride and humanity.
There were 2,500 figures sculpted in similar but various poses to avoid repetitiveness.
The column reaches in height to the top according to correct optics.

A- Hollowness in the Column: The Trajan column is a hollow shaft made of marble. In the area of the Basilica Ulpia, a gray granite fragment is visible with an interesting wavy border.
This was probably from one of the temple columns of 50 feet in height (around 15 meters).
It was probably impossible to extract such monolithic blocks from the mines, so the column was probably constructed by stacking hollow blocks, using these wavy borders to hide the joined areas and reinforce the column's structure.


Spiralling up the column are minutely detailed scenes from the campaigns, beginning whit the Romans preparing for war and ending with the Dacians being ousted from their homeland. The column is pierced with small windows to illuminate its internal spiral staircase (closed to the public). If you wish to see the reliefs in detail there is a complete set of casts in the Museo della Civiltà Romana at EUR. When Trajan died in AD 117 his ashes, along with those of his wife Plotina, were placed in a golden urn in the column's hollow base.

The column's survival was largely thanks to the intervention of Pope Gregory the Great (reigned 590-604). He was so moved by a relief showing Trajan helping a woman whose son had been killed that he begged God to release the emperor's soul from hell. God duly appeared to the pope to say that Trajan had been rescued, but asked him not to pray for the souls of any more pagans. According to legend, when Trajan's ashes were exhumed his skull and tongue were not only intact, but his tongue told of his release from hell.

The land around the column was then declared sacred and the column itself was spared. The statue of Trajan remained on top of the column until 1587, when it was replaced with one of St Peter.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Mausoleum  of Hadrian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Mausoleum of Hadrian33 views- Castel St.Angelo
(Hadrian's Mausoleum) -
This building has had a checkered history. Originally a dynastic tomb, it was converted into a fortress, then became a noble dwelling and finally a papal residence; between times it served as a barracks, a prison and a museum.
Hadrian (117-38 AD) built a tomb in Domizia's gardens that was to become the dynastic sepulcher of the Antonines. Work started in 123 but was only completed in 139, after's death. The Pons Aelius (the predecessor of the Ponte Sant'Angelo 239), inaugurated in 134, linked the monument to the Campo Marzio.

The Sepulchral Chamber. The present entrance (which is about 10 feet above the level of the ancient one) leads via a short corridor to a square hall. The semicircular niche hollowed out in the back wall was probably intended to contain a statue of Hadrian. On the right is a spiral ramp leading to the cella (mortuary chamber), the heart of the monument. In this square room, which was originally faced with marble, the funerary urns of Emperor Hadrian and his wife, sabina.

Sant'Angelo was Rome's most important fortified area, anyone who held it had virtually the whole town at his mercy. Consequently, its history reflected the city's turbulent internal conflicts. Between the 10th and 11th centuries it passed into the hands of the most powerful noble families before suffering a massive attack by the Roman people, who made up their minds to demolish it in 1379.

Fortifications and Modifications. Under Nicholas III the castle became papal property. Most of the alterations to the building carried out between the pontificates of Nicholas V (1447-55) and Urban VII (1623-44) had a military purpose. Access to the subterranean galleries was blocked, two towers were built at the entrance and four bastions at the corners, a moat was dug, pentagonal ramparts were erected with five small forts (today no longer standing) and, finally the Corridoio or Passetto, the fortified passageway linking St Peter's to the castle, was strengthened
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian45 viewsPantheon
The Pantheon is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to all the gods of the Roman state religion, but has been a Christian church since the 7th century AD. It is the only building from the Greco-Roman world which is completely intact and which has been in continuous use throughout its history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Terracina- part of Via Appia.jpg
Italy- Terracina- part of Via Appia47 viewsAppian way
The Appian Way (Latin: Via Appia) is a famous road built by the Romans. It is the most important among the Roman roads; it was called regina viarum, the queen of the roads.

Its construction was started in 312 BC by the consul Appius Claudius Caecus, restructuring an existing track that connected Rome with the Alban Hills (this road has been supposed to be the one that originally brought Latins from Albalonga to the future capital, at the time of its founding).

The original track of the Appian Way connected Rome (from Porta San Sebastiano in the Aurelian Walls, near the Baths of Caracalla) with Ariccia, Forum Appii, Terracina, Fondi, Formia, Minturnae (Minturno), Sinuessa (Mondragone) and finally Capua.

The road was later extended (190 BC) to Benevento (Beneventum) and Venosa which was founded at that time and populated by 20,000 Roman farmers; in a following epoch it was extended to Taranto (Tarentum) and Brindisi (Brundisium).

The Via Appia Traiana would soon have more linearly connected Benevento with Aecae (Troia), Canusium (Canosa) and Barium (Bari).

In 71 BC six thousand slaves rebelling under Spartacus, having been captured after his final defeat and death, were crucified along this road by Marcus Licinius Crassus.

After the fall of the Roman empire, the road was not as used as before; Pope Pius VI ordered its restoration and brought it into new use.

Wide parts of the original road have been preserved, and some are now used by cars (for example, in the area of Velletri). Along the part of the road closest to Rome, one can see many tombs and catacombs of Roman and early Christian origin. Also the Church of Domine Quo Vadis is in the first mile of the road.

The Via Appia was also the site of the first milestones.

A new Appian Way was built in parallel with the old one in 1784.

John Schou
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James A. Garfield Tomb and Memorial22 viewsToken from the tomb of President James A. Garfield, ca. 1890Matt Inglima
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Jordan, Petra - Ed Deir162 viewsThis is Ed Deir, one of the 'high places' of Petra. There's a rock cut path, you have to climb about 800 steps above Cardo level to get there, but worth it. Early Western visitors called it 'the Monastery', which perhaps it was during Byzantine times, originally though, a Nabataean temple (not a tomb).Abu Galyon
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Jordan, Petra - Roman Soldier's Tomb184 viewsIt's popularly called the "Roman Soldier's Tomb" because the central headless figure on the facade is clearly wearing a cuirass. The trouble is that the tomb can't really be dated later than the early years of Rabbel II, i.e. at least 30 years before the Roman annexation in 106 CE. That makes a Roman officer's burial highly questionable. The interior layout is elaborate - a tomb intended for someone of quite high status.Abu Galyon
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Jordan, Petra - Silk Tomb158 viewsThe 'Silk Tomb' is hard to photograph and is best visited near sunrise or sunset. Depending on the time of day (i.e. on the angle at which the sunlight strikes the rock) the colours either look vibrant and alive or flat and dull.Abu Galyon
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Jordan, Petra - The collonaded street470 viewsThis is the centre of the lower city and divides it in north and south.
This is the road that leads to the Semenos gate (at our back)
You can also see the following tombs (from left to right)
Corinthian tomb, Silk tomb and the Urn tomb.
pax
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Julian II 'The Philosopher' (as Augustus)23 views361-363 AD
AE3 (19mm, 2.65g)
O: Diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding shield and spear; DN FL CL IVLIANVS PF AVG.
R: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; BSISC· below.
Siscia mint
RIC VIII 421; Sear 4074v
ex Munzen Sann

“Are you not aware that all offerings whether great or small that are brought to the gods with piety have equal value, whereas without piety, I will not say hecatombs, but, by the gods, even the Olympian sacrifice of a thousand oxen is merely empty expenditure and nothing else?”
~ Julian
1 commentsEnodia
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Kings of Macedon. Amphipolis. Philip II. 359-336 BC. (Circa 355-349/8 BC)46 viewsAR Tetradrachm

23mm., 13,99g.

Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus right

Reverse: ΦIΛIΠ ΠOY (FILIPPOU, "Of Philip"), Philip II on horse left, wearing kausia, short tunic and chiton around the neck, he raises the hand in salutation, bow beneath the front legs of the horse.

Le Rider D71, R -; SNG Cop 545 var.

Philip's revolutionary silver tetradrachms aimed to replace those of the Chalcidian League after his capture of the League's capital, Olynthus, in 348 BC. The horseman on the reverse was the type which had traditionally marked coinage of fine silver in Macedonia. The reverse type exists in two versions. One shows a bearded horseman wearing kausia and chlamys (this coin), very like the horseman on the coins of the fifth-century Macedonian kings; here no doubt Philip himself is represented. The other is a mounted jockey carrying the palm branch of victory, which certainly commemorates the success of Philip's horse in the Olympic games of 356 BC.

From sculptures uncovered in the excavation of Philip’s tomb in 1977, it is evident that the artist adopted some of Philip’s facial attributes in the depiction of Zeus on the obverse of his tetradrachms, which would help assert Philip’s divinity and claim to the broader throne of Greece.
1 commentsNathan P
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L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP [VIIII?] / P M TR P V COS II P P / Septimius Severus Fortuna denarius (197 AD) 17 viewsL SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP [VIIII?], laureate head right / P M TR P V COS II P P, Fortuna standing left, holding rudder on globe in right hand, cornucopiae in left.

AR (post 196 mint, so probably 54% purity), 17 mm, 3.48g, die axis 12h.

Both small flan and image style (bust, wreath, shape of the rudder etc.) point towards the mint of Rome rather than the Eastern one. A bit heavier than expected (the standard supposed to be 3.41g), but WildWinds reports a 3.63g denarius of this type. Unfortunately it is impossible to read the number after IMP (it can be either VIIII or X for TR P V), but based on the spacing and, perhaps, a hint of V I think it is VIIII. So this must be RIC IV 104, BMCRE 229, RSC 442 type. Two other, less probable ID possibilities: RIC 115A (Rome, IMP X) and RIC 493 (Eastern mint, Laodicea ad Mare(?) IMP VIIII).

Lucius SEPTimius SEVeverus PERTinax AVGustus IMPerator (in this case not just an imperial title, but a military one, "invested with the Nth imperial acclaim", a victorious general, the number refers to important victories when the title was renewed); Pontifex Maximus (the high priest, starting with Augustus the emperor was always the head of state religion) TRibunitia Potestas (Tribunal power, the function of the tribune of the people, originally an important republican official, was "hijacked" by Augustus when he was building the imperial structure of power and subsequently became another emperor's title, renewed every year and thus very useful for dating coins) V (5th year means 193+4=197, give or take the actual date of renewing the title), COnSul (under the Empire, the office of Consul remained of some importance and was held by the Emperor with some frequency) II (during or after the consulship of 194 and before next one in 202), Pater Patriae (Father of his Country, the title was held by most Augusti but was usually not assumed at the very beginning of the reign). Denarius was the staple of Roman monetary system from 211 BC to mid 3d century AD.

SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, *11 Apr 145 in Leptis Magna (Khoms, Libya) † 4 Feb 211 (aged 65) Eboracum (York, England) ‡ 14 April 193 – 4 February 211

Septimius Severus was born in the Roman province of Africa. He came from a wealthy and distinguished family of equestrian rank, had Roman ancestry on his mother's side (gens Fulvia was one of the most famous plebeian clans in Rome) and descended from Punic, and perhaps also Libyan, forebears on his father's side. Several members of his family held important imperial offices (although, strangely, not his father who seemed to have no career to speak about). He was trilingual, speaking Punic, Latin and Greek, and got some classical education, but probably less than he wanted to. At 17 he was helped by his influential relatives to relocate to Rome, to be presented to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and start his political career. With some difficulty he started to advance through the cursus honorum, holding a variety of offices. His career was helped by the Antonine Plague of 166, Septimius avoided it by returning to Leptis Magna for a while, and when he was back in Rome he found his competition conveniently thinned out. Despite him going through an impressive number of offices in a very short time there is very little record of his actual accomplishments in 170s and 180s.

In 191 Severus was appointed governor of Pannonia Superior (one of the provinces on Danube frontier) by Emperor Commodus (on advice from one of Septimius' friends). When the hell was unleashed by the assassination of Commodus on 31 December 192 and 193, , the infamous Year of the Five Emperors started, as a general in charge of significant army Severus was able to fight for the highest office. While he moved on Rome, Pertinax, the first Emperor of 193, was killed by the Praetorian Guard, and the next one, Didius Julianus, who famously bought the emperorship at an auction, was condemned by the Senate and executed, so Septimius entered Rome virtually unopposed. He then wisely appeased the powerful governor of Britannia, Clodius Albinus, who was also proclaimed the Emperor, by offering him the title of Caesar, which implied some degree of co-ruling and a chance to succession (Albinus did not give up that easy, reasserting his claim in three years, but then he was easily dealt with at the Battle of Lugdunum in Gaul). Afterwards he had to fight off the final pretender, Pescennius Niger, the former governor of Syria, who was proclaimed the Emperor by the eastern legions. Losing no time, Severus sent a considerable vanguard force to the East and, later, joined in with additional armies. In a series of battles in 193-195 Niger and his supporters were defeated. The last to surrender was Byzantium, which held even after the head of Niger was sent there. It is interesting to note that during this campaign Septimius visited the tomb of his famous fellow countryman, Hannibal Barca in Libyssa (Gebze, Turkey) and ordered to cover it with fine marble. Severus also took an opportunity to wage a short punitive campaign beyond the eastern frontier, annexing the Kingdom of Osroene as a new province.

After consolidating his rule over the western provinces, Severus waged another brief, more successful war in the east against the Parthian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 197 and expanding the eastern frontier to the Tigris. He then enlarged and fortified the Limes Arabicus in Arabia Petraea. In 202 he campaigned in Africa and Mauretania against the Garamantes; capturing their capital Garama and expanding the Limes Tripolitanus along the southern desert frontier of the empire. In 208 he travelled to Britain, strengthening Hadrian's Wall and reoccupying the Antonine Wall. In the same year he invaded Caledonia (modern Scotland), but his ambitions were cut short when he fell fatally ill in late 210, dying in early 211 at Eboracum (York, England), and was succeeded by his sons Caracalla and Geta, thus founding the Severan dynasty. It was the last dynasty of the Roman empire before the Crisis of the Third Century.

In the context of this coin it is interesting to note, that, due to huge military expenses, upon his accession Severus decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 81.5% to 78.5%, although the silver weight actually increased, rising from 2.40 grams to 2.46 grams. Nevertheless, the following year he debased the denarius again because of rising military expenditures. The silver purity decreased from 78.5% to 64.5% – the silver weight dropping from 2.46 grams to 1.98 grams. In 196 he reduced the purity and silver weight of the denarius again, to 54% and 1.82 grams respectively [corresponds to this issue]. Severus' currency debasement was the largest since the reign of Nero.
Yurii P
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Louis XIV (1643-1715) - Demi ecu au buste juvenile 1648 A58 viewsAtelier de Paris (A)
LVD . XIIII . D . G . FR . ET . NAV . REX, buste enfantin a la mèche tombant sur l'epaule, lauré, drapé et cuirassé a droite. Point sous le quatrieme I de XIIII
rose SIT . NOMEN . DOMINI BENEDICTVM . 1648, ecu de France couronné, A à la pointe de l'ecu
13.49 gr
Ref : Ciani # 1850
92-114
1 commentsPotator II
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Melita, Autonomous issue, SNG Vol: X 936 John Morcom Collection38 viewsMelita (Malta) mint, Autonomous issue, Last quarter 3rd century B.C. -225 -200 AE, 22mm 6.24g, SNG Vol: X 936 John Morcom Collection
O: Bearded male head, r.; to r., caduceus
R: Priest’s cap in wreath, below, mono

Following the Roman conquest, the Maltese Islands were apparently allowed a limited measure of self-government, including the privilege of minting their own coins. The Maltese coins of that period were all circular and struck in bronze, the only metal the Roman authorities permitted to be coined in the Sicilian municipia. These autonomous issues circulated alongside the official currency of the Roman Republic which consisted of gold, silver and bronze coins.
The exact date of the first locally struck coin is not known but it is likely to have been after 212 B.C. when Sicily became a Roman province (with the Maltese Islands being incorporated into it) and was given the right by Rome to mint its own coinage in 211 B.C.
The first Maltese coins bear on their obverse a male curly head with a thick beard. A kerykeion or a caduceus is depicted on the right. The identity of the deity on these coins has for a long time been disputed by scholars and has been attributed mainly to Melkart (Heracles), Eshmun (Aesculapius) and Baal Hammon. The reverse design has been also given various interpretations such as the tomb of Battus, a sacrificial cap and a pillar over an urn. That which is unanimously agreed upon by the more authoritative scholars is the interpretation of the three Punic letters aleph, nun, nun, indicating the pre-Roman name of Malta - ANN - which may mean ship.

http://coins.mos.net.au/preKoM.htm
1 commentscasata137ec
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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
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Pantikapaion, Thrace, 325 - 310 B.C.90 viewsBronze AE 17, McDonald 67, SNG Puskin Museum 934-948, (SNG BM Black Sea 890), (SNG Cop 32), NGC Choice VF, Pantikapaion mint, weight 4.5g, max. diameter 17.4mm, Obv. beared head of saytr left; Rev. ΠAN, head of bull 3/4 left, (the bull's left horn continues off flan onto the sprue). Smooth clay-brown patina, rated by NGC 4/5 for strike and 4/5 for surface (some deposits) No longer encased in the plastic tomb.

Ex. Forvm Ancient Coins
2 commentsSteve E
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Petra - Royal Tombs11 viewsThe Um Tomb, one of the Royal Tombs in Petra. Thought to be the tomb of either Malchus II or Aretas IV.otlichnik
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Petra - Street of Facades12 viewsSmaller tombs in the canyon wall along the "Street of Facades" in Petra.otlichnik
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Petra - Temple of Dusares11 viewsPetra is not all tombs. However, little of the actual city has been excavated. One of the few building remains visible is that of the Qasr al-Bint which is today known to be the Temple of Dusares (or Dushara, whom the Romans considered the Nabataean Zeus/Jupiter). Built in the late 1st century BC. otlichnik
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Petra - Treasury12 viewsThe most photographed site in Petra. Here is mine. Called the Treasury (al-Khazneh) due to a wrong guess in the 19th century this is in fact the most magnificent tomb in Petra. It dates to the 1st c AD. Despite the efforts of Indiana Jones, Tin Tin and Sinbad the sailor (and modern archaeologists) no one knows whose tomb it is.otlichnik
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Petra - Treasury - From Siq11 viewsView of the facade of the "Treasury" tomb from the narrow winding chasm (the Siq) that leads into Petra. The first view of travelers to Petra for the last twenty centuries.otlichnik
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Price 361240 viewsEar to the left. Monogram under the throne. M below monogram. Heritage Dec 7, 2017 lot 61018 and descrip says "Extremely rare issue - no examples found in sales archives" There are 2 examples (Gemini and Gorny) but those are both actually Price 3610s incorrectly attributed as 3612s. Busted it out of its tomb - its high relief and real nice strike.Chance Vandal
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PROTO-COINAGE, Olbia, AE Dolphin Money, 6th century BC44 viewsGreek, late 6th century BC. From Olbia, on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine.
From the eighth century BC onwards Greek cities began establishing colonies around the coast of the Black Sea. But there was a strong native non-Greek population in the area which flourished alongside the colonists and this mixture of cultures resulted in a curious variety of monetary forms.
Around the city of Olbia on the north coast of the Black Sea large numbers of tiny, cast bronze dolphins have been discovered. They are sometimes found in groups, and in several instances have been discovered in tombs in the hands or mouths of the dead. These facts, together with the appearance of the dolphin on later coins of the city, make it clear that the bronze dolphins had a monetary use.
superflex
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PROTO-COINAGE, Olbia, AE Dolphin Money, 6th century BC, Rare 'ΘY' symbol41 viewsGreek, late 6th century BC, from Olbia, on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine
Rare 'ΘY' symbol.

From the eighth century BC onwards Greek cities began establishing colonies around the coast of the Black Sea. But there was a strong native non-Greek population in the area which flourished alongside the colonists and this mixture of cultures resulted in a curious variety of monetary forms.
Around the city of Olbia on the north coast of the Black Sea large numbers of tiny, cast bronze dolphins have been discovered. They are sometimes found in groups, and in several instances have been discovered in tombs in the hands or mouths of the dead. These facts, together with the appearance of the dolphin on later coins of the city, make it clear that the bronze dolphins had a monetary use.
superflex
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Ramses VI 16 views1145 BC to 1137 BC
Limestone Wall Debris From Main Corridor Leading To Burial Chamber Of Ramses VI Tomb.
Authentic, passed down in Family along with "THE CURSE".
JRoME
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Rhegion Tetradrachm17 viewsBruttium, Rhegion, 356-351 av. J.C AR Tetradrachme 15,37g
D:/ ΡΗΓΙΝΟΣ Tête d'Appollon laurée, à g. les cheveux retombent sur la nuque
R:/ Mufle de lion de face, les oreilles en forme de demi-lune; la crinière ébouriffée
Hertzfelder 116d (this coin) (D71/R98) , HGC Italy 1639, HN ITaly 2501
from the Hoskier collection sale Adolph Hess 15/02/1934 lot 116
Brennos
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ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantius II12 viewsMaiorina réduite de Constance II. RIC 361
Avers: D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG. Buste diadémé, drapé et cuirassé de Constance II à droite.
Revers: FEL TEMP REPARATIO ASISz. Soldat casqué, vêtu militairement, tenant un bouclier sur le bras gauche et une haste de la main droite terrassant un cavalier tombé au sol couché sur son cheval qui est tourné à droite .
Kenobi O
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ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantius II19 viewsMaiorina réduite de Constance II. RIC 115 pour l'atelier de Cyzique.
Avers: D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG. Buste diadémé, drapé et cuirassé de Constance II à droite.
Revers: FEL TEMP RE-PARATIO / SMKEpsilon. Soldat casqué, vêtu militairement, tenant un bouclier sur le bras gauche et une haste de la main droite terrassant un cavalier tombé au sol couché sur son cheval qui est tourné à droite.
Kenobi O
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ROMAN EMPIRE, Domitian, Denarius106 viewsSilver denarius, 18mm, 3.42g, Rome shortly before 13 September 96 A.D.; IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV laureate head right
IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P, Altar showing two men (soldiers) holding scepters or spears, surmounted by two eagles and two bound captives.
Ex Amphora Coins, same dies as Lanz 38, 1986 lot 646; same obverse die as the ANS specimen of the Maia type.

Very rare, apparently the 9th recorded specimen. Judging from the military decorations, we might guess the tomb of a general or an altar dedicated to soldiers died in battle.
2 commentsFORVM AUCTIONS
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ROMAN EMPIRE, GALLIENUS. Silvered Antoninianus of Antioch. Struck A.D.266 - 268.180 viewsObverse: GALLIENVS AVG. Radiate and cuirassed bust of Gallienus facing right.
Reverse: MINERVA AVG. Minerva standing facing left, leaning on shield and holding spear in right hand. In exergue, VIIC, which denotes Gallienus' seventh consulate.
RIC V i : 617 Weight 3.7gms.

Gallienus was born c.A.D.213 and made co-emperor with his father, Valerian, soon after the latter's elevation in A.D.253 and became sole ruler after his father's capture by the Persians in A.D.260. He was murdered in camp at the seige of Milan in A.D.268 and buried in a tomb on the Via Appia.
3 comments*Alex
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Satraps of Caria Maussolos AR Tetradrachm circa 377-353 BC 14.65g Gulbenkian 784140 viewsHead of Apollo facing slighty right,wearing laurel wearth,drapery around neck.Rev Zeus Labraundos standing right wearing long robes holding labrys [double bladed ax] over right shoulder and resting on spear held in left hand. His tomb built at Halicarnassus, and in whose honor the Mausoleum was built and named for, was one of the seven wonders of the world.Grant H
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Second Intermediate Period Steatite Scarab30 viewsBase engraved with three figures, likely a goddess flanked by two gods.

Egypt was an ultrareligious land, every city and town had its own local deity, bearing the title “Lord of the City.” A list found in the tomb of Thutmose III contains the names of some 740 gods. (Ex 12:12) Frequently the god was represented as married to a goddess who bore him a son, “thus forming a divine triad or trinity in which the father, moreover, was not always the chief, contenting himself on occasion with the role of prince consort, while the principal deity of the locality remained the goddess.” (New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, 1968, p. 10) Only a few, relatively speaking, of the hundreds of deities seem to have received worship on a truly national basis. Most popular among these was the trinity or triad of Osiris, Isis (his wife), and Horus (his son). - http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001265#h=2

Who is represented on this scarab? Perhaps Osiris, Isis and Horus or Latopolis Khnum, Neith and Heka? Or did the carvers have no idea what they were writing or inscribing? I suppose we will never know.
Nemonater
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Seuthes III Bronze Head (Reproduction)127 viewsThe bronze head of Seuthes III was found ritually buried outside his tomb at Kazanlak. The photo is of a reproduction made to look as the head would have looked new. The actual bronze head is in remarkable similar condition with a slightly rougher greener patina and the eyes are plain green bronze.1 commentsJoe Sermarini
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Small Barbarian Buckle82 viewsDespite the very fine workmanship this is a "barbarian" and not a Roman item. This small buckles was likely attached to the lower edge of a sword belt where it was used for suspending straps which held a dagger, purse, etc. Circa mid-3rd to late 4th century AD. Classed in Soupault's Les Element Metalliques du Costume Masculin dans les Provinces Romaines de la Mers Noire as buckle and plate type 1, variant Ia. The closest parallel is #7 from a tomb at Timochevskaia in the Russian Kuban but #2 from a small fort at Iatrus, Bulgaria is also very similar. These buckles were used by the Sarmatians and the Chernyakhov (aka Tcherniakov) culture which comprised an Alan and Goth mix. Dated circa 250 - 365 AD. otlichnik
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Spain, Naveta des Tudons135 viewsPlace: Naveta des Tudons, Menorca
Country: Spain

The Naveta des Tudons is the most famous megalithic chamber tomb in Minorca. It was used between 1200 y 750 BC. It is a collective tomb which contained, when it was discovered in 1975 at least 100 men and different objects like bronze bracelets or bone and ceramic buttons.

The legend says that two brothers were competing for the love of a girl. To decide who would be the chosen one, they started a construction, and the first one to finish it would marry the girl. One of them decided to build the naveta and the other one a well. The time run and when the last stone was going to be placed on the naveta, the other brother shouted: "Water, water!!". Then, the brother who was building the naveta, very angry, threw the last stone (the one that is missing on the top) into the well, killing his brother. Then, feeling remorse for what he had done, he killed himself. It is said that the girl died alone and was buried in the naveta.
Viriathus
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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
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Spain- Taragona- The Forum- Tomb274 viewsThe colonial Forum

All Roman towns had a large square (forum) that was the political, social and business centre of town.
Architecturally, it was a large space surrounded by arcades and varius public buildings, separated into different areas- the religious and the civil. The sacred area was presided over by a temple dedicated to the Capatoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) or the deified emperor. This temple may have been accompanied by others of less importance. The civil area contained various buildings, the most important of which was probably the basilica, which served as a courthouse, a social meeting place, and the curia, or seat of the council composed of the city´s dignitaries.
Today only the basilica is preserved. This building is divided into three sections, separated by Corinthian columns, and was built in the period of Augustus (in the years before the birth of Christ). It housed the court, or aedes augusti. In front of the basilica there was a square, with various statues, on which several of the city´s streets converged. These streets delimited insulae, or “islands” of houses. The ground floors of the houses contained shops, warehouses and workshops, while the upper floors were where the people lived, crowded together in small rooms. Only the wealthiest of families could afford to live in a domus, a house with one or two storeys, several rooms distributed around an atrium, and other recreational areas.
John Schou
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Springfield, Illinois Railway Token - Lincoln Tomb15 viewsObv: LINCOLN MONUMENT, front view of Abraham Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois.

Rev: SPRINGFIELD CITY RY. CO., large numeral 5 in center.

This token was used to travel by horse-drawn rail car from downtown Springfield to Lincoln's Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The use of these tokens was discontinued after 1893 when the railway company merged with another.

Diameter: 24.5 mm
Matt Inglima
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Struck A.D.139 under Antoninus Pius. DIVUS HADRIAN. Commemorative AR Denarius of Rome20 viewsObverse: DIVVS HADRIANVS AVG. Bare head of Hadrian facing right.
Reverse: CONSECRATIO. Eagle standing facing on globe, head turned left.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 3.2gms | Die Axis: 6
RIC II : 389b
VERY RARE.

The Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome was completed in the year this coin was struck, the emperor Antoninus Pius cremated the body of Hadrian and placed his ashes together with that of his wife Vibia Sabina and his adopted son, Lucius Aelius in the tomb.
The mausoleum was originally a towering decorated cylinder topped with a garden and a golden quadriga. The building, used by the popes in later centuries as a fortress and castle, is known today as the Castel Sant'Angelo. It is situated in Parco Adriano, Rome and is now a museum.
2 comments*Alex
Belt_12a.jpg
Sword Belt Decoration87 viewsThis belt plate, in the form of a letter E with loop underneath, is part of a Roman military sword belt. The full set spelled out FELIX VTERE. The first E always has a loop under it for hanging a purse or knife. Feugere cites a set found in a Roman tomb in Lyon dated to 197 AD in figure 151 of Weapons of the Romans. According to Roman Military Equipment, 2nd edition, figure 101, #1 these belts originate with the legions on the lower and middle Danube and in Dacia and therefore the Lyon tomb must have been of a Danubian legionary. It is dated to the late 2nd to 3rd century AD.otlichnik
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Syracuse Tetradrachm51 viewsSicile, Syracuse, 510-500 BC AR Tétradrachme 17.43g.
D:/SVRA Quadrige au pas à droite.
R:/Carré creux partagé en quatre carrés. Au centre dans un cercle creux, tête d'Aréthuse à gauche, les cheveux en pointillé retombant sur la nuque.
Boehringer 28 (V20/R14)
ex Chandon de Briailles collection sale Emile Bourgey 1959 lot 156
1 commentsBrennos
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Thracia, Deultum, Maximinus I, Yurukova 20458 viewsMaximinus I AD 235-238
AE 20, 4.79g
obv. IMP MAXIMINVS AVG
bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. P C F D
pointed Omphalos on base
Yurukova 204; SNG Bulgaria 756-760; Moushmov 3641
about VF, digger mark on reverse
added to www.wildwinds.com

OMPHALOS, umbilicus, hump. Ovoid resp. beehive shaped stone mark of uncertain meaning. The best-known exemplar, the Delphic Omphalos, today no more is regarded as meteoric object of the aniconic stone cult (Baetyl) but as prehellenic sacrifice mark of the earth-goddess as synthesis of Tymbos (= doomed tomb) and altar (for chthonic blood pouring).
1 commentsJochen
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Tombstone, Arizona50 viewsHonest Walts Saloon, Brass Brothel Token
2 commentsRandygeki(h2)
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Turkey, Ankara, Tombstones.33 viewsSituated in the town's palestra, a short distance away from the Roman Baths, are a large selection of Roman tombstones some of which are very interesting.
Photographs by Will Hooton
*Alex
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Turkey, Antalya Province, Limyra - Theater31 viewsLimyra was a small city in Lycia on the southern coast of Asia Minor, on the Limyrus River, about 5 1/2 KM from the mouth of that river. The ruins are about 5 km northeast of the town of Finike (ancient Phoenicus) in Antalya Province, Turkey. It was a prosperous city, and one of the oldest cities in Lycia. It had rich and abundant soil, and gradually became one of the finest trade settlements in Greece. Pericles adopted it as the capital of the Lycian League. The city came under control of the Persian Empire after it was conquered by Cyrus the Great. He later annexed Lydia and its territories after a decisive victory at the Battle of Thymbra and the Siege of Sardis, where he defeated armies twice as large as his. Cyrus then got his greatest general: Harpagus of Media to conquer the much smaller kingdoms in Anatolia, while he went to conquer the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Anatolia would become an important place for the Persian monarchs who succeeded Cyrus. The massive Royal road constructed by Darius went from the Persian capital of Persepolis, to the Anatolian city of Sardis. Limyra would stay under Persian control until it was conquered and sacked by Alexander the Great. It is mentioned by Strabo (XIV, 666), Ptolemy (V, 3, 6) and several Latin authors. Gaius Caesar, adopted son of Augustus, died there (Velleius Paterculus, II, 102). Ruins consist of a theater, tombs, sarcophagi, bas-reliefs, Greek and Lycian inscriptions etc. About 3 km east of the site is the Roman Bridge at Limyra, one of the oldest segmented arch bridges of the world.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LimyraTheater1.jpg
Photo by Kpisimon, 8 May 1988
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Joe Sermarini
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Turkey, Dalyan - The rock tombs of Kaunos60 viewsOutside the official Kaunos archeological site, near Dalyan, Turkey there are six rock tombs on the Dalyan river (4th – 2nd century BC). The façades of the rock tombs resemble the fronts of Hellenistic temples with two Ionian pillars, a triangular pediment, an architrave with toothed friezes, and acroterions shaped like palm leaves.1 commentsJoe Sermarini
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-FoVTANMmEFe7O1M-Julian_II_the_apostate.jpg
ulian II (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Double Maiorina5 viewsD N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG - Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Julian right
SECVRITAS REIPVB - Apis bull standing right, two stars above horns
Exergue:



Mint: Sirmium (361-363AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 7.95g / 28mm / 360
References:
RIC VIII 106
Acquisition/Sale: xcelatorx Ebay $0.00 7/17
Notes: Oct 13, 18 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

While the coinage of Julian is most remarkable for its depiction of the Apis bull, historians are uncertain of what the emperor actually intended to portray through this coinage. Was it an effort to link the emperor to the mysterious power of the bull common amongst the Egyptians? Was it an attempt to portray the ritual sacrifice of bulls that Julian re-instated after decades of Christian-sympathizing rule? Or was it something else, perhaps a representation of the astrological sign Taurus? The chronicler Ammianus Marcellinus is the primary source on Julian's reign and unfortunately never commented on the coinage, whilst mostly praising Julian's actions, personality, and character. [1]

More on the Apis Bull:

The Apis bull was an important sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians. As with the other sacred beasts Apis' importance increased over the centuries. During colonization of the conquered Egypt, Greek and Roman authors had much to say about Apis, the markings by which the black calf was recognized, the manner of his conception by a ray from heaven, his house at Memphis (with a court for his deportment), the mode of prognostication from his actions, his death, the mourning at his death, his costly burial, and the rejoicings throughout the country when a new Apis was found. Auguste Mariette's excavation of the Serapeum of Saqqara revealed the tombs of more than sixty animals, ranging from the time of Amenhotep III to that of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Originally, each animal was buried in a separate tomb with a chapel built above it.

According to Arrian, Apis was one of the Egyptian deities Alexander the Great propitiated by offering a sacrifice during his seizure of Ancient Egypt from the Persians. After Alexander's death, his general Ptolemy I Soter made efforts to integrate Egyptian religion with that of the new Hellenic rulers. Ptolemy's policy was to find a deity that might win the reverence of both groups, despite the curses of the Egyptian religious leaders against the deities of the previous foreign rulers (i.e. Set, lauded by the Hyksos). Without success, Alexander had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but that deity was more prominent in Upper Egypt and not for those in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. Since the Greeks had little respect for animal-headed deities, a Greek statue was created as an idol and proclaimed as an anthropomorphic equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and later was said to represent Osiris fully, rather than just his Ka.

The earliest mention of a Serapis is in the authentic death scene of Alexander, from the royal diaries. Here, Serapis has a temple at Babylon, and is of such importance that he alone is named as being consulted on behalf of the dying Alexander. The presence of this temple in Babylon radically altered perceptions of the mythologies of this era, although it has been discovered that the unconnected Babylonian deity Ea was entitled Serapsi, meaning king of the deep, and it is Serapsi who is referred to in the diaries, not Serapis. The significance of this Serapsi in the Hellenic psyche, however, due to its involvement in Alexander's death, also may have contributed to the choice of Osiris-Apis as the chief Ptolemaic deity during their occupation of Ancient Egypt.

According to Plutarch, Ptolemy stole the statue from Sinope, having been instructed in a dream by the Unknown God to bring the statue to Alexandria, where the statue was pronounced to be "Serapis" by two religious experts. Among those experts was one of the Eumolpidae, the ancient family from which the hierophant of the Eleusinian Mysteries traditionally had been chosen since before any historical records. The other expert supposedly was the scholarly Egyptian priest Manetho, which increased acceptability from both the Egyptians and the Greeks.

Plutarch may not be correct, however, as some Egyptologists assert that the Sinope in Plutarch's report is the hill of Sinopeion, a name given to the site of an existing Serapeum at Memphis. Also, according to Tacitus, Serapis (i.e. Apis explicitly identified as Osiris in full) had been the tutelary deity of the village of Rhacotis, before it suddenly expanded into the great capital of "Alexandria".

Being introduced by the Greeks, understandably, the statue depicted a fully human figure resembling Hades or Pluto, both being kings of the Greek underworld. The figure was enthroned with the modius, which is a basket or a grain-measure, on his head, a Greek symbol for the land of the dead. He also held a sceptre, indicating rulership, and Cerberus, gatekeeper of the underworld, rested at his feet. It also had what appeared to be a serpent at its base, fitting the Egyptian symbol of sovereignty, the uraeus.

With his (i.e., Osiris') wife, Isis, and their son (at this point in history) Horus (in the form of Harpocrates), Serapis won an important place in the Greek world, reaching Ancient Rome, with Anubis being identified as Cerberus. The cult survived until 385, when Christians destroyed the Serapeum of Alexandria, and subsequently, the cult was forbidden by the Edict of Thessalonica.[2]

[1] Lewis, Will. Taking the Bull by the Horns, Ancient World Magazine, March 16, 2018
[2] The Apis Bull, Wikipedia online encyclopedia
Gary W2
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Victorin17 viewsCONCORD AVG
ou
PROVID DEOR
-à gauche, la Fidélité des Armées tenant dans chaque main une enseigne à 3 phalères,
- à droites, ce qu'il semble être Sol ou Victorin saluant la Fidélité,
il lève le bras droit pour saluer, le bras gauche est entouré d'un paludamentum qui lui tombe jusqu'au mollet, peut être qu'il tient aussi un globe ?
Ce genre de revers n'apparait que sous Aurélien, puis est repris par ses successeurs tel que Probus, pour des ateliers éloignés comme Serdica, Siscia ...
18,40mm
3,05g
PYL
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Western Han Jade Protomoney60 viewsDate: 206 BC – 9 AD, Rare
Size: diameter 35 mm
Weight: 6.81 grams

This is one of the earliest primitive Chinese coin types consisting of a piece of jade carved into a shape of a coin, with a large center hole for stringing. Round pieces of jade in the shape of coins are found in tombs from the Western Han period. This type is the latest, made of polished jade. No one is sure what the purpose of these rings was, but because of their shape and their find-spots it is thought they were used as primitive coins or exchange mediums.
Noah
GalllienusRIC163.jpg
[1113a] Gallienus, August 253 - 24 March 268 A.D.72 viewsBronze antoninianus, RIC 163, RSC 72, choice EF, Rome mint, 3.716g, 21.6mm, 180o, 268 A.D.; Obverse: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; Reverse: APOLLINI CONS AVG, centaur walking right drawing bow, Z in exergue; struck on a full and round flan, rare this nice. Commemorates vows to Apollo invoking his protection against the revolt of Aureolus. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Valerian (A.D. 253-260) and Gallienus (A.D. 253-268)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University


P. Licinius Valerianus, or Valerian, was unusual for his time period in that he was an emperor who came from an old Roman senatorial family. He was likely born shortly before 200 A.D., but little is known of his early life. Valerian married Egnatia Mariniana and had two sons, Gallienus and Valerian Junior. Gallienus was born around 218. Valerian makes his first appearance in the sources in 238 A.D. as an ex-consul and princeps senatus negotiating with (more likely than serving on) the embassy sent to Rome by Gordian I's African legions to secure senatorial approval of Gordian's rebellion against and replacement of Maximinus Thrax as emperor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae probably report accurately that Trajan Decius, on the recommendation of the Senate, offered Valerian the censorship in 251. Although the senatus consultum cited and the specific office are of doubtful authenticity, the high reputation Valerian possessed in the Senate and his association with the government under Decius probably are truthful aspects of the story. In 253 Valerian was apparently commanding in Raetia and Noricum when Trebonianus Gallus sent him to bring legions from Gaul and Germany to Italy for the struggle with the forces of Aemilianus. After Gallus' troops killed him and his son and joined Aemilianus, Valerian's men proclaimed their general emperor and their arrival in Italy caused Aemilianus' soldiers to desert and kill their commander and join Valerian's forces in acclaiming Valerian as emperor.

The Senate presumably was pleased to ratify the position of Valerian, one of their own, as emperor and they also accepted his son and colleague, P. Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, as Augustus, rather than just as Caesar. Valerian apparently realized the necessity of sharing power equally with his son and of dividing their efforts geographically, with Gallienus responsible for the West and Valerian himself concentrating on the East. The biographies of Valerian and Gallienus in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, attributed to Trebellius Pollio, are not especially helpful in putting together an account of their joint reign. The life of Valerian is fragmentary and that of Gallienus projects an extremely biased negative interpretation of his career.

Gallienus in the early years of the joint reign concentrated, with some success, on protecting Gaul and the Rhine frontier by driving back Germanic tribes and fortifying cities such as Cologne and Trier. In a move which would characterize later diplomacy with Germans, Gallienus concluded an alliance with one of their chieftains, presumably to assist the Romans in protecting the empire from other Germanic tribes. The invasions increased in number around 257-258 as the Franks entered Gaul and Spain, destroying Tarraco (Tarragona), and the Alamanni invaded Italy. Gallienus defeated the Alamanni at Milan, but soon was faced with the revolts in Pannonia and Moesia led first by his general there, Ingenuus, and then by Regalianus, commander in Illyricum. Gallienus put down these rebellions by 260 and secured stability in the region by concluding an alliance with the Marcomannic king, whose daughter Pipa the emperor apparently accepted as his concubine although he was still married to Cornelia Salonina.

In the East, Valerian had succeeded by A.D. 257 in rescuing Antioch in Syria from Persian control, at least temporarily, but was soon faced with a major invasion of the Goths in Asia Minor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae biography of Aurelian has Valerian appear to speak in the Baths at Byzantium to publicly commend Aurelian for his success in driving back the Goths and reward him with the consulship and even with adoption as imperial successor. However, it is not clear that Valerian even reached Byzantium because he sent Felix to that city while he remained to protect the eastern section of Asia Minor and then returned to Antioch to guard it against renewed Persian attacks. It was at this point, around 259, that Valerian moved to defend Edessa and his troops lost significant numbers to the plague. Valerian tried to negotiate a peace with the Persian king, Sapor, but was captured by treachery and taken into captivity. The ultimate humiliation of a Roman emperor by a foreign leader was enacted through Sapor's use of Valerian as a human stepping-stool to assist the Persian king in mounting his horse and Valerian's body was later skinned to produce a lasting trophy of Roman submission.

Eusebius discusses the policy of Valerian toward the Christians and says that, after initially treating them most positively, Valerian was persuaded by Macrianus to lead another persecution against them. Valerian in fact after his brutal imprisonment and death in Persia would serve as a negative moral exemplum for some Latin Christian writers who gleefully pointed out that those who oppose the true God receive their just desserts.

Eusebius also credits Gallienus with reversing his father's policy and establishing peace with the Church, citing imperial edicts which established freedom of worship and even restored some lost property. Paul Keresztes claims that Gallienus in fact established a peace with Christians that lasted for forty-three years, from A.D. 260 until 303, and gave the community a kind of legal status which they had previously lacked.

Andreas Alföldi details a growing separation between Gallienus and his father which goes well beyond the geographical one which had developed out of military necessity. In addition to the strikingly different policies, just described, which they pursued toward the Christians, Gallienus began to make his military independence clear through changes in coin inscriptions and by 258 he had created his central cavalry unit and stationed it at Milan. This independent force, which was under the command of a man of equestrian rank and soon stood on a level at least equal to that of the Praetorian Guard, would play a significant role in Gallienus' upcoming battles and, of course, was a foretoken of a new trend for military organization in the future. Alföldi cites as evidence of the increasing separation between the joint emperors the statement that Gallienus did not even seek his father's return from captivity, which Lactantius of course interpreted as part of Valerian's divine punishment, but one wonders what indeed Gallienus might have done and his "indifference" may have been instead his attempt to reassert confidence in his armies and not dwell on the depressing and humiliating servitude and ultimate death of Valerian. Another reform which Alföldi discusses as part of Gallienus' independent stand is his exclusion of the senatorial class from major military commands. H.M.D. Parker credits Gallienus with beginning to separate the civil and military functions of Rome's provincial governors, thus making senatorial governors purely civil administrators and starting to replace them even in this reduced role by equestrians. The disappearance in this period of the S.C. stamp of senatorial authority on bronze coins was probably also seen as an attack on the prestige of the order, although the debasement of the silver coinage had by this time practically reached the point where the "silver" coins were themselves essentially bronze and the change may have been more for economic than for political reasons. Gallienus' exclusion of senators from military command further broke down class distinctions because sons of centurions were by this time regularly given equestrian rank and the move further accelerated the alienation of Rome as center of the Empire. In addition, the bitterness of the senatorial class over Gallienus' policy most likely explains the hatred of Latin writers toward this particular emperor.

Although Gallienus' military innovations may have made his forces more effective, he still had to face numerous challenges to his authority.In addition to systemic invasions and revolts, the plague wreaked havoc in Rome and Italy and probably in several provinces as well. It must have seemed that every commander he entrusted to solve a problem later used that authority to create another threat. When Gallienus was involved in putting down the revolt of Ingenuus in Pannonia, he put Postumus in charge of the armies guarding the Rhine and Gaul. There is some doubt about which of Gallienus' sons, Cornelius Valerianus or P. Cornelius Licinius Saloninus, was left in Cologne under the care of the Praetorian Prefect Silvanus and perhaps also Postumus. In any case, when Postumus revolted and proclaimed his independent Gallic Empire, Silvanus and one of the emperor's sons were killed. Gallienus probably restricted Postumus' expansion, but he never gained the personal revenge that, according to one source, drove him to challenge Postumus to single combat. While Gallienus was thus engaged, and after Valerian's capture by the Persians, Macrianus had his soldiers proclaim his sons, Macrianus and Quietus, emperors in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt. Gallienus sent Aureolus to defeat Macrianus and one son in the area of Illyria and Thrace; Odenathus of Palmyra defeated the other son and restored stability in Syria and, with Gallienus' approval, followed that up with a victory over the Persians. After Odenathus' assassination ca. 267, his wife Zenobia continued to rule the independent Palmyrene section of the Empire.

In A.D. 262 Gallienus concluded his tenth year in office by celebrating in Rome his Decennalia with a spectacular procession involving senators, equestrians, gladiators, soldiers, representatives of foreign peoples, and many other groups. This festival included feasts, games, entertainment, and spectacle which probably reminded Romans of the millennial Secular Games celebrations of Philip I and likely were intended to secure popular support at home for Gallienus. Over the next five years little is known about specific activities of the emperor and he presumably spent more time in Rome and less along the frontiers.

Gallienus and Salonina as rulers patronized a cultural movement which collectively is known as the Gallienic Renaissance. The imperial patrons are most directly connected with the philosophical aspects of this movement because Porphyry testifies to their friendship for the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus. Porphyry goes on to say that Plotinus asked Gallienus to rebuild an abandoned former city of philosophers in Campania, rename it Platonopolis, and govern it as a kind of Platonic Republic, but that the jealousy and spite of others at court scuttled the plan. In addition to Neoplatonic philosophy, according to Gervase Matthew, the Gallienic Renaissance included the "upward glance" and other stylistic changes in imperial sculpture and religious beliefs that were characterized by "an overwhelming sense of the transcendent and immutable." Matthew points out both the return to artistic models of Augustus, Hadrian, and even Severus Alexander and also "a new Romantic tension" which breaks with the past and points toward a new and very different world. The Hellenic character of much of the Gallienic Renaissance is also stressed in the emperor's trip to Athens where he, likely in imitation of Hadrian, became eponymous archon and received initiation into the Eleusinian cult of Demeter.

Late in his reign, Gallienus issued a series of coins in Rome which honored nine deities as Conservator Augusti or protector of the emperor by pairing his portrait with reverses picturing an animal or animals symbolic of each deity. Included in this group of celestial guardians are Apollo, Diana, Hercules, Jupiter, Juno, Liber Pater, Mercury, Neptune, and Sol. For example, Apollo's coin-types portray a centaur, a gryphon, or Pegasus; Hercules is represented by either the lion or the boar. It appears that Gallienus was issuing the "animal series" coins both to secure, through some religious festival, the aid of Rome's protective gods against continuing invasions, revolts, and plague and to entertain the Roman populace with pageantry and circus games, thus to divert their attention away from the same problems and maintain the security of the regime in power.

In A.D. 268, Gallienus saw his third son, Marinianus, become consul, but in the spring another Gothic invasion brought the emperor back to Greece. He defeated the invaders at Naissus in Moesia , but was deterred from pursuing them further by a revolt of the commander of his elite cavalry, Aureolus. He besieged this last rebel emperor in Milan, but a plot involving his Praetorian Prefect and two future emperors, Claudius and Aurelian, all three men Illyrians popular with many of the soldiers, lured Gallienus away from the city on a false pretext and assassinated him.The emperor's brother Valerian and young son Marinianus were also murdered. In spite of the bitter resentment which many of the senators must have felt toward the dead emperor and his reform policies, Claudius II, perhaps only to legitimize his own reign, persuaded the Senate to deify Gallienus.

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


Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus was born in about AD 213. This means that he was about 40 years old when his father Valerian, in AD 253, was hailed emperor by his troops in Raetia. Gallienus was made Caesar immediately by his father. But within a month, when Valerian got to Rome, Gallienus received the rank of Augustus.

Compared to other Roman emperors of the age, Gallienus was an exception, as far as he was not a soldier-emperor. He was rather a thoughtful, intellectual ruler, possessing sophisticated Greek tastes. However, this made him deeply unpopular with the gritty Danubian generals, who very much understood it as their right to choose a leader among their own ranks to rule the empire.

If the Danubian military elite didn't like Gallienus, then he certainly soon proved that he was a capable military leader. Between AD 254 to AD 256 he campaigned along the Danube, securing this troubled frontier against the barbarians. In AD 256 he then moved west to fight the Germans along the Rhine.

Then by autumn AD 260 the message of Valerian's capture by the Persians reached Gallienus. If Gallienus had always been unpopular among the military leaders, then now with his father gone and Roman authority crumbling, rebellion was in the air.

On a night in September, AD 268, at the siege of Mediolanum (Milan), an alarm was suddenly raised in the camp of the emperor. In the brief moment of confusion, Gallienus was struck down in the dark as he emerged from his tent.

During his reign, Gallienus began numerous reforms and military campaigns to defend the empire, as much from usurpers as from barbarians. In doing so, he perhaps saved the empire from oblivion. At the same time he presided over perhaps the last flowering of classical Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists and philosophers.

As a last gesture of disrespect to this, most unfortunate of emperors, the Romans should lay Gallienus to rest not in one of the great mausoleums in Rome, but in a tomb nine miles south of the capital, along the Via Appia.

Ironically, he was deified by the senate at the request of Claudius II Gothicus, one of the men who must be held accountable for the assassination of Gallienus.
See: http://www.roman-empire.net/decline/gallienus.html


Gallienus was the son of Valerian I and was named Caesar at his father's accession to the throne in 253 A.D. Upon his father's capture by the Parthians he assumed the rank of Augustus and began numerous reforms and military campaigns to defend the empire, as much from usurpers as from barbarians. At the same time he presided over perhaps the last flowering of classical Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists and philosophers. Gallienus was assassinated while besieging Milan. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV197unlistedvar.jpg
[1114a] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.58 viewsSilvered antoninianus, RIC V 197 var (pellet in exergue), aEF, 3.880g, 21.1mm, 0o, Antioch mint, 268 - 270 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, cornucopia in left, • in exergue; full silvering, bold strike, excellent centering and eastern style, rare this nice; rare variety. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV214.jpg
[1114b] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.53 viewsBronze antoninianus, RIC V 214, VF, 2.930g, 20.3mm, 180o, Antioch mint; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate bust right; Reverse: NEPTVN AVG, Neptune standing left, dolphin in right, trident in left hand, • in exergue; excellent centering. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ClaudiusIIGothicusRIC34.jpg
[1114c] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.51 viewsAntoninianus. RIC 34. Weight, Size. F. Rome mint. Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, Radiate, draped bust right; Reverse: FIDES EXERCI, Fides standing left, holding two standards. Ex Maridvnvm


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

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


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

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



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


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

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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