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Italy- Pompeii- The Basilaca.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- The Basilaca315 viewsBASILICA
Forum of Pompeii c. 120 B.C. These more massive columns are from the basilica, the most important public building in Pompeii. Constructed prior to the Roman period, the basilica had three aisles and five entrance doors onto the forum. In the rear we see a two-tiered colonnade which has columns in the Doric style on the bottom and slender Ionic columns on top of a cross beam. In Pompeii many columns were made of brick and covered with stucco.

BASILICA (VIII,1,1)
Built in the second half of the 2nd cent. BC, as part of the plan to create monuments throughout the city. It has a rectangular layout, with three naves, with a ceiling sloping straight down in both directions from the central columns and half columns at the top of the walls, where there are still remains of decorations in ‘first style’: at the back is the tribunal, where the magistrates sat, reached by a wooden staircase. The building was dedicated to administering justice and for business negotiations.




John Schou
coins54.JPG
Laodicea ad Mare; Antonius Pius19 viewsAntoninus Pius Æ 25mm of Laodicea ad Mare. Dated year 188=140-141 AD. AVTO KAI TI AILI ADPI ANTWNEINOC CEB, laureate & draped bust left / IOVLIEWN TWN KAI LAODIKEWN, bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls; KO to left, HP P to right (date).ecoli
a_pius_laodic_ad_mare_res.jpg
(0138) ANTONINUS PIUS22 views138 - 161 AD
AE 23 mm; 8.11 g
O:Laureate head right
R: Bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls
Syria, Laodicea ad Mare
laney
a_pius_tyche_laodic.jpg
(0138) ANTONINUS PIUS13 views138-161 AD
Struck 140 – 141 AD
AE 24.5 mm, 9.54 g
O: Laureate and draped bust left.
R:Bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls; KO to left, HP P to right (date).
SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria, Laodikea ad Mare mint; cf BMC 64
laney
0208_RRC424_1.jpg
0208 - Denarius Considia 57 BC37 viewsObv/ Laureate and diademed bust of V. r., behind C CONSIDI NONIANI; before, SC.
Rev/ Tetrastyle temple on hill, surrounded by walls and gate, with ERVC above.

Ag, 18.7 mm, 3.75 g
Mint: Roma
RRC 424/1 [
3 commentsdafnis
Thrace,_Byzantion,__AR_Siglos_340-320_BC~0.jpg
1. Thrace, Byzantion, 340-320 BC, AR Siglos38 viewsHeifer standing left above dolphin, VΠΥ above.
Incuse square of mill-sail pattern.

SNG BM Black Sea 21; SNG Copenhagen 476; Sear GCV 1579.

(17 mm, 5.36 g)
Classical Numismatic Group electronic Auction 146, 23 August 2006, 34.

Standing on the European side of the Bosporos, Byzantion with its twin city Kalchedon on the Asia Minor side of the Bosporos was the ancient gateway between the two continents, a role that continues to the present.

The symbolism of the bull and the heifer on the obverse of the coins of twin cities of Kalchedon (Asia Minor) and Byzantion (Europe) respectively is striking and points to a shared identity. They stood astride the southern entrance to the Bosporus. Both were 7th century BC foundations of Megara and jointly they controlled the vital grain trade from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean.

The grain ear upon which the bull of Kalchedon stands alludes to this fact. That of the dolphin beneath the Heifer of Byzantion is a reflection of the maritime orientation of the city and the bountiful pods of dolphins that even to this day frolic in swift flowing waters of the Bosporus beneath the old city walls of Constantinople which succeded Byzantion and was in turn succeded by Istanbul.
1 commentsn.igma
Lcnius1.jpg
1308b, Licinius I, 308 - 324 A.D. (Siscia)59 viewsLicinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D. Bronze follis, RIC 4, F, Siscia, 3.257g, 21.6mm, 0o, 313 - 315 A.D. Obverse: IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; Reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and scepter, eagle with wreath in beak left, E right, SIS in exergue.



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

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

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

Licinius' Early Reign

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

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

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

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

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

Licinius and the Christians

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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


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

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

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

Licinius' Early Reign

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

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

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

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

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

Licinius and the Christians

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
APlautiusDenJudea.jpg
1ab Conquest of Judea11 viewsA. Plautius, moneyer
c. 54 BC

Denarius

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

Seaby, Plautia 13

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

Josephus recorded of Pompey's conquest of Jerusalem: And when he was come to the city, he looked about where he might make his attack; for he saw the walls were so firm, that it would be hard to overcome them; and that the valley before the walls was terrible; and that the temple, which was within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, that temple would be a second place of refuge for the enemy to retire to. . . . Aristobulus's party was worsted, and retired into the temple, and cut off the communication between the temple and the city, by breaking down the bridge that joined them together, and prepared to make an opposition to the utmost; but as the others had received the Romans into the city, and had delivered up the palace to him, Pompey sent Piso, one of his great officers, into that palace with an army, who distributed a garrison about the city, because he could not persuade any one of those that had fled to the temple to come to terms of accommodation; he then disposed all things that were round about them so as might favor their attacks, as having Hyrcanus's party very ready to afford them both counsel and assistance. . . . But Pompey himself filled up the ditch that was oil the north side of the temple, and the entire valley also, the army itself being obliged to carry the materials for that purpose. And indeed it was a hard thing to fill up that valley, by reason of its immense depth, especially as the Jews used all the means possible to repel them from their superior situation; nor had the Romans succeeded in their endeavors, had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted defensively on sabbath days.
Blindado
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
PupineusSestPax.jpg
1ck Pupienus30 views238

Sestertius

Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust, right, IMP CAES PVPIEN MAXIMVS AVG
Pax seated left with branch & scepter PAX PVBLICA SC

RIC 22b

Herodian, continuing the story of the rebellion against Maximinus, wrote: [Pupienus] led most of these soldiers out to attack Maximinus; the rest remained behind to guard and defend the city. . . . In the meantime, having completed his march, Maximinus was poised on the borders of Italy; after offering sacrifices at all the boundary altars, he advanced into Italy. . . . When no opposition was offered, they crossed the Alps without hindrance. . . . While the army was in the plain, the scouts reported that Aquileia, the largest city in that part of Italy, had closed its gates and that the Pannonian legions which had been sent ahead had launched a vigorous attack upon the walls of this city. In spite of frequent assaults, they were completely unsuccessful. . . .

As time passed, the army of Maximinus grew depressed and, cheated in its expectations, fell into despair. . . . As Maximinus rode about, the [people of Aquileia] shouted insults and indecent blasphemies at him and his son. The emperor became increasingly angry because he was powerless to retaliate. . . . The emperor's soldiers were. . . in need of everything. There was scarcely even sufficient water for them. . . .

Without warning, the soldiers whose camp was near Rome at the foot of Mount Alba, where they had left their wives and children, decided that the best solution was to kill Maximinus and end the interminable siege. . . . [T]he conspirators went to Maximinus' tent about noon. The imperial bodyguard, which was involved in the plot, ripped Maximinus' pictures from the standards; when he came out of his tent with his son to talk to them, they refused to listen and killed them both. . . .

For the rest of the time the two emperors governed in an orderly and well-regulated manner, winning approval on every hand both privately and publicly. The people honored and respected them as patriotic and admirable rulers of the empire. . . . It so happened that the two men were not in complete accord: so great is the desire for sole rule and so contrary to the usual practice is it for the sovereignty to be shared that each undertook to secure the imperial power for himself alone. Balbinus considered himself the more worthy because of his noble birth and his two terms as consul; [Pupienus] felt that he deserved first place because he had served as prefect of Rome and had won a good reputation by his administrative efforts. Both men were led to covet the sole rule because of their distinguished birth, aristocratic lineage, and the size of their families. This rivalry was the basis of their downfall. When [Pupienus] learned that the Praetorian Guard was coming to kill them, he wished to summon a sufficient number of the German auxiliaries who were in Rome to resist the conspirators. But Balbinus, thinking that this was a ruse intended to deceive him (he knew that the Germans were devoted to [Pupienus]), refused to allow [Pupienus] to issue the order. . . . While the two men were arguing, the praetorians rushed in. . . . When the guards at the palace gates deserted the emperors, the praetorians seized the old men and ripped off the plain robes they were wearing because they were at home. Dragging the two men naked from the palace, they inflicted every insult and indignity upon them. Jeering at these emperors elected by the senate, they beat and tortured them. . . . When the Germans learned what was happening, they snatched up their arms and hastened to the rescue. As soon as the praetorians were informed of their approach, they killed the mutilated emperors.
1 commentsBlindado
TrebGallusAEVim.jpg
1cu Trebonianus Gallus24 views251-253

AE Viminacium

Laureate, draped bust, right, IMP C GALLVS P FELIX AVG
Moesia standing facing, head left, hands outstretched over a bull and a lion at her sides, PMS COL VIM

Moushmov 56

For Gallus' perfidy against Decius, see the Decius entry. Zosimus reports regarding Gallus' reign: Gallus, who declared his son Volusianus his associate in the empire, published an open declaration, that Decius and his army had perished by his contrivance. The Barbarians now became more prosperous than before. For Callus not only permitted them to return home with the plunder, but promised to pay them annually a sum of money, and allowed them to carry off all the noblest captives; most of whom had been taken at Philippopolis in Thrace.

Gallus, having made these regulations, came to Rome, priding himself on the peace he had made with the Barbarians. And though he at first spoke with approbation of Decius's mode of government, and adopted one of his sons, yet, after some time was elapsed, fearing that some of them who were fond of new projects might recur to a recapitulation of the princely virtues of Decius, and therefore might at some opportunity give the empire to his son, he concerted the young man's destruction, without regard either to his own adoption of him, or to common honour and justice.

Gallus was so supine in the administration of the empire, that the Scythians in the first place terrified all the neighbouring nations, and then laid waste all the countries as far by degrees as the sea coast; not leaving one nation subject to the Romans unpillaged, and taking almost all the unfortified towns, and many that were fortified. Besides the war on every side, which was insupportably burdensome to them, the cities and villages were infested with a pestilence, which swept away the remainder of mankind in those regions; nor was so great a mortality ever known in any former period.

At this crisis, observing that the emperors were unable to defend the state, but neglected all without the walls of Rome, the Goths, the Borani, the Urugundi, and the Carpi once more plundered the cities of Europe of all that had been left in them; while in another quarter, the Persians invaded Asia, in which they acquired possession of Mesopotamia, and proceeded even as far as Antioch in Syria, took that city, which is the metropolis of all the east, destroyed many of the inhabitants, and carried the remainder into captivity, returning home with immense plunder, after they had destroyed all the buildings in the city, both public and private, without meeting with the least resistance. And indeed the Persians had a fair opportunity to have made themselves masters of all Asia, had they not been so overjoyed at their excessive spoils, as to be contented with keeping and carrying home what they had acquired.

Meantime the Scythians of Europe were in perfect security and went over into Asia, spoiling all the country as far as Cappodocia, Pesinus, and Ephesus, until Aemilianus, commander of the Pannonian legions, endeavouring as much as possible to encourage his troops, whom the prosperity of the Barbarians had so disheartened that they durst not face them, and reminding them of the renown of Roman courage, surprised the Barbarians that were in that neighbourhood. Having destroyed great numbers of them, and led his forces into their country, removing every obstruction to his progress, and at length freeing the subjects of the Roman empire from their ferocity, he was appointed emperor by his army. On this he collected all the forces of that country, who were become more bold since his successes against the Barbarians, and directed his march towards Italy, with the design of fighting Gallus, who was as yet. unprepared to contend with him. For Gallus had never heard of what had occurred in the east, and therefore made only what accidental preparations were in his reach, while Valerianus went to bring the Celtic and German legions. But Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority.
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1cx Valerian38 views253-260

Antoninianus

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust, right, IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG
Victory standing left, holding wreath and palm, VICTORIA AVGG

RIC 125

Persians surrounded Valerian's army in the East in 260 and took the emperor prisoner. He died on an unknown date in captivity.

Zosimus noted: The nations subject to the Romans being unable to endure [Maximinus'] monstrous cruelty, and greatly distressed by the ravages he committed, the Africans proclaimed Gordianus and his son, of the same name, emperors, and sent ambassadors to Rome, one of whom was Valerianus, a man of consular rank, who afterwards himself became emperor. . . .

Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority. But Valerianus brought into Italy from beyond the Alps a vast army, with which he deemed himself secure of conquering Aemilianus. The soldiers of Aemilianus, who saw that his conduct was more like that of a private sentinel than of an emperor, now put him to death as a person unfit for so weighty a charge.

By these means Valerianus became emperor with universal consent, and employed himself in the regulation of affairs. But the excursions of the Scythians, and of the Marcomanni, who made an inroad into all the countries adjacent to the empire, reduced Thessalonica to extreme danger; and though they were with muct difficulty compelled to raise the siege by the brave defence of those within, yet all Greece was in alarm. The Athenians repaired their walls, which they had never thought worth their care since Sylla threw them down. The Peloponnesians likewise fortified the Isthmus, and all Greece put itself upon its guard for the general security.

Valerianus, perceiving the empire in danger on every side, associated his son Gallienus with himself in the government! and went himself into the east to oppose the Persians. He entrusted to his son the care of the forces in Europe, thus leaving him to resist the Barbarians who poured in upon him in every direction. . . .

Valerianus had by this time heard of the disturbances in Bithynia, but his district would not allow him to confide the defence of it to any of his generals. He therefore sent Felix to Byzantium, and went in person from Antioch into Cappadocia, and after he had done some injury to every city by which he passed, he returned homeward. But the plague then attacked his troops, and destroyed most of them, at the time when Sapor made an attempt upon the east, and reduced most of it into subjection. In the mean time, Valerianus became so effeminate and indolent, that he dispaired of ever recovering from the present ill state of affairs, and would have concluded the war by a present of money; had not Sapor sent back the ambasadors who were sent to him with that proposal, without their errand, desiring the emperor to come and speak with him in person concerning the affairs he wished to adjust; To which he most imprudently consented, and going without consideration to Sapor with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, was presently laid hold of by the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.
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1db Saloninus37 views259

Son of Gallienus

Antoninianus

Radiate draped bust, right, SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES
Sacrificial implements, PIETAS AVG

RIC 9

Zosimus recorded Saloninus' fate: After this, Posthumus, who commanded the Celtic army, was also inclined towards innovation, and accompanied some soldiers that revolted at the same time to Agrippina, which is the principal city on the Rhine, in which he besieged Saloninus, the son of Gallienus, threatening to remain before the walls until he was given up to him. On this account the soldiers found it necessary to surrender both him and Silvanus, whom his father had appointed his guardian, both of whom Posthumus put to death, and made himself sovereign of the Celtae.
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1di Claudius Gothicus26 views268-270

AE antoninianus

Radiate cuirassed bust right, IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG
Liberlitas stg, LIBERALITAS AVG

RIC 57

Zosimus recorded: When the troops were calmed by their commanders, Claudius was chosen emperor, having previously been designed for that dignity by general consent. Aureolus, who had for a long time kept himself out of the hands of Gallienus, presently sent agents to Claudius, to effect a peace. Surrendering himself, he was killed by the guards of the emperor, who still remembered the hatred they bore against him for his treachery.

The Scythians were by this time so elated by their former success, that they appointed a place of meeting with the Heruli, Peucae, and Gothi, near the river Tyra, which empties itself into the Pontus; where having built six thousand vessels, and put on board them three hundred and twenty thousand men, they sailed across the Pontus, and made an attempt on Tomes, a fortified town, but were repulsed from it. From thence they proceed to Marcianopolis, a city of Mysia, but failing there likewise in their attack on it, they took the opportunity of a favourable wind and sailed forward. . . . they passed through the Hellespont, and arrived at Mount Athos. Having there refitted and careened their vessels, they laid siege to Cassandria and Thessalonica, which they were near taking by means of machines which they raised against the walls. But hearing that the emperor was advancing with an army, they went into the interior, plundering all the neighbourhood of Doberus and Pelagonia. There they sustained a loss of three thousand men, who were met with by the Dalmatian cavalry, and with the rest of their force engaged the army of the emperor. Great numbers were slain in this battle on both sides, but the Romans, by a pretended flight, drew the Barbarians into an ambuscade and killed more than fifty thousand of them.

Egypt being thus reduecd by the Palmyrenians, the Barbarians, who survived the battle of Naissus between Claudius and the Scythians, defending themselves with their carriages which went before them, marched towards Macedon, but were so distressed by the want of necessaries, that many of them and of their beasts perished with hunger. They were met likewise by the Roman cavalry, who having killed many of them, drove the rest towards Mount Haemus; where being surrounded by the Roman army, they lost a vast number of men. But a quarrel ensuing between the Roman horse and foot soldiers, the emperor wishing the foot to engage the Barbarians, the Romans, after a smart engagement, were defeated with considerable loss, but the cavalry, coming up immediately, redeemed in some degree the miscarriage of the infantry. After this battle, the Barbarians proceeded on their march, and were pursued by the Romans. The pirates who cruized about Crete and Rhodes retired without doing any thing worthy of mention; and being attacked by the plague on their way home, some of them died in Thrace and some in Macedon. All that survived were either admitted into the Roman legions, or had lands assigned for them to cultivate and so become husbandmen. Nor was the plague confined to the Barbarians alone, but began to infest the Romans, many of whom died, and amongst the rest Claudius, a person adorned with every virtue. His death was a severe loss to his subjeets, and was consequently much regretted by them.
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1dk Aurelian28 views270-275

Radiate, cuirassed bust, right, IMP AVRELIANVS AVG
Aurelian & Severina or priest standing facing each other, each holding short sceptre, sacrificing at altar between them, S in ex, PIETAS AVG

Zosimus recorded: Aurelianus, having regulated the empire, went from Rome to Aquileia, and from thence into Pannonia, which he was informed the Scythians were preparing to invade. For this reason he sent orders to the inhabitants of that country to carry into the towns all their corn and cattle, and every thing that could be of use to the enemy, in order to distress them with famine, with which they were already afflicted. The Barbarians having crossed the river into Pannonia had an engagement, the result of which was nearly equal. But the same night, the Barbarians recrossed the river, and as soon as day appeared, sent ambassadors to treat for peace. |25

The Emperor, hearing that the Alemanni and the neighbouring nations intended to over-run Italy, was with just reason more concerned for Rome and the adjacent places, than for the more remote. Having therefore ordered a sufficient force to remain for the defence of Pannonia, he marched towards Italy, and on his route, on the borders of that country, near the Ister, slew many thousands of the Barbarians in one battle. Several members of the senate being at this time accused of conspiring against the emperor were put to death ; and Rome, which before had no walls, was now surrounded with them. This work was begun in the reign of Aurelianus, and was finished by Probus. At the same time Epitimius, Urbanus, and Domitianus, were likewise suspected as innovators, and were immediately apprehended and punished. During these occurrences in Italy and Pannonia, the emperor prepared to march against the Palmyrenians, who had subdued all Egypt, and the east, as far as Ancyra in Galatia, and would have acquired Bithynia even as far as Chalcedon, if the inhabitants of that country had not learned that Aurelianus was made emperor, and so shook off the Palmyrenian yoke. As soon as the emperor was on his march thither, Ancyra submitted to the Romans, and afterwards Tuana, and all the cities between that and Antioch. There finding Zenobia with a large army ready to engage, as he himself also was, he met and engaged her as honour obliged him [an defeated the enemy. . . .

[Having crushed Palmyra and razed it] He then entered Rome in triumph, where he was most magnificiently received by the senate and people. At this period also be erected that sumptuous temple of the sun, which he ornamented with all the sacred spoils that he brought from Palmyra; placing in it the statues of the sun and Belus. After this he easily reduced Tatricus with his rebellious accomplices, whom he brought to signal punishment. He likewise called in all the counterfeit money, and issued new, to avoid confusion in trade. Besides which he bestowed on the people a gift of bread, as a mark of his favour; and having arranged all affairs set out on a journey from Rome. . . .

During his stay at Perinthus, now called Heraclea, a conspiracy was thus formed against him. There was in the court a man named Eros, whose office was to carry out the answers of the emperor. This man had been for some fault threatened by the emperor, and put in great fear. Dreading therefore lest the emperor should realize his menaces by actions, he went to some of the guard, whom he knew to be the boldest men in the court; be told them a plausible story, and shewed them a letter of his own writing, in the character of the emperor (which he had long before learned to counterfeit), and persuading them first that they themselves were to be put to death, [h]e endeavoured to prevail on them to murder the emperor. The deception answered. Observing Aurelianus to go out of the city with a small retinue, they ran out upon him and murdered him.

RIC 138
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2. Bithynia, Kalchedon, 340-320 BC, AR Siglos 17 viewsBull standing left on grain ear, KAΛX above.
Granulated mill-sail incuse square.

SNG BM Black Sea 112; SNG von Aulock 482; Sear 3738.

(18 mm, 5.31 g).
Ephesus Numismatics.

The symbolism of the bull and the heifer on the obverse of the coins of twin cities of Kalchedon (Asia Minor) and Byzantion (Europe) respectively is striking and points to a shared identity. They stood astride the southern entrance to the Bosporus. Both were 7th century BC foundations of Megara and jointly they controlled the vital grain trade from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean.

The grain ear upon which the bull of Kalchedon stands alludes to this fact. That of the dolphin beneath the Heifer of Byzantion is a reflection of the maritime orientation of the city and the bountiful pods of dolphins that even to this day frolic in swift flowing waters of the Bosporus beneath the old city walls of Constantinople which succeded Byzantion and was in turn succeded by Istanbul.

The twin cities merged in the modern era to become the great and fascinating metropolis of Istanbul. Ancient Kalchedon dominated the Asian side of the Bosporus. The remains of the ancient city lie be
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202. Caracalla; Augusta Traiana, Thrace20 viewsAugusta Traiana, Thrace

Founded around 106 AD by the Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (98-117 AD), Augusta Traiana, "the most flamboyant city of the Traians" was the second largest city in the Roman province of Thrace during 2nd and 3rd century AD, after Philipopolis (present-day Plovdiv). It occupied an area of 38 hectares and was fortified by strong fortress walls.

Augusta Traiana had the statute of an autonomous city of the ‘polis' type (i.e. city-state). From the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) to the Emperor Galienus (253-268 AD) it had the right to mint its own bronze coins, which were in circulation all over the Balkan Peninsula.

Caracalla

Homonoia sacrificing over burning altar and holding cornucopiae.

Moushmov 3066
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410. Licinius I43 viewsFlavius Galerius Valerius Licinianus Licinius (c. 250 - 325) was Roman emperor from 308 to 324.

Of Dacian peasant origin, born in Moesia Superior, Licinius accompanied his close friend the Emperor Galerius on the Persian expedition in 297. After the death of Flavius Valerius Severus, Galerius elevated Licinius to the rank of Augustus in the West on November 11, 308. He received as his immediate command the provinces of Illyricum, Thrace and Pannonia.

On the death of Galerius, in May 311, Licinius shared the entire empire with Maximinus Daia, the Hellespont and the Bosporus being the dividing line.

In March 313 he married Flavia Julia Constantia, half-sister of Constantine, at Mediolanum (now Milan), the occasion for the jointly-issued "Edict of Milan" that restored confiscated properties to Christian congregations though it did not "Christianize" the Empire as is often assumed, although it did give Christians a better name in Rome. In the following month (April 30), Licinius inflicted a decisive defeat on Maximinus at Battle of Tzirallum, after Maximinus had tried attacking him. He then established himself master of the East, while his brother-in-law, Constantine, was supreme in the West.

In 314 his jealousy led him to encourage a treasonable enterprise in favor of Bassianus against Constantine. When his actions became known, a civil war ensued, in which he was first defeated at the battle of Cibalae in Pannonia (October 8, 314), and next some 2 years later (after naming Valerius Valens co-emperor) in the plain of Mardia (also known as Campus Ardiensis) in Thrace. The outward reconciliation left Licinius in possession of Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt, but he later added numerous provinces to Constantine's control.

In 324 Constantine, tempted by the "advanced age and unpopular vices" of his colleague, again declared war against him, and, having defeated his army at the battle of Adrianople (July 3, 324), succeeded in shutting him up within the walls of Byzantium. The defeat of the superior fleet of Licinius by Flavius Julius Crispus, Constantine’s eldest son, compelled his withdrawal to Bithynia, where a last stand was made; the battle of Chrysopolis, near Chalcedon (September 18), resulted in his final submission. He was interned at Thessalonica under a kind of house arrest, but when he attempted to raise troops among the barbarians Constantine had him and his former co-emperor Martinianus assassinated.

O: IMP LICINIVS AVG; Emperor, facing left, wearing imperial mantle, holding mappa and globe.
R: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG; Jupiter standing left holding Victory; palm to left, epsilon in right field, SMN in exergue. Sear 3804, RIC Nicomedia 24 (Scarce), Failmezger #278. Remarkable detail on this nicely silvered Late Roman bronze, ex Crisp Collection.

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501. Constantine I Cyzicus GLORIA EXERCITVS29 viewsCyzicus

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

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

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

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

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

RIC VII Cyzicus 110 R5

Ex-Varangian

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

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

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

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

001. Constantine I Ostia

RIC VI Ostia 85 S

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501b. Crispus Ticinum VOTA10 viewsTicinum

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

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

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

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

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

001b. Crispus Ticinum

RIC VII Ticinum 153 R3

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504. CONSTANTIUS II GLORIA EXERCITVS Antioch18 viewsAntioch

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

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

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

004. CONSTANTIUS II Antioch

RIC VII Antioch 88 C3

From Uncleaned Lot

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6. Romulus, founder of Rome49 viewsAntoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. Sestertius (25.6g, 32-33mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck 140-144. Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS - P P TR P COS III, laureate head right. Rev.: ROMVLO - AVGVSTO [around] S C [in field]. Rare. RIC 624; BMC 1286-1287; Cohen 704.

Issued in preparation of the 900th anniversary of Rome celebrated in 147 AD. This type refers to Romulus, the founder of Rome. He is depicted much like his father, the god Mars.

Legend continued from "Wolf suckling twins"... After reinstating their grandfather Numitor, Romulus and Remus decided to found their own town. Romulus started to build city walls on the Palatine Hill, but Remus made fun of him because they were so low. He jumped over them to make his point, which angered Romulus so much that he killed his brother. Romulus continued alone building the new city and named it ROMA, after his onw name.
1 commentsCharles S
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604. Leo I387 viewsImperator Caesar Flavius Valerius Leo Augustus or Leo I of the Byzantine Empire (401–474), reigned from 457 to 474, also known as Leo the Thracian, was the last of a series of emperors placed on the throne by Aspar, the Alan serving as commander-in-chief of the army. His coronation as emperor on February 7, 457, was the first known to involve the Patriarch of Constantinople. Leo I made an alliance with the Isaurians and was thus able to eliminate Aspar. The price of the alliance was the marriage of Leo's daughter to Tarasicodissa, leader of the Isaurians who, as Zeno, became emperor in 474.

During Leo's reign, the Balkans were ravaged time and again by the West Goths and the Huns. However, these attackers were unable to take Constantinople thanks to the walls which had been rebuilt and reinforced in the reign of Theodosius II and against which they possessed no suitable siege engines.

Leo's reign was also noteworthy for his influence in the Western Roman Empire, marked by his appointment of Anthemius as Western Roman Emperor in 467. He attempted to build on this political achievement with an expedition against the Vandals in 468, which was defeated due to the treachery and incompetence of Leo's brother-in-law Basiliscus. This disaster drained the Empire of men and money.

Leo's greatest influence in the West was largely inadvertent and at second-hand: the great Goth king Theodoric the Great was raised at the Leo's court in Constantinople, where he was steeped in Roman government and military tactics, which served him well when he returned after Leo's death to become the Goth ruler of a mixed but largely Romanized people.

Leo also published a New Constitutions or compilation of Law Code[1], Constitution LV concerned Judaism: "JEWS SHALL LIVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RITES OF CHRISTIANITY. Those who formerly were invested with Imperial authority promulgated various laws with reference to the Hebrew people, who, once nourished by Divine protection, became renowned, but are now remarkable for the calamities inflicted upon them because of their contumacy towards Christ and God; and these laws, while regulating their mode of life, compelled them to read the Holy Scriptures, and ordered them not to depart from the ceremonies of their worship. They also provided that their children should adhere to their religion, being obliged to do so as well by the ties of blood, as on account of the institution of circumcision. These are the laws which I have already stated were formerly enforced throughout the Empire. But the Most Holy Sovereign from whom We are descended, more concerned than his predecessors for the salvation of the Jews, instead of allowing them (as they did) to obey only their ancient laws, attempted, by the interpretation of prophesies and the conclusions which he drew from them, to convert them to the Christian religion, by means of the vivifying water of baptism. He fully succeeded in his attempts to transform them into new men, according to the doctrine of Christ, and induced them to denounce their ancient doctrines and abandon their religious ceremonies, such as circumcision, the observance of the Sabbath, and all their other rites. But although he, to a certain extent, overcame the obstinacy of the Jews, he was unable to force them to abolish the laws which permitted them to live in accordance with their ancient customs. Therefore We, desiring to accomplish what Our Father failed to effect, do hereby annul all the old laws enacted with reference to the Hebrews, and We order that they shall not dare to live in any other manner than in accordance with the rules established by the pure and salutary Christian Faith. And if anyone of them should be proved to, have neglected to observe the ceremonies of the Christian religion, and to have returned to his former practices, he shall pay the penalty prescribed by the law for apostates."

Leo died of dysentery at the age of 73 on January 18, 474.

Bronze AE4, RIC 671, S 4340 var, VG, 1.17g, 10.3mm, 180o, Alexandria mint, obverse D N LEO P F AVG (or similar), pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Lion standing left, head right, cross above, ALEA in ex; very rare (R3); ex Forum
ecoli73
AugustusAE19Sardeis.jpg
702a, Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.37 viewsAugustus, 27 BC - 14 AD. AE 19mm (5.98 gm). Lydia, Sardeis. Diodoros Hermophilou. Obverse: head right. Reverse: Zeus Lydios standing facing holding scepter and eagle. RPC I, 489, 2986; SNG von Aulock 3142. aVF. Fine portrait. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers

AUGUSTUS (31 B.C. - 14 A.D.)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

In the course of his long and spectacular career, he put an end to the advancing decay of the Republic and established a new basis for Roman government that was to stand for three centuries. This system, termed the "Principate," was far from flawless, but it provided the Roman Empire with a series of rulers who presided over the longest period of unity, peace, and prosperity that Western Europe, the Middle East and the North African seaboard have known in their entire recorded history. Even if the rulers themselves on occasion left much to be desired, the scale of Augustus's achievement in establishing the system cannot be overstated. Aside from the immense importance of Augustus's reign from the broad historical perspective, he himself is an intriguing figure: at once tolerant and implacable, ruthless and forgiving, brazen and tactful. Clearly a man of many facets, he underwent three major political reinventions in his lifetime and negotiated the stormy and dangerous seas of the last phase of the Roman Revolution with skill and foresight. With Augustus established in power and with the Principate firmly rooted, the internal machinations of the imperial household provide a fascinating glimpse into the one issue that painted this otherwise gifted organizer and politician into a corner from which he could find no easy exit: the problem of the succession.

(For a very detailed and interesting account of the Age of Augustus see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/auggie.htm)

Death and Retrospective

In his later years, Augustus withdrew more and more from the public eye, although he continued to transact public business. He was getting older, and old age in ancient times must have been considerably more debilitating than it is today. In any case, Tiberius had been installed as his successor and, by AD 13, was virtually emperor already. In AD 4 he had received grants of both proconsular and tribunician power, which had been renewed as a matter of course whenever they needed to be; in AD 13, Tiberius's imperium had been made co-extensive with that of Augustus. While traveling in Campania, Augustus died peacefully at Nola on 19 August, AD 14. Tiberius, who was en route to Illyricum, hurried to the scene and, depending on the source, arrived too late or spent a day in consultation with the dying princes. The tradition that Livia poisoned her husband is scurrilous in the extreme and most unlikely to be true. Whatever the case about these details, Imperator Caesar Augustus, Son of a God, Father of his Country, the man who had ruled the Roman world alone for almost 45 years, or over half a century if the triumviral period is included, was dead. He was accorded a magnificent funeral, buried in the mausoleum he had built in Rome, and entered the Roman pantheon as Divus Augustus. In his will, he left 1,000 sesterces apiece to the men of the Praetorian guard, 500 to the urban cohorts, and 300 to each of the legionaries. In death, as in life, Augustus acknowledged the true source of his power.

The inscription entitled "The Achievements of the Divine Augustus" (Res Gestae Divi Augustae; usually abbreviated RG) remains a remarkable piece of evidence deriving from Augustus's reign. The fullest copy of it is the bilingual Greek and Latin version carved into the walls of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at Ancyra in Galatia (for this reason the RG used to be commonly referred to as the Monumentum Ancyranum). Other evidence, however, demonstrates that the original was inscribed on two bronze pillars that flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome. The inscription remains the only first-person summary of any Roman emperor's political career and, as such, offers invaluable insights into the Augustan regime's public presentation of itself.

In looking back on the reign of Augustus and its legacy to the Roman world, its longevity ought not to be overlooked as a key factor in its success. People had been born and reached middle age without knowing any form of government other than the Principate. Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters may have turned out very differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican aristocracy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a monarchy in these years. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him.

Copyright © 1999, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Augustus (the first Roman emperor, in whose reign Jesus Christ was born) is without any doubt one of the most important figures in Roman history.

It is reported that when he was near death, Augustus addressed those in attendance with these words, "If I have played my part well, applaud!"

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
sabinas.jpg
Abduction of the Sabine women.384 viewsAR denarius. 89 BC. 3,65 grs. Bare-headed, bearded head of King Tatius righ. TA (ligate) below chin. SABIN behind / Two Roman soldiers, each carrying off a sabine woman in his arms. L TITVRI in exergue.
Crawford 344/1a. RSC Tituria 1.

Livy. History of Rome. 1.9.
The Roman state had become strong enough to hold its own in war with all the peoples along its borders, but a shortage of women meant that its greatness was fated to last for a single generation, since there was no prospect of offspring at home nor any prospect of marriage with their neighbours. Then, in accordance with the decision of the senate, Romulus sent messengers to the neighbouring peoples to ask for alliance and the right of marriage for the new people: cities, like everything else, start small but later if their own excellence and the gods assist them, they grow in strength and in fame. It was certain that at the beginning of Rome the gods had been propitiated and that it would not lack in valour. Therefore, men should not disdain to join blood and family ties with other men.
But nowhere were the emissaries given a fair hearing. Some scorned, others feared the great power growing in their midst, both for themselves and for their descendants. In more than one place the emissaries were asked, even as they were being sent packing, why they hadn't offered asylum to women (criminals) too: that way they'd have had their marriage and with others of their own rank! The youth of Rome took this insult badly and began to think seriously about the use of force. Romulus, to gain time till he found the right occasion, hid his concern and prepared to celebrate the Consualia, the solemn games in honour of equestrian Neptune. He then ordered that the spectacle be announced to the neighbouring peoples. He gave the event great publicity by the most lavish means possible in those days. Many people came, some simply out of curiosity to see the new city, and especially the nearest neighbours, from Caenina, Crustuminum and Antemnae; the entire Sabine population came, wives and children included. Received with hospitality in the houses, after having seen the position of the city, its walls, and the large number of buildings, they marvelled that Rome had grown so fast. When it was time for the show, and everybody was concentrating on this, a prearranged signal was given and all the Roman youths began to grab the women. Many just snatched the nearest woman to hand, but the most beautiful had already been reserved for the senators and these were escorted to the senators' houses by plebeians who had been given this assignment. The story goes that one woman, far and away the most beautiful, was carried off by the gang of a certain Thalassius, and because many wanted to know where they were taking her, they repeatedly shouted that they were taking her to Thalassius, and that it how the nuptial cry came to be.

The party was over, and the grieving parents of the girls ran away, accusing the Romans of having violated the laws of hospitality and invoking the god who was supposed to have been honoured at that day's festival. Nor did the girls themselves hold much hope. But Romulus went among them in person to assure them that none of this would have happened if their fathers hadn't been so inflexible in not letting them marry their neighbours. But now they would have the status of wives with all the material rewards and civil rights of citizenship and they would have children, than which nothing is dearer. They should cool their anger and give their hearts to the men who had already taken their bodies. A good relationship often begins with an offence, he said. And their husbands would treat them with extra kindness in hope of making up for the parents and country they so missed. The men added their blandishments, saying that they'd been motivated by love and passion, entreaties which are very effective with women.

benito
Walls of Balkh.jpg
Afghanistan, Balkh2633 viewsThe walls of Balkh, Afganistan1 commentsJoe Sermarini
p1_1.jpg
Akanthos, Macedonia 22 views500 - 470 B.C.
Silver Tetrobol
2.317 gm, 15.3 mm
Obv.: Forepart of lioness right, head turned so the top of the head is seen, floral ornament (acanthus) above, dotted line at truncation, dotted ground line
Rev.: Quadripartite incuse square
HGC 3, 386; Sear 1363a; Rosen 84; BMC Macedonia p. 33, 10/12; Weber II 1875;
[SNG Cop 7; SNG ANS 18/23; SNG Berry 4; AMNG III/2 13]

Ex Forum GA85066, ex Gorny & Mosch auction 245, part of lot 1906

Different lighting on this shot - bounced off walls on light table.
Jaimelai
_1BesAmulet.JPG
Amulet of Bes62 views1st century BC - 1st century AD
1.25" tall

A small terracotta amulet of the god Bes, from Roman Egypt.

Bes was an apotropaic deity, the protector of the home. As such He is often depicted on everyday household items such as chairs, pottery, or even on the walls of the house itself.
Shown here wearing His plumed headdress and panther skin, Bes (possibly from the Nubian “Besa“, or ‘Protector‘) may have originally been a cat god. Why He evolved into a dwarf is not known.

Update;
This item donated to the Hallie Ford museum in Salem Oregon.

Enodia
Map_Ancient_City_of_Athens.jpg
Ancient Athens: map13 viewsOne element in this map that I find intriguing is the clearly delineated walls running from the city 'proper' to the port. After instigating the Peloponnesian War, Pericles' plan was to 'wage' a battle of attrition with Sparta. Athenians would 'hunker down' behind her walls, be re-supplied by sea and simply, as it were, wait until Spartan resources and resolve had been depleted. Pericles' plan seemed to be working until the ships supplying Athens delivered a terrible cargo: the plague. It did not take very long for the plague to ravage the walled-in city, and Pericles was one of its victims.

This interesting map is one of many on FORVM's Resources page.
See: http://forumancientcoins.com/forvm/Collectors_Resources.html
Cleisthenes
ap_laodicea_k.jpg
Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.10 viewsSYRIA, Laodicea ad Mare.
Æ25, 10.5g, 12h; Dated year 190 = 142/143.
Obv.: AVTO KAI TI AIΛI AΔPI ANTΩNEINOC CEB; Laureate head right.
Rev.: IOVΛIEΩN TΩN KAI ΛAOΔIKEΩN; Draped bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls; KPA before neck, ϘP (year 190) behind
Reference: SNG Cop 350; BMC Galatia p. 256, 70 / 17-287-90
John Anthony
Bactria,_Diodotos_II,_AE_22_.jpg
Baktrian Kingdom, Diodotos II, ca. 240-230 BC, Æ Double Unit 13 viewsLaureate head of Zeus right.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔIOΔITOY Artemis right holding transverse torch; star to right.

HGC 12, 27; SNG ANS 9, 96; Mitchiner 82; Holt Ι2; Kritt Ι2; Sear GCV 7504 var. (hound at Artemis feet). Ai Khanoum mint.

(22 mm, 9.6 g, 6h).
Sayles & Lavender.

Artemis depicted on the reverse of this coin was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon. A huntress with legendary skills in archery, she brought fertility to the land and special protection to women in childbirth. The historian Frank Holt wrote ‘A better patron goddess for a city such as Ai Khanoum could not have been found. It may only be coincidence, but the choice of Artemis as one female type for this city has a faint echo down through the ages. The ancient Greek name of the polis has vanished from history, but its current appellation derives from Turko-Uzbek and means “Lady Moon”. Local legends offer several explanations and identify various important women as the eponymous hero of the site. For example, local village women still bring votive offerings to a “Lady Moon”, protector of mothers and infants. Another “Lady Moon” was associated with irrigation canals and yet another with control over the rivers that flowed by the walls of the city. Such “modern” folktales reverberate with ancient echoes of Artemis/Anahita, goddess of the moon, mistress of the fertilizing waters, and guardian of women in childbirth.’
n.igma
glass_tesserae_1.jpg
BCC cg3 (27 pcs)46 viewsThese are colored glass tesserae found
on the dunes and along the beach at
Caesarea Maritima in the early 1970's.
Average size is approx. 1.0 x 0.7 x 0.8 cm.
Average weight is around 1.0 gm. Dating
is problematic. However, several buildings
from the late Roman and early Byzantine
periods have been excavated there and
shown to have remnants of glass mosaics
on the walls and on what would have been
the ceilings of the structures.
1 commentsv-drome
Quietus,_AE-25__Bithynia,_Nicaea__7_43g__City-Walls_of_Nicaea__SNG_Cop_544.jpg
Bithynia, Nicaea. Quietus. AE-Oktassarion. Aerial View of the City Walls of Nicaea31 viewsNicaea. Quietus. AD 260 – 261. AE25. Oktassarion. 7.43g. TIT ΦOVΛI KVHTOC, his radiate, draped and cuirassed bust rt. / NIKAIEΩN, aerial view of the city walls of Nicaea, showing two gates.
Weiser -; SNG Cop 544 (same obv. die); SNG Von Aul. 7098.
Ex Waddell, 1996.
Fausta
GRK_Boetia_Thespiae_Sear_2458.jpg
Boeotia. Thespiae9 viewsSGCV 2458; BMC Central Greece pg. 90, 4; SNG Copenhagen 401-402

AR obol, .63 g., 9.78 mm. max.

Struck ca. 431-424 B.C.

Obv: Boeotian shield

Rev: ΘEΣ, upward-facing crescent comprised of three lines.

Thespiae was a member of the Boeotian League. In 424 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War, the Thespian contingent of the Boeotian army sustained heavy losses in the Athenian invasion of Boeotia at the Battle of Delium. In 423 B.C. the Thebans dismantled the walls of Thespiae, apparently as a measure to prevent a democratic revolution. The terminus of this emission coincides with these events.

The crescent on the reverse of this coin refers to Aphrodite Melainis, who was worshipped at Thespiai as a moon goddess. The legend is an abbreviation for ΘΕΣΠΙΕΩΝ of Thespians.
Stkp
East Baths2.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, East Baths20 viewsThe east baths have had false walls erected to show floor level and to try and differentiate between usage areas.maridvnvm
Sear-2334.jpg
Byzantine Empire: Andronicus II Palaeologus (1282-1328) Trachy, Constantinople (Sear-2334)52 viewsObv: Bust of the Virgin, arms spread, within the walls of Constantinople with 6 groups of triple towers, sigla in lower fields A - X
Rev: Christ standing on the right, facing three-quarters lefty, holding Book of Gospels, placing right hand on the head of Andronikos prostrate in proskynesis, Greek legend in fields IC - XC (right) and ANDRONIKOS EN HO DESPOTIS O PALLO (left)
SpongeBob
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Byzantine Empire: Andronicus II Palaeologus, with Michael IX (1282-1328) AV Hyperpyron, Thessalonica (Sear-2396v; Bendall 207.2)23 viewsObv: Bust of the Virgin, orans, within city walls with six groups of towers; Ʞ - K
Rev: Christ standing facing, crowning Andronicus and Michael kneeling to either side
Quant.Geek
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BYZANTINE, Bulgaria, Ivan Alexander and Mikhail 1331-1355178 viewsObv: Fortified Walls
Rev: Czar and Son Holding Long Cross Between Them
Moushmov Pl. LXIII, 4-12
Laetvs
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C. Considius Nonianus, AR Denarius, 57 BC4 viewsC. Considius Nonianus, moneyer. AR Denarius minted at Rome, 57 BC. Laureate, diademed, and draped bust right of Venus Erycina. Reverse: Temple of Venus Erycina atop mountain, ERVC inscribed at base; in foreground, circuit of city walls with gateway at center and two towers. Sear 381; Considia 1a; Cr. 424/1; Syd. 887. Banker's mark on chin of Venus.
Ex Artemide Kunstauktionen GmbH E/auction 10.
1 commentsAncient Aussie
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CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 500-490 BC. AR Nomos33 views8.03 g, 9h
Taras riding dolphin right, holding cuttlefish, left hand extended / Hippocamp left; cockle shell below. Fischer-Bossert 27 (V12/R21); Vlasto 115 (same obv. die); HN Italy 827; McClean 533. VF, minor roughness.

In the time this coinage was produced Tarentum was a monarchy, as it had been since its foundation. Though we have little information concerning the early governance of Tarentum, the monarchy was probably modelled on the one ruling over Sparta. According to Herodotus (iii, 136) a certain king Aristophilides ruled over the city in this period.
Since the arrival of the Greeks in the region in the late 8th century BC, a long-running series of skirmishes appears to have taken place between the Tarentines and the indigenous Iapygian tribes (Messapians, Daunians and the Peucetii) who controlled the interior of the Apulian peninsula. Tarentine expansion was therefore limited to the coast because of the resistance of these populations, a situation reflected in their coinage types which are predominantly marine in character.
In c.490 BC the Messapians moved against the Tarentines with a composite force of around 8,000 men including shield infantry, skirmishers, and their skilled cavalry. The Tarentines meanwhile fielded 4,000 citizen hoplites and 1,000 light infantry in support, as well as a combination of light and sword-wielding cavalry. Outside the walls of their city the Tarentines withstood the initial skirmishing and the Messapian charge; despite the superiority of the Messapian cavalry and being greatly outnumbered on foot, the Tarentines appear to have represented their Spartan heritage well in this battle, and were able to claim victory and a temporary respite from the Iapygian attacks. After this defeat the Iapygians would not challenge Taras again for nearly twenty years, but in 473 when they would again come against the Tarentines, they would come in overwhelming numbers.
Leo
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CALABRIA, Tarentum184 viewsTaranto was founded in 706 BC by Dorian immigrants as the only Spartan colony, and its origin is peculiar: the founders were Partheniae, sons of unmarried Spartan women and perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta); these unions were decreed by the Spartans to increase the number of soldiers (only the citizens of Sparta could become soldiers) during the bloody Messenian Wars, but later they were nullified, and the sons were forced to leave. According to the legend Phalanthus, the Parthenian leader, went to Delphi to consult the oracle and received the puzzling answer that he should found a city where rain fell from a clear sky. After all attempts to capture a suitable place to found a colony failed, he became despondent, convinced that the oracle had told him something that was impossible, and was consoled by his wife. She laid his head in her lap and herself became disconsolate. When Phalanthus felt her tears splash onto his forehead he at last grasped the meaning of the oracle, for his wife's name meant clear sky. The harbour of Taranto in Apulia was nearby and he decided this must be the new home for the exiles. The Partheniae arrived and founded the city, naming it Taras after the son of the Greek sea god, Poseidon, and the local nymph Satyrion. A variation says Taras was founded in 707 BC by some Spartans, who, the sons of free women and enslaved fathers, were born during the Messenian War. According to other sources, Heracles founded the city. Another tradition indicates Taras himself as the founder of the city; the symbol of the Greek city (as well as of the modern city) is Taras riding a dolphin. Taranto increased its power, becoming a commercial power and a sovereign city of Magna Graecia, ruling over the Greek colonies in southern Italy.

In its beginning, Taranto was a monarchy, probably modelled on the one ruling over Sparta; according to Herodotus (iii 136), around 492 BC king Aristophilides ruled over the city. The expansion of Taranto was limited to the coast because of the resistance of the populations of inner Apulia. In 472 BC, Taranto signed an alliance with Rhegion, to counter the Messapii, Peuceti, and Lucanians (see Iapygian-Tarentine Wars), but the joint armies of the Tarentines and Rhegines were defeated near Kailìa (modern Ceglie), in what Herodotus claims to be the greatest slaughter of Greeks in his knowledge, with 3,000 Reggians and uncountable Tarentines killed. In 466 BC, Taranto was again defeated by the Iapyges; according to Aristotle, who praises its government, there were so many aristocrats killed that the democratic party was able to get the power, to remove the monarchy, inaugurate a democracy, and expel the Pythagoreans. Like Sparta, Tarentum was an aristocratic republic, but became democratic when the ancient nobility dwindled.

However, the rise of the democratic party did not weaken the bonds of Taranto and her mother-city Sparta. In fact, Taranto supported the Peloponnesian side against Athens in the Peloponnesian War, refused anchorage and water to Athens in 415 BC, and even sent ships to help the Peloponnesians, after the Athenian disaster in Sicily. On the other side, Athens supported the Messapians, in order to counter Taranto's power.

In 432 BC, after several years of war, Taranto signed a peace treaty with the Greek colony of Thurii; both cities contributed to the foundation of the colony of Heraclea, which rapidly fell under Taranto's control. In 367 BC Carthage and the Etruscans signed a pact to counter Taranto's power in southern Italy.

Under the rule of its greatest statesman, strategist and army commander-in-chief, the philosopher and mathematician Archytas, Taranto reached its peak power and wealth; it was the most important city of the Magna Graecia, the main commercial port of southern Italy, it produced and exported goods to and from motherland Greece and it had the biggest army and the largest fleet in southern Italy. However, with the death of Archytas in 347 BC, the city started a slow, but ineluctable decline; the first sign of the city's decreased power was its inability to field an army, since the Tarentines preferred to use their large wealth to hire mercenaries, rather than leave their lucrative trades.

In 343 BC Taranto appealed for aid against the barbarians to its mother city Sparta, in the face of aggression by the Brutian League. In 342 BC, Archidamus III, king of Sparta, arrived in Italy with an army and a fleet to fight the Lucanians and their allies. In 338 BC, during the Battle of Manduria, the Spartan and Tarentine armies were defeated in front of the walls of Manduria (nowadays in province of Taranto), and Archidamus was killed.

In 333 BC, still troubled by their Italic neighbours, the Tarentines called the Epirotic king Alexander Molossus to fight the Bruttii, Samnites, and Lucanians, but he was later (331 BC) defeated and killed in the battle of Pandosia (near Cosenza). In 320 BC, a peace treaty was signed between Taranto and the Samnites. In 304 BC, Taranto was attacked by the Lucanians and asked for the help of Agathocles tyrant of Syracuse, king of Sicily. Agathocles arrived in southern Italy and took control of Bruttium (present-day Calabria), but was later called back to Syracuse. In 303 BC-302 BC Cleonymus of Sparta established an alliance with Taranto against the Lucanians, and fought against them.

Arnold J. Toynbee, a classical scholar who taught at Oxford and other prestigious English universities and who did original and definitive work on Sparta (e.g. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. xxxiii 1913 p. 246-275) seemed to have some doubts about Tarentum (Taranto) being of Spartan origin.

In his book The Study of History vol. iii p. 52 he wrote: "...Tarentum, which claimed a Spartan origin; but, even if this claim was in accordance with historical fact..." The tentative phrasing seems to imply that the evidence is neither conclusive or even establishes a high degree of probability of the truth that Tarentum (Taranto) was a Spartan colony.

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 302-281 BC. AR Drachm (17mm, 2.91 gm). Helmeted head of Athena right, helmet decorated with Skylla hurling a stone / Owl standing right head facing, on olive branch; Vlasto 1058; SNG ANS 1312; HN Italy 1015. VF.

Ex-Cng eAuction 103 Lot 2 190/150
2 commentsecoli
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CAMPGATE, Arcadius385 viewsThis unusual reverse may depict a tall wall with a door and 2 windows, or the upper layer could be a building that was actually within the city walls. Another possibility is that the lower layer represents the main gate in the city wall and the upper layer represents a section of the wall elsewhere that had 2 doors. (Ray Wilk)1 commentsraywilk
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Campgate: Costantino II, zecca di Ticinum, IV officina25 viewsConstantinus II, AE follis, Ticinum mint IV officina
AE, 18 mm, 2.6 gr., R5
D/ CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right
R/ PROVIDENTIAE CAESS, campgate with two turrets, star above , roof and base extends past walls , Q palm T in exergue
RIC VII , 207 var. (unlisted officina Q)
Nota: la valutazione R5 è dovuta al fatto che le officine catalogate nel 207 (P, S, T) sono R4. Pubblicato in "Not in Ric" di Lech Stępniewski
Provenienza: NON ARRIVATA: smarrita nel trasporto postale. collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, 11 luglio 2014), ex Herbert R. Chavarria collection (Nemesis, West Hempstead, NY Usa fino al 2014)
paolo
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Cappadocia, Caesarea; Gordian III24 viewsCappadocia, Caesarea, Gordian III 238-244 Æ26

The city has been continuously inhabited since perhaps c. 3000 BCE[citation needed] with the establishment of the ancient trading colony at Kultepe (Ash Mountain) which is associated with the Hittites. The city has always been a vital trade centre as it is located on major trade routes, particularly along what was called the Great Silk Road. Kültepe, one of the oldest cities in Asia Minor, lies nearby.

As Mazaca, the city served as the residence of the kings of Cappadocia. In ancient times, it was on the crossroads of the trade routes from Sinope to the Euphrates and from the Persian Royal Road that extended from Sardis to Susa. In Roman times, a similar route from Ephesus to the East also crossed the city.

The city stood on a low spur on the north side of Mount Erciyes (Mount Argaeus in ancient times). Only a few traces of the ancient site survive in the old town. The city was the centre of a satrapy under Persian rule until it was conquered by Perdikkas, one of the generals of Alexander the Great when it became the seat of a transient satrapy by another of Alexander's former generals, Eumenes of Cardia. The city was subsequently passed to the Seleucid empire after the battle of Ipsus but became once again the centre of an autonomous Greater Cappadocian kingdom under Ariarathes III of Cappadocia in around 250 BC. In the ensuing period, the city came under the sway of Hellenistic influence, and was given the Greek name of Eusebia in honor of the Cappadocian king Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator of Cappadocia (163–130 BCE). Under the new name of Caesarea, by which it has since been known, given to it by the last Cappadocian King Archelaus[5] or perhaps by Tiberius,[6] the city passed under formal Roman rule in 17 BCE.
Walls of the Seljuk era Sahabiye Medresesi, built in 1267 by the Seljuk vizier Sahip Ata Fahreddin Ali.

Caesarea was destroyed by the Sassanid king Shapur I after his victory over the Emperor Valerian I in AD 260. At the time it was recorded to have around 400,000 inhabitants. The city gradually recovered, and became home to several early Christian saints: saints Dorothea and Theophilus the martyrs, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Basil of Caesarea.

Obv: Laureate bust of Gordian, right.
Rev: Agalma of Mount Argaeus set on altar. Year 243 AD
ecoli
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Carrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, Lindgren 2557122 viewsCarrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, 193-211 AD
Av.: CEΠTIMIOC [CE]OY.... , naked (laureate?) bust of Septimius Severus right
Rv.: ..Λ]OY KAPPH ΛKA... , front view of a tetrastyle temple, the temple of the moon god Sin, in the middle a sacred stone on tripod, on top of stone: crescent, standards (with crescents on top) on both sides inside the building; another crescent in the pediment.
Lindgren 2557 ; BMC p. 82, #4

The city and the region played an important role in roman history.

Carrhae / Harran, (Akkadian Harrânu, "intersecting roads"; Latin Carrhae), an ancient city of strategic importance, an important town in northern Mesopotamia, famous for its temple of the moon god Sin, is now nothing more than a village in southeastern Turkey with an archeological site.
In the Bible it is mentioned as one of the towns where Abraham stayed on his voyage from Ur to the promised land. Abraham's family settled there when they left Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 11:31-32).
Inscriptions indicate that Harran existed as early as 2000 B.C. In its prime, it controlled the point where the road from Damascus joins the highway between Nineveh and Carchemish. This location gave Harran strategic value from an early date. It is frequently mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions about 1100 BC, under the name Harranu, or "Road" (Akkadian harrānu, 'road, path, journey' ).
During the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Harran became the stronghold of its lasts king, Ashur-uballit II, being besiged and conquered by Nabopolassar of Babylon at 609 BC. Harran became part of Median Empire after the fall of Assyria, and subsequently passed to the Persian Achaemenid dynasty.
The city remained Persian untill in 331 BC when the soldiers of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great entered the city.
After the death of Alexander on 11 June 323 BC, the city was claimed by his successors: Perdiccas, Antigonus Monophthalmus and Eumenes. These visited the city, but eventually, it became part of the Asian kingdom of Seleucos I (Nicator), the Seleucid empire, and capital of a province called Osrhoene (the Greek term for the old name Urhai).
The Seleucids settled Macedonian veterans at Harran. For a century-and-a-half, the town flourished, and it became independent when the Parthian dynasty of Persia occupied Babylonia. The Parthian and Seleucid kings both needed the buffer state of Osrhoene which was part of the larger Parthian empire and had nearby Edessa as its capital. The dynasty of the Arabian Abgarides, technically a vassal of the Parthian "king of kings" ruled Osrhoene for centuries.

Carrhae was the scene of a disastrous defeat of the Roman general Crassus by the Parthians. In 53 BC. Crassus, leading an army of 50.000, conducted a campaign against Parthia. After he captured a few cities on the way, he hurried to cross the Euphrates River with hopes of receiving laurels and the title of “Emperor”. But as he drove his forces over Rakkan towards Harran, Parthian cavalry besieged his forces in a pincers movement. In the ensuing battle, the Roman army was defeated and decimated. The battle of Carrhae was the beginning of a series of border wars with Parthia for many centuries. Numismatic evidence for these wars or the corresponding peace are for instance the "Signis Receptis" issues of Augustus and the “Janum Clusit” issues of Nero.
Later Lucius Verus tried to conquer Osrhoene and initially was successful. But an epidemic made an annexation impossible. However, a victory monument was erected in Ephesus, and Carrhae/Harran is shown as one of the subject towns.
Septimius Severus finally added Osrhoene to his realms in 195. The typical conic domed houses of ancient Harran can be seen on the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Forum Romanum.
Harran was the chief home of the moon-god Sin, whose temple was rebuilt by several kings. Sin was one of the great gods of the Assurian-Babylonian pantheon.
Caracalla gave Harran the status of a colonia (214 AD) and visited the city and the temple of the moon god in April 217. Meanwhile the moon god (and sacred stones) had become a part of the Roman pantheon and the temple a place to deify the roman emperors (as the standards on both sides of the temple indicate).

Caracalla was murdered while he was on his way from Temple to the palace. If this had been arranged by Macrinus - the prefect of the Praetorian guard who was to be the new emperor – is not quite clear. On the eighth of April, the emperor and his courtiers made a brief trip to the world famous temple of the moon god. When Caracalla halted to perform natural functions, he was assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Julius Martialis, who had a private grudge against the ruler, because he had not been given the post of centurion.

In 296 AD Roman control was again interrupted when nearby Carrhae the emperor Galerius was defeated by the king Narses / the Sasanid dynasty of Persia. The Roman emperor Julianus Apostata sacrificed to the moon god in 363 AD, at the beginning of his ill-fated campaign against the Sassanid Persians. The region continued to be a battle zone between the Romans and Sassanids. It remained Roman (or Byzantine) until 639, when the city finally was captured by the Muslim armies.

At that time, the cult of Sin still existed. After the arrival of the Islam, the adherents of other religions probably went to live in the marshes of the lower Tigris and Euphrates, and are still known as Mandaeans.
The ancient city walls surrounding Harran, 4 kilometer long and 3 kilometer wide, have been repaired throughout the ages (a.o. by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in the sixth century), and large parts are still standing. The position of no less than 187 towers has been identified. Of the six gates (Aleppo gate, Anatolian, Arslanli, Mosul, Baghdad, and Rakka gate), only the first one has remained.

A citadel was built in the 14th century in place of the Temple of Sin. This lies in the south-west quarter of the ancient town. Its ruin can still be visited.

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
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China, Great Wall902 viewsMutianyu Great Wall located in Huairou County, Beijing. Built on older pre-existing walls during the Ming Dynasty.Bolayi
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CILICIA. Tarsus (?). Ca. late 5th century BC. AR stater (21mm, 10.74 gm, 6h). NGC AU12 viewsCILICIA. Tarsus (?). Ca. late 5th century BC. AR stater (21mm, 10.74 gm, 6h). NGC AU 3/5 - 5/5, die shift. Side-view of fortified city walls with three crenelated towers, soldiers (?) on patrol between towers / Forepart of bull kneeling right, ankh to lower right. BMC -. SNG France 2 -. SNG Levante -. Casabonne -.

The attribution to Tarsus is based on the style and fabric of the flan, as well as the ankh symbol on the reverse. This symbol was clearly important to the people of Tarsus as the Great King is sometimes depicted carrying it upward by the shaft (cf. SNG France 2, 209); or displayed by itself as on the obol issue cf. SNG France 2, 207; or sometime as a device decorating the fields as on the previous lot in this sale. Another connecting theme is seen on satrapal Tarsus staters of the 4th century BC with lion and bull above crenelated city walls.
Mark R1
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City of Constantinople Commemorative, 330 - 333 A.D.82 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 63, VF, Constantinople, 2.524g, 18.5mm, 0o, 330 - 333 A.D.; Obverse: CONSTAN-TINOPOLI, Constantinopolis' helmeted bust left in imperial cloak and holding scepter across left shoulder; Reverse: Victory standing left, right foot on prow, scepter in right, resting left on grounded shield, CONSZ in exergue; nice style. Ex FORVM.

Constantinople Commemoratives minted by the actual city of Constantinople mint are much scarcer than those minted by other Eastern mints.

The village that was to become the site of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istambul was founded c. 658 B. C. by a Greek colony from Megara; the site was then occupied by the Thracian village of Lygos. The chief of the Megarian expedition was Byzas, after whom the city was naturally called Byzantion (Lat. Byzantium). Despite its perfect situation, the colony did not prosper at first; it suffered much during the Medic wars, chiefly from the satraps of Darius and Xerxes. Later on, its control was disputed by Lacedæmonians and Athenians; for two years (341-339 B. C.) it held out against Philip of Macedon. It succeeded in maintaining its independence even against victorious Rome, was granted the title and rights of an allied city, and its ambassadors were accorded at Rome the same honours as those given to allied kings; it enjoyed, moreover, all transit duties on the Bosporus. Cicero defended it in the Roman Senate, and put an end to the exactions of Piso.

The city continued prosperous to the reign of Septimius Severus, when it sided with his rival, Pescennius Niger. After a siege of three years (193-196) Severus razed to the ground its walls and public monuments, and made it subject to Perinthus or Heraclea in Thrace. But he soon forgave this resistance, restored its former privileges, built there the baths of Zeuxippus, and began the hippodrome. It was devastated again by the soldiers of Gallienus in 262, but was rebuilt almost at once. In the long war between Constantine and Licinius (314-323) it embraced the fortunes of the latter, but, after his defeat at Chrysopolis (Scutari), submitted to the victor.

Constantine had chosen this city as the new capital of the Roman Empire, but owing to his wars and the needs of the State, he rarely resided there.

(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV; Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company;Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
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City of Constantinopolis Commemorative, 330-346 A.D. (Cyzikus)50 viewsConstantinopolis City Commemorative, issued by CONSTANTINE THE GREAT AND HIS SONS, of the period AD 330-346, commemorating the transfer of the Seat of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople, AE3/4, aVF, Cyzikus. Obverse: CONSTAN-TINOPOLI, Constantinopolis wearing imperial mantle, holding inverted spear, laureate helmet, bust L.; Reverse: No legend; Victory stg. L., right foot on prow, holding scepter and leaning on shield; star?pellet?SMK pellet? in exergue.

The village that was to become the site of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istambul was founded c. 658 B. C. by a Greek colony from Megara; the site was then occupied by the Thracian village of Lygos. The chief of the Megarian expedition was Byzas, after whom the city was naturally called Byzantion (Lat. Byzantium). Despite its perfect situation, the colony did not prosper at first; it suffered much during the Medic wars, chiefly from the satraps of Darius and Xerxes. Later on, its control was disputed by Lacedæmonians and Athenians; for two years (341-339 B. C.) it held out against Philip of Macedon. It succeeded in maintaining its independence even against victorious Rome, was granted the title and rights of an allied city, and its ambassadors were accorded at Rome the same honours as those given to allied kings; it enjoyed, moreover, all transit duties on the Bosporus. Cicero defended it in the Roman Senate, and put an end to the exactions of Piso.

The city continued prosperous to the reign of Septimius Severus, when it sided with his rival, Pescennius Niger. After a siege of three years (193-196) Severus razed to the ground its walls and public monuments, and made it subject to Perinthus or Heraclea in Thrace. But he soon forgave this resistance, restored its former privileges, built there the baths of Zeuxippus, and began the hippodrome. It was devastated again by the soldiers of Gallienus in 262, but was rebuilt almost at once. In the long war between Constantine and Licinius (314-323) it embraced the fortunes of the latter, but, after his defeat at Chrysopolis (Scutari), submitted to the victor.

Constantine had chosen this city as the new capital of the Roman Empire, but owing to his wars and the needs of the State, he rarely resided there.

(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV; Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company;Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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CITY-GATE, Antoninus Pius, Laodiceia ad Mare194 viewsob: AVTO KAI TI AIΛI AΔPI
ANTΩNEINO NC

re: IOVΛIEΩNTΩN
KAI ΛAOΔIKEΩN
E(?) left field, QP right field

Antoninus Pius
Laodiceia ad Mare, Syria
Turretted bust of Tyche as city goddess
Gateway with turrets, lighthouse and walls
AE 25
141-142 AD
BMC 67-8
Sear 1497
2 commentsdougdann
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Constantinople CONSS66 viewsConstantine had altogether more ambitious plans. Having restored the unity of the empire, now overseeing the progress of major governmental reforms and sponsoring the consolidation of the Christian church, Constantine was well aware that Rome had become an unsatisfactory capital for several reasons. Located in central Italy, Rome lay too far from the eastern imperial frontiers, and hence also from the legions and the Imperial courts. Moreover, Rome offered an undesirable playground for disaffected politicians; it also suffered regularly from flooding and from malaria.

It seemed impossible to many that the capital could be moved. Nevertheless, Constantine identified the site of Byzantium as the correct place: a city where an emperor could sit, readily defended, with easy access to the Danube or the Euphrates frontiers, his court supplied from the rich gardens and sophisticated workshops of Roman Asia, his treasuries filled by the wealthiest provinces of the empire.

Constantine laid out the expanded city, dividing it into 14 regions, and ornamenting it with great public works worthy of a great imperial city. Yet initially Constantinople did not have all the dignities of Rome, possessing a proconsul, rather than a prefect of the city. Furthermore, it had no praetors, tribunes or quaestors. Although Constantinople did have senators, they held the title clarus, not clarissimus, like those of Rome. Constantinople also lacked the panoply of other administrative offices regulating the food supply, police, statues, temples, sewers, aqueducts or other public works. The new program of building was carried out in great haste: columns, marbles, doors and tiles were taken wholesale from the temples of the empire and moved to the new city. Similarly, many of the greatest works of Greek and Roman art were soon to be seen in its squares and streets. The emperor stimulated private building by promising householders gifts of land from the imperial estates in Asiana and Pontica, and on 18 May 332 he announced that, as in Rome, free distributions of food would be made to citizens. At the time the amount is said to have been 80,000 rations a day, doled out from 117 distribution points around the city.

Constantinople was a Greek Orthodox Christian city, lying in the most Christianised part of the Empire. Justinian ordered the pagan temples of Byzantium to be deconstructed, and erected the splendid Church of the Holy Wisdom, Sancta Sophia (also known as Hagia Sophia in Greek), as the centrepiece of his Christian capital. He oversaw also the building of the Church of the Holy Apostles, and that of Hagia Irene.

Constantine laid out anew the square at the middle of old Byzantium, naming it the Augusteum. Sancta Sophia lay on the north side of the Augusteum. The new senate-house (or Curia) was housed in a basilica on the east side. On the south side of the great square was erected the Great Palace of the emperor with its imposing entrance, the Chalke, and its ceremonial suite known as the Palace of Daphne. Located immediately nearby was the vast Hippodrome for chariot-races, seating over 80,000 spectators, and the Baths of Zeuxippus (both originally built in the time of Septimius Severus). At the entrance at the western end of the Augusteum was the Milion, a vaulted monument from which distances were measured across the Eastern Empire.

From the Augusteum a great street, the Mese, led, lined with colonnades. As it descended the First Hill of the city and climbed the Second Hill, it passed on the left the Praetorium or law-court. Then it passed through the oval Forum of Constantine where there was a second senate-house, then on and through the Forum of Taurus and then the Forum of Bous, and finally up the Sixth Hill and through to the Golden Gate on the Propontis. The Mese would be seven Roman miles long to the Golden Gate of the Walls of Theodosius.

Constantine erected a high column in the middle of the Forum, on the Second Hill, with a statue of himself at the top, crowned with a halo of seven rays and looking towards the rising sun.

RIC VII Constantinople 61 C1
ecoli
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Egypt, Cairo - Nilometer303 viewsThis octagonal pillar is the only surviving Nilometer in Cairo, tucked away in a kiosk on the island of Roda, in the middle of the Nile. When in use, the height of water in the pit measured the annual flooding of the river. In an ideal year the water would rise to the 16th of the marked divisions (each one cubit, approximately 52cm) decorating the column.

The Nilometer is an attribute of the titular river god, Nilus (equivalent to the Egyptian deity, Hapy), and often features on coin reverses depicting Nilus.

The surrounding structure is itself of architectural significance and dates to 861 CE. Which means those pointed arches set into the walls predate the European Gothic style by around 250 years – they could be the earliest pointed arches anywhere in the world.
1 commentsAbu Galyon
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England, London (Londinium) - city walls433 viewsmodern bronze statue of Trajan

next to Tower Hill - station of London underground
Johny SYSEL
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England, Roman Baths, Bath (1)162 viewsThese celebrated Roman Baths were unknown until, in 1880, sewer workers uncovered the first glimpse of Roman structures under the Georgian Spa. This led to the discovery of the Roman Baths and their treasures.

The walls, columns and parapet that surround the Great Bath today were built in the Victorian period, and the "Roman" statues that gaze down upon the pool from the upper walkway are also Victorian.

This photograph was taken in the 19th century not long after the Baths were discovered and before the Victorian structures we see today were built.
*Alex
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France – Flanders, Charles the Bold: 1467 – 7710 viewsDouble Gros, Roberts #7982

Charles the Bold (or Charles the Rash) was baptised Charles Martin and was Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. Known as Charles the Terrible to his enemies, he was the last Valois Duke of Burgundy and his early death was a pivotal, if under-recognised, moment in European history.

After his death, his domains began an inevitable slide towards division between France and the Habsburgs (who through marriage to his heiress Mary became his heirs). Neither side was satisfied with the results and the disintegration of the Burgundian state was a factor in most major wars in Western Europe for more than two centuries.

Charles’ end came at the Battle of Nancy. Charles formed a new army and arrived in the dead of winter before the walls of Nancy. Having lost many of his troops through the severe cold, it was with only a few thousand men that he met the joint forces of the Lorrainers and the Swiss, who had come to the relief of the town, at the Battle of Nancy (5 January 1477). Charles perished in the fight, his naked and disfigured body being discovered some days afterward frozen into the nearby river. Charles' head had been cleft in two by a halberd, lances were lodged in his stomach and loins, and his face had been so badly mutilated by wild animals that only his physician was able to identify him by his long fingernails and the old battle scars on his body.

Purchased on eBay

NGC Ch AU-55

Cost $197
Richard M10
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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
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France, Nemausus - Tour Magne227 viewsPart of the city walls of Nemausus, this is a massive Roman watch-tower with an octagonal base and a round top, it's 32 meters high now, and had another 4 meters in ancient times. Syltorian
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Greece, Amphipolis, Lion of Amphipolis - Via Egnatia, west side of the Strymonas river72 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
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Greece, Delos - Wall in the Maritime Quarter297 viewsRemnant plasterwork and painting illustrates how the coarse stone walls were finished in the residential area that is the Maritime Quarter.1 commentsLloyd T
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Greece, Epirus, Kassope Street in Kassope and view to the south25 viewsGreece, Epirus, Kassope Street in Kassope and view to the south

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kassope_2016-05-09_13.06.21.jpg
9 May 2016 Rjdeadly

Kassope or Cassope was an ancient Greek city in Epirus. Kassope occupies a magnificent and remote site on a high platform overlooking the sea, the Ambracian Gulf and the fertile lands to the south, and with the slopes of the Zalongo mountain to the north. It is considered one of the best remaining examples of a city built on a rectilinear street grid of a Hippodamian plan in Greece. The first settlements on the site are from the Paleolithic. However the city of Kassope was founded in the middle of the 4th century B.C. as the capital of the Kassopaeans, a sub-tribe of the Thesprotians. It belonged to the Aetolian League. Cassope or Cassopia is mentioned in the war carried on by Cassander against Alcetas II of Epirus, in 312 B.C. The city flourished in the 3rd century BC, when large public buildings were built. Kassope also minted its own coins. It was destroyed by Roman forces in 168-167 B.C. Kassope was abandoned in 31 B.C. when the remaining inhabitants resettled to Nikopolis the region’s new capital. The visible remains include the Cyclopean walls, an agora, a theater, the prytaneion.
Joe Sermarini
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Greece, Thera - Akrotiri 162 viewsMinoan settelment was destroyed by the great Thera eruption around 1628 BC which caused the end of Neopalatial period on Crete. People managed to evacuate Thera before eruption unlike Pompeii but probably they were killed by tsunami on Crete coast.

wikipedia:"Minoans possessed advanced engineering knowledge enabling the construction of three- and four-story buildings with intricate water piping systems, advanced air-flow management, and earthquake-resistant wood and masonry walls."
Johny SYSEL
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Greece, Tiryns173 viewsTiryns reached its height between 1400 and 1200 BC.
Tiryns is famous for its cyclopean tunnels and especially its walls.
Walls of Tiryns are first referenced by Homer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiryns
Johny SYSEL
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GREEK, Antiochos IV (Epiphanes), Seleucid Kingdom AE1447 viewsSyria, Seleucid Kingdom. Antiochos IV AE 14 (1.86 g).
Laureate head of Antiochos IV.
Apollo Seated Reverse.
Struck 176-164 B.C.
Spaer 1108.
Note: "Younger son of Antiochos the Great, Antiochos IV seized the Seleukid throne in 175 B.C. after having spent the previous twelve years as a hostage in Rome. He was a vigorous ruler and attempted to extend Seleukid influence by invading Egypt, though he was obliged to withdraw because of Roman opposition. He also aroused the hatred of the Jews by despoiling the Temple in Jerusalem and later tearing down the city walls. Antiochos died on campaign in the east in 164 B.C." - David R. Sear, GREEK COINS AND THEIR VALUES VOLUME 2.
Jericho
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Greek, Silver Obol; Sidon mint. Circa 375-332 BC140 viewsObv: City walls with three towers.
Rev: Prow of galley with eye to right; five pellets above, Lion below.
10mm and 0.9 grams.
Not listed in any known reference!!!
5 commentsCanaan
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Interior of the Pantheon54 viewsInterior view of the Pantheon's dome. An engeneering masterpiece the concrete gets thinner as it rises. The open occular in the center allows light to flood into this massive ancient space. The walls at the bottom are about 12 feet thick. Origianlly dedicated to all the god's it is now a Catholic church. Titus Pullo
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Islands off Troas, Tenedos, Early 4th century BC, AR Drachm 41 viewsJaniform heads of a diademed female (Hera ?) left and laureate male (Zeus ?) right.
TE NE ΔΙ ON Labrys, grape bunch and thymiaterion flanking handle, all within incuse shallow incuse circle.

SNG Ashmolean 1237; HGC 6, 386.

(16mm, 3.67 g, 12h).
ex-CNG

Tenedos was an island town a few kilometres off the coast of the Troas, south of Ilion (the legendary Troy). It was the place where the Greeks hid their fleet near the end of the Trojan War, so as to trick the Trojans into believing that they had left, emboldening the latter to take the Trojan horse inside the city walls of Troy. It was an island city of strategic significance due to its proximity to the southern entrance of the Dardanelles. The best of the female/male janiform heads of this coin type are a masterpiece of late Classical Greek numismatic art.
3 commentsn.igma
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Israel, Beth Shean, Ancient Ruins9 viewsBeit She'an, better known in English as Beth Shean, is a city in the Northern District of Israel. It has played an important role in history due to its geographical location at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley. In the Biblical account of the battle of the Israelites against the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, the bodies of King Saul and three of his sons were hung on the walls of Beit She'an (1 Samuel 31:10-12). In Hellenistic and Roman times, the city was named Scythopolis and was the leading city of the Decapolis, a league of pagan cities. The ancient city ruins are now protected within the Beit She'an National Park. Joe Sermarini
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Israel, Beth Shean, The Roman Theater12 viewsBeit She'an, better known in English as Beth Shean, is a city in the Northern District of Israel. It has played an important role in history due to its geographical location at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley. In the Biblical account of the battle of the Israelites against the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, the bodies of King Saul and three of his sons were hung on the walls of Beit She'an (1 Samuel 31:10-12). In Hellenistic and Roman times, the city was named Scythopolis and was the leading city of the Decapolis, a league of pagan cities. The ancient city ruins are now protected within the Beit She'an National Park. Joe Sermarini
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Israel, Gezer - Bronze Age city walls580 viewsThese are the Bronze Age city walls of the Canaanite city of Gezer. It is near this town that the battle took place where Joshua is said to have held the sun and the moon still. The Canaanites held off the attacks by the tribe of Dan until the reign of Solomon.
posted by Zam
Zam
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Israel, Masada - Walls and Roman Seige Ramp in side view148 viewsLloyd
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Israel, Masada - Walls facing the Roman Seige Ramp123 viewsLloyd
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Israel, Scythopolis (Beit She'an)99 viewsScythopolis is the only one of the ten ‘Decapolis’ towns situated within the borders of modern Israel. The classical city was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 CE; its ruins are extensive and quite well-preserved. Prominent in the photo is the colonnaded Byzantine ‘Silvanus Street’ (the excavators named it after a local magistrate mentioned in an inscription as responsible for its renewal) which follows the route of the earlier Roman cardo maximus.

Sythopolis was built in the shadow of the earlier Canaanite city of Beit She’an, where (according to 1 Samuel 31) the Philistines, after their victory on Mount Gilboa, displayed the bodies of King Saul and his sons on the city walls. The vast mound of Tel Beit She’an is conspicuous in the background. Twenty settlement strata have been identified there, the earliest dating back to the Neolithic (5th millennium BCE). A section of the eastern Canaanite city walls has also been excavated and is visible in the photo.
Abu Galyon
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Italy, Herculaneum, College of the Augustales22 viewsThe side walls of the sacellum in the College of the Augustales are painted with doors either side of a central porch which opens onto architectural elements on a white ground. Above the doors and porch are further windows containing bronze chariots driven by winged victories, placed on pedestals. The central fresco on the left wall is of Hercules standing next to Juno and Minerva

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, College of the Augustales23 viewsThe side walls of the sacellum in the College of the Augustales are painted with doors either side of a central porch which opens onto architectural elements on a white ground. Above the doors and porch are further windows containing bronze chariots driven by winged victories, placed on pedestals. The fresco in the middle of the right wall shows Hercules fighting Achelous who kidnapped Deianira.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of Argus10 viewsThe House of Argus contains some strikingly decorated rooms. The decoration consists of red panels on a red ground incorporating geometric and architectural themes. The central panel on each of the walls contains a mythological scene.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Pompeii - modest villa354 viewsInside one of the more modest villas in Pompeii, although you'd never know it by the still-beautiful murals on the walls and the fountain there to the right.1 commentsMark Zema
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Italy, Rome, Curia Iulia, Forum Romanum124 viewsCuria Julia (Latin: Curia Iulia, Italian: Curia Iulia) is the third named Curia, or Senate House, in the ancient city of Rome. It was built in 44 BC when Julius Caesar replaced Faustus Cornelius Sulla’s reconstructed Curia Cornelia, which itself had replaced the Curia Hostilia. Caesar did this in order to redesign both spaces within the Comitium and Forum Romanum. The alterations within the Comitium reduced the prominence of the senate and cleared the original space. The work, however, was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Caesar’s successor Augustus in 29 BC. The Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact, due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century and several later restorations. However the roof, together with the upper elevations of the side walls and rear façade, are modern. These parts date from the remodeling of the deconsecrated church in the 1930s.Joe Sermarini
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Italy, Rome, Pantheon inside347 viewsInterior view of Hadrian's dome and ocular center. An engeneering masterpiece, the concrete gets thinner as it rises. The open ocular in the center allows light to flood into this massive ancient space. The walls at the bottom are about 12 feet thick. The interior is completely ancient from the marble floors to the walls and dome. Origianlly dedicated to all the god's it is now a Catholic church.Titus Pullo
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Italy, Rome, Porta Asinaria151 viewsgate in the Aurelian Walls built 270-273 AD

(near San Giovanni in Laterano)
Johny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Porta San Paolo138 viewsgate in Aurelian wallsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, The Painted Garden of Livia30 viewsThe painted garden of Livia Augusta was located at her country residence in Prima Porta, 15km north along the Via Flaminia. It was decorating the walls of a windowless underground room which was probably used as a summer room.

The painted garden runs along the four walls depicting plants and trees in different periods of time with overlapping flowering and mature fruits. Plant species depicted include: umbrella pine, oak, red fir, quince, pomegranate, myrtle, oleander, date palm, strawberry, laurel, viburnum, holm oak, boxwood, cypress, ivy, acanthus, rose, poppy, chrysanthemum, chamomile, fern, violet, and iris. Birds are present almost everywhere.

In 1950 the frescoes were detached from the villa and transferred to the Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Massimo, close to Stazione Termini, and located at the third floor.

Sergio Orata
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Italy, Sicily, Agrigento, Temple of Concordia218 viewsDue to its good state of preservation, the Temple of Concordia is ranked amongst the most notable edifices of the Greek civilization existing today. It has a peristatis of 6 x 13 columns built over a basement of 39.44 x 16.91 m; each Doric column has twenty grooves and a slight entasis, and is surmounted by an architrave with triglyphs and metopes; also perfectly preserved are the tympani. The cella, preceded by a pronaos, is accessed by a single step; also existing are the pylons with the stairs which allowed to reach the roof and, over the cella's walls and in the blocks of the peristasis entablature, the holes for the wooden beam of the ceiling. The exterior and the interior of the temple were covered by polychrome stucco. The upper frame had gutters with lion-like protomes, while the roof was covered by marble tiles.

When the temple was turned into a church the entrance was moved to the rear, and the rear wall of the cella was destroyed. The spaces between the columns were closed, while 12 arched openings were created in the cella, in order to obtain a structure with one nave and two aisles. The pagan altar was destroyed and sacristies were carved out in the eastern corners. The sepultures visible inside and outside the temple date to the High Middle Age.
2 commentsJoe Sermarini
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Italy, Sicily, View of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra)64 viewsView of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra), Sicily

Solus (or Soluntum, near modern Solanto) was an ancient city on the north coast of Sicily, one of the three chief Phoenician settlements on the island, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) east of Panormus (modern Palermo). It lay 183 meters (600 ft) above sea level, on the southeast side of Monte Catalfano 373 meters (1,225 ft), in a naturally strong situation, and commanding a fine view. The date of its founding is unknown. Solus was one of the few colonies that the Phoenicians retained when they withdrew to the northwest corner of the island before the advance of the Greek colonies in Sicily. Together with Panormus and Motya, it allied with the Carthaginians. In 396 B.C. Dionysius took the city but it probably soon broke away again to Carthage and was usually part of their dominions on the island. In 307 B.C. it was given to the soldiers and mercenaries of Agathocles, who had made peace with the Carthage when abandoned by their leader in Africa. During the First Punic War it was still subject to Carthage, and it was not until after the fall of Panormus that Soluntum also opened its gates to the Romans. It continued to under Roman dominion as a municipal town, but apparently one of no great importance, as its name is only slightly and occasionally mentioned by Cicero. But it is still noticed both by Pliny and Ptolemy, as well as at a later period by the Itineraries. Its destruction probably dates from the time of the Saracens.

Excavations have brought to light considerable remains of the ancient town, belonging entirely to the Roman period, and a good deal still remains unexplored. The traces of two ancient roads, paved with large blocks of stone, which led up to the city, may still be followed, and the whole summit of Monte Catalfano is covered with fragments of ancient walls and foundations of buildings. Among these may be traced the remains of two temples, of which some capitals and portions of friezes, have been discovered. An archaic oriental Artemis sitting between a lion and a panther, found here, is in the museum at Palermo, with other antiquities from this site. An inscription, erected by the citizens in honor of Fulvia Plautilla, the wife of Caracalla, was found there in 1857. With the exception of the winding road by which the town was approached on the south, the streets, despite the unevenness of the ground, which in places is so steep that steps have to be introduced, are laid out regularly, running from east to west and from north to south, and intersecting at right angles. They are as a rule paved with slabs of stone. The houses were constructed of rough walling, which was afterwards plastered over; the natural rock is often used for the lower part of the walls. One of the largest of them, with a peristyle, was in 1911, though wrongly, called the gymnasium. Near the top of the town are some cisterns cut in the rock, and at the summit is a larger house than usual, with mosaic pavements and paintings on its walls. Several sepulchres also have been found.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soluntum

Photo by Allie Caulfield from Germany.
Joe Sermarini
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Italy- Forum Romanum- Basilica Emilia- Frisco with everyday life89 viewsThe Basilica Julia was built in 54-48 BCE by Julius Caesar as a part of his reorganisation of the Forum Romanum, where it replaced the Basilica Sempronia. It is located on the S. side of the main square of the Forum Romanum, between the Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very little of the building remains now. The basic floor plan can be seen, and some parts of brick walls remain towards the Temple of Saturn, some bases of statues still in their original position, and the four step podium remain. The brick column bases are reconstructions of the 19th century.
John Schou
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Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Majencius front and back100 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
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Italy- Forum Romanum- The Forum of Trajan58 viewsThe Forum of Trajan has a more complicated foundation than the other Imperial Forums. The piazza is closed, with the Basilica Ulpia. At the back of this the Trajan column was elevated between the two Libraries, and it was believed that the complex concluded with the Temple dedicated to Divo Trajan. One entered the piazza through a curved arch passageway, a type of arch of triumph, in the center of a convex wall decorated with jutting columns.
An equestrian statue of Trajan occupied the center of the piazza, which was bordered by porticos with decorated attics-similar to the Forum of Augustus but with Caryatids instead of Daci. Spacious covered exedras opened up behind the porticos. The facade of the basilica, that closed the piazza, also had an attic decorated with Daci statues. The inside of the Basilica had 5 naves with columns along the short sides and apses at both ends; the very spacious central nave had two floors.
The Trajan Column was closed in a small courtyard, bordered by porticos opposite of the Library's facade. These were constituted of large rooms with niches in the walls and decorated with two types of columns.
The temple was probably of an enormous dimension and probably closed by a fenced portico. Today's archeological excavations in the Forum of Trajan have demonstrated that the Temple of Trajan's position is not what it was hypothesized to be in the past. Archeological evidence has clarified the findings in the area to be Insulae- remains of houses rather than those from a temple structure. These findings lie underneath what is today the Province headquarters- the palazzo of Valentini, next to the Column's location.
Rather, the temple was probably situated exactly in the middle of the forum area, where excavation is now taking place.

The Forum of Trajan was utilized as a splendid area of representation for public ceremonies. We know, for example, that in 118 A.D. Adriano publicly burned tables with citizen's debts in the piazza, as a statement to the treasury.
Also, in the late epoch, exedras behind the lateral porticos were used to host poetry readings and conferences.
Court hearings and ceremonies for the freedom of slaves were probably held in the apses of the Basilica.
The Library was probably used as a sort of historical archive of the Roman state and also conserved republican annals.
The sculptural decorations in the various Forum spaces transmitted messages of imperial propaganda of Trajan.
Above all was the celebration of the Daci conquest and the victorious army with focus on the achievement of peace. The representation was sculpted into the walls with images of the conquests.
Images of cupids watering griffins on the entrance wall allude again to the peacefulness of the Empire's power.
The expansion and growth of the Empire, completed with the campaign towards the Orient and interrupted by the death of the Emperor, would have allowed Trajan to consider himself the new founder of Rome.
His representation as a hero is justified in his sepulcher in the base of the Column, in the heart of the city.

Forum of Trajan
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107 A.D. - Dacia (Romania) conquered and work begins;
January 15th 112 A.D. – Inauguration of the Forum and the Basilica Ulpia;
May 18th 113 A.D. – Inauguration of the Trajan Column;
117 A.D. – Trajan dies and the arch of triumph is ordered by the Senate;
125-138 A.D. – Probable dedication to the temple on behalf of Adrian.

Complex Area: 300x180 meters
uncovered piazza area: 120x90 meters

Area of the Basilica Ulpia: 180x60 meters
Height of Trajan's Column: 39.81 meters
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Big House and house with drain in the corner.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Big House and house with drain in the corner33 viewsWhat strikes you most about Pompeii - and also Herculaneum for that matter - is that they are both very neatly laid-out cities, very elegant and very orderly. There was running water in the houses, as the numerous indoor fountains would testify. There were public baths - Roman style - with separate entrances for men and women; while the walls of both were decorated with terracotta statues, the women's baths were much more elegant with exquisite floral mosaics. There were separate dressing rooms called apodyterium, cold bath - frigidairium - warm bath - tepidarium - and hot bath - calidarium. The calidarium was heated by a system of double walls and a hollow floor, which provided circulation for hot air and steam. The large cold water basin has inscriptions with names of the donors who funded its construction. There was also the palaestra or the gymnasium and separate areas for ablutions. There were public latrines with running water channels. In fact, the baths take up quite a bit of space in Pompeii and Herculaneum, pointing to the fastidiousness of early Romans when it came to personal hygiene. In Herculaneum, there is even a bronze bath-tub that is still intact.

John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Brothel.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Brothel59 viewsSome of the most fascinating clues about the lives of the ancient peoples who made their lives in Pompeii can be found in the numerous brothels in the city. It is an indication of the prosperity of the city -- people had money to burn. Here is one example of the Pompeian "houses of ill repute". I chose this one because of its unusual architecture and fine frescoes.

Ancient Pompeii was full of erotic or pornographic frescoes, symbols, inscriptions, and even household items. The ancient Roman culture of the time was much more sexually permissive than most present-day cultures.

When the serious excavation of Pompeii began in the 18th century, a clash of the cultures was the result. A fresco on a wall that showed the ancient god of sex and fertility, Priapus with his extremely enlarged penis, was covered with plaster and only rediscovered because of rainfall in 1998.[1] In 1819, when king Francis I of Naples visited the exhibition at the National Museum with his wife and daughter, he was so embarrassed by the erotic artwork that he decided to have it locked away in a secret cabinet, accessible only to "people of mature age and respected morals." Re-opened, closed, re-opened again and then closed again for nearly 100 years, it was made briefly accessible again at the end of the 1960s (the time of the sexual revolution) and has finally been re-opened in the year 2000. Minors are not allowed entry to the once secret cabinet without a guardian or a written permission.As previously mentioned, some of the paintings and frescoes became immediately famous because they represented erotic, sometimes explicit, sexual scenes. One of the most curious buildings recovered was in fact a Lupanare (brothel), which had many erotic paintings and graffiti indicating the services available -- patrons only had to point to what they wanted. The Lupanare had 10 rooms (cubicula, 5 per floor), a balcony, and a latrina. It was one of the larger houses, perhaps the largest, but not the only brothel. The town seems to have been oriented to a warm consideration of sensual matters: on a wall of the Basilica (sort of a civil tribunal, thus frequented by many Roman tourists and travelers), an immortal inscription tells the foreigner, If anyone is looking for some tender love in this town, keep in mind that here all the girls are very friendly (loose translation).

The function of these pictures is not yet clear: some authors say that they indicate that the services of prostitutes were available on the upper floor of the house and could perhaps be a sort of advertising, while others prefer the hypothesis that their only purpose was to decorate the walls with joyful scenes (as these were in Roman culture). The Termae were, however, used in common by males and females, although baths in other areas (even within Pompeii) were often segregated by sex.

John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance PORTA MARINA AND THE CITY WALLS36 viewsPORTA MARINA AND THE CITY WALLS
Similar to a bastion, facing west, together with Porta Ercolano it is the most imposing of the seven gates of Pompeii. It takes its name from the fact that its road led to the sea. It has two barrel arches (round arch opening), later combined into a single, large barrel vault in opus caementicium. The ring of the walls visible today, already present in the 6th cent. BC, is over 3200 m long: it is generally a solid ring of wall, protected on the outside by a moat and inside by an embankment, atop which runs the patrol walkway. Twelve towers to the north, where the flat ground made Pompeii most vulnerable, also ensured its defense. Pompeii's definitive entry into the Roman orbit (with the Sullan colonization: 80 BC) reduced the importance of the walls, which were occasionally reused or destroyed to make room for houses and baths.

THE CITY WALLS
Pompeii rests on a plateau of Vesuvian lava, whose walls represented a solid natural protection, just the wall to the north were more vulnerable.
The ring of walls was 3220 m. long. Seven identified gates opened in the walls, while the existence of an eighth (Porta Capua) one was uncertain.
The materials used for the walls were mostly: Sarno stone and grey Nucerian tufo. At the beginning the walls were made of Vesuvian lava or ‘pappamonte’ blocks, later made of a double parallel row, than filled with stones and ground.
During the Samnite wars were built the fortifications with the ‘ad aggere’ system, with an embankment inner the city.
During the 3rd century B.C. was probably built an inner calcareous and tufo row, with buttresses and round the top of the walls ran a patrol walkway.
The last phase of construction of the fortifications was dated about the age before Sulla’s conquest: on the more vulnerable side of the walls guard towers in opus incertum were built, with regular distance.
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance to the house of Fauno.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance to the house of Fauno39 viewsHOUSE OF THE FAUN (VI,12,2)
With its 3000m² it is the largest house in Pompeii: built over a previous dwelling at the beginning of the 2nd century BC, its current form is the result of subsequent alterations. The entrance on the left leads directly into the public section, the door on the right to the private rooms: an atrium whose roof is supported by four columns, stalls, latrine, baths, kitchen. In the entrance is the Latin message HAVE. The ‘first style’ decoration, the floors of sectile opus, and the mosaic threshold (now at the Naples Museum) highlight the dignity of this house, more similar to the aristocratic Roman domus than local upper class dwellings. In the center of the impluvium is a bronze statue of the ‘faun’ (2nd cent. BC: original in Naples); around it are rooms that held mosaic paintings on the floor and ‘first style’ decorations on the walls. Between the two porticoed gardens is the exedra, the core of the dwelling, with Corinthian columns, stuccoed and painted capitals, a splendid mosaic (now at the N
aples Museum) depicting the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius, King of Persia, which has helped to suggest a connection between the Macedonian ruler and the unknown, educated, and wealthy owner of the
FLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.C.
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- The big theatre.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- The big theatre and the Odeon small theatre38 viewsThe Big theater and Odeon the small theatre beside.
This ‘small theatre’, perhaps used for musical performances and poetry readings, was built in the early years of the Sullan colony (around 80 BC). According to inscriptions found here, it had a roof to ensure excellent acoustics: this rested on outer walls that bordered the tiers of seats (cavea), decorated with sculpted telamons: the lower part (ima cavea) has low, wide seating steps (bisellia) reserved for the decurions; a balustrade decorated with winged gryphon paws distinguishes it from the media cavea.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Coliseum constructed by Flavius and seen from outside~0.jpg
Italy- Rome- Coliseum constructed by Flavius and seen from outside53 viewsColosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (lat. Amphitheatrum Flavium), is an amphitheatre in Rome, capable of seating 50,000 spectators, which was once used for gladiatorial combat. It was built by Emperor Vespasian and his son, Titus, between AD 72 and AD 90. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea. The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero which once stood nearby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The several restoration works carried out through the ages, in order to keep them strong and steady, give reason for the good state of preservation of the set of walls built in the 3rd century AD: unlike other ancient buildings, they mantained their original function until the end of the 1800s. Many of the original gates are still in place, as well, and some of them have witnessed important historical facts.
Besides their importance during wartime, the city walls enabled the local authorities to keep under control the many people who every day entered or left Rome, as the only way in or out was through the gates: the doors were usually kept under sentry during daylight, and closed after dusk. And since a tax was usually imposed on people and goods entering the city, the gates yielded also a considerable income for the municipality.
Since its foundation, Rome has always adopted defensive means, to prevent the several populations surrounding the original nucleus from invading the city.
They are not one single structure, but several walls belonging to many periods. They were built with different techniques, according to the different weapons they had to face, from early enemies' stones, to catapults, to more powerful cannon balls.
Each of them will be therefore dealt with separately, as individual structures.
All of them are conventionally named after the ruler (king, emperor or pope) who had them built.
ROMULUS' WALLS
We know little about the very first defensive structures that protected Rome's original nucleus, over 2700 years ago; the top of two adjoining hills, the Capitolium and the Palatine, was enclosed by two separate walls; the one on the Palatine was probably rebuilt over a pre-roman structure, and protected Romulus's House, claimed to be the dwelling site of the mythical founder and first king of Rome.
Only few visible traces, both of the Palatine's and of the Capitolium's wall, now survive (the latter is shown on the left). Therefore, these are the only walls not dealt with by the following pages.
SERVIAN WALLS
(or REPUBLICAN WALLS)
They are named after Rome's sixth king Servius Tullius: by tradition, he was the first ruler to order the construction of an early defensive structure around the city. Also in this case it is impossible to state a precise date. According to reliable sources, by the 6th century BC the city of Rome could indeed rely on some sort of protection; nevertheless, there is enough proof that an actual wall was not built until the late 4th century BC (during Rome's republic, whence the other name). And a further extension, beyond the left banks of the river Tiber up to the top of the Janiculum hill, was built two centuries later.
Therefore, the evolution of this set of walls must have been rather complicated.The older defensive technique probably consisted of a sort of mound dug in the ground; the earth coming from the latter was simply used to make a long heap on the inside, as a further protection.
Later in time, a real set of walls was built in place of this primitive boundary. But along the north-eastern part of its perimeter, a deep mound with earth and stones piled by the inner base of the wall was still in use: this structure was called an agger (from the Latin ad gerere, "to bring, move towards").
The actual wall was built according to the dry-stone technique, i.e. without any mortar, large blocks were piled one on top of the other, in multiple rows. The porous stone is tufa (which in Rome was used for the making of buildings up to the early 1930s!).
Unfortunately, of these walls no more than a few fragments scattered in various parts of the city is now left.
Further data based on historical sources and archaeological excavations have enabled to define more or less precisely their full perimeter: by the end of the 4th century BC, the city boundaries enclosed the famous seven hills, or Septimontium, over which the city was originally built: the Capitolium and the Palatine (i.e. the early nucleus), the Aventine, the Esquiline, the Quirinal, the Viminal and the Coelian.
John Schou
Italy- 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
ChristPantocratorStCatherines.jpg
Jesus Christ, Pantocrator45 viewsThe iconic image of Christ Pantocrator (Christ, Ruler of All) was one of the first images of Christ developed in the Early Christian Church and remains a central icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the half-length image, Christ holds the New Testament in his left hand and blesses with his right.

The oldest known surviving example of the icon of Christ Pantocrator was painted in encaustic on panel in the sixth or seventh century, and survived the period of destruction of images during the Iconoclastic Disputes that racked the Eastern church, 726 A.D. to 815 A.D. and 813 A.D. to 843A.D., by being preserved in the remote desert of the Sinai, in Saint Catherine's Monastery. The gessoed panel, finely painted using a wax medium on a wooden panel, had been coarsely overpainted around the face and hands at some time around the thirteenth century. It was only when the overpainting was cleaned in 1962 that the ancient image was revealed to be a very high quality icon, probably produced in Constantinople (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Pantocrator).

The Christ Pantocrator Icon at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai

In 544 AD, a cloth bearing an image of Jesus was discovered hidden above a gate in Edessa's city walls. Six years later, an icon was produced at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai.
(See: http://www.shroudofturin4journalists.com/history.htm)

There are startling similarities between the icon and the image we see on the Shroud of Turin. There are, perhaps, too many similarities for it to be a mere coincidence.

The general placement of facial features including eyes, nose and mouth. In fact, when a transparency of the Shroud face is superimposed over the icon, there are no significant variations.

The hair on the left side (your right) falls on the shoulder and swoops outward. The hair on the other side is shorter.

The eyes are very large.

The nose is particularly thin and long. The face is gaunt.

There is a gap in the beard below a concentration of facial hair that is just below the lower lip.

The neck is particularly long.

It is particularly interesting to note that starting about this time a dramatic change took place in the way Jesus was portrayed on coins, icons, frescoes and mosaics. Before this time, Jesus was usually portrayed in storybook settings such as a young shepherd or modeled after the Greek Apollo.

After the discovery of the Edessa Cloth, images of Jesus were suddenly full-frontal facial images.

The story of the Shroud of Turin is fascinating. It began, for me, ironically when I thought the "story" had finally been laid to rest. Carbon 14 dating conducted in 1988 had just proved that the Shroud was medieval. Along with most, I accepted these results--the fact that two of my former Alma Maters (The University of Arizona and Oxford University) were involved in the testing lent a comfortable sense of closure (to give them their due, scientists from the Institut für Mittelenergiephysik in Zurich, Columbia University, and the British Museum were also involved in the tests). I was re-engaged by the Shroud story in 2005 when an article in the scholarly, peer-reviewed scientific journal Thermochimica Acta by an equally eminent scientist, Raymond N. Rogers, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, subverted the 1988 tests. Very briefly, the sample cut from the Shroud in 1988 was shown not to be valid. In fact, the article noted, the Shroud was much older than the carbon 14 tests suggested. Curiouser and curiouser. . . and I'll leave the story at this juncture. If you are interested, see the following site:
http://www.shroudofturin4journalists.com/pantocrator.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Gerasa.JPG
Jordan, Jerash (Ancient Gerasa), The Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus3 viewsThe Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, the Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus, with modern Jerash in the background.

Ancient Greek inscriptions from the city support that the city was founded by Alexander the Great and his general Perdiccas, who allegedly settled aged Macedonian soldiers there during the spring of 331 BC, when he left Egypt and crossed Syria en route to Mesopotamia. However, other sources, namely the city's former name of "Antioch on the Chrysorrhoas, point to a founding by Seleucid King Antioch IV, while still others attribute the founding to Ptolemy II of Egypt.

After the Roman conquest in 63 BC, Jerash and the land surrounding it were annexed to the Roman province of Syria, and later joined the Decapolis league of cities. The historian Josephus mentions the city as being principally inhabited by Syrians, and also having a small Jewish community.[19] In AD 106, Jerash was absorbed into the Roman province of Arabia, which included the city of Philadelphia (modern day Amman). The Romans ensured security and peace in this area, which enabled its people to devote their efforts and time to economic development and encouraged civic building activity.[20]

Jerash is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. And is sometimes misleadingly referred to as the "Pompeii of the Middle East" or of Asia, referring to its size, extent of excavation and level of preservation.

Jerash was the birthplace of the mathematician Nicomachus of Gerasa (Greek: Νικόμαχος) (c. 60 – c. 120 AD).

In the second half of the 1st century AD, the city of Jerash achieved great prosperity. In AD 106, the Emperor Trajan constructed roads throughout the province, and more trade came to Jerash. The Emperor Hadrian visited Jerash in AD 129–130. The triumphal arch (or Arch of Hadrian) was built to celebrate his visit.

The city finally reached a size of about 800,000 square meters within its walls. The Persian invasion in AD 614 caused the rapid decline of Jerash. Beneath the foundations of a Byzantine church that was built in Jerash in AD 530 there was discovered a mosaic floor with ancient Greek and Hebrew-Aramaic inscriptions. The presence of the Hebrew-Aramaic script has led scholars to think that the place was formerly a synagogue, before being converted into a church.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerash

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Place_ovale_de_Gerasa_new.JPG
Azurfrog, 2 November 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Joe Sermarini
Kent_13.jpg
Kent 1319 viewsObv: KENTISH LIBERTY PRESERVED BY VIRTUE & COURAGE, Kentish men meeting William the Conqueror, who is on horseback, 1067 below.

Rev: PROSPERITY TO THE WOODEN WALLS OF OLD ENGLAND, the stern of the ROYAL GEORGE, KENT HALFPENNY / 1795 / TDH.

Edge: PAYABLE AT THO’S HAYCRAFTS DEBTFORD

Half Penny Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Kent 13
SPQR Coins
Sear-2220(1).jpg
Kingdom of Thessalonica: John Comnenus-Ducas (1237-1242) BI Small Module Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2220; DOC IV, Type V B.35; CLBC 14.26.3; Lianta 424)16 viewsObv: Wing to left or to right
Rev: Winged, beardless bust of emperor, wearing stemma, divitision and collar-piece; holds in right hand sword resting over shoulder or jeweled scepter, and in left, anexikakia; surmounting the crenelated walls of a city
Quant.Geek
Sear-2220.jpg
Kingdom of Thessalonica: John Comnenus-Ducas (1237-1242) BI Small Module Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2220; DOC IV, Type V B.35; CLBC 14.26.3; Lianta 424)10 viewsObv: Wing to left or to right
Rev: Winged, beardless bust of emperor, wearing stemma, divitision and collar-piece; holds in right hand sword resting over shoulder or jeweled scepter, and in left, anexikakia; surmounting the crenelated walls of a city
Quant.Geek
Laodicée Antonin.jpg
Laodicea (Lattakieh, Syria) - Antoninus Pius29 viewsIllegible legend mostly out of flan , laureate bust of Antoninus Pius right
IOVΛIEωN TωN KAI ΛAODIKEωN , turreted bust of Tyche right ; to the right ΘE, to the left HΠP : year 188 = 140-141 AD.
24 mm

The crown of the Tyche is a model of the city walls, with the arched gate flanked by two towers.
Ginolerhino
Macrinus.jpg
MACRIANUS. BITHYNIA, NICAEA5 viewsMACRIANUS. BITHYNIA, NICAEA. 260/1 AD. THE CITY WALLS OF NICAEA FROM AN ARIAL PERSPECTIVE. AE 25MM, 7.2GM. R.G. 867 AND PLATE 88. ; SNG von Aulock 733; SNG Cop 543. O: ΤΙ ΦΟΥΛ ΙΟΥ ΜΑΚΡΙΑΝΟΣ ΣΕΒ, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. R: ΝΙΚΑΙΕΩΝ, aerial view of the city-walls in the shape of an octagon; arched central gateways above and below.
Ancient Aussie
Maximianus8.jpg
MAXIMIANUS AR Argentus, RIC VI 27b, Four Tetrarchs25 viewsOBV: MAXIMIANVS AVG, laureate head right
REV: VIRTVS MILITVM, four tetrarchs sacrificing before walls with 8 turrets


Minted at Rome, 286-305 AD
Legatus
maximusprincRIC3.jpg
Maximus / Princeps89 viewsMaximus (Caesar, 235/6-238). AR Denarius Rome mint, 236-7.
O: MAXIMVS CAES GERM; Bareheaded and draped bust right
R: PRINC IVVENTVTIS; Maximus standing left, holding baton and spear; two signa to right
- RIC IV 3; RSC 10

Gaius Julius Verus Maximus (Maximvs Caesar) was the son of Maximinus I Thrax. Maximus was most likely given the rank of Caesar at the same time or shortly after his father assumed the rank of Augustus. He was reportedly a very handsome youth. Maximvs Caesar was loyal to his father and remained by his side during his campaign on the Danube. He was also present at the disastrous siege of Aquileia in 238 AD.

After the revolt of Gordian I and Gordian II and ascension of Balbinus and Pupienus, Maximinus and Maximus marched on Rome. They first reached the city of Aquileia, expecting an easy victory as the city's walls had long been in disrepair. However, under the leadership of senators Rutilius Pudens Crispinus and Tullus Menophilus, the walls had been repaired and the city rallied to defend itself in a siege. The Aquileians had plenty of food and good morale.

According to Herodian of Antioch, "The army of Maximinus grew depressed and, cheated in its expectations, fell into despair when the soldiers found that those whom they had not expected to hold out against a single assault were not only offering stout resistance but were even beating them back. The Aquileians, on the other hand, were greatly encouraged and highly enthusiastic, and, as the battle continued, their skill and daring increased. Contemptuous of the soldiers now, they hurled taunts at them. As Maximinus rode about, they shouted insults and indecent blasphemies at him and his son. The emperor became increasingly angry because he was powerless to retaliate. Unable to vent his wrath upon the enemy, he was enraged at most of his troop commanders because they were pressing the siege in cowardly and halfhearted fashion. Consequently, the hatred of his supporters increased, and his enemies grew more contemptuous of him each day."

Condemned by the Senate, Maximus and his father were murdered by their own troops just outside Aquileia on June 24th, 238 AD.
2 commentsNemonater
Michael_VIII_Palaeologus_hyperpyron.jpg
Michael VIII Palaeologus. 1261-1282. AV hyperpyron34 viewsMichael VIII Palaeologus. 1261-1282. AV hyperpyron (26 mm, 4.20 g, 6 h). Class IIa. Constantinople. Half-length figure of the Virgin facing, orans, within city walls with six towers; sigla: K | M / Michael facing, kneeling slightly right and being presented by Archangel Michael to Christ seated facing to right and holding Gospel book. DOC 15; PCPC 5 (sigla -, but cf. 23 [two pellets on rev.]); SB 2243. Minor hairline die-break in obverse margin, slight double strike on reverse. Good very fine.
Ex CNG E374 (11 May 2016), 633; Malter 81 (29 September 2002), 524. (Although the one online source I saw had a different coin in Malter 81)
Chance Vandal
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Morocco, Lixus64 viewsLixus is the site of an ancient Roman city located in Morocco just north of the modern seaport of Larache on the bank of the Loukkos River. The location was one of the main cities of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana .

Ancient Lixus is located on Tchemmich Hill on the right bank of the Loukkos River (other names: Oued Loukous; Locus River), just to the north of the modern seaport of Larache. The site lies within the urban perimeter of Larache, and about three kilometers inland from the mouth of the river and the Atlantic ocean. From its 80 meters above the plain the site dominates the marshes through which the river flows. To the north, Lixus is surrounded by hills which themselves are bordered to the north and east by a forest of cork oaks.

Among the ruins there are Roman baths, temples, 4th century walls, a mosaic floor, a Christian church and the intricate and confusing remains of the Capitol Hill.

Lixus was first settled by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was later annexed by Carthage. Lixus was part of a chain of Phoenician/Carthaginian settlements along the Atlantic coast of modern Morocco; other major settlements further to the south are Chellah (called Sala Colonia by the Romans) and Mogador. When Carthage fell to Ancient Rome, Lixus, Chellah and Mogador became imperial outposts of the Roman province Mauretania Tingitana.

The ancient sources agree to make of Lixus a counter Phoenician, which is confirmed by the archaeological discovery of material dating from 8th century BC. It gradually grew in importance, later coming under Carthaginian domination. After the destruction of Carthage, Lixus fell to Roman control and was made an imperial colony, reaching its zenith during the reign of the emperor Claudius I (AD 41-54).

Some ancient Greek writers located at Lixus the mythological garden of the Hesperides, the keepers of the golden apples. The name of the city was often mentioned by writers from Hanno the Navigator to the Geographer of Ravenna, and confirmed by the legend on its coins and by an inscription. The ancients believed Lixus to be the site of the Garden of the Hesperides and of a sanctuary of Hercules, where Hercules gathered gold apples, more ancient than the one at Cadiz, Spain. However, there are no grounds for the claim that Lixus was founded at the end of the second millennium BC.

Lixus flourished during the Roman Empire, mainly when Claudius established a Roman Colonia with full rights for the citizens. Lixus was one of the few Roman cities in Berber Africa that enjoyed an amphitheater: the amphitheater at Lixus. In the third century Lixus become nearly fully Christian and there are even now the ruins of a paleochristian church overlooking the archeological area. The Arab invasions destroyed the Roman city. Some berber life was maintained there nevertheless until one century after the Islamic conquest of North Africa by the presence of a mosque and a house with patio with the covered walls of painted stuccos.

The site was excavated continuously from 1948 to 1969. In the 1960s, Lixus was restored and consolidated. In 1989, following an international conference which brought together many scientists, specialists, historians and archaeologists of the Mediterranean around the history and archaeology of Lixus, the site was partly enclosed. Work was undertaken to study the Roman mosaics of the site, which constitute a very rich unit. In addition to the vestiges interesting to discover the such mosaics whose one of sixty meters representing Poseidon. Lixus was on a surface of approximately 75 hectares (190 acres). The excavated zones constitute approximately 20% of the total surface of the site.

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 1, 1995 in the Cultural category.
Joe Sermarini
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Morocco, Volubilis Capitol58 viewsTo the south of the basilica stands the capitol, a temple dedicated to the Roman Capitoline triad, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. It is composed of a single cella reached by thirteen steps. Four other chapels complete the complex, of which one was dedicated to the goddess Venus. The temple was reconstructed in 218 C.E. by Macrinus, as is indicated by an inscription found in 1924. The temple’s porticos were restored in 1955. In 1962, restoration work started again; the stairs were restored (only three steps remained out of the original thirteen), and the walls of the cella as well as the architectural elements (column drums, bases and capitals) were restored. Franz-Josef M
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Nero / Caius Cestius Gallus61 viewsSELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Nero. AD 54-68. Æ As (30.5mm, 15.36 g, 12h).
Caius Cestius Gallus, legatus Syriae. Dated year 115 of the Caesarean Era (AD 66/7).
O: Laureate head right; coiled serpent to right. IM • NER • CLAV • CAESAR
R: ЄΠI ΓAIOY KЄCTIO Y ΛNTIO ЄT • ЄIP in five lines within wreath (In the magistracy of Gaius Cestius, Antioch, year 115)
- McAlee 294 = Superior, (9 December 1989), lot 2827 (same dies); RPC I – Extremely rare, the second known.

Josephus lays much of the blame for the Jewish revolt at the feet of Florus, the Roman procurator of Judaea. Florus was notorious for his cruelty and greed. In 66 C.E. he demanded 17 talents from the temple treasury, using the pretense that it was needed by the Emperor. The Jews refused, ridiculing his request by taking up a mock collection for the “poor Florus.”

Florus responded by sending troops to loot and pillage the Upper-Marketplace in Jerusalem. Thousands of Jews were killed, including woman and children. Rather than bringing the city under control, Josephus reasons, “What more need be said? It was Florus who constrained us to take up war with the Romans, for we preferred to perish together rather than by degrees. The war in fact began in the second year of the procuratorship of Florus and in the twelfth of Nero's reign.”

The Sicarii, or “dagger-men,” took the fortress of Masada and killed the Roman garrison stationed there, establishing the first rebel stronghold. The fortress of Antonia was also captured and the Roman soldiers stationed there were slain. The remaining Roman holdouts surrendered under the agreement that their lives would be spared but they too were slaughtered. At the same time, the daily sacrifices for the Emperor were discontinued. A mixture of elation and fear gripped Jerusalem as they awaited the inevitable Roman response.

Gaius Cestius Gallus, Legate of Syria in 66 C.E., was the response. On Nero’s order, he assembled a force at Antioch comprised of legio XII Fulminata, detachments from the three other legions based in Syria, six cohorts of auxiliary infantry and four alae of cavalry. He also had military support from the Jewish ruler Herod Agrippa II and two other client kings, Antiochus IV of Commagene and Sohaemus of Emesa.

Within three months Gallus, with his force of over 30,000 troops, began working their way down from Galilee to Jerusalem, attacking key cities such as Chabulon, Joppa and Antipatris. Although enduring successful raids from the rebels, the Romans finally enter and set fire to the suburbs of Jerusalem as the rebels retreated to the safety of the temple fortress.

After setting fire to Bezetha, north of the temple, Gallus encamped in front of the royal palace, southwest of the temple. At that time, Josephus says he could have easily taken the city since pro-Roman Jews were ready to open the gates of the city for him. A six day delay, however, strengthened the insurgents. The zealots attacked and killed the pro-peace faction in the city, murdering their leaders, then assaulted the Romans from the wall. The advance units of the Romans employ the Testudo, overlapping their shields over themselves like the back of a tortoise, and began undermining the walls. After five days they are on the verge of success when, for an undetermined cause, Gallus called off the attack. In History of the Jews, Professor Heinrich Graetz suggests: “[Cestius Gallus] did not deem it advisable to continue the combat against heroic enthusiasts and embark on a lengthy campaign at that season, when the autumn rains would soon commence . . . and might prevent the army from receiving provisions. On that account probably he thought it more prudent to retrace his steps.” Whatever the reason, Gallus decided to abruptly leave Jerusalem.

Gallus, with evidently little battlefield experience, suffered one humiliating defeat after another during the retreat. By the battles end the losses amounted to 5,300 infantry, 480 cavalry, all the pack animals, artillery and the eagle standard of the legio XII Fulminata. With the rebels emboldened by their shocking victory, the stage is set for the Romans to return in greater force. This time, however, Nero would send general Vespasian.

Cestius Gallus died a broken man in 67 C.E. Tacitus described the outbreak of the revolt to Gallus death as follows: “the endurance of the Jews lasted till Gessius Florus was procurator. In his time the war broke out. Cestius Gallus, legate of Syria, who attempted to crush it, had to fight several battles, generally with ill-success. Cestius dying, either in the course of nature, or from vexation.” - The Histories V
4 commentsNemonater
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Nero, RIC 265, Sestertius of AD 66 (Temple of Janus) 110 viewsÆ sestertius (28.86g, Ø35.95mm, 6h), Rome mint, struck ca. AD 65.
Obv.: NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head of Nero facing left.
Rev.: PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT (around) S C (in field), Janus temple with closed double doors right.

RIC 265; BMCRE 160; CBN 373; Cohen 144; Mac Dowall (The Western Coinages of Nero, ANS NNM 161) 153; cf. Sear (Roman Roins & Their Values I) 1958 - for a similar issue from Lugdunum with a variant form of obverse type

Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear, Ancient Coin Certification Service (A.C.C.S.) on November 3, 2014, Ref 061CR/RI/CR/E .

Historical background (by David Sear): The reverse depicts the "Twin Janus" (IANVS GEMINVS) and relates to the achievements of the celebrated Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. His victories in the East led to a settlement with Parthia over the vexed Armenian question, occasioning the ceremonial closing of the doors of the "Twin Janus" signifying peace throughout the empire (AD 65). The nature of this curious structure, situated in the Roman Forum, is best explained by John Melville Jones in A Dictionary of Ancient Coins - "It consisted of two arched gateways joined by walls, without a roof. When the Roman went to war, the gates were opened and when they were at peace, the gates were shut. The structure was not a temple in the strict sense of the word and was referred to as "the Janus". It is represented on coins of Nero, some of which show it from one side and others from the opposite side, so that it is clear it had gates at each end. The accompanying inscription translates to: "Peace being provided on land and sea for the Roman People, he closed the Janus"
2 commentsCharles S
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New World, Peru383 viewsThe ancient walls of the huge 15th Cent. Inca fortress known as Sacsayhuaman, elevation 12,000 feet above sea level. The fortress was incomplete at the time of the Spanish conquest. Most of the smaller wrought stones were removed by the Spanish invaders to build homes and cathedrals in the ancient Inca Capital of Cuzco in the valley 1,000 feet below. The existant stones seen in the photo, weighing many 1,000's of tons, were too large for the invaders to easily to remove, and they remain in situe.Mayadigger
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Pergamon54 viewsThe oldest section of Pergamon, the acropolis or upper city, sits on an impressive steep ridge between two tributaries of the Caicus river. The ridge is naturally fortified on all but the S side which slopes down to the Caicus valley floor. The Caicus valley provides access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast and the port town of Elaea in the W and the Persian Royal Road to the E.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleisthenes
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Phoenicia, Tripolis, Elagabal, BMC 118 ff.34 viewsElagabal, AD 218-222
AE 27, 13.71g
struck 219/220 (year 531)
obv. AVTO KM [AVR] - ANTWNEINOC
bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. TRI - PO - LI - TWN around
temple of Astarte with tripartite propylon and obliquely applied perron; central part with
arched gable and broad lintel, about it sun (or wreath?), both side wings tetrastyle with
trigonal pediments, in the background high back wall with saddle roof of the very
sanctuary; in the centre cult statue of Astarte in long garment and wearing kalathos, stg.
facing, holding sceptre in r. hand, r. beside it cippus with Nike holding wreath in raised r.
hand to crown Astarte.
[in ex. ALF (= year 531 of Seleucide era)]
ref.: BMC 118 ff.; SNG Copenhagen 291 var.
VF, brown patina with red-brown deposits

Propylon = portal building which leads into the actual sanctuary (temenon, usually bounded by walls), mostly with an uneven number of portals.
Jochen
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Phokaia, Ionia, c. 530 - 510 B.C.115 viewsSilver hemiobol, BMC Ionia p. 215, 82, aVF, 1.037g, 8.5mm, 3.17mm thick, Phokaia mint, 530 - 510 B.C.; Obv. head of griffin left,(seal on right at edge of flan?) Rev. rough quadripartite incuse square. Among the earliest silver coins minted!

Die match; http://www.asiaminorcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=135&pid=7204#top_display_media

Ex Forvm Ancient Coins

Photo by Forvm Ancient Coins

Background Information:

Phokaia (Phocaea) (modern day Foca, Turkey), northern most of the Ionian cities, located on the western coast of Anatolia (asia minor), at the mouth of the river Hermus (now Gediz), and between the Gulf of Smyrna (now Izmir) to the south and the Gulf of Cyme to the north. Phokaia had a thriving seafaring economy and a powerful naval fleet. It was one of the largest cities of the ancient world. Herodotus described the walls of the city as having a diameter of 5 kilometers. Probably following the Lydians, the Phocaeans were among the earliest in the world to make and use coins as money. Source of background info, Wikipedia
5 commentsSteve E
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Pisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. 105 viewsPisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. AE 22mm (5.21 gm). Obverse: Laureate, head left. Reverse: Mên standing facing, head right, foot on bucranium, holding sceptre and Nike on globe; cock at feet left. SNG France 3, 1118. Cleaning scratches, very fine. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
MISC_Ragusa.JPG
Ragusa (now, Dubrovnik, Croatia)65 viewsCNI VI Type 6, Group 2, Mimica Type XVII, Resetar Type 17

AE minca (follaro), 17-18 mm. Struck ca. 1546-1551.

Obv: • MONETA—RACVSII, Laureate female head left, hair bunched in back.

Rev: • CIVITAS • • RACVSII, City walls with three towers and one gate, double line (stylized harbor) below.

Note: This coin does not appear to match any of the specific coins identified in the references, but seems to fall within the types indicated above.
Stkp
86308q00~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Emerita, Hispania Lusitania14 viewsSH84707. Silver denarius, RIC I 9b, RSC I 398, BMCRE I 291, BMCRR Spain 128, BnF I 1039, Hunter I 124, SRCV I 1627 var. (head right), gVF, full circle centering on a broad flan, mint luster, weak strike areas, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.775 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 90o, Emerita Augusta (Merida, Spain) mint, P. Carisius, c. 25 - 23 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR AVGVST, bare head left; reverse P CARISIVS LEG PRO PR (P. Carisius Legatus [Augusti] pro Praetore), bird's-eye view of town with walls around, EMERITA inscribed above gateway in front with three battlements over two arched entrances; from the Marcelo Leal CollectionJoe Sermarini
salonina sest.jpg
SALONINA sestertius - c.255-256 AD66 viewsobv: CORNELIA.SA[L]O[NINA.AVG] (diademed & draped bust right)
rev: IVNO.REGINA / S.C. (Juno standing left, holding patera & scepter)
ref: RIC Vi-46, C.62
mint: Rome
21.11gms, 26-29mm
Rare
Wife of Gallienus, and mother of Valerianus II, Saloninus, and Egnatius Marinianus. She was married to Gallienus before 242. Salonina saw the murder of her husband in 268, in front of the walls of sieged Milan.
berserker
micro 2.jpg
Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) - 1/8 shekel (Vth C. BC)19 viewsObv.: galley sailing left bfore the walls of Sidon, beneath lion (?) left.
Rev.: bearded deity standing right shooting with bow ; countermark
8 mm
Ginolerhino
micro 1.jpg
Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) - 1/8 shekel (Vth C. BC)12 viewsObv.: galley sailing left before the walls of Sidon
Rev.: bearded deity standing right, shooting with bow.
8 mm
Ginolerhino
ger.JPG
Slovakia, Gerulata 177 viewsRoman military camp located near today's Rusovce, a borough of Bratislava, Slovakia. It was part of the Roman province Pannonia and built in the 2nd century as a part of the Limes Romanus system. It was abandoned in the 4th century, when Roman legions withdrew from Pannonia.

Today there is a museum, which is part of the Bratislava City Museum.

The most preserved object is a quadrilateral building 30 metres long and 30 metres wide, with 2.4 metre thick walls.
Bohemian
Segóbriga_Ampitheater.jpg
Spain, Segobriga - Ampitheater49 viewsSegobriga is a former Roman city near Saelices, in the province of Cuenca in Spain. It is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites of the Spanish Meseta. The name Segóbriga derives from two words: "Sego" meaning victory and "briga" meaning city fortress. The translation would be "City of the Victory" or "Victorious City." The site includes an amphitheatre, theater, the city walls and gates, two thermal buildings or Roman baths, and the Forum. There is also a necropolis, and the circus (Roman race track) is being excavated - its outline can be seen from the top of the hill.

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

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

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

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

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

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theater_Segobriga.jpg
Photographer: Art Davis
25 September 2011
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Joe Sermarini
Spain- Taragona- Entrance to the Roman Circus.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Entrance to the Roman Circus and Provicial Forum29 viewsThe Roman Circus


The circus was the most popular of the buildings used for spectacles during Roman times. This was where chariot races were held (with two or four horse chariots). It was build in the late 1st century AD and was part of a large monumental area organized into three terraces, of which it occupied the lower one. The circus is exceptionally well preserved and sections of the ruins can be seen in some of the business in the Placa de la Font (square) and Trinquet Vell Street, as well as in the interior of the Pizzeria Pulvinar and in the Placa Sedassos.
The circus was constructed on strong cement vaults that served a twin purpose. They were the foundations on which the stands, staircases and upper platforms were built, as well as the interior corridors through which the spectators could move about the whole building. It was in use until the 5th century.
During the Middle Age (12th and 13th centuries) the wall separating the circus and forum was turned into a defensive wall (Mur vell). The area of the circus remained outside the walls. It became known as the “corral” and was used for industrial and mercantile activities. In the time of king Pere III “the Ceremonious” the threat of war caused it to be reincorporated into the walled area when a second defensive line known as La Muralleta was built along the façade of the circus in 1368.
The circus was partially destroyed by Napoleon´s troops in 1813.

Provincial Forum

The Provincial Forum was built in the upper part of the city around the year 73 AD, during the time of the emperor Vespasian, and functed as the political and economic administrative center of the province.
It was laid out on two terraces, taking advantage of the slope of the terrain. The upper terrace was the site of the Imperial worship area, and lower terrace housed the Plaza of Representation, from where the whole province was administered. This is where such important buildings as the tabularium (state archive) and the arca (state treasury) were located.
The Forum was a large square with gardens and was bordered on three sides by colonnades and a series of galleries situated on different levels. To provide access to the different areas there were lateral towers housing stairways. The Praetorian Tower was one of these.
With the restoration of the city after 1129, the tower was converted into a residence, initially for the Norman, Robert Bordet. From 1171, it was the King´s castle and for brief periods members of the royal family lived there. During the time of James I and also of Peter III it underwent major restauration work.
By the end of the 15th century the building was no longer used as a royal residence. It took on a military role until the arrival in the city of Napoleon´s army in 1811. From the middle of the 19th century it was the Provincial Prison, and since 1971 it has been a museum
John Schou
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus inside 1.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus inside 126 viewsThe Roman Circus

The circus was the most popular of the buildings used for spectacles during Roman times. This was where chariot races were held (with two or four horse chariots). It was build in the late 1st century AD and was part of a large monumental area organized into three terraces, of which it occupied the lower one. The circus is exceptionally well preserved and sections of the ruins can be seen in some of the business in the Placa de la Font (square) and Trinquet Vell Street, as well as in the interior of the Pizzeria Pulvinar and in the Placa Sedassos.
The circus was constructed on strong cement vaults that served a twin purpose. They were the foundations on which the stands, staircases and upper platforms were built, as well as the interior corridors through which the spectators could move about the whole building. It was in use until the 5th century.
During the Middle Age (12th and 13th centuries) the wall separating the circus and forum was turned into a defensive wall (Mur vell). The area of the circus remained outside the walls. It became known as the “corral” and was used for industrial and mercantile activities. In the time of king Pere III “the Ceremonious” the threat of war caused it to be reincorporated into the walled area when a second defensive line known as La Muralleta was built along the façade of the circus in 1368.
The circus was partially destroyed by Napoleon´s troops in 1813.
John Schou
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus inside Tunnels.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus inside Tunnels31 viewsThe Roman Circus


The circus was the most popular of the buildings used for spectacles during Roman times. This was where chariot races were held (with two or four horse chariots). It was build in the late 1st century AD and was part of a large monumental area organized into three terraces, of which it occupied the lower one. The circus is exceptionally well preserved and sections of the ruins can be seen in some of the business in the Placa de la Font (square) and Trinquet Vell Street, as well as in the interior of the Pizzeria Pulvinar and in the Placa Sedassos.
The circus was constructed on strong cement vaults that served a twin purpose. They were the foundations on which the stands, staircases and upper platforms were built, as well as the interior corridors through which the spectators could move about the whole building. It was in use until the 5th century.
During the Middle Age (12th and 13th centuries) the wall separating the circus and forum was turned into a defensive wall (Mur vell). The area of the circus remained outside the walls. It became known as the “corral” and was used for industrial and mercantile activities. In the time of king Pere III “the Ceremonious” the threat of war caused it to be reincorporated into the walled area when a second defensive line known as La Muralleta was built along the façade of the circus in 1368.
The circus was partially destroyed by Napoleon´s troops in 1813.

Provincial Forum

The Provincial Forum was built in the upper part of the city around the year 73 AD, during the time of the emperor Vespasian, and functed as the political and economic administrative center of the province.
It was laid out on two terraces, taking advantage of the slope of the terrain. The upper terrace was the site of the Imperial worship area, and lower terrace housed the Plaza of Representation, from where the whole province was administered. This is where such important buildings as the tabularium (state archive) and the arca (state treasury) were located.
The Forum was a large square with gardens and was bordered on three sides by colonnades and a series of galleries situated on different levels. To provide access to the different areas there were lateral towers housing stairways. The Praetorian Tower was one of these.
With the restoration of the city after 1129, the tower was converted into a residence, initially for the Norman, Robert Bordet. From 1171, it was the King´s castle and for brief periods members of the royal family lived there. During the time of James I and also of Peter III it underwent major restauration work.
By the end of the 15th century the building was no longer used as a royal residence. It took on a military role until the arrival in the city of Napoleon´s army in 1811. From the middle of the 19th century it was the Provincial Prison, and since 1971 it has been a museum
John Schou
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus inside Tunnels 1.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus inside Tunnels 119 viewsThe Roman Circus


The circus was the most popular of the buildings used for spectacles during Roman times. This was where chariot races were held (with two or four horse chariots). It was build in the late 1st century AD and was part of a large monumental area organized into three terraces, of which it occupied the lower one. The circus is exceptionally well preserved and sections of the ruins can be seen in some of the business in the Placa de la Font (square) and Trinquet Vell Street, as well as in the interior of the Pizzeria Pulvinar and in the Placa Sedassos.
The circus was constructed on strong cement vaults that served a twin purpose. They were the foundations on which the stands, staircases and upper platforms were built, as well as the interior corridors through which the spectators could move about the whole building. It was in use until the 5th century.
During the Middle Age (12th and 13th centuries) the wall separating the circus and forum was turned into a defensive wall (Mur vell). The area of the circus remained outside the walls. It became known as the “corral” and was used for industrial and mercantile activities. In the time of king Pere III “the Ceremonious” the threat of war caused it to be reincorporated into the walled area when a second defensive line known as La Muralleta was built along the façade of the circus in 1368.
The circus was partially destroyed by Napoleon´s troops in 1813.

Provincial Forum

The Provincial Forum was built in the upper part of the city around the year 73 AD, during the time of the emperor Vespasian, and functed as the political and economic administrative center of the province.
It was laid out on two terraces, taking advantage of the slope of the terrain. The upper terrace was the site of the Imperial worship area, and lower terrace housed the Plaza of Representation, from where the whole province was administered. This is where such important buildings as the tabularium (state archive) and the arca (state treasury) were located.
The Forum was a large square with gardens and was bordered on three sides by colonnades and a series of galleries situated on different levels. To provide access to the different areas there were lateral towers housing stairways. The Praetorian Tower was one of these.
With the restoration of the city after 1129, the tower was converted into a residence, initially for the Norman, Robert Bordet. From 1171, it was the King´s castle and for brief periods members of the royal family lived there. During the time of James I and also of Peter III it underwent major restauration work.
By the end of the 15th century the building was no longer used as a royal residence. It took on a military role until the arrival in the city of Napoleon´s army in 1811. From the middle of the 19th century it was the Provincial Prison, and since 1971 it has been a museum
John Schou
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus Model.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus Model21 viewsThe Roman Circus


The circus was the most popular of the buildings used for spectacles during Roman times. This was where chariot races were held (with two or four horse chariots). It was build in the late 1st century AD and was part of a large monumental area organized into three terraces, of which it occupied the lower one. The circus is exceptionally well preserved and sections of the ruins can be seen in some of the business in the Placa de la Font (square) and Trinquet Vell Street, as well as in the interior of the Pizzeria Pulvinar and in the Placa Sedassos.
The circus was constructed on strong cement vaults that served a twin purpose. They were the foundations on which the stands, staircases and upper platforms were built, as well as the interior corridors through which the spectators could move about the whole building. It was in use until the 5th century.
During the Middle Age (12th and 13th centuries) the wall separating the circus and forum was turned into a defensive wall (Mur vell). The area of the circus remained outside the walls. It became known as the “corral” and was used for industrial and mercantile activities. In the time of king Pere III “the Ceremonious” the threat of war caused it to be reincorporated into the walled area when a second defensive line known as La Muralleta was built along the façade of the circus in 1368.
The circus was partially destroyed by Napoleon´s troops in 1813.

Provincial Forum

The Provincial Forum was built in the upper part of the city around the year 73 AD, during the time of the emperor Vespasian, and functed as the political and economic administrative center of the province.
It was laid out on two terraces, taking advantage of the slope of the terrain. The upper terrace was the site of the Imperial worship area, and lower terrace housed the Plaza of Representation, from where the whole province was administered. This is where such important buildings as the tabularium (state archive) and the arca (state treasury) were located.
The Forum was a large square with gardens and was bordered on three sides by colonnades and a series of galleries situated on different levels. To provide access to the different areas there were lateral towers housing stairways. The Praetorian Tower was one of these.
With the restoration of the city after 1129, the tower was converted into a residence, initially for the Norman, Robert Bordet. From 1171, it was the King´s castle and for brief periods members of the royal family lived there. During the time of James I and also of Peter III it underwent major restauration work.
By the end of the 15th century the building was no longer used as a royal residence. It took on a military role until the arrival in the city of Napoleon´s army in 1811. From the middle of the 19th century it was the Provincial Prison, and since 1971 it has been a museum
John Schou
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus Model fracture.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Roman Circus Model fracture37 viewsThe Roman Circus


The circus was the most popular of the buildings used for spectacles during Roman times. This was where chariot races were held (with two or four horse chariots). It was build in the late 1st century AD and was part of a large monumental area organized into three terraces, of which it occupied the lower one. The circus is exceptionally well preserved and sections of the ruins can be seen in some of the business in the Placa de la Font (square) and Trinquet Vell Street, as well as in the interior of the Pizzeria Pulvinar and in the Placa Sedassos.
The circus was constructed on strong cement vaults that served a twin purpose. They were the foundations on which the stands, staircases and upper platforms were built, as well as the interior corridors through which the spectators could move about the whole building. It was in use until the 5th century.
During the Middle Age (12th and 13th centuries) the wall separating the circus and forum was turned into a defensive wall (Mur vell). The area of the circus remained outside the walls. It became known as the “corral” and was used for industrial and mercantile activities. In the time of king Pere III “the Ceremonious” the threat of war caused it to be reincorporated into the walled area when a second defensive line known as La Muralleta was built along the façade of the circus in 1368.
The circus was partially destroyed by Napoleon´s troops in 1813.

Provincial Forum

The Provincial Forum was built in the upper part of the city around the year 73 AD, during the time of the emperor Vespasian, and functed as the political and economic administrative center of the province.
It was laid out on two terraces, taking advantage of the slope of the terrain. The upper terrace was the site of the Imperial worship area, and lower terrace housed the Plaza of Representation, from where the whole province was administered. This is where such important buildings as the tabularium (state archive) and the arca (state treasury) were located.
The Forum was a large square with gardens and was bordered on three sides by colonnades and a series of galleries situated on different levels. To provide access to the different areas there were lateral towers housing stairways. The Praetorian Tower was one of these.
With the restoration of the city after 1129, the tower was converted into a residence, initially for the Norman, Robert Bordet. From 1171, it was the King´s castle and for brief periods members of the royal family lived there. During the time of James I and also of Peter III it underwent major restauration work.
By the end of the 15th century the building was no longer used as a royal residence. It took on a military role until the arrival in the city of Napoleon´s army in 1811. From the middle of the 19th century it was the Provincial Prison, and since 1971 it has been a museum
John Schou
coins61.JPG
Syria, Apameia23 viewsApamea is located on the right bank of the Orontes river about 55 km to the north west of Hama. It overlooks the Ghab valley and was built by Seleucus Nicator, the first king of the Seleucids in Syria in 300 BC. He named it after his parisian wife, Afamea.

The city flourished to an extent that its population numbered half a million. As an Eastern crossroads, it received many distinguished visitors: Cleopetra, Septimus Severus and the Emperor Caracalla. In the Christian era, Apamea became a center of philosophy and thought, especially of Monophostism.

Most of the uncovered ruins in it date back to the Roman and Byzantine ages. It is distinguished for its high walls and the main thoroughfare surrounded by columns with twisted fluting. The street is 1850 meters long and 87 meters wide. The ruins of the Roman theater which have been frequently disturbed, are now a great mass of stone.

Its colonnade (The Cardo Maximus) is 145 meters long. Erected in the 2nd century, it was destroyed in the 12th century by two violent earthquakes; some columns are still standing nevertheless.

To the west of the city, stands the Mudiq citadel, which once formed a defense line along the Orontes.

Fierce battles with Crusaders attempting to conquer it took place in the 12th century, and Nour Eddin finally surrendered it in 1149.

The citadel has huge towers, overlooking the Ghab valley. It also has a Khan (Inn) built by Ottomans in the 16th century which was transformed into an archaeological museum housing Apamea's wonderful mosaics, paintings, and 15,000 cuneiform clay tablets.

Apameia, Syria: Athena / Nike

2nd c. BC. 22mm. Helmeted bust of Athena right / Nike walking left, As SG 5868 but variant legend. aVF. Ex-Sayles
ecoli
Taras_V836.JPG
Taras, Calabria142 views272-235 BC (Period VIII - The Roman Alliance I)
AR Didrachm (18mm, 6.50g)
Lykinos magistrate.
O: Naked boy on horse pacing left, placing wreath on horse's head; ΣY above, ΛYKI - NOΣ (magistrate) in two lines below.
R: Taras astride dolphin left, hurling trident with right hand, chlamys wrapped around left arm; owl behind, TA-PA[Σ] below.
Vlasto 836; Evans VIII, A8; Cote 473; cf McGill II, 92; SNG ANS 1165; SNG Cop 916; SNG France 1999; HN Italy 1025; Sear 374v
ex Olympvs Coins

Following Pyrrhus’ withdrawal Taras was forced to submit to a Roman garrison in 272 BC, although the relationship did not remain entirely antagonistic. Taras remained a free port, the city’s walls were rebuilt by the time of the First Punic War, and they even provided Rome with ships during that struggle.
This would change drastically however when Taras threw in with Hannibal during the Second Punic War.
1 commentsEnodia
Tibese10-2~0.jpg
TEMPLE, Tiberius, sestertius - temple of Concordia127 viewsÆ Sestertius (26,50g, Ø 35mm, 12h). Rome, AD 36-37.
Obv.: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST PM TR POT XXXIIX around large S C.
Rev.: Hexastyle temple on podium of five steps with flanking walls to r. and l.; Concordia seated within, holding patera and cornucopiae, flanked by the statues of Hercules and Mercurius; Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Victories and other figures above empty pediment.
RIC 67 (R); BMC 133; Cohen 70; RCV 1766
Ex Varesi Numismatica Auction 65, 10 Feb. 2015; ex Ex Astarte XII, 12 Sep. 2003, lot 485.

The temple of Concordia in the Roman Forum was restored and embellished under Tiberius. It housed so many antique statues that Pliny the Elder called it a museum of art and Greek sculpture.
1 commentsCharles S
King_Songthom_bulletcoin.jpg
Thailand "ancient" Ayudhaya, Silver bullet coin -- 1 Baht, King Songthom, 1612 - 1628 AD101 viewsAyudhaya Kingdom; King Songthom, 1612 - 1628 AD; AR "Bullet" Coin, 14.7 gms, EF.

The kingdom of Ayutthaya (Thai: อยุธยา) was a Thai kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. King Ramathibodi I (Uthong) founded Ayutthaya as the capital of his kingdom in 1350 and absorbed Sukhothai, 640 km to the north, in 1376. Over the next four centuries the kingdom expanded to become the nation of Siam, whose borders were roughly those of modern Thailand, except for the north, the Kingdom of Lannathai. Ayutthaya was friendly towards foreign traders, including the Chinese, Indians, Japanese and Persians, and later the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, British and French, permitting them to set up villages outside the city walls. The court of King Narai (1656-1688) had strong links with that of King Louis XIV of France, whose ambassadors compared the city in size and wealth to Paris.

After a bloody period of dynastic struggle, Ayutthaya entered into what has been called its golden age, a relatively peaceful episode in the second quarter of the eighteenth century when art, literature, and learning flourished. There were foreign wars. The Ayutthaya fought with Nguyen Lords (Vietnamese rulers of South Vietnam) for control of Cambodia starting around 1715. But a greater threat came from Burma, where the new Alaungpaya dynasty had subdued the Shan states.

In 1765 Thai territory was invaded by two Burmese armies that converged on Ayutthaya. The only notable example of successful resistance to these forces was found at the village of Bang Rajan. After a lengthy siege, the city capitulated and was burned in 1767. Ayutthaya's art treasures, the libraries containing its literature, and the archives housing its historic records were almost totally destroyed, and the city was left in ruins.

The country was reduced to chaos. Provinces were proclaimed independent states under military leaders, rogue monks, and cadet members of the royal family. The Thais were saved from Burmese subjugation, however, by an opportune Chinese invasion of Burma and by the leadership of a Thai military commander, Phraya Taksin.

All that remains of the old city are some impressive ruins of the royal palace. King Taksin established a capital at Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya from the present capital, Bangkok (Kruen Thep).

The ruins of the historic city of Ayutthaya and "associated historic towns" in the Ayutthaya historical park have been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

The city of Ayutthaya was refounded near the old city, and is now capital of the Ayutthaya province.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayutthaya_kingdom
Cleisthenes
Thasos_tet.JPG
Thasos, Thrace131 viewsafter 148 BC
AR Tetradrachm (33mm, 16.86g)
O: Head of young Dionysus right, wreathed in ivy and flowers.
R: Herakles standing nude left, holding club and lion's skin; ΣΩTHPOΣ left, HPAKΛOYΣ right, ΘAΣIΩN in ex.
SNG Cop 1040; Sear 1759

Inhabited since prehistoric times, the island of Thasos is said to be the mythological home of the Sirens.
Phoenician traders occupied Thasos by the late ninth century BC, drawn by her prolific gold mines. A hundred years later Greek colonists from Paros settled on the island and prospered from Thasos’ gold and marble production, as well as her fertile vineyards. Thasian wine was renowned throughout the Mediterranean, for which they honored Dionysus on their coinage.
A brush with the Persian army under King Darius at the beginning of the fifth century caused Thasos to increase her production of war ships, and after the defeat of Xerxes in 480 BC Thasos joined the Delian League. However a dispute with Athens over mining interests on the Thracian mainland led Thasos to revolt in 465 BC, only to submit after the Athenians destroyed her ships and razed the city walls.
The island was occupied by Sparta from 404 until 393 BC, when Thasos fell to Athens, who eventually granted her independence. Thasos then came under the control of Phillip II of Macedonia around 340 BC, who immediately seized the gold mines. Thasos remained a part of the Macedonian Empire until falling under Roman rule in 197 BC.
4 commentsEnodia
Arch_Titus.jpg
The relief of the imperial triumph (Titus driving a quadriga) Arch of Titus, Rome, Italy20 viewsThe relief of the imperial triumph Arch of Titus, Rome, Italy. The Triumphal Arch of Titus, erected in c. 81 CE by Domitian to commemorate his brother Titus' campaigns in the Jewish War (70-71 CE).

On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D., Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date. Upon his arrival in Rome in 71, Titus was awarded a triumph. As depicted in relief of the imperial triumph on the Arch of Titus in Rome, Titus rode into the city in a quadriga, enthusiastically saluted by the Roman populace and preceded by a lavish parade containing treasures and captives from the war. Josephus describes a procession with large amounts of gold and silver carried along the route, followed by elaborate re-enactments of the war, Jewish prisoners, and finally the treasures taken from the Temple of Jerusalem, including the Menorah and the Pentateuch. He was accompanied by Vespasian and Domitian. Simon Bar Giora was executed in the Forum, after which the procession closed with religious sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arch_Titus,_relief_triumph,_Forum_Romanum,_Rome,_Italy.jpg
Date 22 August 2013 for photograph
Author Jebulon
Joe Sermarini
telephosFriezeTelephosFriezec6p15.jpg
The Telephos Frieze66 viewsTelephos was the mythic founder of Pergamon, one of the most beautiful cities of the Hellenistic age. Some scenes which describe Telephos' adventures, housed at the Pergamon Museum in the former East Berlin, were on exhibit at the Palazzo Ruspoli in 1996-7. Originally, 22 centuries ago, this beautiful sculpture was placed along the perimeter of the inner walls of the Zeus Altar at Pergamum. The Telephos Frieze was composed of a sequence of 52 panels. In the 19th century, German archaeologists were able to "save" only a portion of this magnificent work of ancient art.

To view 12 of these panels see: http://www.1stmuse.com/Pergamon/frieze.html
Cleisthenes
coin47.JPG
Thrace, Anchialus; Commodus56 viewsThrace: Anchialus, Æ 33mm,

Laureate and draped bust of Commodus, facing right. / Commodus on horseback.
Moushmov 2799.

Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria today) was possibly founded in the 5th or 4th century B.C. as a colony of Apollonia. It is mentioned in Strabo's Geographica as a small town. It was briefly captured by Messembria in the 2nd century B.C., but retaken by Apollonia and its fortified walls destroyed. The western Black Sea coast was conquered by the Romans under Marcus Licinius Crassus in 29 - 28 B.C. after continuous campaigns in the area since 72 - 71. The city became part of the Roman province of Thrace and was formally proclaimed a city under Trajan. Anchialos prospered as the most important import and export location in Thrace during the 2nd and 3rd centuries and acquired the appearance of a Roman city during the Severan Dynasty.
2 commentsecoli
caracalla_coin.JPG
THRACE, Bizya. Caracalla31 viewsTHRACE, Bizya. Caracalla. Caesar, AD 196-198. Æ (18mm, 2.87 g, 6h). Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Hermes standing left, holding purse and caduceus. Jurukova, Bizye -; Varbanov 1470. Very rare.

Bizya, near the sources of the Agrianes, about eighty miles north-west of Byzantium. Quasi-autonomous and Imperial. Hadrian to Philip Jun. Inscr., ΒΙΖVΗΝΩΝ Magistrate under Hadrian, Presbeutes and Antistra- tegos; under S. Sev. ΗΓΕ[μονευοντος] (Berl. Cat., I. 139). Chief types— Head of young Dionysos, Rev. Seilenos with kantharos and askos; View of city enclosed by walls and turrets (Z. f. N., xxi. Pl. VIII. 5); Kapa- neus with shield, spear, and scaling ladder (Ephem. Arch., 1889, Pl. II. 15); Apollo (Iatros) between Asklepios and Hygieia; Banquet of God and Goddess (θεοξενιον) (Pick, in Jahr. Arch. Inst., XIII. 145); Hera seated with peacock on her knees; River-god, &c. Alliance coins with Byzantium.
ecoli
Tibese10-2.jpg
Tiberius, RIC 67, Sestertius of AD 36-37 (temple of Concordia)16 viewsÆ Sestertius (26,50g, Ø 35mm, 12h). Rome, AD 36-37.
Obv.: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST PM TR POT XXXIIX around large S C.
Rev.: No legend, Hexastyle temple on podium of five steps with flanking walls to r. and l.; Concordia seated within, holding patera and cornucopiae, flanked by the statues of Hercules and Mercurius; Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Victories and other figures above empty pediment.
RIC 67 (R); BMC 133; Cohen 70; RCV 1766
Ex Varesi Numismatica Auction 65, 10 Feb. 2015; ex Ex Astarte XII, 12 Sep. 2003, lot 485.

The temple of Concordia in the Roman Forum was restored and embellished under Tiberius. It housed so many antique statues that Pliny the Elder called it a museum of art and Greek sculpture.
Charles S
DSCF8492.JPG
Turkey, Istanbul, Boukoleon Palace47 views9-6-2015
This section was built in the reign of Emperor Theophilus (829-42 AD).
The brick walls would have been clad in Marble.
The three doorways led to a balcony.
The Sea reached up to the walls in those days.
After being ransacked by the "4th Crusade" in 1204 AD, it remained abandoned, even after Michael VIII retook the city in 1261 AD.
The Ottomans never took this section over.
In 1873 AD it was partially destroyed to make way for the railway line that began at Sirkeci Station.
Masis
DSCF8428.JPG
Turkey, Istanbul, Mosaic Museum54 views9-6-2015
The south-western section of the Great Palace (dated to the reign of Emperor Justinian, 527-65 AD) was excavated in the years 1935-38 and 1951-54 by the University of St. Andrews.
This section comprised a Peristyle courtyard, decorated in Mosaics.
The Austrian Academy of Sciences undertook preservation work on the Mosaics in the years 1983-97.
In the photo above, you can also see the pipes inside the walls that would have water and heating.
Masis
Sunrise_apollo_side.jpg
Turkey, Side, Pamphylia Temple of Apollo 50 viewsThe ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Side, Antalya, Turkey.

The great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. The well-preserved city walls provide an entrance to the site through the Hellenistic main gate (Megale Pyle) of the ancient city, although this gate from the 2nd century BC is badly damaged. Next comes the colonnaded street, whose marble columns are no longer extant; all that remains are a few broken stubs near the old Roman baths. The street leads to the public bath, restored as a museum displaying statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period. Next is the square agora with the remains of the round Tyche and Fortuna temple (2nd century BC), peripteral with twelve columns, in the middle. In later times it was used as a trading center where pirates sold slaves. The remains of the theater, which was used for gladiator fights and later as a church, and the monumental gate date back to the 2nd century. The early Roman Temple of Dionysus is near the theater. The fountain gracing the entrance is restored. At the left side are the remains of a Byzantine Basilica. A public bath has also been restored. The remaining ruins of Side include three temples, an aqueduct, and a nymphaeum.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sunrise_apollo_side.jpg
Photo by Saffron Blaze, via http://www.mackenzie.co
Date: 21 October 2011
Authorization: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
Joe Sermarini
Side_Commercial_agora_panorama_2.jpg
Turkey, Side, Pamphylia The Commercial Agora39 viewsTurkey, Side, Pamphylia the Commercial Agora

The great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. The well-preserved city walls provide an entrance to the site through the Hellenistic main gate (Megale Pyle) of the ancient city, although this gate from the 2nd century BC is badly damaged. Next comes the colonnaded street, whose marble columns are no longer extant; all that remains are a few broken stubs near the old Roman baths. The street leads to the public bath, restored as a museum displaying statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period. Next is the square agora with the remains of the round Tyche and Fortuna temple (2nd century BC), peripteral with twelve columns, in the middle. In later times it was used as a trading center where pirates sold slaves. The remains of the theater, which was used for gladiator fights and later as a church, and the monumental gate date back to the 2nd century. The early Roman Temple of Dionysus is near the theater. The fountain gracing the entrance is restored. At the left side are the remains of a Byzantine Basilica. A public bath has also been restored. The remaining ruins of Side include three temples, an aqueduct, and a nymphaeum.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Side_Commercial_agora_panorama_2.jpg
Author, Date: Dosserman, 20 February 2015
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Joe Sermarini
Tyche_Antioch_Vatican_Inv2672.jpg
Tyche of Antioch233 viewsThe Tyche of Antioch was a cult statue of the city goddess (fortune) of Antioch, venerated in a temple called the Tychaion. The statue was made by Eutychides of Sicyon (c. 335 - c. 275), a pupil of the great Lysippus. It was the best-known piece of Seleucid art, remarkable because it was sculpted to be viewed from all directions, unlike many statues from the period. Although the original has been lost, many copies exist, including the one in the photograph right, now at the Vatican. The goddess is seated on a rock (Mount Sipylus), has her right foot on a swimming figure (the river Orontes), wears a mural crown (the city’s walls), and has grain in her right hand (the city's fertility).2 commentsJoe Sermarini
Comb13092018101137~0.png
Unpuplished Silver Obol; Sidon mint. Circa 375-332 BC15 viewsObv: City walls with three towers.
Rev: Prow of galley with eye to right; five pellets above, Lion below.
10mm and 0.9 grams
Canaan
varbanov_serapis_markianopolis_phantasie.jpg
Varbanov & Serapis, Markianopolis, Varbanov 1970 cf., fantasy issue181 viewsAE 26, 9.94g
obv. AVT KM ANT VARBANOV - AVG
Confronting busts of Ivan Varbanov and Serapis
rev. VP MHNOFILOV MARKIANOPOLITWN.
Cityscape of Markianopolis with walls and 13 towers, temple and altar in enclosure.
ref. cf. Varbanov (engl.) 1970 (for the original only!)

This is a fantasy issue of Ivan Varbanov from his friend Slavey Petrov.
2 commentsJochen
Vesp_Ses_pan.jpg
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D. Rome mint77 viewsOrichalcum sestertius, RIC II 460, (BMCRE II 574), weight 23.556g, max. diameter 32.1mm, 180o, Rome mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate head right; reverse SALVS AVGVSTA S C, Salus seated left, patera in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left. Thin brown patina worn on high points.

Background info courtsey Forvm Ancient Coins

In 71 A.D., the year this coin was struck, Vespasian and his sons celebrated the vanquishing of the Jews with a triumph in Rome. The Jewish historian Josephus was present at the festivities and noted, "It is impossible to do justice in the description of the number of things to be seen and to the magnificence of everything that met the eye...The greatest amazement was caused by the floats. Their size gave grounds for alarm about their stability, for many were three or four stories high...On one float the army could be seen pouring inside the walls, on another was a place running with blood. Others showed defenseless men raising their hands in entreaty, firebrands being hurled at temples or buildings falling on their owners. On yet others were depicted rivers, which, after the destruction and desolation, flowed no longer through tilled fields providing water for men and cattle, but through a land on fire from end to end. It was to such miseries that the Jews doomed themselves by the war...Standing on his individual float was the commander of each of the captured cities showing the way he had been taken prisoner...Spoil in abundance was carried past. None of it compared with that taken from the Temple in Jerusalem...The procession was completed by Vespasian, and, behind him, Titus. Domitian rode on horseback wearing a beautiful uniform and on a mount that was wonderfully well worth seeing...

Ex Forvm Ancient Coins

3 commentsSteve E
SeptSeverus.jpg
[1001a] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.63 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 32, RSC 301, VF, 2.966g, 16.8mm, 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III, laureate head right; reverse LIBERO PATRI, Liber (Bacchus) standing left, in right ocnochoe over panther, thysus in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
ArcadiusManusDei.jpg
[1601b] Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.63 viewsARCADIUS AE2. Struck at Constantinople, 378-383 AD. Obverse: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield, Hand of God above holding wreath; Reverse - GLORIA ROMANORVM, emperor standing facing, head left, holding standard & resting shield at side, bound captive seated on ground to left, head right, CONG in exergue. RIC 53b. Scarce. Extremely Fine, some roughness and corrosion.


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


Arcadius (395-408 A.D.)

Geoffrey S. Nathan
University of California at Los Angeles

Introduction and Early Life
The ineffectual life and reign of Flavius Arcadius are of considerably less importance than the quite significant developments that occurred during his reign. Born either in 377 or 378 to then general Theodosius and Aelia Flavia Flacilla, he and his younger brother, Honorius, ruled the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire respectively from 395.

Shortly after his birth, his father was raised to the imperial purple in 379. Events in Illyricum with the massive influx of Ostrogothic and Visigothic peoples had resulted in the defeat of the Roman army and the death of the emperor, Valens. Theodosius' first task was to confront the Visigoths who had been ravaging the Balkans. Perhaps in the wake of this difficult and almost insurmountable task, the emperor wanted to insure that his infant son would bear some legitimacy should he die on campaign. Whatever the reason, Arcadius was proclaimed Augustus in January of 383 at the age of five or six. In the following year, his younger brother was born and it seems as if Theodosius initially had been interested in preserving the theoretical position of his elder son. While Arcadius enjoyed the status of Augustus, Honorius only achieved the office of consul posterior in 386. Perhaps the eastern emperor had wanted to avoid the possible conflicts that arose earlier in the century with the family of Constantine. Recent events in the west with the assassination of Gratian by Magnus Maximus may have also played a part: Theodosius initially had to leave the murder of his imperial colleague unavenged and leave the boy- emperor, Valentinian II, largely undefended. The profusion of emperors may well have been seen by Theodosius as kindling for civil war. His own autocratic tendencies may have also meant that he saw only one possible successor for himself.

Nevertheless, Theodosius gave Arcadius very little independence in early life. When he went to campaign against Magnus in the late 380's, he placed his son under the Praetorian Prefect of the East, Tatian, who was the de facto emperor in Theodosius' absence. This began a long series of regencies for Arcadius. The strength of Tatian's position with the eastern governing class made the office of Praetorian Prefect all the more powerful in Constantinople, which in turn made it easier to dominate future emperors. When Theodosius replaced Tatian with the more malleable and more ambitious Rufinus in 392, he had appointed a minister who would centralize even greater authority under the prefecture.

By 393, the emperor's situation had changed radically. When events in the west demanded his attention again, Theodosius was in a much stronger position. The ascendancy of the general, Arbogast, and his own puppet emperor, Eugenius, in the west provided Theodosius an opportunity and, indeed, the obligation to take full control of the Empire. The chance for having his own two sons ruling both halves of Rome not only seemed practical and feasible, but such an arrangement would establish himself as the head of a new dynasty. With thoughts in that direction, Honorius was made Augustus in 393 and accompanied his father west in the summer of 394. Arcadius, although near his majority, was nevertheless placed again under the guardianship (epitropos) of the Prefect of the East. In January of 395, Theodosius the Great died and his two sons took theoretical control of the two halves of the Roman Empire.

Early Reign and the Dominance of Rufinus and Eutropius (395-399)
Arcadius was eighteen when he assumed the throne in the east. We do not know whether or not he was ready for the responsibilities. During the mid-380's, the young emperor had been educated in part by Themistius, a famous pagan statesman, philosopher, and speaker. In what way he affected Arcadius is impossible to say, but surely his teachings must have included statecraft. Perhaps because of this influence, the new emperor's attempt to establish himself as an independent force can be seen in a series of laws passed at his accession. In contrast to trying to create a military image for himself, which would not be allowed either by Rufinus or by the eastern court, he attempted to portray himself as a pious Christian emperor. He enacted several comprehensive laws against heresy and paganism.

This was not necessarily an ineffectual strategy. By celebrating his religious piety, he expressed his power in the only way available to an emperor largely controlled by his ministers. He also perhaps sought to gain support and power from the local governing and religious hierarchies in Constantinople. Arcadius also perhaps thought that he was carrying on in the tradition of his father and so, by extension, might share in some of his glory. Rufinus in contrast wanted to tie himself to the emperor through a marriage connection to his daughter. But in April of 395, Arcadius had taken advantage of the Prefect's temporary absence to marry Aelia Eudoxia, whose guardian, the general, Promotus, had been a bitter enemy of Rufinus. Arcadius had been aided in this move by his own grand chamberlain (praepositus sacri cubiculi), Eutropius, and it perhaps indicated the degree to which he wanted to be free of any regent.

But in reality, Arcadius gained little if any power. Rufinus assumed full control of the east, and the Vandal Stilicho, Theodosius' closest advisor and general, took control of Honorius in the west. The tension between east and west quickly grew when Stilicho, in command of all the eastern and western armies, tried to press his guardianship over Arcadius as well. Moreover, there was considerable resentment against Rufinus in the east for using his office to greatly enrich himself and perhaps, too, because he was a westerner. Rufinus, understanding the perils around him, acted quickly. He had Arcadius demand the return of the eastern armies at once. Stilicho acquiesced, perhaps because the general was basing his claim of guardianship on his own legitimacy: to have taken control of the east and Arcadius by force would have undermined his position there and perhaps in the west. The soldiers returned under the command of the Gothic general, Gainas. With the control of the field army, it seemed as if Rufinus was going to be more thoroughly in control of the east and over Arcadius.

He did not long enjoy his victory. When Arcadius and Rufinus came to greet the armies at Hebdoman near Constantinople in November of 395, the soldiers turned on the Praetorian Prefect and cut him down in front of the emperor. Whether Stilicho instigated the assassination is a matter of some debate, but if he did, he received no benefit from it. The armies remained and Arcadius soon fell under the sway of other ministers. Nevertheless, despite the shock and fear Arcadius may have felt at witnessing such a brutal murder, he probably missed Rufinus' presence not at all and even thought it might provide an opportunity to assert his own authority. For the bureaucracy, the death meant that maintaining civilian control over the army was paramount to their own survival.

Soon thereafter, Eutropius assumed Rufinus' place in dominating Arcadius. Since the grand chamberlain could control access to the emperor and commanded the powerful palace bureaucracy, he was well-placed to dictate what and whom the emperor saw and heard. Military officers--frequently Germanic--who dominated the western government, were held suspect by fearful and jealous civil administrators in Constantinople. Eutropius used that fear to his advantage and froze out any access they may have had to the circles of power. His decision to effectively eliminate the military's input in decision-making would eventually lead to his demise.

It is difficult to determine how popular Eutropius was either with Arcadius or with the wider population. As a eunuch and a former slave, the sources generally portray him very negatively. He nevertheless seems to have enjoyed some support from the emperor, likely aided by Eudoxia with whom the grand chamberlain had close ties. The emperor happily took annual vacations in Galatia, apparently upon the Eutropius' suggestion. Moreover, the chamberlain showed great personal courage and talent in leading a campaign against invading Huns in 397/8, for which he won the consulship and the rank of patrician in the following year of 399. He also seems to have gained considerable support from the local clergy by procuring the patriarchate of Constantinople in 398 for John Chrysostom.

Despite Eutropius' rise to power, however, eastern policy changed little. The religious policies of Theodosius and Arcadius continued, including the forced closure of pagan temples in Gaza. More significantly, tension between the two halves of the empire persisted as Stilicho continued to press for his position as guardian. Although Stilicho led periodic raids into Greece and Thrace to attack the new Visigothic king, Alaric, his victories were incomplete and were more likely meant to keep the Germanic people out of western territory. This meant, among other things, that the Visigoths were an enduring problem for the east. Eutropius in turn supported the revolt of the Count Gildo in Africa, which was under western control, in an attempt to destabilize Stilicho's control and further eastern domains.

The failure of the revolt in 398 was the first step in Eutropius' downfall. The decision to exclude the military men of the period, particularly among the growing importance of Germanic officers, created a dangerous situation. By 399, the dissatisfaction with east-west affairs and the Gildo fiasco resulted in a revolt by the Gothic count, Tribigild. He was apparently in collusion with Gainas, who had taken advantage of the crisis to be named chief general in the east (magister utriusque militiae). Gainas quickly reached an agreement with the rebel and part of the settlement was the dismissal of Eutropius, to which Arcadius--at Eudoxia's urging--agreed. The chamberlain took refuge in the Hagia Sophia, and was exiled to Cyprus. But shortly thereafter, in the autumn of 399, Eutropius was recalled, tried and executed in Chalcedon.

The Age of Eudoxia (400-404)
The death of Eutropius precipitated a serious crisis. Gainas, who had wanted high office for years, now tried to force the hand of Arcadius. Having come to a quick resolution with Tribigild, he moved from Thrace towards Constantinople in 400. With the Germanic troops supporting him, Gainas tried for six months to initiate his own primacy-- including seizing the imperial palace--but which failed. He was forced to withdraw personally from the city to regroup and planned to use his troops remaining there to seize the entire city. But they were slaughtered by the inhabitiants and he fled first to Thrace and then to Asia. Eventually Gainas was killed by the Huns later in that year. His attempted coup ensured that Germanic officers would never again be trusted by the eastern government and would forever be kept out of any important decision-making roles.

The likely successor to Eutropius had been the anti-Germanic leader, Aurelianus, who had succeeded to the Prefecture of the East in 399. But Gainas had exiled him, having forced Arcadius to hand him over, and although Aurelianus returned triumphantly after Gainas' departure, he appears to have lost his hold over the emperor. In the meantime, Aelia Eudoxia had done much to forward her own place in the government. In January of 400, she had been named Augusta, a singular distinction offered to only three other women in the previous century. Her position thus gained a semi-official legitimacy afforded to very few Roman empresses. It has been assumed that because of her beauty, her intelligence, and her fecundity (she bore Arcadius five children), she was able to assert her influence to a point where she was the new power behind the throne.

That assessment, while held by many scholars, is not entirely accurate. While there were several events in which she played a crucial part, they were not terribly important moments during Arcadius' reign. But because Eudoxia was enormously wealthy, because she delivered a male heir in 401, and because she was involved in a highly publicized and drawn out political fight with John Chrysostom, this belief that there was an assumption of power is based more on the notoriety of her acts than on actual control. The fact that there was no one clearly dominating the government nor the emperor during this time implies perhaps that Arcadius had more power during these five years of his reign than at any other time.

There are several indications that he did try to improve and assert his own position. The emperor and his court immediately came to some understanding with the west. The east at the very least gave Honorius and Stilicho moral support in their increasing problems with Alaric. In 402, the feeling of goodwill was sealed by a joint consulship between Arcadius and his brother. The emperor also sought to establish his own military prowess and Christian piety with the erection of a column set up in the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 402/3. The column depicted his military victory over Gainas, crowned with a capital emblazoned with the Greek letters chi-rho, symbolizing his devotion to Christ. Arcadius' son, Theodosius II, was born in 401, and was quickly made Augustus at the age of eight months. The eastern ruler was thus interested in assuring his own dynasty.

In all these things, the emperor was largely successful, but they were largely overshadowed by the feud between his empress and the bishop of Constantinople. Eudoxia had already shown herself able in pushing her interests during the baptism of her son. The Bishop of Constantinople, however, was a much tougher opponent than her husband. John Chrysostom, a strong believer in social justice, had boorishly attacked Eudoxia and many of her friends for the conspicuous luxury in which they lived and displayed themselves. At the height of these attacks, John compared the empress to Jezebel. Eudoxia in turn used her considerable influence to inflame hostility among the clergy against the bishop. Working through Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria, in 403 Chrysostom was deposed and forced into exile at a Church council convened by the emperor (the Synod of the Oak at Chalcedon). However, there was soon such turmoil and uproar in the imperial city that the bishop was recalled a few days later. But the public feuding between Eudoxia and Chrysostom continued until at last she had him banished again in 404, this time permanently. Among other things, it caused a breach between Arcadius and his brother, who had, with Pope Innocent I, tried to support Chrysostom.

Eudoxia's victory was short-lived, however. In October of 404, the Augusta died of a miscarriage. Her death was seen by some as retribution for dismissing John. Whatever the reason, her end also signaled a complete retreat into the background by the emperor and no further initiatives seem to have been pushed by the 27-year-old Augustus.

The Final Years: Anthemius and Death (404-408)
The last years of Arcadius' reign were completely dominated by his Praetorian Prefect of the East, Anthemius. It was perhaps fitting that when the emperor seems to have been most retiring, the most able and energetic of his high ministers came to power. Anthemius worked hard to solve a series of governmental abuses, continue to push for Christianization, and secure the east from attack.

Anthemius first seems to have tried to reconcile with the west, so much so that there was a joint consulship between Anthemius and Stilicho in 405. This might have also been meant to symbolize the Prefect's new dominance, however. Additionally, a number of new laws were passed, curtailing paganism, Judaism and heresy. He tried to make use of the continuing problem of incoming Germanic peoples to combat the Isaurian tribes which had been plaguing Asia Minor since 403. While it failed to halt either group's incursions, it was nevertheless a practical and intelligent strategy. As a means of protecting the imperial capital, Anthemius also strengthened the walls around Constantinople. Our records for the last years of Arcadius' rule are quite spotty, but the emperor himself seems to have completely vanished, even symbolically, from the political scene.

In May of 408, Flavius Arcadius died at the age of 31 of unknown causes. Our only physical description of Arcadius is heavily influenced by the generally low regard in which he was held. The emperor was supposedly short, thin and dark-complected. A more kindly correspondent described him as good-natured and temperate. His son succeeded him without any controversy and the government remained unchanged. Arcadius thus left the world much as he entered it: without much significance and overshadowed by more powerful forces.

Assessment
Despite the ineffectual nature of Arcadius and his rule, a number of significant changes occurred during his stewardship of the eastern empire. His inability to forcefully or at least effectively govern meant that there were few consistent or long-range goals of his administration. With the exception of trying to emphasize the emperor's piety, an important development in the history of the Byzantine monarchy, Arcadius and his ministers were for the most part simply reacting to events.

The emperor became an even more remote figure to the general public. Even in the capital city itself, he was rarely seen: we read in one account that people came running to see the emperor for the first time when he happened to be praying in a local church. A series of "orientalizing" court practices no doubt continued in order to emphasize the symbolic separation of the emperor from the rest of society. The hieratic, almost semi- divine nature of the imperial person, also became a feature of the eastern ruler.

Perhaps of greatest importance was the political and cultural split between east and west. With the death of Theodosius, the two halves of the Roman Empire increasingly went their separate ways. For the most part, the west was thrown back upon its own resources, unable to deal with the problems of the fifth century. The east proved more compact and more resilient: it largely weathered the political storms from without and within.

Moreover, Constantinople fully became the imperial capital of the east, a Roma nova. The emperor rarely left the city and the palace officials became more influential than many of the more theoretically important ministers outside the city. Constantinople was also made an archepiscopate and Chrysostom and others started to push strongly for its primacy in the east. Both public and private building projects beautified and enlarged the city. Under Arcadius' reign, it truly became the second city of the Roman Empire.
Finally, the hard stance against Germanic officers in Roman government became a central feature in the east. While the reasons for this development were inspired largely out of fear and perhaps racism, the eastern Roman Empire did manage to avoid the largely detrimental succession of Germanic generalissimos who controlled the west in the fifth century. It also encouraged the eastern rulers in the following century to take hard lines against other peoples, including the Isaurians, the Huns and the Persians. Taken in all, the era of Arcadius was far more important than Arcadius himself. He perhaps had his father's pretensions, but none of the skills or powers necessary to leave his mark on the Empire.

By Geoffrey S. Nathan, University of California at Los Angeles
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
man1pano.jpg
[1663a] Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180)---NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH---[1685a] Empire of Trebizond: Manuel I Komnenos Megas (1218-1263 AD)155 viewsManuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180). AE billon trachy; Sear 1964; 30mm, 3.91g.; Constantinople mint; aF. Obverse: MP-OV-The Virgin enthroned. Nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium; Reverse: Maueil standing facing, wearing crown, holding labarum and globe surmounted by Patriachal cross. Ex SPQR.


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

MANUEL I COMNENUS (A.D. 1143-1180)

Andrew Stone
University of Western Australia

Introduction: Sources
The reign of the emperor Manuel I Comnenus (5 April 1143- 24 September 1180) could well be regarded as a high-water mark of Byzantine civilization. It was the apogee of the so-called "Comnenian Restoration". Politically, the emperor undertook an ambitious foreign policy which has been seen by some, particularly in the light of many ultimate failures, as "misguided imperialism", recent scholarship has come to question this traditional judgment and suggests instead that the the Comnenian foreign policy was rather an energetic seizing of the different opportunities that presented themselves in the rapidly changing constellations of powers of the time. Such measures were made possible by the internal security of the empire under this, its third, Comnenian incumbent, although there were a few other aspirants to the throne, not least among them the emperor's cousin Andronicus. Manuel and other key members of the "Comnenian system", as it has been called, were patrons of rhetoric and other forms of learning and literature, and Manuel himself became keenly interested in ecclesiastical affairs, even if here his imperialistic agenda was a factor as he tried to bring Constantinopolitan theology in line with that of the west in a bid to unite the Church under his crown.

In terms of volume of contemporary material, Manuel is the most eulogised of all Byzantine emperors, and the panegyric addressed to him supplements the two major Byzantine historians of the reign, the more critical Nicetas Choniates and the laudatory John Cinnamus, as primary sources for the student of the period to study. The Crusader historian William of Tyre met Manuel personally, and such was the scope of Manuel's diplomacy that he is mentioned incidentally in western sources, such as Romuald of Salerno. Among authors of the encomia (panegyrics) we have mentioned are Theodore Prodromus and the so-called "Manganeios" Prodromus, who wrote in verse, and the prose encomiasts Michael the Rhetor, Eustathius of Thessalonica and Euthymius Malaces, to name the most important. Manuel, with his penchant for the Latins and their ways, left a legacy of Byzantine resentment against these outsiders, which was to be ruthlessly exploited by Andronicus in the end.

Manuel as sebastokrator
Manuel was born in the imperial porphyry birthchamber on 28 November 1118. He was the fourth of John II's sons, so it seemed very unlikely that he would succeed. As a youth, Manuel evidently accompanied John on campaign, for in the Anatolian expedition of 1139-41 we find Manuel rashly charging a small group of the Turkish enemy, an action for which he was castigated by his father, even though John, we are told, was inwardly impressed (mention of the incident is made in John's deathbed speech in both John Cinnamus and Nicetas Choniates). John negotiated a marriage contract for Manuel with Conrad III of Germany; he was to marry Bertha of Sulzbach. It seems to have been John's plan to carve out a client principality for Manuel from Cilicia, Cyprus and Coele Syria. In the event, it was Manuel who succeeded him.

The Securing of the Succession 1143
In the article on John II it is related how the dying John chose his youngest son Manuel to succeed him in preference to his other surviving son Isaac. Manuel was acclaimed emperor by the armies on 5 April 1143. Manuel stayed in Cilicia, where the army was stationed, for thirty days, to complete the funeral rites for his father. He sent his father's right-hand man John Axuch, however, to Constantinople to confine Isaac to the Pantokrator Monastery and to effect a donation of two hundredweight of silver coin to the clergy of the Great Church. The surviving encomium of Michael Italicus, Teacher of the Gospel, for the new emperor can be regarded as a return gift for this largesse. In the meantime the Caesar John Roger, husband of Manuel's eldest sister Maria, had been plotting to seize the throne; the plot was, however, given away by his wife before it could take effect. Manuel marched home to enter Constantinople c. July 1143. He secured the good-will of the people by commanding that every household should be granted two gold coins. Isaac the younger (Manuel's brother) and Isaac the elder (Manuel's paternal uncle), were both released from captivity and reconciled with him. Manuel chose Michael Oxeites as the new patriarch and was crowned either in August or November 1143.

Manuel confirmed John Axuch in the office of Grand Domestic, that is, commander of the army, appointed John of Poutze as procurator of public taxes, grand commissioner and inspector of accounts and John Hagiotheodorites as chancellor. John of Poutze proved to be an oppressive tax collector, but was also unsusceptible to bribery. However, this John diverted monies levied for the navy into the treasury, which would, as we shall see, further Byzantine dependence on the maritime Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa and Pisa.

Early Campaigns: 1144-1146
Manuel's first concern was to consolidate the work of his father in securing the eastern frontier. He sent a force under the brothers Andronicus and John Contostephanus against the recalcitrant Crusader prince Raymond of Antioch, which consisted of both an army and a navy, the latter commanded by Demetrius Branas. Raymond's army was routed, and the naval force inflicted no small damage on the coastal regions of the principality. In the meantime the Crusader city of Edessa fell to the Turkish atabeg Zengi. Raymond therefore travelled to Constantinople as a suppliant to Manuel. It was subsequently decided, in the light of Manuel's imperial status, that the terms under which he would marry Bertha of Sulzbach should be improved. Manuel asked for 500 knights, and Conrad happily granted them, being prepared to supply 2000 or 3000 if need be all for the sake of this alliance. Bertha took the Greek name Irene.

The Seljuk sultanate of Rum under Masud had become the ascendant Turkish power in Anatolia. Manuel himself supervised the rebuilding of the fortress of Melangeia on the Sangarius river in Bithynia (1145 or 1146). In the most daring campaign of these early years, after building the new fort of Pithecas in Bithynia, Manuel advanced as far into Turkish territory as Konya (Iconium), the Seljuk capital. He had been wounded in the foot by an arrow at a mighty battle at Philomelium (which had been Masud's headquarters), and the city had been rased; once at Konya, he allowed his troops to despoil the graves outside the city walls, before taking the road home.

Cinnamus relates that the gratutitous heroics which Manuel displayed on this campaign were calculated to impress Manuel's new bride. Manuel and his army were harried by Turks on the journey home. Manuel erected the fort of Pylae before leaving Anatolia.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of the reign of Manuel I Comnenus please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/mannycom.htm]

Frederick Barbarossa and the "two-emperor problem"
Frederick Barbarossa, who was to become a constant menace to Manuel's designs, had succeeded his uncle Conrad III in 1152, but unlike him proved in the end unprepared to make any territorial concessions in Italy. The origins of this "cold war" between the two empires cannot be dated with any certainty, but there may have been a tendency to date it too early. One school of thought would not date the outbreak of this rivalry to any earlier than 1159-60, the death of Manuel's German wife, Bertha-Irene. About this time there was a scare at Constantinople that Frederick Barbarossa would march on Byzantium, perhaps reflecting a desire on Frederick's part to crusade (which he eventually did, in the reign of Isaac II Angelus). The new Pope, Alexander III, by, as it would seem, offering to grant Manuel the imperial crown, used it as a bargaining chip to play off the emperors of west and east against one another. Manuel may have supported Alexander during the papal schism of 1160-1177 because he was the preferred candidate of Hungary and the Crusader states, both of which he hoped would recognise him as their feudal overlord. By this means he could claim sovereign rights over the crusading movement, and thereby turn it to his advantage. The playing off of Manuel against Frederick continued right up until 1177, the Peace of Venice, whereby Frederick agreed to recognise Pope Alexander, the autonomy of Sicily and of the northern Italian communes. But this result was not a foregone conclusion in the 1160s and early 1170s, and Manuel used Byzantine gold to win supporters in Italy and thereby keep Frederick occupied.

Marriage to Maria of Antioch 1161
Bertha-Irene died in late 1159/early 1160. Manuel sought to strengthen his ties with the Crusader principalities by selecting an eastern Latin princess for his wife. The exceedingly beautiful Maria of Antioch, daughter of Raymond of Antioch, was chosen, and the nuptials celebrated at Christmas, 1161.


Dynastic considerations 1169-1172
Manuel's wife Maria of Antioch gave birth to a baby boy 14 September 1169 in the porphyry marble birthchamber, the cause of great festivities. The infant was crowned emperor in 1171. With the death of Stephen III of Hungary in 1172, Stephen's brother Béla was sent out from Constantinople to assume the throne (though without Sirmium and Dalmatia being surrendered to the Hungarian crown). A husband for Maria Porphyrogenita was therefore required. At first it was proposed that she marry William II of Sicily, who was outraged when she failed to show up at Taranto on the appointed day, the emperor having had second thoughts.


The final months 1180
Manuel took ill in the month of March 1180. During this period of terminal illness the last major religious controversies took place. We are told that Manuel directed that the anathema pronounced against the god of Muhammad be removed from the abjuration against the Islamic faith declared by converts to Christianity. Manuel was opposed by the last patriarch of his reign, Theodosius Boradiotes (1179-1183), as well as, notably, by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Both parties were satisfied in the end upon a reading of the emperor's proposed amendments to the abjuration. This controversy would seem to be a different one from the one alluded to in Eustathius' funeral oration for Manuel, since Manuel is praised by Eustathius for his stance in it, which seems to have revolved around a book written by a convert from Islam that magnified the Father at the expense of the Son (and therefore had Arian overtones). It became apparent that the emperor was dying, and, on the advice of Theodosius, he renounced astrology. As his end approached, he assumed the monastic habit and the name Matthew, demanding that his wife Maria become a nun. Manuel's son Alexius was but eleven, and the minority would prove to be disastrous for Byzantium. Manuel died thirty-seven years and nine months from the beginning of his reign.

General strategies in Manuel's foreign policy
The funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica is an interesting document in that it discusses some of the general policies pursued over Manuel's reign. It endorses his policy of dividing his enemies, the Petchenegs, the Sicilian Normans and the Turks, among themselves by using Byzantine gold, a policy of "divide and rule". We have seen how this was applied especially in Italy. Another general policy was to create friendly buffer states on the frontiers of the empire, most notably Hungary (and Serbia) and the Crusader States. Manuel would deliberately underpin the most powerful potentate in each region (the king of Hungary, the king of Jerusalem, the sultan of Konya) and thereby emphasise his own absolute sovereignty. In the funeral oration this granting of autonomy is justified as the reward for good service, as in the parable of the talents. We also see in the panegyric of the 1170s the downplaying of the idea of world rule which was so prevalent in the reign of John. Although Manuel claimed sovereign rights over many of his neighbours, his territorial claims were limited: coastal southern Italy, Dalmatia and Sirmium, coastal Egypt. The Byzantines seem to have come to terms with the reality of nation states and it is in Manuel's reign that they begin to refer to themselves not only as "Romans", but as "Hellenes", in order to demarcate themselves from the barbarians surrounding them.

Manuel's taxation, government and army
Nicetas Choniates roundly criticises Manuel in his history for increasing taxes and lavishing money on his family and retainers, particularly his Latin favourites. We have also seen how money was spent in Manuel's ambitious foreign policy. Mention is made of two towers, one at Damalis, and one next to the monastery of the Mangana, between which a chain could be stretched to block the Bosphorus. Then there was the work done at both the Great Palace and the Palace of the Blachernae, galleries, a pavilion alla Turca and numerous mosaics. He also founded a monastery at Kataskepe at the mouth of the Black Sea, which was endowed from the imperial treasury.

Choniates further criticizes the continuation and spread of the granting of pronoiai, parcels of land, the income from each of which supported a soldier. Many of these were granted to foreigners, for example, Turks captured in the Meander campaigns were settled around Thessalonica. The pronoia would pay not only for a soldier's upkeep, but his expensive equipment, for in Manuel's reign the bow and arrow and circular shield had been replaced by a heavier western-style panoply of armour, large triangular shield and lance. Choniates laments how fashionable a practice it had become in Manuel's reign to forsake the land or one's trade and become enlisted in the army.

Manuel and the "Comnenian system"
Throughout Manuel's reign, as under his father John, the top tier of the aristocracy was formed by the emperor's family, the Comneni, and the families into which they married. The extended family was, however, by now becoming unwieldy, and beginning to lose its cohesion, as the example of Manuel's cousin Andronicus shows. Under Manuel it was degree of kinship to the emperor which determined one's rank, as synodal listings show. So it was that very quickly after Manuel's death the upper tier of the aristocracy splintered into separate groups, each with its own identity and interests.

Literature
The various aristocratic courts, that of the emperor and other key members of the extended family, most notably the sebastokrator Isaac Comnenus the elder and the sebastokratorissa Irene, widow of Manuel's brother Andronicus, attracted literati who would seek to serve under them. Such figures would not only turn their hands to literature, encomia in prose or poetry, expositions on mythology, commentaries on Homer or the philosophers, historical chronicles and even, in this period, romances - the twelfth century is a high point of literary production at Constantinople, so much so that some have even talked of a "Comnenian renaissance" - but they would seek to perform more menial, such as administrative, duties to support themselves. Such men would often come from noble families whose prestige had been eclipsed by the Comnenian upper tier of the aristocracy. Serving under a lord was one way of advancing oneself, entering the Church was another.

The patriarchal church and education
The deacons of the church of St Sophia were a powerful group, the chartophylax being second only to the patriarch. These deacons would either go on to become bishops in the provinces, or possibly first hold one of the professorial chairs associated with the patriarchal church. First there were the "teachers", didaskaloi of the Gospels, Epistles and Psalter. Then there was the maistor ton rhetoron, "master of the rhetors", responsible for delivering speeches in praise of the emperor on January 6 each year and of the patriarch on the Saturday prior to Palm Sunday, as well as for other state occasions. And there was the hypatos ton philosophon, "consul of the philosophers", an office which had lapsed but was revived under Manuel.

Character and Legacy
Was Byzantium of the middle to late twelfth century living on borrowed time? Until recently this was the verdict of many scholars. Yet John II and Manuel had, if there is any kernel of truth in their encomia, at least temporarily reversed the overrunning of Anatolia by the Turks, and Manuel had won Dalmatia and Sirmium from Hungary. But Byzantine collapse was rapid, which is the reason why scholars have searched in the reigns of John and Manuel for the beginnings of the disintegration that occurred under the last Comneni and the Angeli. The history and comments of Nicetas Choniates have been adduced as vindicating this view. The victory of the military aristocracy that the establishment of the Comnenian dynasty represents has been seen as both the reason for the temporary reversal of Byzantine fortunes - government by three very capable autocrats - and of ultimate failure, because of the splintering into factions that oligarchy, such as was present in the Comnenian system, foments. A Marxist interpretation is that the feudalisation of the Byzantine Empire, the depletion of the free peasantry, that began to take place in the middle period was the reason for its ultimate failure. But to the Byzantines at the time Byzantium seemed to be holding its own; the "nations" around were being kept at bay, and even though the panegyric of renovation is less evident than in the reign of John II, the emperor remains despotes, "master" of the oikoumene, "world". Indeed, Manuel would be remembered in France, Genoa and the Crusader States as the most powerful sovereign in the world.

We have mentioned the funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica. This contains a series of vignettes of the personal aspects of Manuel. There are commonplaces: the emperor is able to endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold, lack of sleep and so on, and sweats copiously in his endeavours on the empire's part. Although these ideas have been recycled from earlier reigns, notably that of John II, the contemporary historians agree that Manuel was an indefatigable and daring warrior. However, there are more specifically individual touches in the Eustathian oration. Manuel had a manly suntan and was tall in stature. The emperor was capable of clever talk, but could also talk to others on a man-to-man basis. Eustathius makes much of the emperor's book-learning (Cinnamus claims to have discussed Aristotle with the emperor). The restoration of churches was a major concern for Manuel. He also had some expertise in medicine (he had tended Conrad III of Germany and Baldwin III of Jerusalem personally). Manuel showed temperance in eating and drinking, with a certain liking for beer as well as wine, the latter being mixed sour after the manner of ascetics. Likewise, he would not slumber long. He would generally choose walking over riding. The oration closes on the widow and orphan Manuel has left behind. The situation resulting for the Byzantine Empire at this stage, with the vacuum created by Manuel would result in no less than implosion.

Copyright (C) 2003, Andrew Stone.
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
ManuelStGeorge.jpg
[1663a] Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180)---NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH---[1685a] Empire of Trebizond: Manuel I Komnenos Megas (1218-1263 AD)131 viewsMANUEL I COMNENUS AE tetarteron. 1143-1180 AD. 19mm, 2.8g. Obverse: Bust of St. George facing, beardless, wearing nimbus, tunic, cuirass and sagion, and holding spear. Reverse: MANVHL-DECPOT, bust of Manuel facing, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum & globe-cross. Simply wonderful style, very sharp for the issue. A gorgeous late Byzantine coin! Ex Incitatus.


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

MANUEL I COMNENUS (A.D. 1143-1180)

Andrew Stone
University of Western Australia

Introduction: Sources
The reign of the emperor Manuel I Comnenus (5 April 1143- 24 September 1180) could well be regarded as a high-water mark of Byzantine civilization. It was the apogee of the so-called "Comnenian Restoration". Politically, the emperor undertook an ambitious foreign policy which has been seen by some, particularly in the light of many ultimate failures, as "misguided imperialism", recent scholarship has come to question this traditional judgment and suggests instead that the the Comnenian foreign policy was rather an energetic seizing of the different opportunities that presented themselves in the rapidly changing constellations of powers of the time. Such measures were made possible by the internal security of the empire under this, its third, Comnenian incumbent, although there were a few other aspirants to the throne, not least among them the emperor's cousin Andronicus. Manuel and other key members of the "Comnenian system", as it has been called, were patrons of rhetoric and other forms of learning and literature, and Manuel himself became keenly interested in ecclesiastical affairs, even if here his imperialistic agenda was a factor as he tried to bring Constantinopolitan theology in line with that of the west in a bid to unite the Church under his crown.

In terms of volume of contemporary material, Manuel is the most eulogised of all Byzantine emperors, and the panegyric addressed to him supplements the two major Byzantine historians of the reign, the more critical Nicetas Choniates and the laudatory John Cinnamus, as primary sources for the student of the period to study. The Crusader historian William of Tyre met Manuel personally, and such was the scope of Manuel's diplomacy that he is mentioned incidentally in western sources, such as Romuald of Salerno. Among authors of the encomia (panegyrics) we have mentioned are Theodore Prodromus and the so-called "Manganeios" Prodromus, who wrote in verse, and the prose encomiasts Michael the Rhetor, Eustathius of Thessalonica and Euthymius Malaces, to name the most important. Manuel, with his penchant for the Latins and their ways, left a legacy of Byzantine resentment against these outsiders, which was to be ruthlessly exploited by Andronicus in the end.

Manuel as sebastokrator
Manuel was born in the imperial porphyry birthchamber on 28 November 1118. He was the fourth of John II's sons, so it seemed very unlikely that he would succeed. As a youth, Manuel evidently accompanied John on campaign, for in the Anatolian expedition of 1139-41 we find Manuel rashly charging a small group of the Turkish enemy, an action for which he was castigated by his father, even though John, we are told, was inwardly impressed (mention of the incident is made in John's deathbed speech in both John Cinnamus and Nicetas Choniates). John negotiated a marriage contract for Manuel with Conrad III of Germany; he was to marry Bertha of Sulzbach. It seems to have been John's plan to carve out a client principality for Manuel from Cilicia, Cyprus and Coele Syria. In the event, it was Manuel who succeeded him.

The Securing of the Succession 1143
In the article on John II it is related how the dying John chose his youngest son Manuel to succeed him in preference to his other surviving son Isaac. Manuel was acclaimed emperor by the armies on 5 April 1143. Manuel stayed in Cilicia, where the army was stationed, for thirty days, to complete the funeral rites for his father. He sent his father's right-hand man John Axuch, however, to Constantinople to confine Isaac to the Pantokrator Monastery and to effect a donation of two hundredweight of silver coin to the clergy of the Great Church. The surviving encomium of Michael Italicus, Teacher of the Gospel, for the new emperor can be regarded as a return gift for this largesse. In the meantime the Caesar John Roger, husband of Manuel's eldest sister Maria, had been plotting to seize the throne; the plot was, however, given away by his wife before it could take effect. Manuel marched home to enter Constantinople c. July 1143. He secured the good-will of the people by commanding that every household should be granted two gold coins. Isaac the younger (Manuel's brother) and Isaac the elder (Manuel's paternal uncle), were both released from captivity and reconciled with him. Manuel chose Michael Oxeites as the new patriarch and was crowned either in August or November 1143.

Manuel confirmed John Axuch in the office of Grand Domestic, that is, commander of the army, appointed John of Poutze as procurator of public taxes, grand commissioner and inspector of accounts and John Hagiotheodorites as chancellor. John of Poutze proved to be an oppressive tax collector, but was also unsusceptible to bribery. However, this John diverted monies levied for the navy into the treasury, which would, as we shall see, further Byzantine dependence on the maritime Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa and Pisa.

Early Campaigns: 1144-1146
Manuel's first concern was to consolidate the work of his father in securing the eastern frontier. He sent a force under the brothers Andronicus and John Contostephanus against the recalcitrant Crusader prince Raymond of Antioch, which consisted of both an army and a navy, the latter commanded by Demetrius Branas. Raymond's army was routed, and the naval force inflicted no small damage on the coastal regions of the principality. In the meantime the Crusader city of Edessa fell to the Turkish atabeg Zengi. Raymond therefore travelled to Constantinople as a suppliant to Manuel. It was subsequently decided, in the light of Manuel's imperial status, that the terms under which he would marry Bertha of Sulzbach should be improved. Manuel asked for 500 knights, and Conrad happily granted them, being prepared to supply 2000 or 3000 if need be all for the sake of this alliance. Bertha took the Greek name Irene.

The Seljuk sultanate of Rum under Masud had become the ascendant Turkish power in Anatolia. Manuel himself supervised the rebuilding of the fortress of Melangeia on the Sangarius river in Bithynia (1145 or 1146). In the most daring campaign of these early years, after building the new fort of Pithecas in Bithynia, Manuel advanced as far into Turkish territory as Konya (Iconium), the Seljuk capital. He had been wounded in the foot by an arrow at a mighty battle at Philomelium (which had been Masud's headquarters), and the city had been rased; once at Konya, he allowed his troops to despoil the graves outside the city walls, before taking the road home.

Cinnamus relates that the gratutitous heroics which Manuel displayed on this campaign were calculated to impress Manuel's new bride. Manuel and his army were harried by Turks on the journey home. Manuel erected the fort of Pylae before leaving Anatolia.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of the reign of Manuel I Comnenus please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/mannycom.htm]

Frederick Barbarossa and the "two-emperor problem"
Frederick Barbarossa, who was to become a constant menace to Manuel's designs, had succeeded his uncle Conrad III in 1152, but unlike him proved in the end unprepared to make any territorial concessions in Italy. The origins of this "cold war" between the two empires cannot be dated with any certainty, but there may have been a tendency to date it too early. One school of thought would not date the outbreak of this rivalry to any earlier than 1159-60, the death of Manuel's German wife, Bertha-Irene. About this time there was a scare at Constantinople that Frederick Barbarossa would march on Byzantium, perhaps reflecting a desire on Frederick's part to crusade (which he eventually did, in the reign of Isaac II Angelus). The new Pope, Alexander III, by, as it would seem, offering to grant Manuel the imperial crown, used it as a bargaining chip to play off the emperors of west and east against one another. Manuel may have supported Alexander during the papal schism of 1160-1177 because he was the preferred candidate of Hungary and the Crusader states, both of which he hoped would recognise him as their feudal overlord. By this means he could claim sovereign rights over the crusading movement, and thereby turn it to his advantage. The playing off of Manuel against Frederick continued right up until 1177, the Peace of Venice, whereby Frederick agreed to recognise Pope Alexander, the autonomy of Sicily and of the northern Italian communes. But this result was not a foregone conclusion in the 1160s and early 1170s, and Manuel used Byzantine gold to win supporters in Italy and thereby keep Frederick occupied.

Marriage to Maria of Antioch 1161
Bertha-Irene died in late 1159/early 1160. Manuel sought to strengthen his ties with the Crusader principalities by selecting an eastern Latin princess for his wife. The exceedingly beautiful Maria of Antioch, daughter of Raymond of Antioch, was chosen, and the nuptials celebrated at Christmas, 1161.


Dynastic considerations 1169-1172
Manuel's wife Maria of Antioch gave birth to a baby boy 14 September 1169 in the porphyry marble birthchamber, the cause of great festivities. The infant was crowned emperor in 1171. With the death of Stephen III of Hungary in 1172, Stephen's brother Béla was sent out from Constantinople to assume the throne (though without Sirmium and Dalmatia being surrendered to the Hungarian crown). A husband for Maria Porphyrogenita was therefore required. At first it was proposed that she marry William II of Sicily, who was outraged when she failed to show up at Taranto on the appointed day, the emperor having had second thoughts.


The final months 1180
Manuel took ill in the month of March 1180. During this period of terminal illness the last major religious controversies took place. We are told that Manuel directed that the anathema pronounced against the god of Muhammad be removed from the abjuration against the Islamic faith declared by converts to Christianity. Manuel was opposed by the last patriarch of his reign, Theodosius Boradiotes (1179-1183), as well as, notably, by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Both parties were satisfied in the end upon a reading of the emperor's proposed amendments to the abjuration. This controversy would seem to be a different one from the one alluded to in Eustathius' funeral oration for Manuel, since Manuel is praised by Eustathius for his stance in it, which seems to have revolved around a book written by a convert from Islam that magnified the Father at the expense of the Son (and therefore had Arian overtones). It became apparent that the emperor was dying, and, on the advice of Theodosius, he renounced astrology. As his end approached, he assumed the monastic habit and the name Matthew, demanding that his wife Maria become a nun. Manuel's son Alexius was but eleven, and the minority would prove to be disastrous for Byzantium. Manuel died thirty-seven years and nine months from the beginning of his reign.

General strategies in Manuel's foreign policy
The funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica is an interesting document in that it discusses some of the general policies pursued over Manuel's reign. It endorses his policy of dividing his enemies, the Petchenegs, the Sicilian Normans and the Turks, among themselves by using Byzantine gold, a policy of "divide and rule". We have seen how this was applied especially in Italy. Another general policy was to create friendly buffer states on the frontiers of the empire, most notably Hungary (and Serbia) and the Crusader States. Manuel would deliberately underpin the most powerful potentate in each region (the king of Hungary, the king of Jerusalem, the sultan of Konya) and thereby emphasise his own absolute sovereignty. In the funeral oration this granting of autonomy is justified as the reward for good service, as in the parable of the talents. We also see in the panegyric of the 1170s the downplaying of the idea of world rule which was so prevalent in the reign of John. Although Manuel claimed sovereign rights over many of his neighbours, his territorial claims were limited: coastal southern Italy, Dalmatia and Sirmium, coastal Egypt. The Byzantines seem to have come to terms with the reality of nation states and it is in Manuel's reign that they begin to refer to themselves not only as "Romans", but as "Hellenes", in order to demarcate themselves from the barbarians surrounding them.

Manuel's taxation, government and army
Nicetas Choniates roundly criticises Manuel in his history for increasing taxes and lavishing money on his family and retainers, particularly his Latin favourites. We have also seen how money was spent in Manuel's ambitious foreign policy. Mention is made of two towers, one at Damalis, and one next to the monastery of the Mangana, between which a chain could be stretched to block the Bosphorus. Then there was the work done at both the Great Palace and the Palace of the Blachernae, galleries, a pavilion alla Turca and numerous mosaics. He also founded a monastery at Kataskepe at the mouth of the Black Sea, which was endowed from the imperial treasury.

Choniates further criticizes the continuation and spread of the granting of pronoiai, parcels of land, the income from each of which supported a soldier. Many of these were granted to foreigners, for example, Turks captured in the Meander campaigns were settled around Thessalonica. The pronoia would pay not only for a soldier's upkeep, but his expensive equipment, for in Manuel's reign the bow and arrow and circular shield had been replaced by a heavier western-style panoply of armour, large triangular shield and lance. Choniates laments how fashionable a practice it had become in Manuel's reign to forsake the land or one's trade and become enlisted in the army.

Manuel and the "Comnenian system"
Throughout Manuel's reign, as under his father John, the top tier of the aristocracy was formed by the emperor's family, the Comneni, and the families into which they married. The extended family was, however, by now becoming unwieldy, and beginning to lose its cohesion, as the example of Manuel's cousin Andronicus shows. Under Manuel it was degree of kinship to the emperor which determined one's rank, as synodal listings show. So it was that very quickly after Manuel's death the upper tier of the aristocracy splintered into separate groups, each with its own identity and interests.

Literature
The various aristocratic courts, that of the emperor and other key members of the extended family, most notably the sebastokrator Isaac Comnenus the elder and the sebastokratorissa Irene, widow of Manuel's brother Andronicus, attracted literati who would seek to serve under them. Such figures would not only turn their hands to literature, encomia in prose or poetry, expositions on mythology, commentaries on Homer or the philosophers, historical chronicles and even, in this period, romances - the twelfth century is a high point of literary production at Constantinople, so much so that some have even talked of a "Comnenian renaissance" - but they would seek to perform more menial, such as administrative, duties to support themselves. Such men would often come from noble families whose prestige had been eclipsed by the Comnenian upper tier of the aristocracy. Serving under a lord was one way of advancing oneself, entering the Church was another.

The patriarchal church and education
The deacons of the church of St Sophia were a powerful group, the chartophylax being second only to the patriarch. These deacons would either go on to become bishops in the provinces, or possibly first hold one of the professorial chairs associated with the patriarchal church. First there were the "teachers", didaskaloi of the Gospels, Epistles and Psalter. Then there was the maistor ton rhetoron, "master of the rhetors", responsible for delivering speeches in praise of the emperor on January 6 each year and of the patriarch on the Saturday prior to Palm Sunday, as well as for other state occasions. And there was the hypatos ton philosophon, "consul of the philosophers", an office which had lapsed but was revived under Manuel.

Character and Legacy
Was Byzantium of the middle to late twelfth century living on borrowed time? Until recently this was the verdict of many scholars. Yet John II and Manuel had, if there is any kernel of truth in their encomia, at least temporarily reversed the overrunning of Anatolia by the Turks, and Manuel had won Dalmatia and Sirmium from Hungary. But Byzantine collapse was rapid, which is the reason why scholars have searched in the reigns of John and Manuel for the beginnings of the disintegration that occurred under the last Comneni and the Angeli. The history and comments of Nicetas Choniates have been adduced as vindicating this view. The victory of the military aristocracy that the establishment of the Comnenian dynasty represents has been seen as both the reason for the temporary reversal of Byzantine fortunes - government by three very capable autocrats - and of ultimate failure, because of the splintering into factions that oligarchy, such as was present in the Comnenian system, foments. A Marxist interpretation is that the feudalisation of the Byzantine Empire, the depletion of the free peasantry, that began to take place in the middle period was the reason for its ultimate failure. But to the Byzantines at the time Byzantium seemed to be holding its own; the "nations" around were being kept at bay, and even though the panegyric of renovation is less evident than in the reign of John II, the emperor remains despotes, "master" of the oikoumene, "world". Indeed, Manuel would be remembered in France, Genoa and the Crusader States as the most powerful sovereign in the world.

We have mentioned the funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica. This contains a series of vignettes of the personal aspects of Manuel. There are commonplaces: the emperor is able to endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold, lack of sleep and so on, and sweats copiously in his endeavours on the empire's part. Although these ideas have been recycled from earlier reigns, notably that of John II, the contemporary historians agree that Manuel was an indefatigable and daring warrior. However, there are more specifically individual touches in the Eustathian oration. Manuel had a manly suntan and was tall in stature. The emperor was capable of clever talk, but could also talk to others on a man-to-man basis. Eustathius makes much of the emperor's book-learning (Cinnamus claims to have discussed Aristotle with the emperor). The restoration of churches was a major concern for Manuel. He also had some expertise in medicine (he had tended Conrad III of Germany and Baldwin III of Jerusalem personally). Manuel showed temperance in eating and drinking, with a certain liking for beer as well as wine, the latter being mixed sour after the manner of ascetics. Likewise, he would not slumber long. He would generally choose walking over riding. The oration closes on the widow and orphan Manuel has left behind. The situation resulting for the Byzantine Empire at this stage, with the vacuum created by Manuel would result in no less than implosion.

Copyright (C) 2003, Andrew Stone.
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
AusgustusActiumDenarius.jpg
[603a] Octavian, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.49 viewsAR denarius; BMC 461; struck at Lugdunum between 15-13 BC , C 1411, RIC 171a; Date: 17.8 mm, 3.5 grams; F+; Obverse: AVGVSTVS [DI]VI F, Bare head right; Reverse: IMP X, Apollo standing facing, holding plectrum in right hand and lyre in left, ACT in exergue. A decent denarius commemorating The Battle of Actium against Antony in 31 BC. Ex McSorley Westchester Stamp and coin show 1970. Ex Ancient Imports.


De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers

AUGUSTUS (31 B.C. - 14 A.D.)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

In the course of his long and spectacular career, he put an end to the advancing decay of the Republic and established a new basis for Roman government that was to stand for three centuries. This system, termed the "Principate," was far from flawless, but it provided the Roman Empire with a series of rulers who presided over the longest period of unity, peace, and prosperity that Western Europe, the Middle East and the North African seaboard have known in their entire recorded history. Even if the rulers themselves on occasion left much to be desired, the scale of Augustus's achievement in establishing the system cannot be overstated. Aside from the immense importance of Augustus's reign from the broad historical perspective, he himself is an intriguing figure: at once tolerant and implacable, ruthless and forgiving, brazen and tactful. Clearly a man of many facets, he underwent three major political reinventions in his lifetime and negotiated the stormy and dangerous seas of the last phase of the Roman Revolution with skill and foresight. With Augustus established in power and with the Principate firmly rooted, the internal machinations of the imperial household provide a fascinating glimpse into the one issue that painted this otherwise gifted organizer and politician into a corner from which he could find no easy exit: the problem of the succession.

(For a very detailed and interesting account of the Age of Augustus see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/auggie.htm)

Death and Retrospective

In his later years, Augustus withdrew more and more from the public eye, although he continued to transact public business. He was getting older, and old age in ancient times must have been considerably more debilitating than it is today. In any case, Tiberius had been installed as his successor and, by AD 13, was virtually emperor already. In AD 4 he had received grants of both proconsular and tribunician power, which had been renewed as a matter of course whenever they needed to be; in AD 13, Tiberius's imperium had been made co-extensive with that of Augustus. While traveling in Campania, Augustus died peacefully at Nola on 19 August, AD 14. Tiberius, who was en route to Illyricum, hurried to the scene and, depending on the source, arrived too late or spent a day in consultation with the dying princes. The tradition that Livia poisoned her husband is scurrilous in the extreme and most unlikely to be true. Whatever the case about these details, Imperator Caesar Augustus, Son of a God, Father of his Country, the man who had ruled the Roman world alone for almost 45 years, or over half a century if the triumviral period is included, was dead. He was accorded a magnificent funeral, buried in the mausoleum he had built in Rome, and entered the Roman pantheon as Divus Augustus. In his will, he left 1,000 sesterces apiece to the men of the Praetorian guard, 500 to the urban cohorts, and 300 to each of the legionaries. In death, as in life, Augustus acknowledged the true source of his power.

The inscription entitled "The Achievements of the Divine Augustus" (Res Gestae Divi Augustae; usually abbreviated RG) remains a remarkable piece of evidence deriving from Augustus's reign. The fullest copy of it is the bilingual Greek and Latin version carved into the walls of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at Ancyra in Galatia (for this reason the RG used to be commonly referred to as the Monumentum Ancyranum). Other evidence, however, demonstrates that the original was inscribed on two bronze pillars that flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome. The inscription remains the only first-person summary of any Roman emperor's political career and, as such, offers invaluable insights into the Augustan regime's public presentation of itself.

In looking back on the reign of Augustus and its legacy to the Roman world, its longevity ought not to be overlooked as a key factor in its success. People had been born and reached middle age without knowing any form of government other than the Principate. Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters may have turned out very differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican aristocracy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a monarchy in these years. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him.

Copyright © 1999, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Augustus (the first Roman emperor, in whose reign Jesus Christ was born) is without any doubt one of the most important figures in Roman history.

It is reported that when he was near death, Augustus addressed those in attendance with these words, "If I have played my part well, applaud!"

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr
Cleisthenes
 
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