May 12 2018

Severus Alexander Big Rare Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52994

Severus Alexander Big Rare Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52994

Severus Alexander Big Rare Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52994

Item: i52994 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Severus Alexander – Roman Emperor : 222-235 A. Bronze As 24mm (10.76 grams) Rome mint circa 222-235 A. Reference: RIC IV 637. IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped bust right MARS VLTOR, Mars advancing right, holding spear and shield, S-C across fields. Was the Roman god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter , and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Martius Latin), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming. Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares , whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, who is often treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature. Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus , the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars’ altar in the Campus Martius , the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa , the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although the center of Mars’ worship was originally located outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium) , Augustus made the god a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new forum. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace , and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome , Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas , celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls. The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity, particularly in the Western provinces. The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, and the couple were a frequent subject of art. In Greek myth, the adultery of Ares and Aphrodite had been exposed to ridicule when her husband Hephaestus (whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan) caught them in the act by means of a magical snare. Although not originally part of the Roman tradition, in 217 BC Venus and Mars were presented as a complementary pair in the lectisternium , a public banquet at which images of twelve major gods of the Roman state were presented on couches as if present and participating. Wall painting (mid-1st century AD) from which the House of Venus and Mars at Pompeii takes its name. Scenes of Venus and Mars in Roman art often ignore the adulterous implications of their union, and take pleasure in the good-looking couple attended by Cupid or multiple Loves (amores). Some scenes may imply marriage, and the relationship was romanticized in funerary or domestic art in which husbands and wives had themselves portrayed as the passionate divine couple. The uniting of deities representing Love and War lent itself to allegory , especially since the lovers were the parents of Harmonia. The Renaissance philosopher Marsilio Ficino notes that “only Venus dominates Mars, and he never dominates her”. In ancient Roman and Renaissance art, Mars is often shown disarmed and relaxed, or even sleeping, but the extramarital nature of their affair can also suggest that this peace is impermanent. She-wolf and twins from an altar to Venus and Mars. The earliest center in Rome for cultivating Mars as a deity was the Altar of Mars (Ara Martis) in the Campus Martius (“Field of Mars”) outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium). The Romans thought that this altar had been established by the semi-legendary Numa Pompilius , the peace-loving successor of Romulus. According to Roman tradition, the Campus Martius had been consecrated to Mars by their ancestors to serve as horse pasturage and an equestrian training ground for youths. During the Roman Republic (50927 BC), the Campus was a largely open expanse. No temple was built at the altar, but from 193 BC a covered walkway connected it to the Porta Fontinalis , near the office and archives of the Roman censors. Newly elected censors placed their curule chairs by the altar, and when they had finished conducting the census, the citizens were collectively purified with a suovetaurilia there. A frieze from the so-called “Altar” of Domitius Ahenobarbus is thought to depict the census, and may show Mars himself standing by the altar as the procession of victims advances. The main Temple of Mars (Aedes Martis) in the Republican period also lay outside the sacred boundary and was devoted to the god’s warrior aspect. It was built to fulfill a vow (votum) made by a Titus Quinctius in 388 BC during the Gallic siege of Rome. The founding day (dies natalis) was commemorated on June 1, and the temple is attested by several inscriptions and literary sources. The sculpture group of Mars and the wolves was displayed there. Soldiers sometimes assembled at the temple before heading off to war, and it was the point of departure for a major parade of Roman cavalry held annually on July 15. A temple to Mars in the Circus Flaminius was built around 133 BC, funded by Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus from war booty. It housed a colossal statue of Mars and a nude Venus. The Campus Martius continued to provide venues for equestrian events such as chariot racing during the Imperial period , but under the first emperor Augustus it underwent a major program of urban renewal, marked by monumental architecture. The Altar of Augustan Peace (Ara Pacis Augustae) was located there, as was the Obelisk of Montecitorio , imported from Egypt to form the pointer (gnomon) of the Solarium Augusti , a giant sundial. With its public gardens, the Campus became one of the most attractive places in the city to visit. Augustus chose the Campus Martius as the site of his new Temple to Mars Ultor, a manifestation of Mars he cultivated as the avenger (ultor) of the murder of Julius Caesar and of the military disaster suffered at the Battle of Carrhae. When the legionary standards lost to the Parthians were recovered, they were housed in the new temple. The date of the temple’s dedication on May 12 was aligned with the heliacal setting of the constellation Scorpio , the house of war. The date continued to be marked with circus games as late as the mid-4th century AD. A large statue of Mars was part of the short-lived Arch of Nero , which was built in 62 AD but dismantled after Nero’s suicide and disgrace (damnatio memoriae). SEVERUS ALEXANDER Augustus: A. Son of Julia Mamaea Husband of Orbiana Grandson of Julia Maesa Nephew of Julia Soaemias Cousin of Elagabalus Second-cousin of Caracalla and Geta Great-newphew of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (October 1, 208March 18, 235 AD), commonly called Alexander Severus , was the last Roman emperor (11 March 222235) of the Severan dynasty. Alexander Severus succeeded his cousin, Elagabalus upon the latter’s assassination in 222 AD, and was ultimately assassinated himself, marking the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century nearly fifty years of disorder, Roman civil wars, economic chaos, regional rebellions, and external threats that brought the Empire to near-collapse. Alexander Severus was the heir apparent to his cousin, the eighteen-year-old Emperor who had been murdered along with his mother by his own guardsand as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the Tiber river. He and his cousin were both grandsons of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa , who had arranged for Elagabalus’ acclamation as Emperor by the famed Third Gallic Legion. A rumor of Alexander’s death circulated, triggering the assassination of Elagabalus. Alexander’s reign was marked by troubles. In military conflict against the rising Sassanid Empire , there are mixed accounts, though the Sassanid threat was checked. However, when campaigning against Germanic tribes of Germania , Alexander Severus apparently alienated his legions by trying diplomacy and bribery, and they assassinated him. Alexander was born with the name Marcus Julius Gessius Bassianus Alexianus. Alexander’s father, Marcus Julius Gessius Marcianus was a Syrian Promagistrate. His mother Julia Avita Mamaea was the second daughter of Julia Maesa and Syrian noble Julius Avitus and maternal aunt of Emperor Elagabalus. He had an elder sister called Theoclia and little is known about her. Alexander’s maternal great-aunt was empress Julia Domna (also Maesa’s younger sister) and his great-uncle in marriage was emperor Lucius Septimius Severus. Emperors Caracalla and Publius Septimius Geta , were his mother’s maternal cousins. In 221, Alexander’s grandmother, Maesa, persuaded the emperor to adopt his cousin as successor and make him Caesar and Bassianus changed his name to Alexander. In the following year, on March 11, Elagabalus was murdered, and Alexander was proclaimed emperor by the Praetorians and accepted by the Senate. When Alexander became emperor, he was young, amiable, well-meaning, and entirely under the dominion of his mother. Julia Mamaea was a woman of many virtues, and she surrounded the young emperor with wise counsellors. She watched over the development of her son’s character and improved the tone of the administration. On the other hand, she was inordinately jealous. She also alienated the army by extreme parsimony, and neither she nor her son were strong enough to impose military discipline. Mutinies became frequent in all parts of the empire; to one of them the life of the jurist and praetorian praefect Ulpian was sacrificed; another compelled the retirement of Cassius Dio from his command. On the whole, however, the reign of Alexander was prosperous until the rise, in the east, of the Sassanids. Of the war that followed there are various accounts. (Mommsen leans to that which is least favourable to the Romans). According to Alexander’s own dispatch to the senate, he gained great victories. At all events, though the Sassanids were checked for the time, the conduct of the Roman army showed an extraordinary lack of discipline. The following year he was called to face German invaders in Gaul , who had breached the Rhine frontier in several places, destroying forts and over-running the countryside. Alexander mustered his forces, bringing legions from the eastern provinces, and crossed the Rhine into Germany on a pontoon bridge. Whether this was a wise policy or not, it caused the Roman legionaries to look down on their emperor as one who was prepared to commit unsoldierly conduct. Herodian says “in their opinion Alexander showed no honourable intention to pursue the war and preferred a life of ease, when he should have marched out to punish the Germans for their previous insolence”. These circumstances drove the army to look for a new leader. They chose Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus , a Thracian soldier who had worked his way up through the ranks. Following the nomination of Maximinus as emperor, Alexander was slain (on either March 18 or March 19, 235), together with his mother, in a mutiny of the Primigenia Legio XXII. These assassinations secured the throne for Maximinus. The death of Alexander is considered as the end of the Principate system established by Augustus. Although the Principate continued in theory until the reign of Diocletian , Alexander Severus’ death signalled the beginning of the chaotic period known as the Crisis of the Third Century which weakened the empire considerably. Alexander was the last of the Syrian emperors. Under the influence of his mother, he did much to improve the morals and condition of the people. His advisers were men like the famous jurist Ulpian, the historian Cassius Dio and a select board of sixteen senators; a municipal council of fourteen assisted the urban praefect in administering the affairs of the fourteen districts of Rome. In religious matters Alexander preserved an open mind. It is said that he was desirous of erecting a temple to the founder of Christianity , but was dissuaded by the pagan priests. Alexander was married three times. His most famous wife was Sallustia Orbiana , Augusta , whom he married in 225. He divorced and exiled her in 227, after her father, Seius Sallustius , was executed for attempting to assassinate the emperor. Another wife was Sulpicia Memmia. Her father was a man of consular rank; her grandfather’s name was Catulus. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “Severus Alexander Big Rare Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52994″ is in sale since Monday, November 16, 2015. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Severus Alexander

May 5 2018

Florian 276AD RARE Ancient Roman Coin Felicitas Good luck Cult Commerce i55485

Florian 276AD RARE Ancient Roman Coin Felicitas Good luck Cult Commerce i55485

Florian 276AD RARE Ancient Roman Coin Felicitas Good luck Cult Commerce i55485

Item: i55485 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Florian – Roman Emperor : 276 A. Bronze Antoninianus 23mm (4.30 grams) Siscia mint 276 A. Reference: RIC -, vgl. 98-9; BN 1965; Hunter -; Slg. Mazzini -; C. IMP C M AN FLORIANVS P AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right FELICITAS AVG, Felicitas standing left by altar, holding patera and caduceus. The caduceus s from Greek “herald’s staff” is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris , the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents , sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury , the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves. As a symbolic object it represents Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations or undertakings associated with the god. In later Antiquity the caduceus provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury. Thus, through its use in astrology and alchemy , it has come to denote the elemental metal of the same name. This association is ancient, and consistent from the Classical period to modern times. The caduceus is also used as a symbol representing printing, again by extension of the attributes of Mercury (in this case associated with writing and eloquence). The caduceus is sometimes mistakenly used as a symbol of medicine and/or medical practice , especially in North America , because of widespread confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius , which has only a single snake and no wings. The term kerukeion denoted any herald’s staff, not necessarily associated with Hermes in particular. Lewis Richard Farnell (1909) in his study of the cult of Hermes assumed that the two snakes had simply developed out of ornaments of the shepherd’s crook used by heralds as their staff. This view has been rejected by later authors pointing to parallel iconography in the Ancient Near East. It has been argued that the staff or wand entwined by two snakes was itself representing a god in the pre-anthropomorphic era. Like the herm or priapus , it would thus be a predecessor of the anthropomorphic Hermes of the classical era. William Hayes Ward (1910) discovered that symbols similar to the classical caduceus sometimes appeared on Mesopotamian cylinder seals. He suggested the symbol originated some time between 3000 and 4000 BCE, and that it might have been the source of the Greek caduceus. Ward’s research into his own work, published in 1916, in which he suggested that the prototype of Hermes was an “Oriental deity of Babylonian extraction” represented in his earliest form as a snake god. From this perspective, the caduceus was originally representative of Hermes himself, in his early form as the Underworld god Ningishzida , “messenger” of the “Earth Mother”. The caduceus is mentioned in passing by Walter Burkert. As “really the image of copulating snakes taken over from Ancient Near Eastern tradition”. In Egyptian iconography, the Djed pillar is depicted as containing a snake in a frieze of the Dendera Temple complex. The rod of Moses and the brazen serpent are frequently compared to the caduceus, especially as Moses is acting as a messenger of God to the Pharaoh at the point in the narrative where he changes his staff into a serpent. The Homeric hymn to Hermes relates how Hermes offered his lyre fashioned from a tortoise shell as compensation for the cattle he stole from his half brother Apollo. Apollo in return gave Hermes the caduceus as a gesture of friendship. The association with the serpent thus connects Hermes to Apollo , as later the serpent was associated with Asclepius , the “son of Apollo”. The association of Apollo with the serpent is a continuation of the older Indo-European dragon -slayer motif. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1913) pointed out that the serpent as an attribute of both Hermes and Asclepius is a variant of the “pre-historic semi-chthonic serpent hero known at Delphi as Python “, who in classical mythology is slain by Apollo. One Greek myth of origin of the caduceus is part of the story of Tiresias , who found two snakes copulating and killed the female with his staff. Tiresias was immediately turned into a woman, and so remained until he was able to repeat the act with the male snake seven years later. This staff later came into the possession of the god Hermes, along with its transformative powers. Another myth suggests that Hermes (or Mercury) saw two serpents entwined in mortal combat. Separating them with his wand he brought about peace between them, and as a result the wand with two serpents came to be seen as a sign of peace. In Rome, Livy refers to the caduceator who negotiated peace arrangements under the diplomatic protection of the caduceus he carried. In some vase paintings ancient depictions of the Greek kerukeion are somewhat different from the commonly seen modern representation. These representations feature the two snakes atop the staff (or rod), crossed to create a circle with the heads of the snakes resembling horns. This old graphic form, with an additional crossbar to the staff, seems to have provided the basis for the graphical sign of Mercury used in Greek astrology from Late Antiquity. Use in alchemy and occultism. As the symbol of both the planet and the metal named for Mercury, the caduceus became an important symbol in alchemy. The crucified serpent was also revived as an alchemical symbol for fixatio , and John Donne (Sermons 10:190) uses “crucified Serpent” as a title of Jesus Christ. A simplified variant of the caduceus is to be found in dictionaries, indicating a commercial term entirely in keeping with the association of Hermes with commerce. In this form the staff is often depicted with two winglets attached and the snakes are omitted (or reduced to a small ring in the middle). Misuse as symbol of medicine. It is relatively common, especially in the United States, to find the caduceus, with its two snakes and wings, used as a symbol of medicine instead of the correct rod of Asclepius, with only a single snake. This usage is erroneous, popularised largely as a result of the adoption of the caduceus as its insignia by the US Army medical corps in 1902 at the insistence of a single officer though there are conflicting claims as to whether this was Capt. The rod of Asclepius is the dominant symbol for professional healthcare associations in the United States. One survey found that 62% of professional healthcare associations used the rod of Asclepius as their symbol. The same survey found that 76% of commercial healthcare organizations used the Caduceus symbol. The initial errors leading to its adoption and the continuing confusion it generates are well known to medical historians. The long-standing and abundantly attested historical associations of the caduceus with commerce, theft, deception, and death are considered by many to be inappropriate in a symbol used by those engaged in the healing arts. This has occasioned significant criticism of the use of the caduceus in a medical context. In Roman mythology , Felicitas (meaning “good luck” or “fortune”) was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. The word felicitas , “luck”, is also the source of the word and name felicity. She played an important role in Rome’s state religion during the empire , and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire. Felicitas was unknown before the mid-2nd century BC, when a temple was dedicated to her in the Velabrum in the Campus Martius by Lucius Licinius Lucullus , using booty from his 151150 BC campaign in Spain. The temple was destroyed by a fire during the reign of Claudius and was never rebuilt. Another temple in Rome was planned by Julius Caesar and was erected after his death by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus on the site of the Curia Hostilia , which had been restored by Lucius Cornelius Sulla but demolished by Caesar in 44 BC. This temple no longer existed by the time of Hadrian , and its site probably lies under the church of Santi Martina e Luca. Marcus Annius Florianus (died 276), commonly known as Florian in English, was a Roman Emperor who ruled in 276. The item “Florian 276AD RARE Ancient Roman Coin Felicitas Good luck Cult Commerce i55485″ is in sale since Saturday, May 14, 2016. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Florian

Apr 7 2018

SEVERUS ALEXANDER Rome mint Silver Ancient Roman Coin Liberality Cult i46561

SEVERUS ALEXANDER Rome mint Silver Ancient Roman Coin Liberality Cult i46561

SEVERUS ALEXANDER Rome mint Silver Ancient Roman Coin Liberality Cult i46561

Item: i46561 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Severus Alexander – Roman Emperor : 222-235 A. Silver Denarius 20mm (2.52 grams) Rome mint: 225 A. Reference: Silver Denarius 19mm (2.00 grams) Rome mint: 229 A. Reference: RIC 205, S 7878, C 133 IMPSEVALEXANDAVG – Laureate head right. LIBERALITASAVGIIII – Liberalitas standing left, holding coin counter and cornucopia. The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form. Originating in classical antiquity , it has continued as a symbol in Western art , and it is particularly associated with the Thanksgiving holiday in North America. Allegorical depiction of the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia, by Rubens ca. Mythology offers multiple explanations of the origin of the cornucopia. One of the best-known involves the birth and nurturance of the infant Zeus , who had to be hidden from his devouring father Cronus. In a cave on Mount Ida on the island of Crete , baby Zeus was cared for and protected by a number of divine attendants, including the goat Amalthea (“Nourishing Goddess”), who fed him with her milk. The suckling future king of the gods had unusual abilities and strength, and in playing with his nursemaid accidentally broke off one of her horns , which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment, as the foster mother had to the god. In another myth, the cornucopia was created when Heracles (Roman Hercules) wrestled with the river god Achelous and wrenched off one of his horns; river gods were sometimes depicted as horned. This version is represented in the Achelous and Hercules mural painting by the American Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton. The cornucopia became the attribute of several Greek and Roman deities , particularly those associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance, such as personifications of Earth (Gaia or Terra); the child Plutus , god of riches and son of the grain goddess Demeter ; the nymph Maia ; and Fortuna , the goddess of luck, who had the power to grant prosperity. In Roman Imperial cult , abstract Roman deities who fostered peace (pax Romana) and prosperity were also depicted with a cornucopia, including Abundantia , “Abundance” personified, and Annona , goddess of the grain supply to the city of Rome. Pluto , the classical ruler of the underworld in the mystery religions , was a giver of agricultural, mineral and spiritual wealth, and in art often holds a cornucopia to distinguish him from the gloomier Hades , who holds a drinking horn instead. In modern depictions, the cornucopia is typically a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket filled with various kinds of festive fruit and vegetables. In North America, the cornucopia has come to be associated with Thanksgiving and the harvest. Cornucopia is also the name of the annual November Wine and Food celebration in Whistler , British Columbia, Canada. Two cornucopias are seen in the flag and state seal of Idaho. The Great Seal of North Carolina depicts Liberty standing and Plenty holding a cornucopia. The coat of arms of Colombia , Panama , Peru and Venezuela , and the Coat of Arms of the State of Victoria, Australia , also feature the cornucopia, symbolising prosperity. The horn of plenty is used on body art and at Halloween, as it is a symbol of fertility, fortune and abundance. Base of a statue of Louis XV of France. LIBERALITAS – Liberality, being one of the princely virtues and at the same time a most popular quality, appears both as a legend and as a type on a great many Roman imperial medals. In the earlier age this was called Congiarium (Munus), because they distributed congios oleo plenos. In the time of the free republic, the Ediles were specially entrusted with these distributions, as a means of acquiring the good will of the people. The same practice was followed under the emperors; and we occasionally find on their coins the word CONGIARIVM, but the more common term is LIBERALITAS, to which is frequently added the number of times that such liberality has been exercised by each emperor. But when something beyond their ordinary pay was bestowed upon the soldiers, it was denominated Donativum, a word, however, not found on coins, but comprised under that of Liberalitas, or of Congiarium; and after the reign of Marcus Aurelius, CONGIARIVM is no longer found, and the expression LIBERALITAS is alone employed. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they would be dipped into a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public granaries. Liberalitas is represented as presiding at all congiaria. The liberalities of the Augusti, by which the distribution of their bounties to the people is signified, were of two kinds, ordinary and extraordinary. SEVERUS ALEXANDER Augustus: A. Son of Julia Mamaea Husband of Orbiana Grandson of Julia Maesa Nephew of Julia Soaemias Cousin of Elagabalus Second-cousin of Caracalla and Geta Great-newphew of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (October 1, 208March 18, 235 AD), commonly called Alexander Severus , was the last Roman emperor (11 March 222235) of the Severan dynasty. Alexander Severus succeeded his cousin, Elagabalus upon the latter’s assassination in 222 AD, and was ultimately assassinated himself, marking the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century nearly fifty years of disorder, Roman civil wars, economic chaos, regional rebellions, and external threats that brought the Empire to near-collapse. Alexander Severus was the heir apparent to his cousin, the eighteen-year-old Emperor who had been murdered along with his mother by his own guardsand as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the Tiber river. He and his cousin were both grandsons of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa , who had arranged for Elagabalus’ acclamation as Emperor by the famed Third Gallic Legion. A rumor of Alexander’s death circulated, triggering the assassination of Elagabalus. Alexander’s reign was marked by troubles. In military conflict against the rising Sassanid Empire , there are mixed accounts, though the Sassanid threat was checked. However, when campaigning against Germanic tribes of Germania , Alexander Severus apparently alienated his legions by trying diplomacy and bribery, and they assassinated him. Alexander was born with the name Marcus Julius Gessius Bassianus Alexianus. Alexander’s father, Marcus Julius Gessius Marcianus was a Syrian Promagistrate. His mother Julia Avita Mamaea was the second daughter of Julia Maesa and Syrian noble Julius Avitus and maternal aunt of Emperor Elagabalus. He had an elder sister called Theoclia and little is known about her. Alexander’s maternal great-aunt was empress Julia Domna (also Maesa’s younger sister) and his great-uncle in marriage was emperor Lucius Septimius Severus. Emperors Caracalla and Publius Septimius Geta , were his mother’s maternal cousins. In 221, Alexander’s grandmother, Maesa, persuaded the emperor to adopt his cousin as successor and make him Caesar and Bassianus changed his name to Alexander. In the following year, on March 11, Elagabalus was murdered, and Alexander was proclaimed emperor by the Praetorians and accepted by the Senate. When Alexander became emperor, he was young, amiable, well-meaning, and entirely under the dominion of his mother. Julia Mamaea was a woman of many virtues, and she surrounded the young emperor with wise counsellors. She watched over the development of her son’s character and improved the tone of the administration. On the other hand, she was inordinately jealous. She also alienated the army by extreme parsimony, and neither she nor her son were strong enough to impose military discipline. Mutinies became frequent in all parts of the empire; to one of them the life of the jurist and praetorian praefect Ulpian was sacrificed; another compelled the retirement of Cassius Dio from his command. On the whole, however, the reign of Alexander was prosperous until the rise, in the east, of the Sassanids. Of the war that followed there are various accounts. (Mommsen leans to that which is least favourable to the Romans). According to Alexander’s own dispatch to the senate, he gained great victories. At all events, though the Sassanids were checked for the time, the conduct of the Roman army showed an extraordinary lack of discipline. The following year he was called to face German invaders in Gaul , who had breached the Rhine frontier in several places, destroying forts and over-running the countryside. Alexander mustered his forces, bringing legions from the eastern provinces, and crossed the Rhine into Germany on a pontoon bridge. Whether this was a wise policy or not, it caused the Roman legionaries to look down on their emperor as one who was prepared to commit unsoldierly conduct. Herodian says “in their opinion Alexander showed no honourable intention to pursue the war and preferred a life of ease, when he should have marched out to punish the Germans for their previous insolence”. These circumstances drove the army to look for a new leader. They chose Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus , a Thracian soldier who had worked his way up through the ranks. Following the nomination of Maximinus as emperor, Alexander was slain (on either March 18 or March 19, 235), together with his mother, in a mutiny of the Primigenia Legio XXII. These assassinations secured the throne for Maximinus. The death of Alexander is considered as the end of the Principate system established by Augustus. Although the Principate continued in theory until the reign of Diocletian , Alexander Severus’ death signalled the beginning of the chaotic period known as the Crisis of the Third Century which weakened the empire considerably. Alexander was the last of the Syrian emperors. Under the influence of his mother, he did much to improve the morals and condition of the people. His advisers were men like the famous jurist Ulpian, the historian Cassius Dio and a select board of sixteen senators; a municipal council of fourteen assisted the urban praefect in administering the affairs of the fourteen districts of Rome. In religious matters Alexander preserved an open mind. It is said that he was desirous of erecting a temple to the founder of Christianity , but was dissuaded by the pagan priests. Alexander was married three times. His most famous wife was Sallustia Orbiana , Augusta , whom he married in 225. He divorced and exiled her in 227, after her father, Seius Sallustius , was executed for attempting to assassinate the emperor. Another wife was Sulpicia Memmia. Her father was a man of consular rank; her grandfather’s name was Catulus. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “SEVERUS ALEXANDER Rome mint Silver Ancient Roman Coin Liberality Cult i46561″ is in sale since Wednesday, January 21, 2015. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Severus Alexander
  • Composition: Silver

Apr 3 2018

Herennia Etruscilla Hostilian mom Silver Ancient Roman Coin Modesty Cult i54154

Herennia Etruscilla Hostilian mom Silver Ancient Roman Coin Modesty Cult i54154

Herennia Etruscilla Hostilian mom Silver Ancient Roman Coin Modesty Cult i54154

Item: i54154 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Herennia Etruscilla – Roman Empress wife of. Silver Antoninianus 22mm (4.14 grams) Rome mint July – December 250 A. Reference: RIC 59b (Trajan Decius), C 19 HERETRVSCILLA AVG – Diademed, draped bust right on crescent. PVDICITIA AVG – Pudicitia seated left, pulling veil and holding scepter. PVDICITIA AVGustæ – This form of legend by which the attributes of deified modesty are more closely identified with the person of the Empress than they are in previously cited instances, appears with the usual type of a veiled woman, on coins of Roman empresses. Pudicitia (“modesty” or sexual virtue) was a central concept in ancient Roman sexual ethics. The word is derived from the more general pudor , the sense of shame that regulated an individual’s behavior as socially acceptable. Pudicitia was most often a defining characteristic of women, but men who failed to conform to masculine sexual norms were said to exhibit feminizing impudicitia , sexual shamelessness. The virtue was personified by the Roman goddess Pudicitia, whose Greek equivalent was Aidôs. Romans, both men and women, were expected to uphold the virtue of pudicitia , a complex ideal that was explored by many ancient writers, including Livy , Valerius Maximus , Cicero and Tacitus. Livy describes the legendary figure of Lucretia as the epitome of pudicitia. She is loyal to her husband and is modest, despite her incredible beauty. The story of Lucretia shows that the more virtuous a woman was, the more appealing she was to potential adulterers. Pudicitia was not only a mental attribute but also physical; a persons appearance was seen as an indicator of their morality. The way a man or woman presented him or herself in public, and the persons they interacted with caused others to pass judgment on their pudicitia. For example, if a woman was seen associating with men other than her husband people would make a negative judgment on her pudicitia. Romans idealized the woman who was univira , a “one-man” woman, married once, even though by the time of Cicero and Julius Caesar , divorce was common, the subject of gossip rather than social stigma. Modest self-presentation indicated pudicitia. The opposite of pudicitia was impudicitia , “shamelessness” or sexual vice. An assault on pudicitia was stuprum , sexual misconduct or sex crime. Romans associated the loss of pudicitia with chaos and loss of control. In Ciceros oration against Verres , he discusses many of the governors transgressions including sexual misconduct with both men and women. In the Imperial age, Augustus enacted a program of moral legislation to encourage pudicitia. According to Livy , there were two temples of Pudicitia in Rome. The original one was for women of the patrician class only, but when Verginia was excluded on account of marrying a plebeian consul , she and a group of plebeian matrons founded an altar of Pudicitia for women of the plebeian class as well. Livy states that the plebeian shrine of Pudicitia eventually fell into disuse after its sacred character had been abused. Annia Cupressenia Herennia Etruscilla was Augusta Sept. 251 of the Roman Empire , wife of Emperor Decius , and mother of Emperors Herennius Etruscus and Hostilian. As with most third century Roman empresses, very little is known about her. Probably of senatorial family, she became regent on her son Hostilian, when Decius and Herennius were defeated and killed in the Battle of Abrittus to sink into obscurity after her husband and sons perished. It is assumed that her ancestors settled in Etrurian lands. Herennia married Decius probably before 230 and gained the title Augusta. Her sons were Herennius Etruscus and Hostilian. A veil is an article of clothing or cloth hanging that is intended to cover some part of the head or face , or an object of some significance. It is especially associated with women and sacred objects. One view is that as a religious item, it is intended to show honor to an object or space. The actual sociocultural, psychological, and sociosexual functions of veils have not been studied extensively but most likely include the maintenance of social distance and the communication of social status and cultural identity. In Islamic society, various forms of the veil have been adopted from the Arab culture in which Islam arose. The Quran has no requirement that women cover their faces with a veil, or cover their bodies with the full-body burqua or chador. The first recorded instance of veiling for women is recorded in an Assyrian legal text from the 13th century BC, which restricted its use to noble women and forbade prostitutes and common women from adopting it. The Mycenaean Greek term a-pu-ko-wo-ko meaning “craftsman of horse veil” written in Linear B syllabic script is also attested since ca. In ancient Greek the word for veil was (kaluptra , Ionic Greek – kaluptr , from the verb – kalupt , “I cover”) and is first attested in the works of Homer. Classical Greek and Hellenistic statues sometimes depict Greek women with both their head and face covered by a veil. Caroline Galt and Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones have both argued from such representations and literary references that it was commonplace for women (at least those of higher status) in ancient Greece to cover their hair and face in public. For many centuries, until around 1175, Anglo-Saxon and then Anglo-Norman women, with the exception of young unmarried girls, wore veils that entirely covered their hair, and often their necks up to their chins (see wimple). Only in the Tudor period (1485), when hoods became increasingly popular, did veils of this type become less common. For centuries, women have worn sheer veils, but only under certain circumstances. Sometimes a veil of this type was draped over and pinned to the bonnet or hat of a woman in mourning , especially at the funeral and during the subsequent period of “high mourning”. They would also have been used, as an alternative to a mask , as a simple method of hiding the identity of a woman who was traveling to meet a lover, or doing anything she didn’t want other people to find out about. More pragmatically, veils were also sometimes worn to protect the complexion from sun and wind damage (when un-tanned skin was fashionable), or to keep dust out of a woman’s face, much as the keffiyeh is used today. In Judaism , Christianity and Islam the concept of covering the head is or was associated with propriety and modesty. Most traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary , the mother of Christ , show her veiled. During the Middle Ages most European and Byzantine married women covered their hair rather than their face, with a variety of styles of wimple , kerchiefs and headscarfs. Veiling, covering the hair rather than the face, was a common practice with church-going women until the 1960s, typically using lace , and a number of very traditional churches retain the custom. Lace face-veils are still often worn by female relatives at funerals. In North India, Hindu women may often veil for traditional purposes, it is often the custom in rural areas to veil in front of male elders. This veil is called the Ghoonghat or Laaj. This is to show humility and respect to those elder to the woman, in particular elder males. The ghoonghat is customary especially in the westerly states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Although religion stands as a commonly held reason for choosing to veil, it has also reflects on political regimes and personal conviction, allowing it to serve as a medium through which personal character can be revealed. Praying Jewish woman wearing Tichel. After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem , the synagogues that were established took the design of the Tabernacle as their plan. The Ark of the Law , which contains the scrolls of the Torah , is covered with an embroidered curtain or veil called a parokhet. See also below regarding the veiling and unveiling of the bride. The Veil of our Lady is a liturgical feast celebrating the protection afforded by the intercessions of the Virgin Mary. Traditionally, in Christianity, women were enjoined to cover their heads in church, just as it was (and still is) customary for men to remove their hat as a sign of respect. This practice is based on 1 Corinthians 11:416 , where St. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels. Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been given (her) for a covering? But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God (New American Bible translation). In many traditional Eastern Orthodox Churches , and in some very conservative Protestant churches as well, the custom continues of women covering their heads in church (or even when praying privately at home). In the Roman Catholic Church , it was customary in most places before the 1960s for women to wear a headcovering in the form of a scarf, cap, veil or hat when entering a church. The practice now continues where it is seen as a matter of etiquette, courtesy, tradition or fashionable elegance rather than strictly of canon law. Traditionalist Catholics also maintain the practice. The wearing of a headcovering was for the first time mandated as a universal rule for the Latin Rite by the Code of Canon Law of 1917 , which code was abrogated by the advent of the present (1983) Code of Canon Law. Traditionalist Catholics majorly still follow it, generally as a matter of ancient custom and biblically approved aptness, some also supposing St. Paul’s directive in full force today as an ordinance of its own right, without a canon law rule enforcing it. The photograph here of Mass in the Netherlands in about 1946, two decades before the changes that followed the Second Vatican Council , shows that, even at that time, when a hat was still considered part of formal dress for both women and men, wearing a headcovering at Mass was not a universal practice for Catholic women. A veil over the hair rather than the face forms part of the headdress of some religiouss of nuns or religious sisters; this is why a woman who becomes a nun is said “to take the veil”. In medieval times married women normally covered their hair outside the house, and nun’s veils are based on secular medieval styles, reflecting nuns position as “brides of Christ”. In many institutes, a white veil is used as the “veil of probation” during novitiate , and a dark veil for the “veil of profession” once religious vows are taken the color scheme varies with the color scheme of the habit of the order. A veil of consecration , longer and fuller, is used by some orders for final profession of solemn vows. Nuns also wear veils. Nuns are the female counterparts of monks , and many monastic orders of women have retained the veil. Regarding other institutes of religious sisters who are not cloistered but who work as teachers, nurses or in other “active” apostolates outside of a nunnery or monastery, some wear the veil, while some others have abolished the use of the veil, a few never had a veil to start with, but used a bonnet-style headdress even a century ago, as in the case of St. The fullest versions of the nun’s veil cover the top of the head and flow down around and over the shoulders. In Western Christianity, it does not wrap around the neck or face. In those orders that retain one, the starched white covering about the face neck and shoulders is known as a wimple and is a separate garment. The Catholic Church has revived the ancient practice of allowing women to profess a solemn vow as consecrated virgins. These women are set aside as sacred persons who belong only to Christ and the service of the church. They are under the direct care of the local bishop , without belonging to a particular order and receive the veil as a sign of consecration. There has also been renewed interest in the last half century in the ancient practice of women and men dedicating themselves as anchorites or hermits , and there is a formal process whereby such persons can seek recognition of their vows by the local bishop a veil for these women would also be traditional. Some Anglican women’s religious orders also wear a veil, differing according to the traditions of each order. In Eastern Orthodoxy and in the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, a veil called an epanokamelavkion is used by both nuns and monks, in both cases covering completely the kamilavkion , a cylindrical hat they both wear. In Slavic practice, when the veil is worn over the hat, the entire headdress is referred to as a klobuk. Nuns wear an additional veil under the klobuk , called an apostolnik , which is drawn together to cover the neck and shoulders as well as their heads, leaving the face itself open. A variety of headdresses worn by Muslim women and girls in accordance with hijab (the principle of dressing modestly) are sometimes referred to as veils. The principal aim of the Muslim veil is to hide that which men find sexually attractive. Many of these garments cover the hair, ears and throat, but do not cover the face. The khimar is a type of headscarf. The niqb and burqa are two kinds of veils that cover most of the face except for a slit or hole for the eyes. The Afghan burqa covers the entire body, obscuring the face completely, except for a grille or netting over the eyes to allow the wearer to see. The boshiya is a veil that may be worn over a headscarf; it covers the entire face and is made of a sheer fabric so the wearer is able to see through it. It has been suggested that the practice of wearing a veil uncommon among the Arab tribes prior to the rise of Islam originated in the Byzantine Empire , and then spread. The wearing of head and especially face coverings by Muslim women has raised political issues in the West; see for example Hijab controversy in Quebec , Islamic dress controversy in Europe , Islamic scarf controversy in France , and United Kingdom debate over veils. There is also high debate of the veil in Turkey , a Muslim majority country but secular, which banned the headscarves in universities and government buildings, due to the türban (a Turkish styled headscarf) being viewed as a political symbol of Islam , see Headscarf controversy in Turkey. Frances Perkins wearing a veil after the death of U. Veils pinned to hats have survived the changing fashions of the centuries and are still common today on formal occasions that require women to wear a hat. However, these veils are generally made of netting or another material not actually designed to hide the face from view, even if the veil can be pulled down. An occasion on which a Western woman is likely to wear a veil is on her white wedding day. Brides once used to wear their hair flowing down their back at their wedding to symbolise their virginity. Veils covering the hair and face became a symbolic reference to the virginity of the bride thereafter. Often in modern weddings, the ceremony of removing a face veil after the wedding to present the groom with a virgin bride is skipped, since many couples have already entered into conjugal relations prior to their wedding day the bride either wears no face veil, or it is lifted before the ceremony begins, but this is not always the case. Further, if a bride is a virgin, she often wears the face veil through the ceremony, and then either her father lifts the veil, presenting the bride to her groom, or the groom lifts the veil to symbolically consummate the marriage, which will later become literal. Brides who are virgins may make use of the veil to symbolize and emphasize their status of purity during their wedding however, and if they do, the lifting of the veil may be ceremonially recognized as the crowning event of the wedding, when the beauty of the bride is finally revealed to the groom and the guests. It is not altogether clear that the wedding veil is a non-religious use of this item, since weddings have almost always had religious underpinnings, especially in the West. Veils, however, had been used in the West for weddings long before this. Roman brides, for instance, wore an intensely flame-colored and fulsome veil, called the flammeum , apparently intended to protect the bride from evil spirits on her wedding day. Later, the so-called velatio virginum became part of the rite of the consecration of virgins , the liturgical rite in which the church sets aside the virgin as a sacred person who belongs only to Christ. In the 19th century, wedding veils came to symbolize the woman’s virginity and modesty. The tradition of a veiled bride’s face continues even today wherein, a virgin bride, especially in Christian or Jewish culture, enters the marriage ritual with a veiled face and head, and remains fully veiled, both head and face, until the ceremony concludes. After the full conclusion of the wedding ceremony, either the bride’s father lifts the veil giving the bride to the groom who then kisses her, or the new groom lifts her face veil in order to kiss her, which symbolizes the groom’s right to enter into conjugal relations with his bride. The lifting of the veil was often a part of ancient wedding ritual, symbolizing the groom taking possession of the wife, either as lover or as property, or the revelation of the bride by her parents to the groom for his approval. A bride wearing a typical wedding veil. In Judaism, the tradition of wearing a veil dates back to biblical times. According to the Torah in Genesis 24:65 , Isaac is brought Rebekah to marry by his father Abraham’s servant. It is important to note that Rebekah did not veil herself when traveling with her lady attendants and Abraham’s servant and his men to meet Isaac, but she only did so when Isaac was approaching. Just before the wedding ceremony the badeken or bedeken is held. The groom places the veil over the bride’s face, and either he or the officiating Rabbi gives her a blessing. The veil stays on her face until just before the end of the wedding ceremony when they are legally married according to Jewish law then the groom helps lift the veil from off her face. The most often cited interpretation for the badeken is that, according to Genesis 29 , when Jacob went to marry Rachel, his father in law Laban tricked him into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older and homlier sister. Many say that the veiling ceremony takes place to make sure that the groom is marrying the right bride. Some say that as the groom places the veil over his bride, he makes an implicit promise to clothe and protect her. Finally, by covering her face, the groom recognizes that he his marrying the bride for her inner beauty; while looks will fade with time, his love will be everlasting. In some ultra-orthodox traditions the bride wears an opaque veil as she is escorted down the aisle to meet her groom. This shows her complete willingness to enter into the marriage and her absolute trust that she is marrying the right man. In Judaism, a wedding is not considered valid unless the bride willingly consents to it. In ancient Judaism the lifting of the veil took place just prior to the consummation of the marriage in sexual union. The uncovering or unveiling that takes place in the wedding ceremony is a symbol of what will take place in the marriage bed. Just as the two become one through their words spoken in wedding vows, so these words are a sign of the physical oneness that they will consummate later on. The lifting of the veil is a symbol and an anticipation of this. In the Western world , St. Paul’s words concerning how marriage symbolizes the union of Christ and His Church may underlie part of the tradition of veiling in the marriage ceremony. Veils are part of the stereotypical images of courtesans and harem women. Here, the mysterious veil hints at sensuality, an example being the dance of the seven veils. This is the context into which belly dancing veils fall, with a large repertoire of ways to wear and hold the veil, framing the body and accentuating movements. Dancing veils can be as small as a scarf or two, silk veils mounted on fans, a half circle, three-quarter circle, full circle, a rectangle up to four feet long, and as large as huge Isis wings with sticks for extensions. There is also a giant canopy type veil used by a group of dancers. Veils are made of rayon, silk, polyester, mylar and other fabrics (never wool, though). Rarely used in Egyptian cabaret style, veil dancing has always played an important part in the international world of belly dance, extending the range of the dance and offering lovely transitory imagery. Conversely, veils are often part of the stereotypical image of the courtesan and harem woman. Here, rather than the virginity of the bride’s veil, modesty of the Muslim scarf or the piety of the nun’s headdress, the mysterious veil hints at sensuality and the unknown. An example of the veil’s erotic potential is the dance of the seven veils. In this context, the term may refer to a piece of sheer cloth approximately 3 x 1.5 metres, sometimes trimmed with sequins or coins, which is used in various styles of belly dancing. A large repertoire of ways to wear and hold the veil exists, many of which are intended to frame the body from the perspective of the audience. Among the Tuareg , Songhai , Moors , Hausa. And Fulani of West Africa , women do not traditionally wear the veil, while men do. The men’s facial covering originates from the belief that such action wards off evil spirits, but most probably relates to protection against the harsh desert sands as well; in any event, it is a firmly established tradition. Men begin wearing a veil at age 25 which conceals their entire face excluding their eyes. This veil is never removed, even in front of family members. In India , Pakistan , Bangladesh , and Nepal , men wear a sehra on their wedding day. This is a male veil covering the whole face and neck. The sehra is made from either flowers, beads, tinsel, dry leaves, or coconuts. The most common sehra is made from fresh marigolds. The groom wears this throughout the day concealing his face even during the wedding ceremony. In India today you can see the groom arriving on a horse with the sehra wrapped around his head. “Veil” came from Latin vlum , which also means ” sail “. There are two theories about the origin of the word vlum. Via the “covering” meaning, from (Indo-European root) wel – = “to cover, to enclose”. The Roman Empire Latin. Was the post- Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization , characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, during the reign of Trajan in 117 AD. The 500-year-old Roman Republic , which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars. Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar’s appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium. 31 BC, and the Roman Senate’s granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus. Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but the Empire reached its greatest extent under Emperor Trajan : during his reign (98 to 117 AD) the Roman Empire controlled approximately. Because of the Empire’s vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe, and by means of European expansionism throughout the modern world. In the late 3rd century AD, Diocletian established the practice of dividing authority between four co-emperors (known as the tetrarchy) in order to better secure the vast territory, putting an end to the Crisis of the Third Century. During the following decades the Empire was often divided along an East/West axis. After the death of Theodosius I in 395 it was divided for the last time. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 as Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer. The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire ended in 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople to Mehmed II , leader of the Ottoman Turks. The powers of an emperor (his imperium) existed, in theory at least, by virtue of his “tribunician powers” (potestas tribunicia) and his “proconsular powers” (imperium proconsulare). In theory, the tribunician powers (which were similar to those of the Plebeian Tribunes under the old republic) made the Emperor’s person and office sacrosanct, and gave the Emperor authority over Rome’s civil government, including the power to preside over and to control the Senate. The proconsular powers (similar to those of military governors, or Proconsuls , under the old Republic) gave him authority over the Roman army. He was also given powers that, under the Republic, had been reserved for the Senate and the assemblies , including the right to declare war, to ratify treaties, and to negotiate with foreign leaders. In addition, the emperor controlled the religious institutions , since, as emperor, he was always Pontifex Maximus and a member of each of the four major priesthoods. While these distinctions were clearly defined during the early Empire, eventually they were lost, and the emperor’s powers became less constitutional and more monarchical. Realistically, the main support of an emperor’s power and authority was the military. Being paid by the imperial treasury, the legionaries also swore an annual military oath of loyalty towards him, called the Sacramentum. The death of an emperor led to a crucial period of uncertainty and crisis. In theory the Senate was entitled to choose the new emperor, but most emperors chose their own successors, usually a close family member. The new emperor had to seek a swift acknowledgement of his new status and authority in order to stabilize the political landscape. No emperor could hope to survive, much less to reign, without the allegiance and loyalty of the Praetorian Guard and of the legions. To secure their loyalty, several emperors paid the donativum , a monetary reward. While the Roman assemblies continued to meet after the founding of the Empire, their powers were all transferred to the Roman Senate , and so senatorial decrees (senatus consulta) acquired the full force of law. In theory, the Emperor and the Senate were two equal branches of government, but the actual authority of the Senate was negligible and it was largely a vehicle through which the Emperor disguised his autocratic powers under a cloak of republicanism. Although the Senate still commanded much prestige and respect, it was largely a glorified rubber stamp institution. Stripped of most of its powers, the Senate was largely at the Emperor’s mercy. Many emperors showed a certain degree of respect towards this ancient institution, while others were notorious for ridiculing it. During Senate meetings, the Emperor sat between the two consuls. And usually acted as the presiding officer. Higher ranking senators spoke before lower ranking senators, although the Emperor could speak at any time. By the 3rd century, the Senate had been reduced to a glorified municipal body. No emperor could rule the Empire without the Senatorial order and the Equestrian order. Most of the more important posts and offices of the government were reserved for the members of these two aristocratic orders. It was from among their ranks that the provincial governors, legion commanders, and similar officials were chosen. These two classes were hereditary. And mostly closed to outsiders. Very successful and favoured individuals could enter, but this was a rare occurrence. The career of a young aristocrat was influenced by his family connections and the favour of patrons. As important as ability, knowledge, skill, or competence, patronage was considered vital for a successful career and the highest posts and offices required the Emperor’s favour and trust. The son of a senator was expected to follow the Cursus honorum , a career ladder , and the more prestigious positions were restricted to senators only. A senator also had to be wealthy; one of the basic requirements was the wealth of 12,000 gold aurei (about 100 kg of gold), a figure which would later be raised with the passing of centuries. Below the Senatorial order was the Equestrian order. The requirements and posts reserved for this class, while perhaps not so prestigious, were still very important. Some of the more vital posts, like the governorship of Egypt (Latin Aegyptus) , were even forbidden to the members of the Senatorial order and available only to equestrians. During and after the civil war, Octavian reduced the huge number of the legions (over 60) to a much more manageable and affordable size (28). Several legions, particularly those with doubtful loyalties, were simply disbanded. Other legions were amalgamated, a fact suggested by the title Gemina (Twin). In AD 9, Germanic tribes wiped out three full legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This disastrous event reduced the number of the legions to 25. The total of the legions would later be increased again and for the next 300 years always be a little above or below 30. Augustus also created the Praetorian Guard : nine cohorts ostensibly to maintain the public peace which were garrisoned in Italy. Better paid than the legionaries, the Praetorians also served less time; instead of serving the standard 25 years of the legionaries, they retired after 16 years of service. While the auxilia (Latin: auxilia = supports) are not as famous as the legionaries, they were of major importance. Unlike the legionaries, the auxilia were recruited from among the non-citizens. Organized in smaller units of roughly cohort strength, they were paid less than the legionaries, and after 25 years of service were rewarded with Roman citizenship , also extended to their sons. According to Tacitus there were roughly as many auxiliaries as there were legionaries. Since at this time there were 25 legions of around 5,000 men each, the auxilia thus amounted to around 125,000 men, implying approximately 250 auxiliary regiments. The Roman navy Latin: Classis , lit. “Fleet” not only aided in the supply and transport of the legions, but also helped in the protection of the frontiers in the rivers Rhine and Danube. Therefore it patrolled the whole of the Mediterranean, parts of the North Atlantic (coasts of Hispania, Gaul, and Britannia), and had also a naval presence in the Black Sea. Nevertheless the army was considered the senior and more prestigious branch. The Temple of Bacchus in Baalbec , Lebanon. Until the Tetrarchy (296 AD) Roman provinces lat. Provincae were administrative and territorial units of the Roman Empire outside of Italy. In the old days of the Republic the governorships of the provinces were traditionally awarded to members of the Senatorial Order. Augustus’ reforms changed this policy. Augustus created the Imperial provinces. Most, but not all, of the Imperial provinces were relatively recent conquests and located at the borders. Thereby the overwhelming majority of legions, which were stationed at the frontiers, were under direct Imperial control. Very important was the Imperial province of Egypt , the major breadbasket of the Empire, whose grain supply was vital to feed the masses in Rome. It was considered the personal fiefdom of the Emperor, and Senators were forbidden to even visit this province. The governor of Egypt and the commanders of any legion stationed there were not from the Senatorial Order, but were chosen by the Emperor from among the members of the lower Equestrian Order. The old traditional policy continued largely unchanged in the Senatorial provinces. Due to their location, away from the borders, and to the fact that they were under longer Roman sovereignty and control, these provinces were largely peaceful and stable. Only a single legion was based in a Senatorial province: Legio III Augusta , stationed in the Senatorial province of Africa (modern northern Algeria). The status of a province was subject to change; it could change from Senatorial towards Imperial, or vice-versa. This happened several times. Another trend was to create new provinces, mostly by dividing older ones, or by expanding the Empire. The Pantheon , the present structure built during Hadrian’s reign, was dedicated to the worship of all Roman deities. As the Empire expanded, and came to include people from a variety of cultures, the worship of an ever increasing number of deities was tolerated and accepted. The Imperial government, and the Romans in general, tended to be very tolerant towards most religions and cults, so long as they did not cause trouble. This could easily be accepted by other faiths as Roman liturgy and ceremonies were frequently tailored to fit local culture and identity. Since the Romans practiced polytheism they were also able to easily assimilate the gods of the peoples the Empire conquered. An individual could attend to both the Roman gods representing his Roman identity and his own personal faith, which was considered part of his personal identity. There were periodic persecutions of various religions at various points in time, most notably that of Christians. As the historian Edward Gibbon noted, however, most of the recorded histories of Christian persecutions come to us through the Christian church, which had an incentive to exaggerate the degree to which the persecutions occurred. The non-Christian contemporary sources only mention the persecutions passingly and without assigning great importance to them. The Augustus of Prima Porta , showing Augustus in military outfit holding a consular baton (now broken off). In an effort to enhance loyalty, the inhabitants of the Empire were called to participate in the Imperial cult to revere (usually deceased) emperors as demigods. Few emperors claimed to be Gods while living, with the few exceptions being emperors who were widely regarded at the time to be insane (such as Caligula). Doing so in the early Empire would have risked revealing the shallowness of what the Emperor Augustus called the “restored Republic” and would have had a decidedly eastern quality to it. Since the tool was mostly one the Emperor used to control his subjects, its usefulness would have been greatest in the chaotic later Empire, when the emperors were often Christians and unwilling to participate in the practice. Usually, an emperor was deified after his death by his successor in an attempt by that successor to enhance his own prestige. This practice can be misunderstood, however, since “deification” was to the ancient world what canonization is to the Christian world. Likewise, the term “god” had a different context in the ancient world. This could be seen during the years of the Roman Republic with religio-political practices such as the disbanding of a Senate session if it was believed the gods disapproved of the session or wished a particular vote. Deification was one of the many honors a dead emperor was entitled to, as the Romans (more than modern societies) placed great prestige on honors and national recognitions. The importance of the Imperial cult slowly grew, reaching its peak during the Crisis of the Third Century. Especially in the eastern half of the Empire, imperial cults grew very popular. As such it was one of the major agents of romanization. The central elements of the cult complex were next to a temple; a theatre or amphitheatre for gladiator displays and other games and a public bath complex. Sometimes the imperial cult was added to the cults of an existing temple or celebrated in a special hall in the bath complex. The seriousness of this belief is unclear. Some Romans ridiculed the notion that a Roman emperor was to be considered a living god, or would even make fun of the deification of an emperor after his death. Seneca the Younger parodied the notion of apotheosis in his only known satire The Pumpkinification of Claudius , in which the clumsy and ill-spoken Claudius is transformed not into a god, but a pumpkin or gourd. An element of mockery was present even at Claudius’s funeral, and Vespasian’s purported last words were Væ, puto deus fio , Oh dear! I think I’m becoming a god! Absorption of foreign cults. Since Roman religion did not have a core belief that excluded other religions, several foreign gods and cults became popular. The worship of Cybele was the earliest, introduced from around 200 BC. Isis and Osiris were introduced from Egypt a century later. Bacchus and Sol Invictus were quite important and Mithras became very popular with the military. Several of these were Mystery cults. In the 1st century BC Julius Caesar granted Jews the freedom to worship in Rome as a reward for their help in Alexandria. Druids were considered as essentially non-Roman: a prescript of Augustus forbade Roman citizens to practice “druidical” rites. Pliny reports that under Tiberius the druids were suppressedalong with diviners and physiciansby a decree of the Senate, and Claudius forbade their rites completely in AD 54. The Crisis under Caligula (3741) has been proposed as the “first open break between Rome and the Jews”, even though problems were already evident during the Census of Quirinius in 6 and under Sejanus (before 31). Until the rebellion in Judea in AD 66, Jews were generally protected. To get around Roman laws banning secret societies and to allow their freedom of worship, Julius Caesar declared Synagogues were colleges. Claudius expelled Jews from the city; however, the passage of Suetonius is ambiguous: Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus he [Claudius] expelled them from the city. Chrestus has been identified as another form of Christus ; the disturbances may have been related to the arrival of the first Christians , and that the Roman authorities, failing to distinguish between the Jews and the early Christians, simply decided to expel them all. Historians debate whether or not the Roman government distinguished between Christians and Jews prior to Nerva’s modification of the Fiscus Judaicus in 96. The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer , by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883). Christianity emerged in Roman Judea as a Jewish religious sect in the 1st century AD. The religion gradually spread out of Jerusalem , initially establishing major bases in first Antioch , then Alexandria , and over time throughout the Empire as well as beyond. Christianity shares numerous traits with other mystery cults that existed in Rome at the time. Early Christianity placed a strong emphasis on baptism, a ritual which marked the convert as having been inducted into the mysteries of the faith. The focus on a belief in salvation and the afterlife was another major similarity to other mystery cults. The crucial difference between Christianity and other mystery cults was the monotheism of Christianity. Early Christians thus refused to participate in civic cults because of these monotheistic beliefs, leading to their persecution. For the first two centuries of the Christian era , Imperial authorities largely viewed Christianity simply as a Jewish sect rather than a distinct religion. No emperor issued general laws against the faith or its Church, and persecutions, such as they were, were carried out under the authority of local government officials. A surviving letter from Pliny the Younger , governor of Bythinia, to the Emperor Trajan describes his persecution and executions of Christians; Trajan notably responded that Pliny should not seek out Christians nor heed anonymous denunciations, but only punish open Christians who refused to recant. Suetonius mentions in passing that during the reign of Nero “punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition ” (superstitionis novae ac maleficae). He gives no reason for the punishment. Tacitus reports that after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, some among the population held Nero responsible and that the emperor attempted to deflect blame onto the Christians. One of the earliest persecutions occurred in Gaul at Lyon in 177. Persecution was often local and sporadic, and some Christians welcomed martyrdom as a testament of faith. The Decian persecution (246251) was a serious threat to the Church, but while it potentially undermined the religious hierarchy in urban centers, ultimately it served to strengthen Christian defiance. Diocletian undertook what was to be the most severe and last major persecution of Christians , lasting from 303 to 311. Christianity had become too widespread to suppress, and in 313, the Edict of Milan made tolerance the official policy. Constantine I (sole ruler 324337) became the first Christian emperor, and in 380 Theodosius I established Christianity as the official religion. By the 5th century Christian hegemony had rapidly changed the Empire’s identity even as the Western provinces collapsed. Those who practiced the traditional polytheistic religions were persecuted, as were Christians regarded as heretics by the authorities in power. The language of Rome before its expansion was Latin , and this became the empire’s official language. By the time of the imperial period Latin had developed two registers : the “high” written Classical Latin and the “low” spoken Vulgar Latin. While Classical Latin remained relatively stable, even through the Middle Ages , Vulgar Latin as with any spoken language was fluid and evolving. Vulgar Latin became the lingua franca in the western provinces, later evolving into the modern Romance languages : Italian , French , Portuguese , Spanish , Romanian , etc. Greek and Classical Latin were the languages of literature, scholarship, and education. Although Latin remained the most widely spoken language in the West, through to the fall of Rome and for some centuries afterwards, in the East the Greek language was the literary language and the lingua franca. The Romans generally did not attempt to supplant local languages. Along with Greek, many other languages of different tribes were used but almost without expression in writing. Greek was already widely spoken in many cities in the east, and as such, the Romans were quite content to retain it as an administrative language there rather than impede bureaucratic efficiency. Hence, two official secretaries served in the Roman Imperial court, one charged with correspondence in Latin and the other with correspondence in Greek for the East. Thus in the Eastern Province, as with all provinces, original languages were retained. Moreover, the process of hellenisation widened its scope during the Roman period, for the Romans perpetuated “Hellenistic” culture. But with all the trappings of Roman improvements. This further spreading of “Hellenistic” culture (and therefore language) was largely due to the extensive infrastructure in the form of entertainment, health, and education amenities, and extensive transportation networks, etc. Put in place by the Romans and their tolerance of, and inclusion of, other cultures, a characteristic which set them apart from the xenophobic nature of the Greeks preceding them. Since the Roman annexation of Greece in 146 BC, the Greek language gradually obtained a unique place in the Roman world, owing initially to the large number of Greek slaves in Roman households. However, due to the presence of other widely spoken languages in the densely populated east, such as Coptic , Syriac , Armenian , Aramaic and Phoenician (which was also extensively spoken in North Africa), Greek never took as strong a hold beyond Asia Minor (some urban enclaves notwithstanding) as Latin eventually did in the west. This is partly evident in the extent to which the derivative languages are spoken today. Like Latin, the language gained a dual nature with the literary language, an Attic Greek variant, existing alongside spoken language, Koine Greek , which evolved into Medieval or Byzantine Greek (Romaic). By the 4th century AD, Greek no longer held such dominance over Latin in the arts and sciences as it had previously, resulting to a great extent from the growth of the western provinces. This was true also of Christian literature, reflected, for example, in the publication in the early 5th century AD of the Vulgate Bible , the first officially accepted Latin Bible. As the Western Empire declined , the number of people who spoke both Greek and Latin declined as well, contributing greatly to the future East West / Orthodox Catholic cultural divide in Europe. Important as both languages were, today the descendants of Latin are widely spoken in many parts of the world, while the Greek dialects are limited mostly to Greece, Cyprus , and small enclaves in Turkey and Southern Italy (where the Eastern Empire retained control for several more centuries). To some degree this can be attributed to the fact that the western provinces fell mainly to “Latinised” Christian tribes whereas the eastern provinces fell to Muslim Arabs and Turks for whom Greek held less cultural significance. Life in the Roman Empire revolved around the city of Rome, and its famed seven hills. The city also had several theatres , gymnasia , and many taverns , baths and brothels. Throughout the territory under Rome’s control, residential architecture ranged from very modest houses to country villas , and in the capital city of Rome, to the residences on the elegant Palatine Hill , from which the word ” palace ” is derived. The vast majority of the population lived in the city centre, packed into apartment blocks. Most Roman towns and cities had a forum and temples, as did the city of Rome itself. Aqueducts were built to bring water to urban centres. And served as an avenue to import wine and oil from abroad. Landlords generally resided in cities and their estates were left in the care of farm managers. To stimulate a higher labour productivity, many landlords freed a large numbers of slaves. By the time of Augustus, cultured Greek household slaves taught the Roman young (sometimes even the girls). Greek sculptures adorned Hellenistic landscape gardening on the Palatine or in the villas. Many aspects of Roman culture were taken from the Etruscans and the Greeks. In architecture and sculpture , the difference between Greek models and Roman paintings are apparent. The chief Roman contributions to architecture were the arch and the dome. Roman public baths (Thermae) in Bath , England (Aquae Sulis in the Roman province of Britannia). The centre of the early social structure was the family, which was not only marked by blood relations but also by the legally constructed relation of patria potestas. The Pater familias was the absolute head of the family; he was the master over his wife, his children, the wives of his sons, the nephews, the slaves and the freedmen, disposing of them and of their goods at will, even putting them to death. Originally, only patrician aristocracy enjoyed the privilege of forming familial clans, or gens , as legal entities; later, in the wake of political struggles and warfare, clients were also enlisted. Thus, such plebian gentes were the first formed, imitating their patrician counterparts. Generally mutilation and murder of slaves was prohibited by legislation. It is estimated that over 25% of the Roman population was enslaved Professor Gerhard Rempel from the Western New England College claims that in the city of Rome alone, during the Empire, there were about 400,000 slaves. The city of Rome had a place called the Campus Martius (“Field of Mars”), which was a sort of drill ground for Roman soldiers. Later, the Campus became Rome’s track and field playground. In the campus, the youth assembled to play and exercise, which included jumping, wrestling , boxing and racing. Riding , throwing, and swimming were also preferred physical activities. In the countryside, pastimes also included fishing and hunting. Board games played in Rome included Dice (Tesserae or Tali), Roman Chess (Latrunculi), Roman Checkers (Calculi), Tic-tac-toe (Terni Lapilli), and Ludus duodecim scriptorum and Tabula, predecessors of backgammon. There were several other activities to keep people engaged like chariot races, musical and theatrical performances. Clothing, dining, and the arts. Fresco of a Roman woman from Pompeii , c. Roman clothing fashions changed little from the late Republic to the end of the Western empire 600 years later. The cloth and the dress distinguished one class of people from the other class. The tunic worn by plebeians (common people) like shepherds and slaves was made from coarse and dark material, whereas the tunic worn by patricians was of linen or white wool. A magistrate would wear the tunica augusticlavi ; senators wore a tunic with broad stripes, called tunica laticlavi. Military tunics were shorter than the ones worn by civilians. Boys, up until the festival of Liberalia, wore the toga praetexta , which was a toga with a crimson or purple border. The toga virilis , (or toga pura) was worn by men over the age of 16 to signify their citizenship in Rome. The toga picta was worn by triumphant generals and had embroidery of their skill on the battlefield. The toga pulla was worn when in mourning. Even footwear indicated a person’s social status: patricians wore red and orange sandals, senators had brown footwear, consuls had white shoes, and soldiers wore heavy boots. Men typically wore a toga , and women a stola. The woman’s stola looked different from a toga, and was usually brightly coloured. The Romans also invented socks for those soldiers required to fight on the northern frontiers, sometimes worn in sandals. In the later empire after Diocletian’s reforms, clothing worn by soldiers and non-military government bureaucrats became highly decorated, with woven or embroidered strips, clavi , and circular roundels, orbiculi , added to tunics and cloaks. These decorative elements usually consisted of geometrical patterns and stylised plant motifs, but could include human or animal figures. The use of silk also increased steadily and most courtiers of the later empire wore elaborate silk robes. Heavy military-style belts were worn by bureaucrats as well as soldiers, revealing the general militarization of late Roman government. Trousersconsidered barbarous garments worn by Germans and Persianswere only adopted partially near the end of the empire in a sign for conservatives of cultural decay. Early medieval kings and aristocrats dressed like late Roman generals, not like the older toga-clad senatorial tradition. Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti (IX 12, 6-8) in Pompeii. Romans had simple food habits. Staple food was simple, generally consumed at around 11 o’clock, and consisted of bread, salad, cheese, fruits, nuts, and cold meat left over from the dinner the night before. The Roman poet, Horace mentions another Roman favourite, the olive , in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: As for me, olives, endives , and smooth mallows provide sustenance. The family ate together, sitting on stools around a table. Fingers were used to eat solid foods and spoons were used for soups. Wine was considered a staple drink, consumed at all meals and occasions by all classes and was quite cheap. Many types of drinks involving grapes and honey were consumed as well. Drinking on an empty stomach was regarded as boorish and a sure sign for alcoholism , whose debilitating physical and psychological effects were known to the Romans. An accurate accusation of being an alcoholic was an effective way to discredit political rivals. Woman playing a kithara , a wall mural from Boscoreale , dated 4030 BC. Roman literature was from its very inception influenced heavily by Greek authors. Some of the earliest works we possess are of historical epics telling the early military history of Rome. As the empire expanded, authors began to produce poetry, comedy, history, and tragedy. Virgil represents the pinnacle of Roman epic poetry. His Aeneid tells the story of flight of Aeneas from Troy and his settlement of the city that would become Rome. The genre of satire was common in Rome, and satires were written by, among others, Juvenal and Persius. Many Roman homes were decorated with landscapes by Greek artists. Portrait sculpture during the period utilized youthful and classical proportions, evolving later into a mixture of realism and idealism. Advancements were also made in relief sculptures, often depicting Roman victories. Music was a major part of everyday life. The word itself derives from Greek (mousike), “(art) of the Muses “. Many private and public events were accompanied by music, ranging from nightly dining to military parades and maneuvers. In a discussion of any ancient music, however, non-specialists and even many musicians have to be reminded that much of what makes our modern music familiar to us is the result of developments only within the last 1,000 years; thus, our ideas of melody, scales, harmony, and even the instruments we use would not be familiar to Romans who made and listened to music many centuries earlier. Over time, Roman architecture was modified as their urban requirements changed, and the civil engineering and building construction technology became developed and refined. The Roman concrete has remained a riddle, and even after more than 2,000 years some Roman structures still stand magnificently. The architectural style of the capital city was emulated by other urban centres under Roman control and influence. Following various military conquests in the Greek East , Romans adapted a number of Greek educational precepts to their own system. Conforming to discipline was a point of great emphasis. Girls generally received instruction. From their mothers in the art of spinning , weaving , and sewing. Education nominally began at the age of six. During the next six to seven years, both boys and girls were taught the basics of reading , writing and arithmetic. From the age of twelve, they would be learning Latin , Greek , grammar and literature , followed by training for public speaking. Oratory was an art to be practised and learnt, and good orators commanded respect. To become an effective orator was one of the objectives of education and learning. In some cases, services of gifted slaves were utilized for imparting education. The invention and widespread application of hydraulic mining , namely hushing and ground-sluicing, aided by the ability of the Romans to plan and execute mining operations on a large scale, allowed various base and precious metals to be extracted on a proto-industrial scale. The annual total iron output is estimated at 82,500 t , assuming a productive capacity of c. 1.5 kg per capita. Copper was produced at an annual rate of 15,000 t, and lead at 80,000 t. Both production levels not to be paralled until the Industrial Revolution. Spain alone had a 40% share in world lead production. The high lead output was a by-product of extensive silver mining which reached an amount of 200 t per annum. At its peak around the mid-2nd century AD, the Roman silver stock is estimated at 10,000 t, five to ten times larger than the combined silver mass of medieval Europe and the Caliphate around 800 AD. Any one of the Imperium’ s most important mining provinces produced as much silver as the contemporary Han empire as a whole, and more gold by an entire order of magnitude. A Roman aureus struck under Augustus, c. AD 1314; the reverse shows Tiberius riding on a quadriga , celebrating the fifteenth renewal of his tribunal power. The imperial government was, as all governments, interested in the issue and control of the currency in circulation. To mint coins was an important political act: the image of the ruling emperor appeared on most issues, and coins were a means of showing his image throughout the empire. Also featured were predecessors, empresses, other family members, and heirs apparent. By issuing coins with the image of an heir his legitimacy and future succession was proclaimed and reinforced. Political messages and imperial propaganda such as proclamations of victory and acknowledgements of loyalty also appeared in certain issues. Legally only the emperor and the Senate had the authority to mint coins inside the empire. However the authority of the Senate was mainly in name only. In general, the imperial government issued gold and silver coins while the Senate issued bronze coins marked by the legend “SC” , short for Senatus Consulto “by decree of the Senate”. However, bronze coinage could be struck without this legend. Some Greek cities were allowed to mint. Bronze and certain silver coins, which today are known as Greek Imperials (also Roman Colonials or Roman Provincials). The imperial mints were under the control of a chief financial minister, and the provincial mints were under the control of the imperial provincial procurators. The Senatorial mints were governed by officials of the Senatorial treasury. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “Herennia Etruscilla Hostilian mom Silver Ancient Roman Coin Modesty Cult i54154″ is in sale since Tuesday, February 09, 2016. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Herennia Etruscilla
  • Composition: Silver

Mar 26 2018

Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin London mint Sol Sun God Cult i53324

Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin London mint Sol Sun God Cult i53324

Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin London mint Sol Sun God Cult i53324

Item: i53324 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantine I’The Great’ – Roman Emperor : 307-337 A. Bronze AE3 21mm (3.33 grams) London mint: 312-313 A. Reference: RIC VI London 279 var obv. Legend with P AVG. IMP CONSTANTINVS P AVG, laureate, cuirassed bust right SOLI INV-IC-TO COMITI and SOLI INV-I-CTO COMITI, Sol standing left, chlamys draped over left shoulder, holding globe upwards and raising right hand. Star in left field. Royal/Imperial symbols of power. Ruling dynasties often exploit pomp and ceremony with the use of regalia : crowns , robes , orb (globe) and sceptres , some of which are reflections of formerly practical objects. The use of language mechanisms also support this differentiation with subjects talking of “the crown” and/or of “the throne ” rather than referring directly to personal names and items. Roman Imperial repoussé silver disc of Sol Invictus (3rd century), found at Pessinus (British Museum). Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”) was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol. A revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 AD and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. It is commonly claimed that the date of 25 December for Christmas was selected in order to correspond with the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti , or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun”, but this view is challenged. Invictus (“Unconquered, Invincible”) was an epithet for several deities of classical Roman religion , including the supreme deity Jupiter , the war god Mars , Hercules , Apollo and Silvanus. Invictus was in use from the 3rd century BC, and was well-established as a cult title when applied to Mithras from the 2nd century onwards. It has a clear association. With solar deities and solar monism; as such, it became the preferred epithet of Rome’s traditional Sol and the novel, short-lived Roman state cult to Elagabalus , an Emesan solar deity who headed Rome’s official pantheon under his namesake emperor. The earliest dated use of Sol invictus is in a dedication from Rome, AD 158. Another, stylistically dated to the 2nd century AD, is inscribed on a Roman phalera : “inventori lucis soli invicto augusto” (to the contriver of light, sol invictus augustus). Here “augustus” is most likely a further epithet of Sol as “august” (an elevated being, divine or close to divinity), though the association of Sol with the Imperial house would have been unmistakable and was already established in iconography and stoic monism. These are the earliest attested examples of Sol as invictus , but in AD 102 a certain Anicetus restored a shrine of Sol; Hijmans 2009, 486, n. 22 is tempted “to link Anicetus’ predilection for Sol with his name, the Latinized form of the Greek word , which means invictus “. The first sun god consistently termed invictus was the provincial Syrian god Elagabalus. According to the Historia Augusta , the teenaged Severan heir adopted the name of his deity and brought his cult image from Emesa to Rome. Once installed as emperor, he neglected Rome’s traditional State deities and promoted his own as Rome’s most powerful deity. This ended with his murder in 222. The Historia Augusta refers to the deity Elagabalus as “also called Jupiter and Sol” (fuit autem Heliogabali vel Iovis vel Solis). This has been seen as an abortive attempt to impose the Syrian sun god on Rome. But because it is now clear that the Roman cult of Sol remained firmly established in Rome throughout the Roman period, this Syrian Sol Elagabalus has become no more relevant to our understanding of the Roman Sol than, for example, the Syrian Jupiter Dolichenus is for our understanding of the Roman Jupiter. The Roman gens Aurelian was associated with the cult of Sol. After his victories in the East, the Emperor Aurelian thoroughly reformed the Roman cult of Sol, elevating the sun-god to one of the premier divinities of the Empire. Where previously priests of Sol had been simply sacerdotes and tended to belong to lower ranks of Roman society, they were now pontifices and members of the new college of pontifices instituted by Aurelian. Every pontifex of Sol was a member of the senatorial elite, indicating that the priesthood of Sol was now highly prestigious. Almost all these senators held other priesthoods as well, however, and some of these other priesthoods take precedence in the inscriptions in which they are listed, suggesting that they were considered more prestigious than the priesthood of Sol. Aurelian also built a new temple for Sol, bringing the total number of temples for the god in Rome to (at least) four. He also instituted games in honor of the sun god, held every four years from AD 274 onwards. The identity of Aurelian’s Sol Invictus has long been a subject of scholarly debate. Based on the Historia Augusta , some scholars have argued that it was based on Sol Elagablus (or Elagabla) of Emesa. Others, basing their argument on Zosimus , suggest that it was based on the Helios , the solar god of Palmyra on the grounds that Aurelian placed and consecrated a cult statue of Helios looted from Palmyra in the temple of Sol Invictus. Professor Gary Forsythe discusses these arguments and add a third more recent one based on the work of Steven Hijmans. Hijmans argues that Aurelian’s solar deity was simply the traditional Greco-Roman Sol Invictus. Emperors portrayed Sol Invictus on their official coinage, with a wide range of legends, only a few of which incorporated the epithet invictus , such as the legend. Claiming the Unconquered Sun as a companion to the Emperor, used with particular frequency by Constantine. Statuettes of Sol Invictus, carried by the standard-bearers, appear in three places in reliefs on the Arch of Constantine. Constantine’s official coinage continues to bear images of Sol until 325/6. A solidus of Constantine as well as a gold medallion from his reign depict the Emperor’s bust in profile twinned (“jugate”) with Sol Invictus, with the legend. Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis day of the sun, ” Sunday “as the Roman day of rest [CJ3.12.2]. On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. Constantine’s triumphal arch was carefully positioned to align with the colossal statue of Sol by the Colosseum , so that Sol formed the dominant backdrop when seen from the direction of the main approach towards the arch. Sol and the other Roman Emperors. Deals with coin-evidence of Imperial connection to the Solar cult. Sol is depicted sporadically on imperial coins in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, then more frequently from Septimius Severus onwards until AD 325/6. Sol invictus appears on coin legends from AD 261, well before the reign of Aurelian. Connections between the imperial radiate crown and the cult of Sol are postulated. Augustus was posthumously depicted with radiate crown, as were living emperors from Nero (after AD 65) to Constantine. Some modern scholarship interprets the imperial radiate crown as a divine, solar association rather than an overt symbol of Sol; Bergmann calls it a pseudo-object designed to disguise the divine and solar connotations that would otherwise be politically controversial. But there is broad agreement that coin-images showing the imperial radiate crown are stylistically distinct from those of the solar crown of rays; the imperial radiate crown is depicted as a real object rather than as symbolic light. Hijmans argues that the Imperial radiate crown represents the honorary wreath awarded to Augustus , perhaps posthumously, to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium ; he points out that henceforth, living emperors were depicted with radiate crowns, but state divi were not. To Hijmans this implies the radiate crown of living emperors as a link to Augustus. His successors automatically inherited (or sometimes acquired) the same offices and honours due to Octavian as “saviour of the Republic” through his victory at Actium, piously attributed to Apollo-Helios. Wreaths awarded to victors at the Actian Games were radiate. Sol Invictus and Christianity and Judaism. Mosaic of Christ as Sol or Apollo-Helios in Mausoleum M in the pre-4th-century necropolis beneath. Peter’s in the Vatican , which many interpret as representing Christ. The Philocalian calendar of AD 354 gives a festival of “Natalis Invicti” on 25 December. There is limited evidence that this festival was celebrated before the mid-4th century. The idea that Christians chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December because this was the date of an already existing festival of the Sol Invictus was expressed in an annotation to a manuscript of a work by 12th-century Syrian bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi. The scribe who added it wrote: It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day. This idea became popular especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. And is still widely accepted. In the judgement of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, this view has been seriously challenged. By a view based on an old tradition, according to which the date of Christmas was fixed at nine months after 25 March, the date of the vernal equinox, on which the Annunciation was celebrated. The Jewish calendar date of 14 Nisan was believed to be that of the beginning of creation, as well as of the Exodus and so of Passover, and Christians held that the new creation, both the death of Jesus and the beginning of his human life, occurred on the same date, which some put at 25 March in the Julian calendar. It was a traditional Jewish belief that great men lived a whole number of years, without fractions, so that Jesus was considered to have been conceived on 25 March, as he died on 25 March, which was calculated to have coincided with 14 Nisan. Sextus Julius Africanus c. 240 gave 25 March as the day of creation and of the conception of Jesus. The tractate De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis Domini nostri Iesu Christi et Iohannis Baptistae falsely attributed to John Chrysostom also argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year and calculated this as 25 March. A passage of the Commentary on the prophet Daniel by Hippolytus of Rome , written in about 204, has also been appealed to. Among those who have put forward this view are Louis Duchesne, Thomas J. Neil Alexander, and Hugh Wybrew. Not all scholars who view the celebration of the birth of Jesus on 25 December as motivated by the choice of the winter solstice rather than calculated on the basis of the belief that he was conceived and died on 25 March agree that it constituted a deliberate Christianization of a festival of the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. Michael Alan Anderson writes. Both the sun and Christ were said to be born anew on December 25. But while the solar associations with the birth of Christ created powerful metaphors, the surviving evidence does not support such a direct association with the Roman solar festivals. The earliest documentary evidence for the feast of Christmas makes no mention of the coincidence with the winter solstice. Thomas Talley has shown that, although the Emperor Aurelian’s dedication of a temple to the sun god in the Campus Martius C. 274 probably took place on the’Birthday of the Invincible Sun’ on December 25, the cult of the sun in pagan Rome ironically did not celebrate the winter solstice nor any of the other quarter-tense days, as one might expect. The origins of Christmas, then, may not be expressly rooted in the Roman festival. The same point is made by Hijmans: It is cosmic symbolism… Which inspired the Church leadership in Rome to elect the southern solstice, December 25, as the birthday of Christ… While they were aware that pagans called this day the’birthday’ of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas. ” He also states that, “while the winter solstice on or around December 25 was well established in the Roman imperial calendar, there is no evidence that a religious celebration of Sol on that day antedated the celebration of Christmas. The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought also remarks on the uncertainty about the order of precedence between the celebrations of the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun and the birthday of Jesus: This’calculations’ hypothesis potentially establishes 25 December as a Christian festival before Aurelian’s decree, which, when promulgated, might have provided for the Christian feast both opportunity and challenge. Roll also calls “most extreme” the unproven hypothesis that “would call Christmas point-blank a’christianization’ of Natalis Solis Invicti, a direct conscious appropriation of the pre-Christian feast, arbitrarily placed on the same calendar date, assimilating and adapting some of its cosmic symbolism and abruptly usurping any lingering habitual loyalty that newly-converted Christians might feel to the feasts of the state gods”. The comparison of Christ with the astronomical Sun is common in ancient Christian writings. In the 5th century, Pope Leo I (the Great) spoke in several sermons on the Feast of the Nativity of how the celebration of Christ’s birth coincided with increase of the sun’s position in the sky. An example is: But this Nativity which is to be adored in heaven and on earth is suggested to us by no day more than this when, with the early light still shedding its rays on nature, there is borne in upon our senses the brightness of this wondrous mystery. Mosaic in the Beth Alpha synagogue, with the sun in the centre, surrounded by the twelve zodiac constellations and with the four seasons associated inaccurately with the constellations. A study of Augustine of Hippo remarks that his exhortation in a Christmas sermon, “Let us celebrate this day as a feast not for the sake of this sun, which is beheld by believers as much as by ourselves, but for the sake of him who created the sun”, shows that he was aware of the coincidence of the celebration of Christmas and the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, although this pagan festival was celebrated at only a few places and was originally a peculiarity of the Roman city calendar. It adds: He also believes, however, that there is a reliable tradition which gives 25 December as the actual date of the birth of our Lord. By “the sun of righteousness” in Malachi 4:2 “the fathers , from Justin downward, and nearly all the earlier commentators understand Christ , who is supposed to be described as the rising sun”. The New Testament itself contains a hymn fragment: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Clement of Alexandria wrote of “the Sun of the Resurrection, he who was born before the dawn, whose beams give light”. Christians adopted the image of the Sun (Helios or Sol Invictus) to represent Christ. In this portrayal he is a beardless figure with a flowing cloak in a chariot drawn by four white horses, as in the mosaic in Mausoleum M discovered under Saint Peter’s Basilica and in an early-4th-century catacomb fresco. Clement of Alexandria had spoken of Christ driving his chariot in this way across the sky. The nimbus of the figure under Saint Peter’s Basilica is described by some as rayed. As in traditional pre-Christian representations, but another has said: “Only the cross-shaped nimbus makes the Christian significance apparent” (emphasis added). Yet another has interpreted the figure as a representation of the sun with no explicit religious reference whatever, pagan or Christian. The traditional image of the sun is used also in Jewish art. A mosaic floor in Hamat Tiberias presents David as Helios surrounded by a ring with the signs of the zodiac. As well as in Hamat Tiberias, figures of Helios or Sol Invictus also appear in several of the very few surviving schemes of decoration surviving from Late Antique synagogues , including Beth Alpha , Husefah (Husefa) and Naaran , all now in Israel. He is shown in floor mosaics, with the usual radiate halo, and sometimes in a quadriga , in the central roundel of a circular representation of the zodiac or the seasons. These combinations may have represented to an agricultural Jewish community the perpetuation of the annual cycle of the universe or… The central part of a calendar. Constantine the Great Latin. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus. 272 22 May 337, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine , was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to be converted to Christianity , Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions throughout the empire. Constantine defeated the emperors Maxentius and Licinius during civil wars. He also fought successfully against the Franks , Alamanni , Visigoths , and Sarmatians during his reign even resettling parts of Dacia which had been abandoned during the previous century. Constantine built a new imperial residence at Byzantium , naming it New Rome. However, in Constantine’s honor, people called it Constantinople , which would later be the capital of what is now known as the Byzantine Empire for over one thousand years. Because of this, he is thought of as the founder of the Byzantine Empire. Flavius Valerius Constantinus, as he was originally named, was born in the city of Naissus, Dardania province of Moesia , in present-day Ni , Serbia , on 27 February of an uncertain year, probably near 272. His father was Flavius Constantius , a native of Dardania province of Moesia (later Dacia Ripensis). Constantius was a tolerant and politically skilled man. Constantine probably spent little time with his father. Constantius was an officer in the Roman army, part of the Emperor Aurelian’s imperial bodyguard. Constantius advanced through the ranks, earning the governorship of Dalmatia from Emperor Diocletian , another of Aurelian’s companions from Illyricum , in 284 or 285. Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on 27 February of an uncertain year soon after 270 (probably around 272). At the time, she was in Naissus (Ni , Serbia). In order to obtain a wife more consonant with his rising status, Constantius divorced Helena some time before 289, when he married Theodora , Maximian’s daughter. (The narrative sources date the marriage to 293, but the Latin panegyric of 289 refers to the couple as already married). Helena and her son were dispatched to the court of Diocletian at Nicomedia, where Constantine grew to be a member of the inner circle. Helena never remarried and lived for a time in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her. She received the title of Augusta in 325 and died in 330 with her son at her side. She was buried in the Mausoleum of Helena , outside Rome on the Via Labicana. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum , although the connection is often questioned, next to her is the sarcophagus of her granddaughter Saint Constantina (Saint Constance). The elaborate reliefs contain hunting scenes. During her life, she gave many presents to the poor, released prisoners and mingled with the ordinary worshippers in modest attire. Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian’s court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. On 1 May 305, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of 3045, announced his resignation. In a parallel ceremony in Milan, Maximian did the same. Lactantius states that Galerius manipulated the weakened Diocletian into resigning, and forced him to accept Galerius’ allies in the imperial succession. According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian’s resignation speech believed, until the very last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian’s son) as his successors. It was not to be: Constantius and Galerius were promoted to Augusti, while Severus and Maximin were appointed their Caesars respectively. Constantine and Maxentius were ignored. Constantine recognized the implicit danger in remaining at Galerius’ court, where he was held as a virtual hostage. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. In the late spring or early summer of 305, Constantius requested leave for his son, to help him campaign in Britain. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. Constantine’s later propaganda describes how he fled the court in the night, before Galerius could change his mind. Constantine joined his father in Gaul , at Bononia (Boulogne) before the summer of 305. From Bononia they crossed the Channel to Britain and made their way to Eboracum (York), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. Constantine was able to spend a year in northern Britain at his father’s side, campaigning against the Picts beyond Hadrian’s Wall in the summer and autumn. Constantius’s campaign, like that of Septimius Severus before it, probably advanced far into the north without achieving great success. Constantius had become severely sick over the course of his reign, and died on 25 July 306 in Eboracum (York). Before dying, he declared his support for raising Constantine to the rank of full Augustus. The Alamannic king Chrocus , a barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as Augustus. The troops loyal to Constantius’ memory followed him in acclamation. Gaul and Britain quickly accepted his rule; Iberia, which had been in his father’s domain for less than a year, rejected it. Constantine sent Galerius an official notice of Constantius’s death and his own acclamation. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an Augustus. The portrait was wreathed in bay. He requested recognition as heir to his father’s throne, and passed off responsibility for his unlawful ascension on his army, claiming they had “forced it upon him”. Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait on fire. His advisers calmed him, and argued that outright denial of Constantine’s claims would mean certain war. Galerius was compelled to compromise: he granted Constantine the title “Caesar” rather than “Augustus” (the latter office went to Severus instead). Wishing to make it clear that he alone gave Constantine legitimacy, Galerius personally sent Constantine the emperor’s traditional purple robes. Constantine accepted the decision. Constantine’s share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. Because Constantine was still largely untried and had a hint of illegitimacy about him, he relied on his father’s reputation in his early propaganda: the earliest panegyrics to Constantine give as much coverage to his father’s deeds as to those of Constantine himself. Constantine’s military skill and building projects soon gave the panegyrist the opportunity to comment favorably on the similarities between father and son, and Eusebius remarked that Constantine was a “renewal, as it were, in his own person, of his father’s life and reign”. Constantinian coinage, sculpture and oratory also shows a new tendency for disdain towards the “barbarians” beyond the frontiers. After Constantine’s victory over the Alemanni, he minted a coin issue depicting weeping and begging Alemannic tribesmen”The Alemanni conquered”beneath the phrase “Romans’ rejoicing”. There was little sympathy for these enemies. As his panegyrist declared: It is a stupid clemency that spares the conquered foe. In 310, a dispossessed and power-hungry Maximian rebelled against Constantine while Constantine was away campaigning against the Franks. Maximian had been sent south to Arles with a contingent of Constantine’s army, in preparation for any attacks by Maxentius in southern Gaul. He announced that Constantine was dead, and took up the imperial purple. In spite of a large donative pledge to any who would support him as emperor, most of Constantine’s army remained loyal to their emperor, and Maximian was soon compelled to leave. Constantine soon heard of the rebellion, abandoned his campaign against the Franks, and marched his army up the Rhine. At Cabillunum (Chalon-sur-Saône), he moved his troops onto waiting boats to row down the slow waters of the Saône to the quicker waters of the Rhone. He disembarked at Lugdunum (Lyon). Maximian fled to Massilia (Marseille), a town better able to withstand a long siege than Arles. It made little difference, however, as loyal citizens opened the rear gates to Constantine. Maximian was captured and reproved for his crimes. Constantine granted some clemency, but strongly encouraged his suicide. In July 310, Maximian hanged himself. The death of Maximian required a shift in Constantine’s public image. Breaking away from tetrarchic models, the speech emphasizes Constantine’s ancestral prerogative to rule, rather than principles of imperial equality. The new ideology expressed in the speech made Galerius and Maximian irrelevant to Constantine’s right to rule. Indeed, the orator emphasizes ancestry to the exclusion of all other factors: “No chance agreement of men, nor some unexpected consequence of favor, made you emperor, ” the orator declares to Constantine. A gold multiple of “Unconquered Constantine” with Sol Invictus , struck in 313. The use of Sol’s image appealed to both the educated citizens of Gaul, who would recognize in it Apollo’s patronage of Augustus and the arts; and to Christians, who found solar monotheism less objectionable than the traditional pagan pantheon. The oration also moves away from the religious ideology of the Tetrarchy, with its focus on twin dynasties of Jupiter and Hercules. Instead, the orator proclaims that Constantine experienced a divine vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreaths of health and a long reign. In the likeness of Apollo Constantine recognized himself as the saving figure to whom would be granted “rule of the whole world”, as the poet Virgil had once foretold. The oration’s religious shift is paralleled by a similar shift in Constantine’s coinage. In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. From 310 on, Mars was replaced by Sol Invictus , a god conventionally identified with Apollo. By the middle of 310, Galerius had become too ill to involve himself in imperial politics. His final act survives: a letter to the provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. He died soon after the edict’s proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. Maximin mobilized against Licinius, and seized Asia Minor. A hasty peace was signed on a boat in the middle of the Bosphorus. While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war. He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Rome , Eusebius. Constantine’s advisers and generals cautioned against preemptive attack on Maxentius; even his soothsayers recommended against it, stating that the sacrifices had produced unfavorable omens. Constantine, with a spirit that left a deep impression on his followers, inspiring some to believe that he had some form of supernatural guidance, ignored all these cautions. Early in the spring of 312, Constantine crossed the Cottian Alps with a quarter of his army, a force numbering about 40,000. The first town his army encountered was Segusium (Susa , Italy), a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him. Constantine ordered his men to set fire to its gates and scale its walls. He took the town quickly. Constantine ordered his troops not to loot the town, and advanced with them into northern Italy. At the approach to the west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turin , Italy), Constantine met a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry. In the ensuing battle Constantine’s army encircled Maxentius’ cavalry, flanked them with his own cavalry, and dismounted them with blows from his soldiers’ iron-tipped clubs. Constantine’s armies emerged victorious. Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius’ retreating forces, opening its gates to Constantine instead. Other cities of the north Italian plain sent Constantine embassies of congratulation for his victory. He moved on to Milan, where he was met with open gates and jubilant rejoicing. Constantine rested his army in Milan until mid-summer 312, when he moved on to Brixia (Brescia). Brescia’s army was easily dispersed, and Constantine quickly advanced to Verona , where a large Maxentian force was camped. Ruricius Pompeianus, general of the Veronese forces and Maxentius’ praetorian prefect, was in a strong defensive position, since the town was surrounded on three sides by the Adige. Constantine sent a small force north of the town in an attempt to cross the river unnoticed. Ruricius sent a large detachment to counter Constantine’s expeditionary force, but was defeated. Constantine’s forces successfully surrounded the town and laid siege. Constantine refused to let up on the siege, and sent only a small force to oppose him. In the desperately fought encounter that followed, Ruricius was killed and his army destroyed. Verona surrendered soon afterwards, followed by Aquileia , Mutina (Modena). The road to Rome was now wide open to Constantine. Maxentius prepared for the same type of war he had waged against Severus and Galerius: he sat in Rome and prepared for a siege. He still controlled Rome’s praetorian guards, was well-stocked with African grain, and was surrounded on all sides by the seemingly impregnable Aurelian Walls. He ordered all bridges across the Tiber cut, reportedly on the counsel of the gods, and left the rest of central Italy undefended; Constantine secured that region’s support without challenge. Constantine progressed slowly along the Via Flaminia , allowing the weakness of Maxentius to draw his regime further into turmoil. Maxentius’ support continued to weaken: at chariot races on 27 October, the crowd openly taunted Maxentius, shouting that Constantine was invincible. Maxentius, no longer certain that he would emerge from a siege victorious, built a temporary boat bridge across the Tiber in preparation for a field battle against Constantine. On 28 October 312, the sixth anniversary of his reign, he approached the keepers of the Sibylline Books for guidance. The keepers prophesied that, on that very day, “the enemy of the Romans” would die. Maxentius advanced north to meet Constantine in battle. Maxentius organized his forcesstill twice the size of Constantine’sin long lines facing the battle plain, with their backs to the river. Constantine’s army arrived at the field bearing unfamiliar symbols on either its standards or its soldiers’ shields. Eusebius describes the sign as Chi traversed by Rho : , a symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek spelling of the word Christos or Christ. Constantine deployed his own forces along the whole length of Maxentius’ line. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius’ cavalry. He then sent his infantry against Maxentius’ infantry, pushing many into the Tiber where they were slaughtered and drowned. The battle was brief: Maxentius’ troops were broken before the first charge. Maxentius’ horse guards and praetorians initially held their position, but broke under the force of a Constantinian cavalry charge; they also broke ranks and fled to the river. Maxentius rode with them, and attempted to cross the bridge of boats, but he was pushed by the mass of his fleeing soldiers into the Tiber, and drowned. Constantine entered Rome on 29 October. He staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius’ body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hill and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. He issued decrees returning property lost under Maxentius, recalling political exiles, and releasing Maxentius’ imprisoned opponents. In the following years, Constantine gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals in the crumbling Tetrarchy. In 313, he met Licinius in Milan to secure their alliance by the marriage of Licinius and Constantine’s half-sister Constantia. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan , officially granting full tolerance to Christianity and all religions in the Empire. The document had special benefits for Christians, legalizing their religion and granting them restoration for all property seized during Diocletian’s persecution. In the year 320, Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began to oppress Christians anew, generally without bloodshed, but resorting to confiscations and sacking of Christian office-holders. That became a challenge to Constantine in the West, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries , represented the past and the ancient Pagan faiths. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum , and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine’s army emerged victorious in the Battle of Adrianople. Licinius fled across the Bosphorus and appointed Martius Martinianus , the commander of his bodyguard, as Caesar, but Constantine next won the Battle of the Hellespont , and finally the Battle of Chrysopolis on 18 September 324. Licinius and Martinianus surrendered to Constantine at Nicomedia on the promise their lives would be spared: they were sent to live as private citizens in Thessalonica and Cappadocia respectively, but in 325 Constantine accused Licinius of plotting against him and had them both arrested and hanged; Licinius’s son (the son of Constantine’s half-sister) was also killed. Thus Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. Licinius’ defeat came to represent the defeat of a rival center of Pagan and Greek-speaking political activity in the East, as opposed to the Christian and Latin-speaking Rome, and it was proposed that a new Eastern capital should represent the integration of the East into the Roman Empire as a whole, as a center of learning, prosperity, and cultural preservation for the whole of the Eastern Roman Empire. Among the various locations proposed for this alternative capital, Constantine appears to have toyed earlier with Serdica (present-day Sofia), as he was reported saying that ” Serdica is my Rome “. Sirmium and Thessalonica were also considered. Eventually, however, Constantine decided to work on the Greek city of Byzantium , which offered the advantage of having already been extensively rebuilt on Roman patterns of urbanism, during the preceding century, by Septimius Severus and Caracalla , who had already acknowledged its strategic importance. The city was then renamed Constantinopolis (“Constantine’s City” or Constantinople in English), and issued special commemorative coins in 330 to honor the event. The new city was protected by the relics of the True Cross , the Rod of Moses and other holy relics , though a cameo now at the Hermitage Museum also represented Constantine crowned by the tyche of the new city. The figures of old gods were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot, and an angel no one else could see, led him on a circuit of the new walls. The capital would often be compared to the’old’ Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana , the “New Rome of Constantinople”. Constantine the Great , mosaic in Hagia Sophia , c. Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first “Christian” Roman emperor. Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother. S Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy e. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , and Old Saint Peter’s Basilica. However, Constantine certainly did not patronize Christianity alone. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), a triumphal archthe Arch of Constantine was built (315) to celebrate his triumph. The arch is most notably decorated with images of the goddess Victoria and, at the time of its dedication, sacrifices to gods like Apollo , Diana , and Hercules were made. Most notably absent from the Arch are any depictions whatsoever regarding Christian symbolism. Later in 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun , referencing the sun-worship that Aurelian had established as an official cult. Furthermore, and long after his oft alleged “conversion” to Christianity, Constantine’s coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appeared only as Constantine’s personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum , but never on the coin itself. Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem ; no Christian symbols were present at this dedication. Constantine made new laws regarding the Jews. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves. Beginning in the mid-3rd century the emperors began to favor members of the equestrian order over senators, who had had a monopoly on the most important offices of state. Senators were stripped of the command of legions and most provincial governorships (as it was felt that they lacked the specialized military upbringing needed in an age of acute defense needs), such posts being given to equestrians by Diocletian and his colleaguesfollowing a practice enforced piecemeal by their predecessors. The emperors however, still needed the talents and the help of the very rich, who were relied on to maintain social order and cohesion by means of a web of powerful influence and contacts at all levels. Exclusion of the old senatorial aristocracy threatened this arrangement. In 326, Constantine reversed this pro-equestrian trend, raising many administrative positions to senatorial rank and thus opening these offices to the old aristocracy, and at the same time elevating the rank of already existing equestrians office-holders to senator, eventually wiping out the equestrian orderat least as a bureaucratic rankin the process. One could become a senator, either by being elected praetor or (in most cases) by fulfilling a function of senatorial rank: from then on, holding of actual power and social status were melded together into a joint imperial hierarchy. At the same time, Constantine gained with this the support of the old nobility, as the Senate was allowed itself to elect praetors and quaestors , in place of the usual practice of the emperors directly creating new magistrates (adlectio). The Senate as a body remained devoid of any significant power; nevertheless, the senators, who had been marginalized as potential holders of imperial functions during the 3rd century, could now dispute such positions alongside more upstart bureaucrats. Some modern historians see in those administrative reforms an attempt by Constantine at reintegrating the senatorial order into the imperial administrative elite to counter the possibility of alienating pagan senators from a Christianized imperial rule. Constantine’s reforms had to do only with the civilian administration: the military chiefs, who since the Crisis of the Third Century had risen from the ranks, remained outside the senate, in which they were included only by Constantine’s children. The failure of the various Diocletianic attempts at the restoration of a functioning silver coin resided in the fact that the silver currency was overvalued in terms of its actual metal content, and therefore could only circulate at much discounted rates. Minting of the Diocletianic “pure” silver argenteus ceased, therefore, soon after 305, while the billon currency continued to be used until the 360s. From the early 300s on, Constantine forsook any attempts at restoring the silver currency, preferring instead to concentrate on minting large quantities of good standard gold piecesthe solidus , 72 of which made a pound of gold. New (and highly debased) silver pieces would continue to be issued during Constantine’s later reign and after his death, in a continuous process of retariffing, until this billon minting eventually ceased, de jure , in 367, with the silver piece being de facto continued by various denominations of bronze coins, the most important being the centenionalis. Later emperors like Julian the Apostate tried to present themselves as advocates of the humiles by insisting on trustworthy mintings of the bronze currency. Constantine’s monetary policy were closely associated with his religious ones, in that increased minting was associated with measures of confiscationtaken since 331 and closed in 336of all gold, silver and bronze statues from pagan temples, who were declared as imperial property and, as such, as monetary assets. Two imperial commissioners for each province had the task of getting hold of the statues and having them melded for immediate mintingwith the exception of a number of bronze statues who were used as public monuments for the beautification of the new capital in Constantinople. Constantine considered Constantinople as his capital and permanent residence. He lived there for a good portion of his later life. He rebuilt Trajan’s bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering Dacia , a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Sarmatians against the Goths. The weather and lack of food cost the Goths dearly: reportedly, nearly one hundred thousand died before they submitted to Rome. In 334, after Sarmatian commoners had overthrown their leaders, Constantine led a campaign against the tribe. He won a victory in the war and extended his control over the region, as remains of camps and fortifications in the region indicate. Constantine resettled some Sarmatian exiles as farmers in Illyrian and Roman districts, and conscripted the rest into the army. Constantine took the title Dacicus maximus in 336. Constantine had known death would soon come. Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother’s city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of zmit. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechumen , and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan , where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away. The bishops, Eusebius records, “performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom”. He chose the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia , bishop of the city where he lay dying, as his baptizer. In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until after infancy. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on the last day of the fifty-day festival of Pentecost directly following Pascha (or Easter), on 22 May 337. Following his death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles there. He was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II , Constantius II and Constans. A number of relatives were killed by followers of Constantius, notably Constantine’s nephews Dalmatius (who held the rank of Caesar) and Hannibalianus , presumably to eliminate possible contenders to an already complicated succession. He also had two daughters, Constantina and Helena , wife of Emperor Julian. The Byzantine Empire considered Constantine its founder and the Holy Roman Empire reckoned him among the venerable figures of its tradition. In the later Byzantine state, it had become a great honor for an emperor to be hailed as a “new Constantine”. Ten emperors, including the last emperor of Byzantium, carried the name. Most Eastern Christian churches consider Constantine a saint (, Saint Constantine). In the Byzantine Church he was called isapostolos an equal of the Apostles. Ni airport is named Constantine the Great in honor of his birth in Naissus. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin London mint Sol Sun God Cult i53324″ is in sale since Sunday, December 06, 2015. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Constantine I

Mar 16 2018

DOMITIAN son of Vespasian 85AD Big Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52110

DOMITIAN son of Vespasian 85AD Big Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52110

DOMITIAN son of Vespasian 85AD Big Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52110

Item: i52110 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Domitian – Roman Caesar: 69-81 A. Bronze As 28mm (10.90 grams) Rome mint: 85 A. Reference: RIC 420; BMCRE 365A, Cohen 430. IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XI CENS PER P P, laureate bust right, wearing aegis S-C, Mars walking left, holding Victory in outstretched hand & trophy over shoulder. The aegis or aigis , as stated in the Iliad , is carried by Athena and Zeus , but its nature is uncertain. It had been interpreted as an animal skin or a shield , sometimes bearing the head of a Gorgon. There may be a connection with a deity named Aex or Aix , a daughter of Helios and a nurse of Zeus or alternatively a mistress of Zeus Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. The aegis of Athena is referred to in several places in the Iliad. It produced a sound as from a myriad roaring dragons (Iliad, 4.17) and was borne by Athena in battle… And among them went bright-eyed Athene, holding the precious aegis which is ageless and immortal: a hundred tassels of pure gold hang fluttering from it, tight-woven each of them, and each the worth of a hundred oxen. Medusa, the gorgon, was beheaded by the hero Perseus , who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion. Gorgons were a popular image in Greek mythology, appearing in the earliest of written records of Ancient Greek religious beliefs such as those of Homer , which may date to as early as 11941184 BC. Because of their legendary and powerful gaze that could turn one to stone, images of the Gorgons were put upon objects and buildings for protection. The modern concept of doing something “under someone’s aegis ” means doing something under the protection of a powerful, knowledgeable, or benevolent source. The word aegis is identified with protection by a strong force with its roots in Greek mythology and adopted by the Romans; there are parallels in Norse mythology and in Egyptian mythology as well, where the Greek word aegis is applied by extension. In Ancient Greece , the Gorgoneion (Greek :) was originally a horror-creating apotropaic pendant showing the Gorgon’s head. It was assimilated by the Olympian deities Zeus and Athena : both are said to have worn it as a protective pendant. It was assumed, among other godlike attributes, as a royal aegis , by rulers of the Hellenistic age, as shown, for instance, on the Alexander Mosaic and the Gonzaga Cameo. Homer refers to the Gorgon on four occasions, each time alluding to the head alone, as if the creature had no body. Jane Ellen Harrison notes that Medusa is a head and nothing more… A mask with a body later appended. Up to the 5th century BC, the head was depicted as particularly ugly, with a protruding tongue, boar tusks , puffy cheeks, her eyeballs staring fixedly on the viewer and the snakes twisting all around her. The direct frontal stare, “seemingly looking out from its own iconographical context and directly challenging the viewer”, was highly unusual in ancient Greek art. In some instances a beard (probably standing for streaks of blood) was appended to her chin, making her appear as an orgiastic deity akin to Dionysus. Gorgoneia that decorate the shields of warriors on mid-5th century Greek vases are considerably less grotesque and menacing. By that time, the Gorgon had lost her tusks and the snakes were rather stylized. The Hellenistic marble known as the Medusa Rondanini illustrates the Gorgon’s eventual transformation into a beautiful woman. Mars was the Roman god of war , the son of Juno and Jupiter , husband of Bellona , and the lover of Venus. He was the most prominent of the military gods that were worshipped by the Roman legions. The martial Romans considered him second in importance only to Jupiter (their main god). His festivals were held in March (named for him) and October. As the word Mars has no Indo-European derivation, it is most likely the Latinised form of the agricultural Etruscan god Maris. Initially Mars was a Roman god of fertility and vegetation and a protector of cattle, fields and boundaries and farmers. In the second century BC, the conservative Cato the Elder advised “For your cattle, for them to be healthy, make this sacrifice to Mars Silvanus you must make this sacrifice each year”. Mars later became associated with battle as the growing Roman Empire began to expand, and he came to be identified with the Greek god Ares. Unlike his Greek counterpart, Mars was generally revered and rivaled Jupiter as the most honoured god. He was also the tutelary god of the city of Rome. As he was regarded as the legendary father of Rome’s founder, Romulus , it was believed that all Romans were descendants of Mars. Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus. 24 October 51 18 September 96 was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty. Domitian’s youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus , who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War. This situation continued under the rule of his father Vespasian , who became emperor in 69 following the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. While Titus held a great many offices under the rule of his father, Domitian was left with honours but no responsibilities. Vespasian died in 79 and was succeeded by Titus, whose own reign came to an unexpected end when he was struck by a fatal illness in 81. The following day Domitian was declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard , commencing a reign which lasted fifteen years longer than any man who had ruled since Tiberius. As Emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage , expanded the border defenses of the Empire, and initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia (Scotland), and in Dacia , where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian’s government exhibited totalitarian characteristics; he saw himself as the new Augustus , an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality , and by nominating himself perpetual censor , he sought to control public and private morals. As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate. According to Suetonius , he was the first Roman Emperor who had demanded to be addressed as dominus et deus (master and god). Domitian’s reign came to an end in 96 when he was assassinated by court officials. The same day he was succeeded by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian’s memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus , Pliny the Younger and Suetonius published histories propagating the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern history has rejected these views, instead characterising Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat, whose cultural, economic and political program provided the foundation of the peaceful 2nd century. Domitian was born in Rome on 24 October 51, the youngest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus commonly known as Vespasianand Flavia Domitilla Major. He had an older sister, Domitilla the Younger , and brother, also named Titus Flavius Vespasianus. Decades of civil war during the 1st century BC had contributed greatly to the demise of the old aristocracy of Rome, which a new Italian nobility gradually replaced in prominence during the early part of the 1st century. One such family, the Flavians, or gens Flavia , rose from relative obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth and status under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Domitian’s great-grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro , had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesar’s civil war. His military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Nevertheless, Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the extremely wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upwards mobility of Petro’s son Titus Flavius Sabinus I , Domitian’s grandfather. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied himself to the more prestigious patrician gens Vespasia , ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II and Vespasian to senatorial rank. A Denarius of Domitian. The political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor , aedile and praetor , and culminated with a consulship in 51, the year of Domitian’s birth. As a military commander, Vespasian gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. Nevertheless, ancient sources allege poverty for the Flavian family at the time of Domitian’s upbringing, even claiming Vespasian had fallen into disrepute under the emperors Caligula (3741) and Nero (5468). Modern history has refuted these claims, suggesting these stories later circulated under Flavian rule as part of a propaganda campaign to diminish success under the less reputable Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and to maximize achievements under Emperor Claudius (4154) and his son Britannicus. By all appearances, the Flavians enjoyed high imperial favour throughout the 40s and 60s. While Titus received a court education in the company of Britannicus, Vespasian pursued a successful political and military career. The same year the Jews of the Judaea province revolted against the Roman Empire in what is now known as the First Jewish-Roman War. Vespasian was assigned to lead the Roman army against the insurgents, with Titus who had completed his military education by this time in charge of a legion. By 6, Domitian’s mother and sister had long died, while his father and brother were continuously active in the Roman military, commanding armies in Germania and Judaea. For Domitian, this meant that a significant part of his adolescence was spent in the absence of his near relatives. During the Jewish-Roman wars, he was likely taken under the care of his uncle Titus Flavius Sabinus II, at the time serving as city prefect of Rome; or possibly even Marcus Cocceius Nerva , a loyal friend of the Flavians and the future successor to Domitian. He received the education of a young man of the privileged senatorial class, studying rhetoric and literature. In his biography in the Lives of the Twelve Caesars , Suetonius attests to Domitian’s ability to quote the important poets and writers such as Homer or Virgil on appropriate occasions, and describes him as a learned and educated adolescent, with elegant conversation. Among his first published works were poetry , as well as writings on law and administration. Unlike his brother Titus, Domitian was not educated at court. Whether he received formal military training is not recorded, but according to Suetonius, he displayed considerable marksmanship with the bow and arrow. A detailed description of Domitian’s appearance and character is provided by Suetonius, who devotes a substantial part of his biography to his personality. He was tall of stature, with a modest expression and a high colour. His eyes were large, but his sight was somewhat dim. He was handsome and graceful too, especially when a young man, and indeed in his whole body with the exception of his feet, the toes of which were somewhat cramped. In later life he had the further disfigurement of baldness, a protruding belly, and spindling legs, though the latter had become thin from a long illness. Suetonius , De Vita Caesarum , “Life of Domitian”, 18. Domitian was allegedly extremely sensitive regarding his baldness, which he disguised in later life by wearing wigs. According to Suetonius, he even wrote a book on the subject of hair care. With regard to Domitian’s personality, however, the account of Suetonius alternates sharply between portraying Domitian as the emperor-tyrant, a man both physically and intellectually lazy, and the intelligent, refined personality drawn elsewhere. Historian Brian Jones concludes in The Emperor Domitian that assessing the true nature of Domitian’s personality is inherently complicated by the bias of the surviving sources. Common threads nonetheless emerge from the available evidence. He appears to have lacked the natural charisma of his brother and father. He was prone to suspicion, displayed an odd, sometimes self-deprecating sense of humour, and often communicated in cryptic ways. This ambiguity of character was further exacerbated by his remoteness, and as he grew older, he increasingly displayed a preference for solitude, which may have stemmed from his isolated upbringing. Indeed, by the age of eighteen nearly all of his closest relatives had died by war or disease. Having spent the greater part of his early life in the twilight of Nero’s reign, his formative years would have been strongly influenced by the political turmoil of the 60s, culminating with the civil war of 69, which brought his family to power. Rise of the Flavian dynasty. Year of the Four Emperors. On 9 June 68, amidst growing opposition of the Senate and the army, Nero committed suicide , and with him the Julio-Claudian dynasty came to an end. Chaos ensued, leading to a year of brutal civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors , during which the four most influential generals in the Roman Empire Galba , Otho , Vitellius and Vespasian successively vied for imperial power. News of Nero’s death reached Vespasian as he was preparing to besiege the city of Jerusalem. Almost simultaneously the Senate had declared Galba, then governor of Hispania Tarraconensis (modern Spain), as Emperor of Rome. Rather than continue his campaign, Vespasian decided to await further orders and send Titus to greet the new Emperor. Before reaching Italy, Titus learnt that Galba had been murdered and replaced by Otho, the governor of Lusitania (modern Portugal). At the same time Vitellius and his armies in Germania had risen in revolt, and prepared to march on Rome, intent on overthrowing Otho. Not wanting to risk being taken hostage by one side or the other, Titus abandoned the journey to Rome and rejoined his father in Judaea. Otho and Vitellius realised the potential threat posed by the Flavian faction. With four legions at his disposal, Vespasian commanded a strength of nearly 80,000 soldiers. His position in Judaea further granted him the advantage of being nearest to the vital province of Egypt , which controlled the grain supply to Rome. His brother Titus Flavius Sabinus II, as city prefect, commanded the entire city garrison of Rome. Tensions among the Flavian troops ran high, but so long as either Galba or Otho remained in power, Vespasian refused to take action. When Otho was defeated by Vitellius at the First Battle of Bedriacum , the armies in Judaea and Egypt took matters into their own hands and declared Vespasian emperor on 1 July 69. Vespasian accepted, and entered an alliance with Gaius Licinius Mucianus , the governor of Syria, against Vitellius. A strong force drawn from the Judaean and Syrian legions marched on Rome under the command of Mucianus, while Vespasian himself travelled to Alexandria , leaving Titus in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion. In Rome meanwhile, Domitian was placed under house arrest by Vitellius, as a safeguard against future Flavian aggression. Support for the old emperor was waning however, as more legions throughout the empire pledged their allegiance to Vespasian. On 24 October 69 the forces of Vitellius and Vespasian clashed at the Second Battle of Bedriacum , which ended in a crushing defeat for the armies of Vitellius. In despair, he attempted to negotiate a surrender. Terms of peace, including a voluntary abdication, were agreed upon with Titus Flavius Sabinus II. But the soldiers of the Praetorian Guard the imperial bodyguard considered such a resignation disgraceful, and prevented Vitellius from carrying out the treaty. On the morning of 18 December, the emperor appeared to deposit the imperial insignia at the Temple of Concord , but at the last minute retraced his steps to the Imperial palace. In the confusion, the leading men of the state gathered at Sabinus’ house, proclaiming Vespasian as Emperor, but the multitude dispersed when Vitellian cohorts clashed with the armed escort of Sabinus, who was forced to retreat to the Capitoline Hill. During the night, he was joined by his relatives, including Domitian. The armies of Mucianus were nearing Rome, but the besieged Flavian party did not hold out for longer than a day. On 19 December, Vitellianists burst onto the Capitol, and in the resulting skirmish, Sabinus was captured and executed. Domitian himself managed to escape by disguising himself as a worshipper of Isis , and spent the night in safety with one of his father’s supporters. By the afternoon of 20 December Vitellius was dead, his armies having been defeated by the Flavian legions. With nothing more to be feared from the enemy, Domitian came forward to meet the invading forces; he was universally saluted by the title of Caesar , and the mass of troops conducted him to his father’s house. The following day, 21 December, the Senate proclaimed Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire. Aftermath of the war. Although the war had officially ended, a state of anarchy and lawlessness pervaded in the first days following the demise of Vitellius. Order was properly restored by Mucianus in early 70 but Vespasian did not enter Rome until September of that year. In the meantime, Domitian acted as the representative of the Flavian family in the Roman Senate. He received the title of Caesar and was appointed praetor with consular power. The ancient historian Tacitus describes Domitian’s first speech in the Senate as brief and measured, at the same time noting his ability to elude awkward questions. Domitian’s authority was merely nominal , however, foreshadowing what was to be his role for at least ten more years. By all accounts, Mucianus held the real power in Vespasian’s absence and he was careful to ensure that Domitian, still only eighteen years old, did not overstep the boundaries of his function. Strict control was also maintained over the young Caesar’s entourage , promoting away Flavian generals such as Arrius Varus and Antonius Primus and replacing them by more reliable men such as Arrecinus Clemens. Equally curtailed by Mucianus were Domitian’s military ambitions. The civil war of 69 had severely destabilized the provinces, leading to several local uprisings such as the Batavian revolt in Gaul. Batavian auxiliaries of the Rhine legions, led by Gaius Julius Civilis , had rebelled with the aid of a faction of Treveri under the command of Julius Classicus. Seven legions were sent from Rome, led by Vespasian’s brother-in-law Quintus Petillius Cerialis. Although the revolt was quickly suppressed, exaggerated reports of disaster prompted Mucianus to depart the capital with reinforcements of his own. Domitian eagerly sought the opportunity to attain military glory and joined the other officers with the intention of commanding a legion of his own. According to Tacitus, Mucianus was not keen on this prospect but since he considered Domitian a liability in any capacity that was entrusted to him, he preferred to keep him close at hand rather than in Rome. When news arrived of Cerialis’ victory over Civilis, Mucianus tactfully dissuaded Domitian from pursuing further military endeavours. Domitian then wrote to Cerialis personally, suggesting he hand over command of his army but, once again, he was snubbed. With the return of Vespasian in late September, his political role was rendered all but obsolete and Domitian withdrew from government devoting his time to arts and literature. Where his political and military career had ended in disappointment, Domitian’s private affairs were more successful. In 70 Vespasian attempted to arrange a dynastic marriage between his youngest son and the daughter of Titus, Julia Flavia. But Domitian was adamant in his love for Domitia Longina , going so far as to persuade her husband, Lucius Aelius Lamia , to divorce her so that Domitian could marry her himself. A bust of Domitia Longina , with Flavian hairstyle , (Louvre). Despite its initial recklessness, the alliance was very prestigious for both families. Domitia Longina was the younger daughter of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo , a respected general and honoured politician. Following the failed Pisonian conspiracy against Nero in 65, he had been forced to commit suicide. The new marriage not only re-established ties to senatorial opposition, but also served the broader Flavian propaganda of the time, which sought to diminish Vespasian’s political success under Nero. Instead connections to Claudius and Britannicus were emphasised, and Nero’s victims, or those otherwise disadvantaged by him, rehabilitated. In 80, Domitia and Domitian’s only attested son was born. It is not known what the boy’s name was, but he died in childhood in 83. Shortly following his accession as Emperor, Domitian bestowed the honorific title of Augusta upon Domitia, while their son was deified , appearing as such on the reverse of coin types from this period. Nevertheless, the marriage appears to have faced a significant crisis in 83. For reasons unknown, Domitian briefly exiled Domitia, and then soon recalled her, either out of love or due to rumours that he was carrying on a relationship with his niece Julia Flavia. Jones argues that most likely he did so for her failure to produce an heir. Little is known of Domitia’s activities as Empress, or how much influence she wielded in Domitian’s government, but it seems her role was limited. From Suetonius, we know that she at least accompanied the Emperor to the amphitheatre , while the Jewish writer Josephus speaks of benefits he received from her. It is not known whether Domitian had other children, but he did not marry again. Despite allegations by Roman sources of adultery and divorce, the marriage appears to have been happy. Prior to becoming Emperor, Domitian’s role in the Flavian government was largely ceremonial. Ultimately, the rebellion had claimed the lives of over 1 million people, a majority of whom were Jewish. The city and temple of Jerusalem were completely destroyed, its most valuable treasures carried off by the Roman army, and nearly 100,000 people were captured and enslaved. For his victory, the Senate awarded Titus a Roman triumph. On the day of the festivities, the Flavian family rode into the capital, preceded by a lavish parade which displayed the spoils of the war. The family procession was headed by Vespasian and Titus, while Domitian, riding a magnificent white horse, followed with the remaining Flavian relatives. Leaders of the Jewish resistance were executed in the Forum Romanum , after which the procession closed with religious sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. A triumphal arch , the Arch of Titus , was erected at the south-east entrance to the Forum to commemorate the successful end of the war. Yet the return of Titus further highlighted the comparative insignificance of Domitian, both militarily and politically. As the eldest and most experienced of Vespasian’s sons, Titus shared tribunician power with his father, received seven consulships , the censorship , and was given command of the Praetorian Guard ; powers which left no doubt he was the designated heir to the Empire. As a second son, Domitian held honorary titles, such as Caesar or Princeps Iuventutis , and several priesthoods, including those of augur , pontifex , frater arvalis , magister frater arvalium , and sacerdos collegiorum omnium , but no office with imperium. He held six consulships during Vespasian’s reign but only one of these, in 73, was an ordinary consulship. The other five were less prestigious suffect consulships , which he held in 71, 75, 76, 77 and 79 respectively, usually replacing his father or brother in mid-January. While ceremonial, these offices no doubt gained Domitian valuable experience in the Roman Senate, and may have contributed to his later reservations about its relevance. Under Vespasian and Titus, non-Flavians were virtually excluded from the important public offices. Mucianus himself all but disappeared from historical records during this time, and it is believed he died sometime between 75 and 77. Real power was unmistakably concentrated in the hands of the Flavian faction; the weakened Senate only maintained the facade of democracy. Because Titus effectively acted as co-emperor with his father, no abrupt change in Flavian policy occurred when Vespasian died on 23 June 79. Titus assured Domitian that full partnership in the government would soon be his, but neither tribunician power nor imperium of any kind was conferred upon him during Titus’ brief reign. Understandably, the new Emperor was not eager to alter this arrangement: he would have expected to rule for at least another twenty or thirty years, and urgent attention was required to address the multitude of disasters which struck during 79 and 80. On 24 August 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted , burying the surrounding cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum under metres of ash and lava; the following year, a fire broke out in Rome which lasted three days and which destroyed a number of important public buildings. Consequently, Titus spent much of his reign coordinating relief efforts and restoring damaged property. On 13 September 81 after barely two years in office, he unexpectedly died of fever during a trip to the Sabine territories. Ancient authors have implicated Domitian in the death of his brother, either by directly accusing him of murder, or implying he left the ailing Titus for dead, even alleging that during his lifetime, Domitian was openly plotting against his brother. It is difficult to assess the factual veracity of these statements given the known bias of the surviving sources. Brotherly affection was likely at a minimum, but this was hardly surprising, considering that Domitian had barely seen Titus after the age of seven. Whatever the nature of their relationship, Domitian seems to have displayed little sympathy when his brother lay dying, instead making for the Praetorian camp where he was proclaimed emperor. The following day, 14 September, the Senate confirmed Domitian’s powers, granting tribunician power, the office of Pontifex Maximus , and the titles of Augustus , and Pater Patriae. 69 AD 79 AD. 79 AD 81 AD. 81 AD 96 AD. Gens Flavia Flavian tree Category:Flavian dynasty. Preceded by Year of the Four Emperors. Followed by NervaAntonine dynasty. As Emperor, Domitian quickly dispensed with the republican facade his father and brother had maintained during their reign. By moving the centre of government (more or less formally) to the imperial court , Domitian openly rendered the Senate’s powers obsolete. In his view, the Roman Empire was to be governed as a divine monarchy with himself as the benevolent despot at its head. In addition to exercising absolute political power, Domitian believed the Emperor’s role encompassed every aspect of daily life, guiding the Roman people as a cultural and moral authority. To usher in the new era, he embarked on ambitious economic, military and cultural programs with the intention of restoring the Empire to the splendour it had seen under the Emperor Augustus. Despite these grand designs Domitian was determined to govern the Empire conscientiously and scrupulously. He became personally involved in all branches of the administration: edicts were issued governing the smallest details of everyday life and law, while taxation and public morals were rigidly enforced. According to Suetonius, the imperial bureaucracy never ran more efficiently than under Domitian, whose exacting standards and suspicious nature maintained historically low corruption among provincial governors and elected officials. Although he made no pretence regarding the significance of the Senate under his absolute rule, those senators he deemed unworthy were expelled from the Senate, and in the distribution of public offices he rarely favoured family members; a policy which stood in contrast to the nepotism practiced by Vespasian and Titus. Above all, however, Domitian valued loyalty and malleability in those he assigned to strategic posts, qualities he found more often in men of the equestrian order than in members of the Senate or his own family, whom he regarded with suspicion, and promptly removed from office if they disagreed with imperial policy. The reality of Domitian’s autocracy was further highlighted by the fact that, more than any emperor since Tiberius, he spent significant periods of time away from the capital. Although the Senate’s power had been in decline since the fall of the Republic, under Domitian the seat of power was no longer even in Rome, but rather wherever the Emperor was. Until the completion of the Flavian Palace on the Palatine Hill , the imperial court was situated at Alba or Circeo, and sometimes even farther afield. Domitian toured the European provinces extensively, and spent at least three years of his reign in Germania and Illyricum , conducting military campaigns on the frontiers of the Empire. Upon his accession, Domitian revalued the Roman currency by increasing the silver content of the denarius by 12%. This coin commemorates the deification of Domitian’s son. Domitian’s tendency towards micromanagement was nowhere more evident than in his financial policy. The question of whether Domitian left the Roman Empire in debt or with a surplus at the time of his death has been fiercely debated. The evidence points to a balanced economy for the greater part of Domitian’s reign. Upon his accession he revalued the Roman currency dramatically. He increased the silver purity of the denarius from 90% to 98% the actual silver weight increasing from 2.87 grams to 3.26 grams. A financial crisis in 85 forced a devaluation of the silver purity and weight to 93.5% and 3.04 grams respectively. Nevertheless the new values were still higher than the levels which Vespasian and Titus had maintained during their reigns. Domitian’s rigorous taxation policy ensured that this standard was sustained for the following eleven years. Coinage from this era displays a highly consistent degree of quality including meticulous attention to Domitian’s titulature and refined artwork on the reverse portraits. Jones estimates Domitian’s annual income at more than 1,200 million sestertii , of which over one-third would presumably have been spent maintaining the Roman army. The other major expense was the extensive reconstruction of Rome. At the time of Domitian’s accession the city was still suffering from the damage caused by the Great Fire of 64 , the civil war of 69 and the fire in 79. Much more than a renovation project however, Domitian’s building program was intended to be the crowning achievement of an Empire-wide cultural renaissance. Around fifty structures were erected, restored or completed, achievements second only to those of Augustus. Among the most important new structures were an odeon , a stadium , and an expansive palace on the Palatine Hill known as the Flavian Palace which was designed by Domitian’s master architect Rabirius. The most important building Domitian restored was the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill , said to have been covered with a gilded roof. Among those completed were the Temple of Vespasian and Titus , the Arch of Titus , and the Colosseum , to which he added a fourth level and finished the interior seating area. In order to appease the people of Rome an estimated 135 million sestertii was spent on donatives, or congiaria , throughout Domitian’s reign. The Emperor also revived the practice of public banquets, which had been reduced to a simple distribution of food under Nero, while he invested large sums on entertainment and games. In 86 he founded the Capitoline Games , a quadrennial contest comprising athletic displays , chariot racing , and competitions for oratory , music and acting. Domitian himself supported the travel of competitors from all corners of the Empire to Rome and distributed the prizes. Innovations were also introduced into the regular gladiatorial games such as naval contests, nighttime battles, and female and dwarf gladiator fights. Lastly, he added two new factions to the chariot races, Gold and Purple, to race against the existing White, Red, Green and Blue factions. A rock inscription near Boyukdash mountain, Azerbaijan, mentioning Domitian and Legio XII Fulminata. The military campaigns undertaken during Domitian’s reign were generally defensive in nature, as the Emperor rejected the idea of expansionist warfare. His most significant military contribution was the development of the Limes Germanicus , which encompassed a vast network of roads, forts and watchtowers constructed along the Rhine river to defend the Empire. Nevertheless, several important wars were fought in Gaul , against the Chatti , and across the Danube frontier against the Suebi , the Sarmatians , and the Dacians. The conquest of Britain continued under the command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola , who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia , or modern day Scotland. Domitian also founded a new legion in 82, the Legio I Minervia , to fight against the Chatti. Domitian is also credited on the easternmost Roman evidence known. The rock inscription near Boyukdash mountain, in present-day Azerbaijan. As judged by the carved titles of Caesar , Augustus and Germanicus, the related march took place between 84 and 96 AD. Domitian’s administration of the Roman army was characterized by the same fastidious involvement he exhibited in other branches of the government. His competence as a military strategist was criticised by his contemporaries however. Although he claimed several triumphs , these were largely propaganda manoeuvres. Tacitus derided Domitian’s victory against the Chatti as a “mock triumph”, and criticised his decision to retreat from Britain following the conquests of Agricola. Nevertheless, Domitian appears to have been very popular amongst the soldiers, spending an estimated three years of his reign among the army on campaignsmore than any emperor since Augustusand raising their pay by one-third. While the army command may have disapproved of his tactical and strategic decisions, the loyalty of the common soldier was unquestioned. Campaign against the Chatti. Once Emperor, Domitian immediately sought to attain his long delayed military glory. As early as 82, or possibly 83, he went to Gaul, ostensibly to conduct a census , and suddenly ordered an attack on the Chatti. For this purpose, a new legion was founded, Legio I Minervia , which constructed some 75 kilometres (46 mi) of roads through Chattan territory to uncover the enemy’s hiding places. Although little information survives of the battles fought, enough early victories were apparently achieved for Domitian to be back in Rome by the end of 83, where he celebrated an elaborate triumph and conferred upon himself the title of Germanicus. Domitian’s supposed victory was much scorned by ancient authors, who described the campaign as “uncalled for”, and a “mock triumph”. The evidence lends some credence to these claims, as the Chatti would later play a significant role during the revolt of Saturninus in 89. Conquest of Britain (77-84). One of the most detailed reports of military activity under the Flavian dynasty was written by Tacitus , whose biography of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola largely concerns the conquest of Britain between 77 and 84. 77 as governor of Roman Britain, immediately launching campaigns into Caledonia (modern day Scotland). In 82 Agricola crossed an unidentified body of water and defeated peoples unknown to the Romans until then. He fortified the coast facing Ireland, and Tacitus recalls that his father-in-law often claimed the island could be conquered with a single legion and a few auxiliaries. He had given refuge to an exiled Irish king whom he hoped he might use as the excuse for conquest. This conquest never happened, but some historians believe that the crossing referred to was in fact a small-scale exploratory or punitive expedition to Ireland. Turning his attention from Ireland, the following year Agricola raised a fleet and pushed beyond the Forth into Caledonia. To aid the advance, a large legionary fortress was constructed at Inchtuthil. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus , at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Although the Romans inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, two-thirds of the Caledonian army escaped and hid in the Scottish marshes and Highlands , ultimately preventing Agricola from bringing the entire British island under his control. In 85, Agricola was recalled to Rome by Domitian, having served for more than six years as governor, longer than normal for consular legates during the Flavian era. Tacitus claims that Domitian ordered his recall because Agricola’s successes outshone the Emperor’s own modest victories in Germania. The relationship between Agricola and the Emperor is unclear: on the one hand, Agricola was awarded triumphal decorations and a statue, on the other, Agricola never again held a civil or military post in spite of his experience and renown. He was offered the governorship of the province of Africa , but declined it, either due to ill health or, as Tacitus claims, the machinations of Domitian. Not long after Agricola’s recall from Britain, the Roman Empire entered into war with the Kingdom of Dacia in the East. Reinforcements were needed, and in 87 or 88, Domitian ordered a large-scale strategic withdrawal of troops in the British province. The fortress at Inchtuthil was dismantled and the Caledonian forts and watchtowers abandoned, moving the Roman frontier some 120 kilometres (75 mi) further south. The army command may have resented Domitian’s decision to retreat, but to him the Caledonian territories never represented anything more than a loss to the Roman treasury. The most significant threat the Roman Empire faced during the reign of Domitian arose from the northern provinces of Illyricum , where the Suebi, the Sarmatians and the Dacians continuously harassed Roman settlements along the Danube river. Of these, the Sarmatians and the Dacians posed the most formidable threat. In approximately 84 or 85 the Dacians, led by King Decebalus , crossed the Danube into the province of Moesia , wreaking havoc and killing the Moesian governor Oppius Sabinus. Domitian quickly launched a counteroffensive , personally travelling to the region accompanied by a large force commanded by his praetorian prefect Cornelius Fuscus. Fuscus successfully drove the Dacians back across the border in mid-85, prompting Domitian to return to Rome and celebrate his second triumph. The victory proved short-lived, however: as early in 86 Fuscus embarked on an ill-fated expedition into Dacia which resulted in the complete destruction of the fifth legion, Legio V Alaudae , in the First Battle of Tapae. Fuscus was killed, and the battle standard of the Praetorian Guard was lost. The loss of the battle standard, or aquila , was indicative of a crushing defeat and a serious affront to Roman national pride. He divided the province into Lower Moesia and Upper Moesia, and transferred three additional legions to the Danube. In 87, the Romans invaded Dacia once more, this time under the command of Tettius Julianus , and finally defeated Decebalus in late 88 at the same site where Fuscus had previously perished. An attack on the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa was forestalled when new troubles arose on the German frontier in 89. In order to avert having to conduct a war on two fronts, Domitian agreed to terms of peace with Decebalus, negotiating free access of Roman troops through the Dacian region while granting Decebalus an annual subsidy of 8 million sesterces. Contemporary authors severely criticised this treaty, which was considered shameful to the Romans and left the deaths of Sabinus and Fuscus unavenged. Domitian probably wanted a new war against the Dacians, and reinforced Upper Moesia with two more cavalry units brought from Syria and with at least five cohorts brought from Pannonia. Trajan continued Domitian’s policy and added two more units to the auxiliary forces of Upper Moesia, and then he used the build up of troops for his Dacian wars. Eventually the Romans achieved a decisive victory against Decebalus in 106. Again, the Roman army sustained heavy losses, but Trajan succeeded in capturing Sarmizegetusa and, importantly, annexed the Dacian gold and silver mines. In order to justify the divine nature of the Flavian rule, Domitian emphasized connections with the chief deity Jupiter , perhaps most significantly through the impressive restoration of the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. A small chapel dedicated to Jupiter Conservator was also constructed near the house where Domitian had fled to safety on 20 December, 69. Later in his reign, he replaced it with a more expansive building, dedicated to Jupiter Custos. The goddess he worshipped the most zealously however was Minerva. Not only did he keep a personal shrine dedicated to her in his bedroom, she regularly appeared on his coinagein four different attested reverse typesand he founded a legion, Legio I Minervia, in her name. Domitian also revived the practice of the imperial cult , which had fallen somewhat out of use under Vespasian. Significantly, his first act as an Emperor was the deification of his brother Titus. Upon their deaths, his infant son, and niece, Julia Flavia, were likewise enrolled among the gods. With regards to the emperor himself as a religious figure, both Suetonius and Cassius Dio allege that Domitian officially gave himself the title of Dominus et Deus. However, not only did he reject the title of Dominus during his reign. But since he issued no official documentation or coinage to this effect, historians such as Brian Jones contend that such phrases were addressed to Domitian by flatterers who wished to earn favors from the emperor. To foster the worship of the imperial family, he erected a dynastic mausoleum on the site of Vespasian’s former house on the Quirinal , and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus , a shrine dedicated to the worship of his deified father and brother. To memorialize the military triumphs of the Flavian family, he ordered the construction of the Templum Divorum and the Templum Fortuna Redux, and completed the Arch of Titus. Construction projects such as these constituted only the most visible part of Domitian’s religious policy, which also concerned itself with the fulfilment of religious law and public morals. In 85, he nominated himself perpetual censor , the office which held the task of supervising Roman morals and conduct. Once again, Domitian acquitted himself of this task dutifully, and with care. He renewed the Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis , under which adultery was punishable by exile. From the list of jurors he struck an equestrian who had divorced his wife and taken her back, while an ex- quaestor was expelled from the Senate for acting and dancing. Domitian also heavily prosecuted corruption among public officials, removing jurors if they accepted bribes and rescinding legislation when a conflict of interest was suspected. He ensured that libellous writings, especially those directed against himself, were punishable by exile or death. Actors were likewise regarded with suspicion, as their performances provided an opportunity for satire at the expense of the government. Consequently, he forbade mimes from appearing on stage in public. In 87, Vestal Virgins were found to have broken their sacred vows of lifelong public chastity. As the Vestals were regarded as daughters of the community, this offence essentially constituted incest. Accordingly, those found guilty of any such transgression were condemned to death, either by a manner of their choosing, or according to the ancient fashion, which dictated that Vestals should be buried alive. Foreign religions were tolerated insofar as they did not interfere with public order, or could be assimilated with the traditional Roman religion. The worship of Egyptian deities in particular flourished under the Flavian dynasty, to an extent not seen again until the reign of Commodus. Veneration of Serapis and Isis , who were identified with Jupiter and Minerva respectively, was especially prominent. 4th century writings by Eusebius of Caesarea maintains that Jews and Christians were heavily persecuted toward the end of Domitian’s reign. The Book of Revelation is thought by some to have been written during this period. Although Jews were heavily taxed, no contemporary authors mention trials or executions based on religious offenses other than those within the Roman religion. Revolt of Governor Saturninus (89). Domitian, Capitoline Museums , Rome. On 1 January 89, the governor of Germania Superior , Lucius Antonius Saturninus , and his two legions at Mainz , Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XXI Rapax , revolted against the Roman Empire with the aid of the Germanic Chatti tribe. The precise cause for the rebellion is uncertain, although it appears to have been planned well in advance. The Senatorial officers may have disapproved of Domitian’s military strategies, such as his decision to fortify the German frontier rather than attack, as well as his recent retreat from Britain, and finally the disgraceful policy of appeasement towards Decebalus. At any rate, the uprising was strictly confined to Saturninus’ province, and quickly detected once the rumour spread across the neighbouring provinces. The governor of Germania Inferior , Lappius Maximus, moved to the region at once, assisted by the procurator of Rhaetia , Titus Flavius Norbanus. From Spain, Trajan was summoned, whilst Domitian himself came from Rome with the Praetorian Guard. By a stroke of luck, a thaw prevented the Chatti from crossing the Rhine and coming to Saturninus’ aid. Within twenty-four days the rebellion was crushed, and its leaders at Mainz savagely punished. The mutinous legions were sent to the front in Illyricum , while those who had assisted in their defeat were duly rewarded. Lappius Maximus received the governorship of the province of Syria, a consulship in May 95, and finally a priesthood which he still held in 102. Titus Flavius Norbanus may have been appointed to the prefecture of Egypt, but almost certainly became prefect of the Praetorian Guard by 94, with Titus Petronius Secundus as his colleague. Domitian opened the year following the revolt by sharing the consulship with Marcus Cocceius Nerva, suggesting the latter had played a part in uncovering the conspiracy, perhaps in a fashion similar to the one he played during the Pisonian conspiracy under Nero. Although little is known about the life and career of Nerva before his accession as Emperor in 96, he appears to have been a highly adaptable diplomat, surviving multiple regime changes and emerging as one of the Flavians’ most trusted advisors. His consulship may therefore have been intended to emphasise the stability and status quo of the regime. Relationship with the Senate. Since the fall of the Republic , the authority of the Roman Senate had largely eroded under the quasi-monarchical system of government established by Augustus , known as the Principate. The Principate allowed the existence of a de facto dictatorial regime, while maintaining the formal framework of the Roman Republic. Most Emperors upheld the public facade of democracy, and in return the Senate implicitly acknowledged the Emperor’s status as a de facto monarch. Some rulers handled this arrangement with less subtlety than others. Domitian was not so subtle. From the outset of his reign, he stressed the reality of his autocracy. He disliked aristocrats and had no fear of showing it, withdrawing every decision-making power from the Senate, and instead relying on a small set of friends and equestrians to control the important offices of state. The dislike was mutual. After Domitian’s assassination, the senators of Rome rushed to the Senate house, where they immediately passed a motion condemning his memory to oblivion. Under the rulers of the Nervan-Antonian dynasty, senatorial authors published histories which elaborated on the view of Domitian as a tyrant. Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that Domitian did make concessions toward senatorial opinion. Whereas his father and brother had concentrated consular power largely in the hands of the Flavian family, Domitian admitted a surprisingly large number of provincials and potential opponents to the consulship, allowing them to head the official calendar by opening the year as an ordinary consul. Whether this was a genuine attempt to reconcile with hostile factions in the Senate cannot be ascertained. By offering the consulship to potential opponents, Domitian may have wanted to compromise these senators in the eyes of their supporters. When their conduct proved unsatisfactory, they were almost invariably brought to trial and exiled or executed, and their property was confiscated. Both Tacitus and Suetonius speak of escalating persecutions toward the end of Domitian’s reign, identifying a point of sharp increase around 93, or sometime after the failed revolt of Saturninus in 89. At least twenty senatorial opponents were executed. Including Domitia Longina’s former husband Lucius Aelius Lamia and three of Domitian’s own family members, Titus Flavius Sabinus IV , Titus Flavius Clemens and Marcus Arrecinus Clemens. Some of these men were executed as early as 83 or 85 however, lending little credit to Tacitus’ notion of a “reign of terror” late in Domitian’s reign. According to Suetonius, some were convicted for corruption or treason, others on trivial charges, which Domitian justified through his suspicion. He used to say that the lot of Emperors was most unfortunate, since when they discovered a conspiracy, no one believed them unless they had been murdered. Suetonius , De Vita Caesarum , “Life of Domitian”, 21. Jones compares the executions of Domitian to those under Emperor Claudius (4155), noting that Claudius executed around 35 senators and 300 equestrians, and yet was still deified by the Senate and regarded as one of the good Emperors of history. Domitian was apparently unable to gain support among the aristocracy, despite attempts to appease hostile factions with consular appointments. His autocratic style of government accentuated the Senate’s loss of power, while his policy of treating patricians and even family members as equals to all Romans earned him their contempt. According to Suetonius, Domitian worshipped Minerva as his protector goddess with superstitious veneration. In a dream , she is said to have abandoned the emperor prior to the assassination. Domitian was murdered on 18 September 96, in a palace conspiracy organized by court officials. A highly detailed account of the plot and the assassination is provided by Suetonius , who alleges that Domitian’s chamberlain Parthenius was the chief instigator behind the conspiracy, citing the recent execution of Domitian’s secretary Epaphroditus as the primary motive. The murder itself was carried out by a freedman of Parthenius named Maximus, and a steward of Domitian’s niece Flavia Domitilla , named Stephanus. The precise involvement of the Praetorian Guard is less clear. At the time the Guard was commanded by Titus Flavius Norbanus and Titus Petronius Secundus and the latter was almost certainly aware of the plot. Cassius Dio , writing nearly a hundred years after the assassination, includes Domitia Longina among the conspirators, but in light of her attested devotion to Domitianeven years after her husband had diedher involvement in the plot seems highly unlikely. Dio further suggests that the assassination was improvised, while Suetonius implies a well organised conspiracy. For some days before the attack took place, Stephanus feigned an injury so as to be able to conceal a dagger beneath his bandages. On the day of the assassination the doors to the servants’ quarters were locked while Domitian’s personal weapon of last resort, a sword he concealed beneath his pillow, had been removed in advance. In accordance with an astrological prediction the Emperor believed that he would die around noon, and was therefore restless during this time of the day. On his last day, Domitian was feeling disturbed and asked a servant several times what time it was. The boy, included in the plot, lied, saying that it was much later than noon. More at ease, the Emperor went to his desk to sign some decrees, where he was suddenly approached by Stephanus. Then pretending to betray a conspiracy and for that reason being given an audience, [Stephanus] stabbed the emperor in the groin as he was reading a paper which the assassin handed him, and stood in a state of amazement. As the wounded prince attempted to resist, he was slain with seven wounds by Clodianus, a subaltern, Maximus, a freedman of Parthenius, Satur, decurion of the chamberlains, and a gladiator from the imperial school. Suetonius , De Vita Caesarum , “Life of Domitian”, 17. Domitian and Stephanus wrestled on the ground for some time, until the Emperor was finally overpowered and fatally stabbed by the conspirators. Around noon Domitian, just one month short of his 45th birthday, was dead. His body was carried away on a common bier , and unceremoniously cremated by his nurse Phyllis, who later mingled the ashes with those of his niece Julia, at the Flavian temple. According to Suetonius, a number of omens had foretold Domitian’s death. Several days prior to the assassination, Minerva had appeared to him in a dream, announcing she had been disarmed by Jupiter , and would no longer be able to protect him. Upon the death of Domitian, Nerva was proclaimed Emperor by the Senate. The Fasti Ostienses , the Ostian Calendar, records that the same day the Senate proclaimed Marcus Cocceius Nerva emperor. Despite his political experience, this was a remarkable choice. Nerva was old and childless, and had spent much of his career out of the public light, prompting both ancient and modern authors to speculate on his involvement in Domitian’s assassination. According to Cassius Dio, the conspirators approached Nerva as a potential successor prior to the assassination, suggesting that he was at least aware of the plot He does not appear in Suetonius’ version of the events, but this may be understandable, since his works were published under Nerva’s direct descendants Trajan and Hadrian. To suggest the dynasty owed its accession to murder would have been less than sensitive. On the other hand, Nerva lacked widespread support in the Empire, and as a known Flavian loyalist, his track record would not have recommended him to the conspirators. The precise facts have been obscured by history, but modern historians believe Nerva was proclaimed Emperor solely on the initiative of the Senate, within hours after the news of the assassination broke. The decision may have been hasty so as to avoid civil war, but neither appears to have been involved in the conspiracy. The Senate nonetheless rejoiced at the death of Domitian, and immediately following Nerva’s accession as Emperor, passed damnatio memoriae on his memory: his coins and statues were melted, his arches were torn down and his name was erased from all public records. Domitian and, over a century later Publius Septimius Geta , were the only emperors known to have officially received a damnatio memoriae , though others may have received de facto ones. In many instances, existing portraits of Domitian, such as those found on the Cancelleria Reliefs , were simply recarved to fit the likeness of Nerva, which allowed quick production of new images and recycling of previous material. Yet the order of the Senate was only partially executed in Rome, and wholly disregarded in most of the provinces outside Italy. According to Suetonius, the people of Rome met the news of Domitian’s death with indifference, but the army was much grieved, calling for his deification immediately after the assassination, and in several provinces rioting. As a compensation measure, the Praetorian guard demanded the execution of Domitian’s assassins, which Nerva refused. Instead he merely dismissed Titus Petronius Secundus, and replaced him with a former commander, Casperius Aelianus. Dissatisfaction with this state of affairs continued to loom over Nerva’s reign, and ultimately erupted into a crisis in October 97, when members of the Praetorian guard, led by Casperius Aelianus, laid siege to the Imperial Palace and took Nerva hostage. He was forced to submit to their demands, agreeing to hand over those responsible for Domitian’s death and even giving a speech thanking the rebellious Praetorians. Titus Petronius Secundus and Parthenius were sought out and killed. Nerva was unharmed in this assault, but his authority was damaged beyond repair. Shortly thereafter he announced the adoption of Trajan as his successor, and with this decision all but abdicated. Domitian as Emperor (Vatican Museums), possibly recut from a statue of Nero. The classic view of Domitian is usually negative, since most of the antique sources were related to the Senatorial or aristocratic class, with which Domitian had a notoriously difficult relation. Furthermore, contemporary historians such as Pliny the Younger , Tacitus and Suetonius all authored the information on his reign after it had ended, and his memory had been condemned to oblivion. The work of Domitian’s court poets Martial and Statius constitutes virtually the only literary evidence concurrent with his reign. Perhaps equally unsurprising as the attitude of post-Domitianic historians, the poems of Martial and Statius are highly adulatory, praising Domitian’s achievements as equalling those of the gods. The most extensive account of the life of Domitian to survive was written by the historian Suetonius, who was born during the reign of Vespasian, and published his works under Emperor Hadrian (117138). His De Vita Caesarum is the source of much of what is known of Domitian. Although his text is predominantly negative, it neither exclusively condemns nor praises Domitian, and asserts that his rule started well, but gradually declined into terror. The biography is problematic however, in that it appears to contradict itself with regards to Domitian’s rule and personality, at the same time presenting him as a conscientious, moderate man, and as a decadent libertine. According to Suetonius, Domitian wholly feigned his interest in arts and literature, and never bothered to acquaint himself with classic authors. Other passages, alluding to Domitian’s love of epigrammatic expression, suggest that he was in fact familiar with classic writers, while he also patronized poets and architects, founded artistic Olympics, and personally restored the library of Rome at great expense after it had burned down. De Vita Caesarum is also the source of several outrageous stories regarding Domitian’s marriage life. According to Suetonius, Domitia Longina was exiled in 83 because of an affair with a famous actor named Paris. When Domitian found out, he allegedly murdered Paris in the street and promptly divorced his wife, with Suetonius further adding that once Domitia was exiled, Domitian took Julia as his mistress, who later died during a failed abortion. Modern historians consider this highly implausible however, noting that malicious rumours such as those concerning Domitia’s alleged infidelity were eagerly repeated by post-Domitianic authors, and used to highlight the hypocrisy of a ruler publicly preaching a return to Augustan morals, while privately indulging in excesses and presiding over a corrupt court. Nevertheless, the account of Suetonius has dominated imperial historiography for centuries. Although Tacitus is usually considered to be the most reliable author of this era, his views on Domitian are complicated by the fact that his father-in-law, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, may have been a personal enemy of the Emperor. In his biographical work Agricola , Tacitus maintains that Agricola was forced into retirement because his triumph over the Caledonians highlighted Domitian’s own inadequacy as a military commander. Several modern authors such as Dorey have argued the opposite: that Agricola was in fact a close friend of Domitian, and that Tacitus merely sought to distance his family from the fallen dynasty once Nerva was in power. Tacitus’ major historical works, including The Histories and Agricola’s biography, were all written and published under Domitian’s successors Nerva (9698) and Trajan (98117). Unfortunately, the part of Tacitus’ Histories dealing with the reign of the Flavian dynasty is almost entirely lost. His views on Domitian survive through brief comments in its first five books, and the short but highly negative characterisation in Agricola in which he severely criticises Domitian’s military endeavours. Nevertheless, Tacitus admits his debt to the Flavians with regard to his own public career. Other influential 2nd century authors include Juvenal and Pliny the Younger , the latter of whom was a friend of Tacitus and in 100 delivered his famous Panygericus Traiani before Trajan and the Roman Senate, exalting the new era of restored freedom while condemning Domitian as a tyrant. Juvenal savagely satirized the Domitianic court in his Satires , depicting the Emperor and his entourage as corrupt, violent and unjust. As a consequence, the anti-Domitianic tradition was already well established by the end of the 2nd century, and by the 3rd century, even expanded upon by early Church historians, who identified Domitian as an early persecutor of Christians. Hostile views of Domitian were propagated until well into the early 20th century, before archeological and numismatic advances brought renewed attention to his reign, and necessitated a revision of the literary tradition established by Tacitus and Pliny. In 1930, Ronald Syme argued a complete reassessment of Domitian’s financial policy, which had until then been largely viewed as a disaster, opening his paper with the following introduction. The work of the spade and the use of common sense have done much to mitigate the influence of Tacitus and Pliny and redeem the memory of Domitian from infamy or oblivion. But much remains to be done. Ronald Syme , Imperial finances under Domitian, Nerva and Trajan. Over the course of the 20th century, Domitian’s military, administrative and economic policies were re-evaluated. New book length studies were not published until the 1990s however, nearly a hundred years after Stéphane Gsell’s Essai sur le règne de l’empereur Domitien (1894). The most important of these was The Emperor Domitian , by Brian W. In his monograph , Jones concludes that Domitian was a ruthless, but efficient autocrat. For the majority of his reign, there was no widespread dissatisfaction with the emperor or his rule. His harshness was felt by only a small, but highly vocal minority, who later exaggerated his despotism in favour of the well regarded Nervan-Antonian dynasty which followed. Domitian’s foreign policy was realistic, rejecting expansionist warfare and negotiating peace at a time when Roman military tradition dictated aggressive conquest. His economic program, which was rigorously efficient, maintained the Roman currency at a standard it would never again achieve. Persecution of religious minorities, such as Jews and Christians, was non-existent. Domitian’s government nonetheless exhibited totalitarian characteristics. As Emperor, he saw himself as the new Augustus, an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of Flavian renaissance. Religious, military and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality. He deified three of his family members and erected massive structures to commemorate the Flavian achievements. Elaborate triumphs were celebrated in order to boost his image as a warrior-emperor, but many of these were either unearned or premature. By nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals. He became personally involved in all branches of the government and successfully prosecuted corruption among public officials. The dark side of his censorial power involved a restriction in freedom of speech, and an increasingly oppressive attitude toward the Roman Senate. He punished libel with exile or death and, due to his suspicious nature, increasingly accepted information from informers to bring false charges of treason if necessary. Although contemporary historians vilified Domitian after his death, his administration provided the foundation for the Principate of the peaceful 2nd century. His successors Nerva and Trajan were less restrictive, but in reality their policies differed little from Domitian’s. Much more than a gloomy coda to the… 1st century the Roman Empire prospered between 81 and 96, in a reign which Theodor Mommsen described as the sombre but intelligent despotism of Domitian. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “DOMITIAN son of Vespasian 85AD Big Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52110″ is in sale since Sunday, August 16, 2015. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Domitian

Jan 27 2018

COMMODUS 190AD Sestertius Big Ancient Roman Coin Genius Cult Prosperity i18165

COMMODUS 190AD Sestertius Big Ancient Roman Coin Genius Cult Prosperity i18165

COMMODUS 190AD Sestertius Big Ancient Roman Coin Genius Cult Prosperity i18165

Item: i18165 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Commodus – Roman Emperor: 177-192 A. Bronze Sestertius 29mm (21.25 grams) Rome mint: 190 A. Reference: RIC 561; sear5 #5749 M COMMOD ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT P P, laureate head right. GEN AVG FELIC TR P XV IMP VIII COS VI S C, Genius standing left, holding a patera & a cornucopiae, altar at left. The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form. Originating in classical antiquity , it has continued as a symbol in Western art , and it is particularly associated with the Thanksgiving holiday in North America. Allegorical depiction of the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia, by Rubens ca. Mythology offers multiple explanations of the origin of the cornucopia. One of the best-known involves the birth and nurturance of the infant Zeus , who had to be hidden from his devouring father Cronus. In a cave on Mount Ida on the island of Crete , baby Zeus was cared for and protected by a number of divine attendants, including the goat Amalthea (“Nourishing Goddess”), who fed him with her milk. The suckling future king of the gods had unusual abilities and strength, and in playing with his nursemaid accidentally broke off one of her horns , which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment, as the foster mother had to the god. In another myth, the cornucopia was created when Heracles (Roman Hercules) wrestled with the river god Achelous and wrenched off one of his horns; river gods were sometimes depicted as horned. This version is represented in the Achelous and Hercules mural painting by the American Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton. The cornucopia became the attribute of several Greek and Roman deities , particularly those associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance, such as personifications of Earth (Gaia or Terra); the child Plutus , god of riches and son of the grain goddess Demeter ; the nymph Maia ; and Fortuna , the goddess of luck, who had the power to grant prosperity. In Roman Imperial cult , abstract Roman deities who fostered peace (pax Romana) and prosperity were also depicted with a cornucopia, including Abundantia , “Abundance” personified, and Annona , goddess of the grain supply to the city of Rome. Pluto , the classical ruler of the underworld in the mystery religions , was a giver of agricultural, mineral and spiritual wealth, and in art often holds a cornucopia to distinguish him from the gloomier Hades , who holds a drinking horn instead. In modern depictions, the cornucopia is typically a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket filled with various kinds of festive fruit and vegetables. In North America, the cornucopia has come to be associated with Thanksgiving and the harvest. Cornucopia is also the name of the annual November Wine and Food celebration in Whistler , British Columbia, Canada. Two cornucopias are seen in the flag and state seal of Idaho. The Great Seal of North Carolina depicts Liberty standing and Plenty holding a cornucopia. The coat of arms of Colombia , Panama , Peru and Venezuela , and the Coat of Arms of the State of Victoria, Australia , also feature the cornucopia, symbolising prosperity. The horn of plenty is used on body art and at Halloween, as it is a symbol of fertility, fortune and abundance. Base of a statue of Louis XV of France. Head of a genius worshipped by Roman soldiers (found at Vindobona , 2nd century CE). In ancient Roman religion , the genius was the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place, or thing. Winged genius facing a woman with a tambourine and mirror, from southern Italy, about 320 BC. Nature of the genius. The rational powers and abilities of every human being were attributed to their soul, which was a genius. Each individual place had a genius (genius loci) and so did powerful objects, such as volcanoes. The concept extended to some specifics: the genius of the theatre, of vineyards, and of festivals, which made performances successful, grapes grow, and celebrations succeed, respectively. It was extremely important in the Roman mind to propitiate the appropriate genii for the major undertakings and events of their lives. Bronze genius depicted as pater familias (1st century CE). Although the term genius might apply to any divinity whatsoever, most of the higher-level and state genii had their own well-established names. Genius applied most often to individual places or people not generally known; that is, to the smallest units of society and settlements, families and their homes. Houses, doors, gates, streets, districts, tribes, each one had its own genius. The supreme hierarchy of the Roman gods, like that of the Greeks, was modelled after a human family. It featured a father, Jupiter (“father god”), who, in a patriarchal society was also the supreme divine unity, and a mother, Juno , queen of the gods. These supreme unities were subdivided into genii for each individual family; hence, the genius of each female, representing the female domestic reproductive power, was a Juno. The male function was a Jupiter. The juno was worshipped under many titles. Matronalis , “of married women”. Genii were often viewed as protective spirits, as one would propitiate them for protection. For example, to protect infants one propitiated a number of deities concerned with birth and childrearing : Cuba (“lying down to sleep”), Cunina (“of the cradle”) and Rumina (“of breast-feeding”). Certainly, if those genii did not perform their proper function well, the infant would be in danger. Hundreds of lararia , or family shrines, have been discovered at Pompeii , typically off the atrium , kitchen or garden, where the smoke of burnt offerings could vent through the opening in the roof. A lararium was distinct from the penus (“within”), another shrine where the penates , gods associated with the storerooms, was located. Each lararium features a panel fresco containing the same theme: two peripheral figures (Lares) attend on a central figure (family genius) or two figures (genius and Juno) who may or may not be at an altar. In the foreground is one or two serpents crawling toward the genius through a meadow motif. Campania and Calabria preserved an ancient practice of keeping a propitious house snake, here linked with the genius. In another, unrelated fresco (House of the Centenary) the snake-in-meadow appears below a depiction of Mount Vesuvius and is labelled Agathodaimon , “good daimon “, where daimon must be regarded as the Greek equivalent of genius. History of the concept. Etymologically genius (household guardian spirit) has the same derivation as nature from gns (tribe, people) from the Indo-European root gen-, produce. It is the indwelling nature of an object or class of objects or events that act with a perceived or hypothesized unity. Philosophically the Romans did not find the paradox of the one being many confusing; like all other prodigies they attributed it to the inexplicable mystery of divinity. Multiple events could therefore be attributed to the same and different divinities and a person could be the same as and different from his genius. They were not distinct, as the later guardian angels, and yet the Genius Augusti was not exactly the same as Augustus either. As a natural outcome of these beliefs, the pleasantness of a place, the strength of an oath, an ability of a person, were regarded as intrinsic to the object, and yet were all attributable to genius ; hence all of the modern meanings of the word. This point of view is not attributable to any one civilization; its roots are lost in prehistory. The Etruscans had such beliefs at the beginning of history, but then so did the Greeks, the native Italics and many other peoples in the near and middle east. Genii under the monarchy. No literature of the monarchy has survived, but later authors in recounting its legends mention the genius. For example, under Servius Tullius the triplets Horatii of Rome fought the triplets Curiatii of Alba Longa for the decision of the war that had arisen between the two communities. Horatius was left standing but his sister, who had been betrothed to one of the Curiatii, began to keen, breast-beat and berate Horatius. He executed her, was tried for murder, was acquitted by the Roman people but the king made him expiate the Juno of his sister and the Genius Curiatii , a family genius. Implied geniuses date to much earlier; for example, when Horatius Cocles defends the Pons Sublicius against an Etruscan crossing at the beginning of the Roman Republic , after the bridge is cut down he prays to the Tiber to bear him up as he swims across: Tiberine pater te, sancte, precor… Holy father Tiber, I pray to you…. The Tiber so addressed is a genius. Although the word is not used here, in later literature it is identified as one. Describes the genius as “the companion which controls the natal star; the god of human nature, in that he is mortal for each person, with a changing expression, white or black”. Octavius Caesar on return to Rome after the final victory of the Roman Civil War at the Battle of Actium appeared to the Senate to be a man of great power and success, clearly a mark of divinity. In recognition of the prodigy they voted that all banquets should include a libation to his genius. In concession to this sentiment he chose the name Augustus , capturing the numinous meaning of English august. This line of thought was probably behind the later vote in 30 BC that he was divine, as the household cult of the Genius Augusti dates from that time. It was propitiated at every meal along with the other household numina. The vote began the tradition of the divine emperors ; however, the divinity went with the office and not the man. The Roman emperors gave ample evidence that they personally were neither immortal nor divine. Inscription on votive altar to the genius of Legio VII Gemina by L. Attius Macro (CIL II 5083). If the genius of the imperator , or commander of all troops, was to be propitiated, so was that of all the units under his command. The provincial troops expanded the idea of the genii of state; for example, from Roman Britain have been found altars to the genii of Roma , Roman aeterna , Britannia , and to every legion , cohors , ala and centuria in Britain, as well as to the praetorium of every castra and even to the vexillae. Inscriptional dedications to genius were not confined to the military. From Gallia Cisalpina under the empire are numerous dedications to the genii of persons of authority and respect; in addition to the emperor’s genius principis , were the geniuses of patrons of freedmen, owners of slaves, patrons of guilds, philanthropists, officials, villages, other divinities, relatives and friends. Sometimes the dedication is combined with other words, such as “to the genius and honor” or in the case of couples, to the genius and Juno. Surviving from the time of the empire hundreds of dedicatory, votive and sepulchral inscriptions ranging over the entire territory testify to a floruit of genius worship as an official cult. Stock phrases were abbreviated: GPR, genio populi Romani (“to the genius of the Roman people”); GHL, genio huius loci (“to the genius of this place”); GDN, genio domini nostri (“to the genius of our master”), and so on. In 392 AD with the final victory of Christianity Theodosius I declared the worship of the Genii, Lares and Penates to be treason, ending their official terms. The concept, however, continued in representation and speech under different names or with accepted modifications. The genius of a corporate social body is often a cameo theme on ancient coins: a denarius from Spain, 7675 BC, featuring a bust of the GPR (Genius Populi Romani , “Genius of the Roman People”) on the obverse ; an aureus of Siscia in Croatia , 270275 AD, featuring a standing image of the GENIUS ILLVR (Genius Exercitus Illyriciani , “Genius of the Illyrian Army”) on the reverse; an aureus of Rome, 134138 AD, with an image of a youth holding a cornucopia and patera (sacrificial dish) and the inscription GENIOPR, genio populi Romani , “to the genius of the Roman people, ” on the reverse. Scene from Lararium, House of Iulius Polybius, Pompeii. Agathodaimon (“good divinity”), genius of the soil around Vesuvius. Unknown Roman genius near Pompeii, 1st century BC. Genius of Antoninus Pius. Genius of Palermo , Ignazio Marabitti, c. Genius of Alexander, Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, 1814. Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus. 31 August, 161 AD 31 December, 192 AD, was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father’s death in 180. His accession as emperor was the first time a son had succeeded his father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. He was also the first Emperor to have both a father and grandfather as the two preceding Emperors. Commodus was the first (and until 337 the only) emperor ” born in the purple “; i. During his father’s reign. Commodus was assassinated in 192. Early life and rise to power (161180). Commodus was born on 31 August 161, as Commodus, in Lanuvium , near Rome. He was the son of the reigning emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and Aurelius’s first cousin, Faustina the Younger; the youngest daughter of Roman Emperor Antonius Pius. Commodus had an elder twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, who died in 165. On 12 October 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother, Marcus Annius Verus. The latter died in 169 having failed to recover from an operation, which left Commodus as Marcus Aurelius’ sole surviving son. He was looked after by his father’s physician, Galen , in order to keep Commodus healthy and alive. Galen treated many of Commodus’ common illnesses. Commodus received extensive tuition at the hands of what Marcus Aurelius called an abundance of good masters. The focus of Commodus’ education appears to have been intellectual, possibly at the expense of military training. Commodus is known to have been at Carnuntum , the headquarters of Marcus Aurelius during the Marcomannic Wars , in 172. It was presumably there that, on 15 October 172, he was given the victory title Germanicus , in the presence of the army. The title suggests that Commodus was present at his father’s victory over the Marcomanni. On 20 January 175, Commodus entered the College of Pontiffs , the starting point of a career in public life. In April 175, Avidius Cassius , Governor of Syria , declared himself Emperor following rumors that Marcus Aurelius had died. Having been accepted as Emperor by Syria, Palestine and Egypt , Cassius carried on his rebellion even after it had become obvious that Marcus was still alive. During the preparations for the campaign against Cassius, the Prince assumed his toga virilis on the Danubian front on 7 July 175, thus formally entering adulthood. Cassius, however, was killed by one of his centurions before the campaign against him could begin. Commodus subsequently accompanied his father on a lengthy trip to the Eastern provinces, during which he visited Antioch. The Emperor and his son then traveled to Athens , where they were initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. Joint rule with father (177). Marcus Aurelius was the first emperor since Vespasian to have a biological son of his own and, though he himself was the fifth in the line of the so-called Five Good Emperors , each of whom had adopted his successor, it seems to have been his firm intention that Commodus should be his heir. On 27 November 176, Marcus Aurelius granted Commodus the rank of Imperator and, in the middle of 177, the title Augustus , giving his son the same status as his own and formally sharing power. On 23 December of the same year, the two Augusti celebrated a joint triumph , and Commodus was given tribunician power. On 1 January 177, Commodus became consul for the first time, which made him, aged 15, the youngest consul in Roman history up to that time. He subsequently married Bruttia Crispina before accompanying his father to the Danubian front once more in 178, where Marcus Aurelius died on 17 March 180, leaving the 18-year-old Commodus sole emperor. Upon his accession Commodus devalued the Roman currency. He reduced the weight of the denarius from 96 per Roman pound to 105 (3.85 grams to 3.35 grams). He also reduced the silver purity from 79 percent to 76 percent the silver weight dropping from 2.57 grams to 2.34 grams. In 186 he further reduced the purity and silver weight to 74 percent and 2.22 grams respectively, being 108 to the Roman pound. His reduction of the denarius during his rule was the largest since the empire’s first devaluation during Nero’s reign. Whereas the reign of Marcus Aurelius had been marked by almost continuous warfare, that of Commodus was comparatively peaceful in the military sense but was marked by political strife and the increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the emperor himself. In the view of Dio Cassius , a contemporary observer, his accession marked the descent “from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron” a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbon , to take Commodus’s reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire. Despite his notoriety, and considering the importance of his reign, Commodus’s years in power are not well chronicled. The principal surviving literary sources are Dio Cassius (a contemporary and sometimes first-hand observer, but for this reign, only transmitted in fragments and abbreviations), Herodian and the Historia Augusta (untrustworthy for its character as a work of literature rather than history, with elements of fiction embedded within its biographies; in the case of Commodus, it may well be embroidering upon what the author found in reasonably good contemporary sources). Commodus remained with the Danube armies for only a short time before negotiating a peace treaty with the Danubian tribes. Unlike the preceding Emperors Trajan , Hadrian , Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, he seems to have had little interest in the business of administration and tended throughout his reign to leave the practical running of the state to a succession of favourites, beginning with Saoterus , a freedman from Nicomedia who had become his chamberlain. Dissatisfaction with this state of affairs would lead to a series of conspiracies and attempted coups, which in turn eventually provoked Commodus to take charge of affairs, which he did in an increasingly dictatorial manner. Nevertheless, though the senatorial order came to hate and fear him, the evidence suggests that he remained popular with the army and the common people for much of his reign, not least because of his lavish shows of largesse (recorded on his coinage) and because he staged and took part in spectacular gladiatorial combats. The conspiracies of 182. A bust of Commodus as a youth (Roman-Germanic Museum , Cologne). At the outset of his reign, Commodus, age 18, inherited many of his father’s senior advisers, notably Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus (the second husband of Commodus’s sister Lucilla), his father-in-law Gaius Bruttius Praesens , Titus Fundanius Vitrasius Pollio, and Aufidius Victorinus , who was Prefect of the City of Rome. He also had five surviving sisters, all of them with husbands who were potential rivals. Four of his sisters were considerably older than he; the eldest, Lucilla, held the rank of Augusta as the widow of her first husband, Lucius Verus. The first crisis of the reign came in 182, when Lucilla engineered a conspiracy against her brother. Her motive is alleged to have been envy of the Empress Crispina. Her husband, Pompeianus, was not involved, but two men alleged to have been her lovers, Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus (the consul of 167, who was also her first cousin) and Appius Claudius Quintianus , attempted to murder Commodus as he entered the theatre. They bungled the job and were seized by the emperor’s bodyguard. Quadratus and Quintianus were executed. Lucilla was exiled to Capri and later killed. Pompeianus retired from public life. One of the two praetorian prefects , Tarrutenius Paternus , had actually been involved in the conspiracy but was not detected at this time, and in the aftermath, he and his colleague Sextus Tigidius Perennis were able to arrange for the murder of Saoterus, the hated chamberlain. Commodus took the loss of Saoterus badly, and Perennis now seized the chance to advance himself by implicating Paternus in a second conspiracy, one apparently led by Publius Salvius Julianus , who was the son of the jurist Salvius Julianus and was betrothed to Paternus’s daughter. Salvius and Paternus were executed along with a number of other prominent consulars and senators. Didius Julianus , the future emperor, a relative of Salvius Julianus, was dismissed from the governorship of Germania Inferior. Perennis took over the reins of government and Commodus found a new chamberlain and favourite in Cleander , a Phrygian freedman who had married one of the emperor’s mistresses, Demostratia. Cleander was in fact the person who had murdered Saoterus. After those attempts on his life, Commodus spent much of his time outside Rome, mostly on the family estates at Lanuvium. Being physically strong, his chief interest was in sport: taking part in horse racing , chariot racing , and combats with beasts and men, mostly in private but also on occasion in public. A bust of Commodus (Kunsthistorisches Museum , Vienna). According to Herodian he was well proportioned and attractive, with naturally blonde and curly hair. Commodus was inaugurated in 183 as consul with Aufidius Victorinus for a colleague and assumed the title Pius. War broke out in Dacia : few details are available, but it appears two future contenders for the throne, Clodius Albinus and Pescennius Niger , both distinguished themselves in the campaign. Also, in Britain in 184, the governor Ulpius Marcellus re-advanced the Roman frontier northward to the Antonine Wall , but the legionaries revolted against his harsh discipline and acclaimed another legate, Priscus, as emperor. Priscus refused to accept their acclamations, but Perennis had all the legionary legates in Britain cashiered. On 15 October 184 at the Capitoline Games , a Cynic philosopher publicly denounced Perennis before Commodus, who was watching, but was immediately put to death. According to Dio Cassius, Perennis, though ruthless and ambitious, was not personally corrupt and generally administered the state well. However, the following year, a detachment of soldiers from Britain (they had been drafted to Italy to suppress brigands) also denounced Perennis to the emperor as plotting to make his own son emperor (they had been enabled to do so by Cleander, who was seeking to dispose of his rival), and Commodus gave them permission to execute him as well as his wife and sons. The fall of Perennis brought a new spate of executions: Aufidius Victorinus committed suicide. Ulpius Marcellus was replaced as governor of Britain by Pertinax ; brought to Rome and tried for treason, Marcellus narrowly escaped death. Cleander’s zenith and fall (185190). Unrest around the empire increased, with large numbers of army deserters causing trouble in Gaul and Germany. Pescennius Niger mopped up the deserters in Gaul in a military campaign, and a revolt in Brittany was put down by two legions brought over from Britain. In 187, one of the leaders of the deserters, Maternus, came from Gaul intending to assassinate Commodus at the Festival of the Great Goddess in March, but he was betrayed and executed. In the same year, Pertinax unmasked a conspiracy by two enemies of Cleander Antistius Burrus (one of Commodus’s brothers-in-law) and Arrius Antoninus. As a result, Commodus appeared even more rarely in public, preferring to live on his estates. Early in 188, Cleander disposed of the current praetorian prefect, Atilius Aebutianus , and himself took over supreme command of the Praetorians at the new rank of a pugione (“dagger-bearer”) with two praetorian prefects subordinate to him. Now at the zenith of his power, Cleander continued to sell public offices as his private business. The climax came in the year 190, which had 25 suffect consuls a record in the 1000-year history of the Roman consulshipall appointed by Cleander (they included the future Emperor Septimius Severus). In the spring of 190, Rome was afflicted by a food shortage, for which the praefectus annonae Papirius Dionysius , the official actually in charge of the grain supply , contrived to lay the blame on Cleander. At the end of June, a mob demonstrated against Cleander during a horse race in the Circus Maximus : he sent the praetorian guard to put down the disturbances, but Pertinax, who was now City Prefect of Rome, dispatched the Vigiles Urbani to oppose them. Cleander fled to Commodus, who was at Laurentum in the house of the Quinctilii , for protection, but the mob followed him calling for his head. At the urging of his mistress Marcia , Commodus had Cleander beheaded and his son killed. Other victims at this time were the praetorian prefect Julius Julianus, Commodus’s cousin Annia Fundania Faustina , and his brother-in-law Mamertinus. Papirius Dionysius was executed too. The emperor now changed his name to Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus. At 29, he took over more of the reins of power, though he continued to rule through a cabal consisting of Marcia, his new chamberlain Eclectus, and the new praetorian prefect Quintus Aemilius Laetus , who about this time also had many Christians freed from working in the mines in Sardinia. Marcia, the widow of Quadratus, who had been executed in 182, is alleged to have been a Christian. In opposition to the Senate, in his pronouncements and iconography , Commodus had always laid stress on his unique status as a source of god-like power, liberality and physical prowess. Innumerable statues around the empire were set up portraying him in the guise of Hercules , reinforcing the image of him as a demigod, a physical giant, a protector and a battler against beasts and men (see “Commodus and Hercules” and “Commodus the Gladiator” below). Moreover, as Hercules, he could claim to be the son of Jupiter , the representative of the supreme god of the Roman pantheon. These tendencies now increased to megalomaniac proportions. Far from celebrating his descent from Marcus Aurelius, the actual source of his power, he stressed his own personal uniqueness as the bringer of a new order, seeking to re-cast the empire in his own image. During 191, the city of Rome was extensively damaged by a fire that raged for several days, during which many public buildings including the Temple of Pax , the Temple of Vesta and parts of the imperial palace were destroyed. Perhaps seeing this as an opportunity, early in 192 Commodus, declaring himself the new Romulus , ritually re-founded Rome, renaming the city Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. All the months of the year were renamed to correspond exactly with his (now twelve) names: Lucius , Aelius , Aurelius , Commodus , Augustus , Herculeus , Romanus , Exsuperatorius , Amazonius , Invictus , Felix , Pius. The legions were renamed Commodianae , the fleet which imported grain from Africa was termed Alexandria Commodiana Togata , the Senate was entitled the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people themselves were all given the name Commodianus , and the day on which these reforms were decreed was to be called Dies Commodianus. Thus he presented himself as the fountainhead of the Empire and Roman life and religion. He also had the head of the Colossus of Nero adjacent to the Colosseum replaced with his own portrait, gave it a club and placed a bronze lion at its feet to make it look like Hercules, and added an inscription boasting of being “the only left-handed fighter to conquer twelve times one thousand men”. Character and physical prowess. Dio Cassius, a first-hand witness, describes him as not naturally wicked but, on the contrary, as guileless as any man that ever lived. His great simplicity, however, together with his cowardice, made him the slave of his companions, and it was through them that he at first, out of ignorance, missed the better life and then was led on into lustful and cruel habits, which soon became second nature. His recorded actions do tend to show a rejection of his fathers policies, his fathers advisers, and especially his fathers austere lifestyle, and an alienation from the surviving members of his family. It seems likely that he was brought up in an atmosphere of Stoic asceticism , which he rejected entirely upon his accession to sole rule. After repeated attempts on Commodus’ life, Roman citizens were often killed for raising his ire. One such notable event was the attempted extermination of the house of the Quinctilii. Condianus and Maximus were executed on the pretext that, while they were not implicated in any plots, their wealth and talent would make them unhappy with the current state of affairs. On his accession as sole ruler, Commodus added the name Antoninus to his official nomenclature. In October 180 he changed his praenomen from Lucius to Marcus, presumably in honour of his father. He later took the title of Felix in 185. In 191 he restored his praenomen to Lucius and added the family name Aelius, apparently linking himself to Hadrian and Hadrian’s adopted son Lucius Aelius Caesar , whose original name was also Commodus. Later that year he dropped Antoninus and adopted as his full style Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Augustus Herculeus Romanus Exsuperatorius Amazonius Invictus Felix Pius (the order of some of these titles varies in the sources). “Exsuperatorius” (the supreme) was a title given to Jupiter, and “Amazonius” identified him again with Hercules. An inscribed altar from Dura-Europos on the Euphrates shows that Commodus’s titles and the renaming of the months were disseminated to the furthest reaches of the Empire; moreover, that even auxiliary military units received the title Commodiana, and that Commodus claimed two additional titles: Pacator Orbis (pacifier of the world) and Dominus Noster (Our Lord). The latter eventually would be used as a conventional title by Roman emperors, starting about a century later, but Commodus seems to have been the first to assume it. Disdaining the more philosophic inclinations of his father, Commodus was extremely proud of his physical prowess. He was generally acknowledged to be extremely handsome. As mentioned above, he ordered many statues to be made showing him dressed as Hercules with a lion’s hide and a club. He thought of himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, frequently emulating the legendary hero’s feats by appearing in the arena to fight a variety of wild animals. He was left-handed, and very proud of the fact. Cassius Dio and the writers of the Augustan History say that Commodus was a skilled archer, who could shoot the heads off ostriches in full gallop, and kill a panther as it attacked a victim in the arena. Commodus also had a passion for gladiatorial combat, which he took so far as to take to the arena himself, dressed as a gladiator. The Romans found Commodus’s naked gladiatorial combats to be scandalous and disgraceful. It was rumoured that he was actually the son, not of Marcus Aurelius, but of a gladiator whom his mother Faustina had taken as a lover at the coastal resort of Caieta. In the arena, Commodus always won since his opponents always submitted to the emperor. Thus, these public fights would not end in death. Privately, it was his custom to slay his practice opponents. For each appearance in the arena, he charged the city of Rome a million sesterces , straining the Roman economy. Commodus raised the ire of many military officials in Rome for his Hercules persona in the arena. Often, wounded soldiers and amputees would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay with a sword. Commodus’s eccentric behaviour would not stop there. Citizens of Rome missing their feet through accident or illness were taken to the arena, where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants. These acts may have contributed to his assassination. Commodus was also known for fighting exotic animals in the arena, often to the horror of the Roman people. According to Gibbon, Commodus once killed 100 lions in a single day. Later, he decapitated a running ostrich with a specially designed dart and afterwards carried the bleeding head of the dead bird and his sword over to the section where the Senators sat and gesticulated as though they were next. On another occasion, Commodus killed three elephants on the floor of the arena by himself. Finally, Commodus killed a giraffe , which was considered to be a strange and helpless beast. In November 192 Commodus held Plebian Games, in which he shot hundreds of animals with arrows and javelins every morning, and fought as a gladiator every afternoon, winning all the bouts. In December he announced his intention to inaugurate the year 193 as both consul and gladiator on 1 January. At this point, the prefect Laetus formed a conspiracy with Eclectus to supplant Commodus with Pertinax, taking Marcia into their confidence. On 31 December Marcia poisoned his food but he vomited up the poison; so the conspirators sent his wrestling partner Narcissus to strangle him in his bath. Upon his death, the Senate declared him a public enemy (a de facto damnatio memoriae) and restored the original name to the city of Rome and its institutions. Commodus’s statues were thrown down. His body was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian. In 195 the emperor Septimius Severus , trying to gain favour with the family of Marcus Aurelius, rehabilitated Commodus’s memory and had the Senate deify him. Commodus was succeeded by Pertinax , whose reign was short lived, being the first to fall victim to the Year of the Five Emperors. Commodus’s death marked the end of the Nervan-Antonian dynasty. The sestertius , or sesterce , pl. Sestertii was an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a small, silver coin issued only on rare occasions. During the Roman Empire it was a large brass coin. Helmed Roma head right, IIS behind Dioscuri riding right, ROMA in linear frame below. The name sestertius (originally semis-tertius) means “2 ½”, the coin’s original value in asses , and is a combination of semis “half” and tertius “third”, that is, “the third half” (0 ½ being the first half and 1 ½ the second half) or “half the third” (two units plus half the third unit, or half way between the second unit and the third). Parallel constructions exist in Danish with halvanden (1 ½), halvtredje (2 ½) and halvfjerde (3 ½). The form sesterce , derived from French , was once used in preference to the Latin form, but is now considered old-fashioned. It is abbreviated as (originally IIS). Example of a detailed portrait of Hadrian 117 to 138. The sestertius was introduced c. 211 BC as a small silver coin valued at one-quarter of a denarius (and thus one hundredth of an aureus). A silver denarius was supposed to weigh about 4.5 grams, valued at ten grams, with the silver sestertius valued at two and one-half grams. In practice, the coins were usually underweight. When the denarius was retariffed to sixteen asses (due to the gradual reduction in the size of bronze denominations), the sestertius was accordingly revalued to four asses, still equal to one quarter of a denarius. It was produced sporadically, far less often than the denarius, through 44 BC. Hostilian under Trajan Decius 250 AD. In or about 23 BC, with the coinage reform of Augustus , the denomination of sestertius was introduced as the large brass denomination. Augustus tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1/100 Aureus. The sestertius was produced as the largest brass denomination until the late 3rd century AD. Most were struck in the mint of Rome but from AD 64 during the reign of Nero (AD 5468) and Vespasian (AD 6979), the mint of Lyon (Lugdunum), supplemented production. Lyon sestertii can be recognised by a small globe, or legend stop, beneath the bust. The brass sestertius typically weighs in the region of 25 to 28 grammes, is around 3234 mm in diameter and about 4 mm thick. The distinction between bronze and brass was important to the Romans. Their name for brass was orichalcum , a word sometimes also spelled aurichalcum (echoing the word for a gold coin, aureus), meaning’gold-copper’, because of its shiny, gold-like appearance when the coins were newly struck (see, for example Pliny the Elder in his Natural History Book 34.4). Orichalcum was considered, by weight, to be worth about double that of bronze. This is why the half-sestertius, the dupondius , was around the same size and weight as the bronze as, but was worth two asses. Sestertii continued to be struck until the late 3rd century, although there was a marked deterioration in the quality of the metal used and the striking even though portraiture remained strong. Later emperors increasingly relied on melting down older sestertii, a process which led to the zinc component being gradually lost as it burned off in the high temperatures needed to melt copper (Zinc melts at 419 °C, Copper at 1085 °C). The shortfall was made up with bronze and even lead. Later sestertii tend to be darker in appearance as a result and are made from more crudely prepared blanks (see the Hostilian coin on this page). The gradual impact of inflation caused by debasement of the silver currency meant that the purchasing power of the sestertius and smaller denominations like the dupondius and as was steadily reduced. In the 1st century AD, everyday small change was dominated by the dupondius and as, but in the 2nd century, as inflation bit, the sestertius became the dominant small change. In the 3rd century silver coinage contained less and less silver, and more and more copper or bronze. By the 260s and 270s the main unit was the double-denarius, the antoninianus , but by then these small coins were almost all bronze. Although these coins were theoretically worth eight sestertii, the average sestertius was worth far more in plain terms of the metal they contained. Some of the last sestertii were struck by Aurelian (270275 AD). During the end of its issue, when sestertii were reduced in size and quality, the double sestertius was issued first by Trajan Decius (249251 AD) and later in large quantity by the ruler of a breakaway regime in the West called Postumus (259268 AD), who often used worn old sestertii to overstrike his image and legends on. The double sestertius was distinguished from the sestertius by the radiate crown worn by the emperor, a device used to distinguish the dupondius from the as and the antoninianus from the denarius. Eventually, the inevitable happened. Many sestertii were withdrawn by the state and by forgers, to melt down to make the debased antoninianus, which made inflation worse. In the coinage reforms of the 4th century, the sestertius played no part and passed into history. Sestertius of Hadrian , dupondius of Antoninus Pius , and as of Marcus Aurelius. As a unit of account. The sestertius was also used as a standard unit of account, represented on inscriptions with the monogram HS. Large values were recorded in terms of sestertium milia , thousands of sestertii, with the milia often omitted and implied. The hyper-wealthy general and politician of the late Roman Republic, Crassus (who fought in the war to defeat Spartacus), was said by Pliny the Elder to have had’estates worth 200 million sesterces’. A loaf of bread cost roughly half a sestertius, and a sextarius (0.5 liter) of wine anywhere from less than half to more than 1 sestertius. One modius (6.67 kg) of wheat in 79 AD Pompeii cost 7 sestertii, of rye 3 sestertii, a bucket 2 sestertii, a tunic 15 sestertii, a donkey 500 sestertii. A writing tablet from Londinium (Roman London), dated to c. 75125 AD, records the sale of a Gallic slave girl called Fortunata for 600 denarii, equal to 2,400 sestertii, to a man called Vegetus. It is difficult to make any comparisons with modern coinage or prices, but for most of the 1st century AD the ordinary legionary was paid 900 sestertii per annum, rising to 1,200 under Domitian (81-96 AD), the equivalent of 3.3 sestertii per day. Half of this was deducted for living costs, leaving the soldier (if he was lucky enough actually to get paid) with about 1.65 sestertii per day. A sestertius of Nero , struck at Rome in 64 AD. The reverse depicts the emperor on horseback with a companion. The legend reads DECVRSIO,’a military exercise’. Sestertii are highly valued by numismatists , since their large size gave caelatores (engravers) a large area in which to produce detailed portraits and reverse types. The most celebrated are those produced for Nero (54-68 AD) between the years 64 and 68 AD, created by some of the most accomplished coin engravers in history. The brutally realistic portraits of this emperor, and the elegant reverse designs, greatly impressed and influenced the artists of the Renaissance. The series issued by Hadrian (117-138 AD), recording his travels around the Roman Empire, brilliantly depicts the Empire at its height, and included the first representation on a coin of the figure of Britannia ; it was revived by Charles II , and was a feature of United Kingdom coinage until the 2008 redesign. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “COMMODUS 190AD Sestertius Big Ancient Roman Coin Genius Cult Prosperity i18165″ is in sale since Tuesday, February 21, 2012. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Marcus Aurelius

Jan 27 2018

Claudius 41AD Large Rare Ancient Roman Coin Minerva Athena Magic Cult i41922

Claudius 41AD Large Rare Ancient Roman Coin Minerva Athena Magic Cult i41922

Claudius 41AD Large Rare Ancient Roman Coin Minerva Athena Magic Cult i41922

Item: i41922 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Claudius – Roman Emperor : 41-54 A. Bronze As 28mm (12.69 grams) Rome mint circa 41-50 A. Reference: RIC 100, BMC 149, BN 180, S 639. TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP Bare head left. S – C across field, Minerva advancing right raising spear in right hand and holding shield in left. Minerva (Etruscan : Menrva) was the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and defense. She was born from the godhead of Jupiter with weapons. From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry , medicine , wisdom , commerce , weaving , crafts , magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the ” owl of Minerva “, which symbolizes that she is connected to wisdom. Stemming from an Italic moon goddess Menesw (‘She who measures’), the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, Menerw , thereby calling her Menrva. It is assumed that her Roman name, Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology , Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva was born from the head of her father, Jupiter (Greek Zeus). It is possible that such a goddess was “imported” to both Greece and Italy from beliefs originating in the Near East during the extreme antiquity. The very few extant Lemnian inscriptions suggest that the Etruscans may have originated in Asia Minor , in which case subsequent syncretism between Greek Athena and Italic Minerva may have been all the easier. By a process of folk etymology , the Romans could have confused the phones of her foreign name with those of the root men- in Latin words such as mens meaning “mind”, perhaps because one of her aspects as goddess pertained to the intellectual. The word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root men-’mind’ (linked with memory as in Greek Mnemosyne / and mnestis /: memory, remembrance, recollection, Manush in Sanskrit meaning mind). Menrva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni , equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter. As Minerva Medica , she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. As Minerva Achaea , she was worshipped at Luceria in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple. A head of “Sulis-Minerva” found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath. In Fasti III, Ovid called her the goddess of a thousand works. Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, though only in Rome did she take on the warlike character shared by Athena. Her worship was also taken out to the empire in Britain, for example, she was conflated with the local wisdom goddess Sulis. The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria , the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans’ holiday. A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players , who were particularly useful to religion. In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus. The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic. Minerva was worshipped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno, at the Temple of Minerva Medica , and at the ” Delubrum Minervae” a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva facing the present-day Piazza della Minerva. Universities and educational establishments. As patron goddess of wisdom, Minerva frequently features in statuary, as an image on seals, and in other forms, at educational establishments, including. A statue of Minerva is located in the centre of La Sapienza University , the largest university of Rome. A statue of Minerva is located in the main review pit at the Yale School of Architecture. Minerva is featured in the University at Albany’s logo. The catalogue of books and other materials in the University Library at the University at Albany campus is called the “Minerva Catalog”. Minerva is also mentioned in UAlbany’s Alma Mater. “Wisdom’s duty heeds thy call, Ever in Minerva’s thrall, “. Minerva is the goddess of Kappa Kappa Gamma and can be seen, with her owl, on their crest. Minerva as a bronze head bust over the main entrance of the Main Library of the University of California, Berkeley. Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, 1st century BC. The Minerva head has been associated with the Chartered Society of Designers since its inception in 1930 and has been redefined several times during the history of the Society by notable graphic designers. The current logo was established in 1983. Minerva is the symbol of the University of Porto. Athena is the patron goddess of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Minerva is displayed in front of Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library as Alma Mater. Above the entrance to the University of Vienna main building, there is a sculpture work titled “The Birth of Minerva”. A statue of Minerva adorns the library at the United States Military Academy. Minerva is the name of a language school in Ruse, Bulgaria. Minerva is the name of a female residence at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Minerva is displayed to the East of University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Elliot University Center as a statue. The SUNY Potsdam campus in Potsdam, NY is home to multiple statues of Minerva and a cafe named after her. Statue of Minerva on the Alte Brücke in Heidelberg. Temple of Minerva in Sbeitla , Tunisia. Minerva is featured on the seals and logos of many institutions of higher learning. The University of Louisville official seal. The University of South Carolina official seal. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro official seal. UNCG also has a Minerva statue , donated by the Class of 1953. An emblem of Minerva’s head is represented in the logo for this UK University. There is a tradition within the Lincoln Rugby Union team where it is thought that they are Knights of Minerva, with each match being fought and won in her honour. University at Albany, The State University of New York. Minerva is pictured in the university’s logo. Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom has been the institution’s enduring symbol. ” Minerva is still venerated by seniors and their’torch bearers’ during a pre-graduation ritual called “Torch Night there. The University of Alabama. The University of Virginia. Union College, New York. Union College has also used Minerva as the name of their new academic and social “Third Space” program, the Minerva House System. UFRJ , the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Escola Politécnica da USP, Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo , in Brazil. Ghent University , in Belgium. An 1817 French Empire mantel clock depicting Minerva. American Academy of Arts & Sciences , in Cambridge, Mass. The seal’s principal figure is Minerva – a symbol appropriate for an organization created in the midst of the American Revolution and dedicated to the cultivation of every art and science to advance the interest, honour, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people. Heidelberg University , Germany’s most ancient university (1386), features depictions of Minerva (or Pallas Athene) in the Old University’s assembly hall (1785) as well as over the door of the New University building (1931). Max Planck Society , Germany. Leiden University , Minerva is presented in the centre of the great seal of the most ancient University in the Netherlands (1575). Minerva is the name and the patroness of the most ancient student-association of Leiden and was established in 1819. Minerva decorates the keystone over the main entrance to the Boston Public Library beneath the words, Free to all. BPL was the original public-financed library in America and, with all other libraries, is the long-term memory of the human race. The annual prize for the best Politics student in Liverpool Hope University in the UK is called the Minerva Prize, both because of the association with wisdom and knowledge and because there is a statue of Minerva on the dome of Liverpool Town Hall, the seat of local politics in the city. Minerva is the Goddess of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Fraternity Brothers are known as Loyal Sons of Minerva. Minerva is the name of a remote learning facility at Bath Spa University in England, UK. Minerva is featured on the seal of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Minerva is featured on the seal of the “Escuela Comercial Cámara de Comercio”, in Mexico, founded in 1923. A statue of Minerva stands in the entrance to Main Building at Wells College in Aurora, NY. On the last day of spring semester classes, graduating seniors kiss Minerva’s feet for luck and lifelong wisdom. Minerva was the only statue that survived the 1888 fire of old Main Building. Minerva is the patroness of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro , Brazil. Minerva is featured in the emblem of Ballarat Clarendon College , Australia, as derivative of the emblem of Clarendon Ladies’ College. Minerva is featured in the logo of The Mac. Robertson Girls’ High School , Australia. Minerva is featured in the logo of Kelvinside Academy , Glasgow, Scotland. Minerva is featured on the seals of many schools and colleges: on that of Union College in Schenectady, NY, the motto is (translated from the French) Under the laws of Minerva, we are all brothers. Minerva is the patroness of the Union Philosophical Society of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Yale School of Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut, features a Roman marble statue of Minerva in its 4th floor atrium. The Minerva head is displayed outside The Natural History Museum, Bergen, Norway. The seal for the University of Louisville includes a large head of Minerva. McGill University’s web interface is called Minerva. Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo has a statue of Minerva in their lobby. Minerva is the name of the managed learning environment at the University of Sheffield Medical School. Minerva is the name of the main file server at Keystone College. Minerva is on the crest of the Girls Day School Trust. A statue of Minerva appears on top of the Minerva Building at Dumfries Academy , Dumfries, Scotland. The symbol of Hornsby Girls High School, Australia, is the “Torch of Knowledge” and words of the school song include Minerva by our southern seas her sacred groves replanted, with whispering gums to woo the breeze that flows o’er lands enchanted; with ageless hills she rimmed her bower, her sunlit shrine of learning, and here we keep through shine and shower the Torch of Knowledge burning… ” NOTE on Australianisms: gums here means “gum trees (eucalyptus), not a part of the mouth. Here you can see a model of the Torch is still used in events. Minerva is a supercomputer at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City on the Upper East Side. One of the highest positions awarded among the Elder Worthy Sisters of Nu Kappa Beta, the sister sorority of Nu Kappa Phi in the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City, Province of Camarines Sur, Republic of the Philippines, is the title Minerva. The Worthy Sister who wins this title by majority vote of the present Elders in special gatherings is deemed to be the epitome of all the essential attributes exalted by the sisterhood which are Scholarship, Leadership, Character and Loyalty. Societies and governmental use. The Seal of California. The Seal of California depicts the Goddess Minerva having sprung full grown from the brain of Jupiter. This was interpreted as analogous to the political birth of the State of California without having gone through the probation period of being a Territory. In the early 20th century, Manuel José Estrada Cabrera , President of Guatemala , tried to promote a “Cult of Minerva” in his country; this left little legacy other than a few interesting Hellenic style “Temples” in parks around Guatemala. According to John Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy (1798), the third degree of the Bavarian Illuminati was called Minerval or Brother of Minerva , in honour of the goddess of learning. Later, this title was adopted for the first initiation of Aleister Crowley’s OTO rituals. Minerva is the logo of the world famous German “Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science” (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft). The Minerva was a prominent Belgian luxury automobile manufactured from 1902 until 1938. The helmet of Minerva serves as the crest of the distinctive unit insignia for Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. Minerva is displayed on the Medal of Honor , the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. A large mosaic of Minerva is the focal art piece in the great room of the U. Minerva Institute of Management& Technology Dehradun, Uttarakhand. (India)an institute of Professional courses like- Animation & Multimedia, Fashion Technology and Mass Communication was established in 2009 affiliated to Uttarakhand Teacnical University. The Minerva Ward is an elderly care rehab ward at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, it opened in January 2013. Public monuments, places and modern culture. The Minerva Roundabout in Guadalajara, Mexico. The statue of Minerva atop Writers’ Building , Kolkata , India. A small Roman shrine to Minerva (the only one still in situ in the UK) stands in Handbridge , Chester. It sits in a public park, overlooking the River Dee. Minerva circle is one of the famous and busiest circles in Bangalore , India. It gets its name from an eponymous movie theatre that used to be located there. The Minerva Roundabout in Guadalajara, Mexico , located at the crossing of the López Mateos , Vallarta, López Cotilla, Agustín Yáñez and Golfo de Cortez avenues, features the goddess standing on a pedestal, surrounded by a large fountain, with an inscription which says “Justice, wisdom and strength guard this loyal city”. Minerva is displayed as a statue in the Minneapolis Central Library in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minerva is displayed as a statue in Pavia , Italy, near the train station, and is considered as an important landmark in the city. A statue of Minerva stands atop the dome of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow , Scotland. A seven foot statue of Minerva stands at the highest point in Brooklyn , overlooking New York Harbor , located in Green-Wood Cemetery. A bronze statue of Minerva lies in monument square Portland, Maine. “Our Lady of Victories Monument” dedicated 1891, Richard Morris Hunt and Franklin Simmons. In the Harry Potter series, J. K Rowling named a leading female character Minerva McGonagall in light of the Goddess. Indeed the character’s main trait was that of wisdom – a clear inspiration from the Goddess. Also, like Minerva (who had the ability to transform into an owl), the character of McGonagall had the ability to transfigure into a cat. Also, like Minerva’s other trait as a goddess of war, Minerva McGonagall is shown to be a good and courageous soldier, actually dueling Tom Marvolo Riddle himself. In the Percy Jackson & The Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan Athena is the mother of Annabeth Chase , one of the main characters in both series and has appeared in a few of the books, usually as Athena. She appears in her aspect as Minerva in The Mark of Athena. Philadelphia disc jockey Pierre Robert owns a VW Micro-bus named Minerva. In the Assassin’s Creed series, Minerva, along with Juno and Tinia appear; these three were likely chosen since they were worshiped together as a triad in Rome. Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (1 August 10 BC 13 October AD 54) (Tiberius Claudius Drusus from birth to AD 4, then Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus from then until his accession) was the fourth Roman Emperor , a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty , ruling from 24 January AD 41 to his death in AD 54. Born in Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon , France), to Drusus and Antonia Minor , he was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italia. He was reportedly afflicted with some type of disability, and his family had virtually excluded him from public office until his consulship with his nephew Caligula in AD 37. This infirmity may have saved him from the fate of many other Roman nobles during the purges of Tiberius’ and Caligula’s reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat to them. His very survival led to his being declared emperor (reportedly because the Praetorian Guard insisted) after Caligula’s assassination, at which point he was the last adult male of his family. Despite his lack of political experience, Claudius proved to be an able administrator and a great builder of public works. His reign saw an expansion of the empire, including the conquest of Britain. He took a personal interest in the law, presided at public trials, and issued up to 20 edicts a day; however, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his rule, particularly by the nobility. Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position. This resulted in the deaths of many senators. Claudius also suffered setbacks in his personal life, one of which may have led to his murder. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. The item “Claudius 41AD Large Rare Ancient Roman Coin Minerva Athena Magic Cult i41922″ is in sale since Sunday, August 10, 2014. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Claudius

Nov 12 2017

GORDIAN III 238AD Ancient Roman Coin Hadrianopolis SERAPIS Cult TEMPLE i22245

GORDIAN III 238AD Ancient Roman Coin Hadrianopolis SERAPIS Cult TEMPLE i22245

GORDIAN III 238AD Ancient Roman Coin Hadrianopolis SERAPIS Cult TEMPLE i22245

Item: i22245 Authentic Ancient Roman Coin of. Gordian III – Roman Emperor: 238-244 A. Bronze 26mm (12.00 grams) of Hadrianopolis in Thrace AVT K M ANT OPIANOC AV , laureate, draped & cuirassed bust right. APIANOO E ITN, Tetrastyle temple with Serapis within. Serapis (Latin spelling, or Sarapis in Greek) was a syncretic Hellenistic – Egyptian god in Antiquity. His most renowned temple was the Serapeum of Alexandria. Under Ptolemy Soter , efforts were made to integrate Egyptian religion with that of their Hellenic rulers. Ptolemy’s policy was to find a deity that should win the reverence alike of both groups, despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of the previous foreign rulers i. E Set who was lauded by the Hyksos. Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but he was more prominent in Upper Egypt , and not as popular with those in Lower Egypt , where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so a Greek-style anthromorphic statue was chosen as the idol , and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi i. Osiris-Apis , which became Serapis , and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Edirne (ancient Hadrianopolis) is a city in Thrace , the westernmost part of Turkey , close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1457, when Constantinople (Istanbul) became the empire’s new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne Province in Turkish Thrace. The city’s estimated population in 2002 was 128,400, up from 119,298 in 2000. It has consulates of Bulgaria, Germany (Honorary), Greece, Romania (Honorary) and Slovakia (Honorary). Its sister cities are Haskovo and Yambol in Bulgaria and Alexandroupoli in Greece. The city was founded as Hadrianopolis , named for the Roman Emperor Hadrian. This name is still used in the Modern Greek. The English name Adrianople , by which the city was known until the Turkish Postal Service Law of 1930, has fallen into disuse. The Turkish Edirne , the Bulgarian (Odrin), and the Serbian (Jedrene) are adapted forms of the name Hadrianopolis. Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius. , known in English as Gordian III , was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and his father was an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. Very little is known on his early life before becoming Roman Emperor. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238. Following the murder of emperor Alexander Severus in Moguntiacum (modern Mainz), the capital of the Roman province Germania Inferior , Maximinus Thrax was acclaimed emperor, despite strong opposition of the Roman senate and the majority of the population. In response to what was considered in Rome as a rebellion, Gordian’s grandfather and uncle, Gordian I and II, were proclaimed joint emperors in the Africa Province. Their revolt was suppressed within a month by Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax. The elder Gordians died, but public opinion cherished their memory as peace loving and literate men, victims of Maximinus’ oppression. Meanwhile, Maximinus was on the verge of marching on Rome and the Senate elected Pupienus and Balbinus as joint emperors. These senators were not popular men and the population of Rome was still shocked by the elder Gordian’s fate, so that the Senate decided to take the teenager Gordian, rename him Marcus Antonius Gordianus as his grandfather, and raise him to the rank of Caesar and imperial heir. Pupienus and Balbinus defeated Maximinus, mainly due to the defection of several legions , namely the Parthica II who assassinated Maximinus. But their joint reign was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and even an enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian guard and Gordian proclaimed sole emperor. Due to Gordian’s age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the senate. In 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was dealt quickly. In 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina , daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, Timesitheus. As chief of the Praetorian guard and father in law of the emperor, Timesitheus quickly became the de facto ruler of the Roman empire. In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube , and the Sassanid kingdom across the Euphrates increased its own attacks. When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia , the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, and sent a huge army to the East. The Sassanids were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the Battle of Resaena (243). The campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemy’s territory, when his father-in-law died in unclear circumstances. Without Timesitheus, the campaign, and the emperor’s security, were at risk. Marcus Julius Philippus, also known as Philip the Arab , stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefect and the campaign proceeded. In the beginning of 244, the Persians counter-attacked. Persian sources claim that a battle was fought (Battle of Misiche) near modern Fallujah (Iraq) and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III. Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away, upstream of the Euphrates. Although ancient sources often described Philip, who succeeded Gordian as emperor, as having murdered Gordian at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah), the cause of Gordian’s death is unknown. Gordian’s youth and good nature, along with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle and his own tragic fate at the hands of another usurper, granted him the everlasting esteem of the Romans. Despite the opposition of the new emperor, Gordian was deified by the Senate after his death, in order to appease the population and avoid riots. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “GORDIAN III 238AD Ancient Roman Coin Hadrianopolis SERAPIS Cult TEMPLE i22245″ is in sale since Thursday, August 18, 2011. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Provincial (100-400 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.

Oct 29 2017

Hadrian Bisexual Emperor 125AD Silver Ancient Roman Coin Liberty Cult i51177

Hadrian Bisexual Emperor 125AD Silver Ancient Roman Coin Liberty Cult i51177

Hadrian Bisexual Emperor 125AD Silver Ancient Roman Coin Liberty Cult i51177

Item: i51177 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Hadrian – Roman Emperor : 117-138 A. Silver Denarius 18mm (3.28 grams) Struck 125 A. RIC 127b; RSC 903; Sear 3502. IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder P M TR P COS III, Libertas seated left, holding branch and scepter, LIB PVB in exergue. LIBERTAS – Liberty is represented in two ways on coins: the one as a woman with a naked head, which is the image of Roman Liberty; the other having her head covered with a veil, and adorned with a diadem, is the effigy of the goddess of liberty, whose temple was on Mount Aventine. The veil is in this case the token of divinity, as indeed the diadem is the ornament of a goddess. Liberty is represented not only on consular medals, but also with considerable frequency on those of the imperial series. Goddesses named for and representing the concept Liberty have existed in many cultures, including classical examples dating from the Roman Empire and some national symbols such as the British ” Britannia ” or the Irish ” Kathleen Ni Houlihan “. The ancient Roman goddess Libertas was honored during the second Punic War by a temple erected on the Aventine Hill in Rome by the father of Tiberius Gracchus. A statue in her honor was also raised by Clodius on the site of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s house after it had been razed. The figure also resembles Sol Invictus, the Roman god of sun. Publius Aelius Hadrianus (as emperor Imperator Caesar Divi Traiani filius Traianus Hadrianus Augustus , and Divus Hadrianus after his apotheosis , known as Hadrian in English ; 24 January 76 10 July 138) was emperor of Rome from AD 117 to 138, as well as a Stoic and Epicurean philosopher. A member of the gens Aelia , Hadrian was the third of the so-called Five Good Emperors. Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus in Italica or, less probably, in Rome , from a well-established family which had originated in Picenum in Italy and had subsequently settled in Italica , Hispania Baetica (the republican Hispania Ulterior), near the present day location of Seville, Spain. His predecessor Trajan was a maternal cousin of Hadrian’s father. Trajan never officially designated a successor, but, according to his wife, Pompeia Plotina , Trajan named Hadrian emperor immediately before his death. Trajan’s wife was well-disposed toward Hadrian: Hadrian may well have owed his succession to her. Hadrian’s presumed indebtedness to Plotina was widely regarded as the reason for Hadrian’s succession. However, there is evidence that he accomplished his succession on his own governing and leadership merits while Trajan was still alive. For example, between the years AD 100108 Trajan gave several public examples of his personal favour towards Hadrian, such as betrothing him to his grandniece, Vibia Sabina , designating him quaestor Imperatoris , comes Augusti , giving him Nerva’s diamond “as hope of succession”, proposing him for consul suffectus , and other gifts and distinctions. The young Hadrian was Trajan’s only direct male family/marriage/bloodline. The support of Plotina and of L. Licinius Sura (died in AD 108) were nonetheless extremely important for Hadrian, already in this early epoch. Although it was an accepted part of Hadrian’s personal history that Hadrian was born in Italica located in the province called Hispania Baetica (the southernmost Roman province in the Iberian Peninsula , comprising modern Spain and Portugal), his biography in Augustan History states that he was born in Rome on 24 January 76 of a family originally Italian, but Hispanian for many generations. However, this may be a ruse to make Hadrian look like a person from Rome instead of a person hailing from the provinces. His father was the Hispano-Roman Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer , who as a senator of praetorian rank would spend much of his time in Rome. Hadrians forefathers came from Hadria, modern Atri , an ancient town of Picenum in Italy, but the family had settled in Italica in Hispania Baetica soon after its founding by Scipio Africanus. Afer was a paternal cousin of the future Emperor Trajan. His mother was Domitia Paulina who came from Gades (Cádiz). Paulina was a daughter of a distinguished Hispano-Roman Senatorial family. Hadrians elder sister and only sibling was Aelia Domitia Paulina , married with the triple consul Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus , his niece was Julia Serviana Paulina and his great-nephew was Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator, from Barcino. His parents died in 86 when Hadrian was ten, and the boy then became a ward of both Trajan and Publius Acilius Attianus (who was later Trajans Praetorian Prefect). Hadrian was schooled in various subjects particular to young aristocrats of the day, and was so fond of learning Greek literature that he was nicknamed Graeculus (“Greekling”). Hadrian visited Italica when (or never left it until) he was 14, when he was recalled by Trajan who thereafter looked after his development. His first military service was as a tribune of the Adiutrix Legio II. Later, he was to be transferred to the Minervia Legio I in Germany. When Nerva died in 98, Hadrian rushed to inform Trajan personally. He later became legate of a legion in Upper Pannonia and eventually governor of said province. He was also archon in Athens for a brief time, and was elected an Athenian citizen. His career before becoming emperor follows: decemvir stlitibus iudicandis – sevir turmae equitum Romanorum – praefectus Urbi feriarum Latinarum – tribunus militum legionis II Adiutricis Piae Fidelis (95, in Pannonia Inferior) – tribunus militum legionis V Macedonicae (96, in Moesia Inferior) – tribunus militum legionis XXII Primigeniae Piae Fidelis (97, in Germania Superior) – quaestor (101) – ab actis senatus – tribunus plebis (105) – praetor (106) – legatus legionis I Minerviae Piae Fidelis (106, in Germania Inferior) – legatus Augusti pro praetore Pannoniae Inferioris (107) – consul suffectus (108) – septemvir epulonum (before 112) – sodalis Augustalis (before 112) – archon Athenis (112/13) – legatus Syriae (117). Hadrian was active in the wars against the Dacians (as legate of the Macedonica V) and reputedly won awards from Trajan for his successes. Due to an absence of military action in his reign, Hadrian’s military skill is not well attested; however, his keen interest and knowledge of the army and his demonstrated skill of administration show possible strategic talent. Hadrian joined Trajan’s expedition against Parthia as a legate on Trajans staff. Neither during the initial victorious phase, nor during the second phase of the war when rebellion swept Mesopotamia did Hadrian do anything of note. However when the governor of Syria had to be sent to sort out renewed troubles in Dacia, Hadrian was appointed as a replacement, giving him an independent command. Trajan, seriously ill by that time, decided to return to Rome while Hadrian remained in Syria to guard the Roman rear. Trajan only got as far as Selinus before he became too ill to go further. While Hadrian may have been the obvious choice as successor, he had never been adopted as Trajan’s heir. As Trajan lay dying, nursed by his wife, Plotina (a supporter of Hadrian), he at last adopted Hadrian as heir. Since the document was signed by Plotina, it has been suggested that Trajan may have already been dead. The Roman empire in 125 AD, under the rule of Hadrian. Castel Sant’Angelo , the ancient Hadrian Mausoleum. This famous statue of Hadrian in Greek dress was revealed in 2008 to have been forged in the Victorian era by cobbling together a head of Hadrian and an unknown body. For years the statue had been used by historians as proof of Hadrian’s love of Hellenic culture. Hadrian quickly secured the support of the legions one potential opponent, Lusius Quietus , was instantly dismissed. The Senate’s endorsement followed when possibly falsified papers of adoption from Trajan were presented (although he had been the ward of Trajan). The rumor of a falsified document of adoption carried little weight Hadrian’s legitimacy arose from the endorsement of the Senate and the Syrian armies. Hadrian did not at first go to Rome he was busy sorting out the East and suppressing the Jewish revolt that had broken out under Trajan, then moving on to sort out the Danube frontier. Instead, Attianus, Hadrian’s former guardian, was put in charge in Rome. There he “discovered” a plot involving four leading Senators including Lusius Quietus and demanded of the Senate their deaths. There was no question of a trial they were hunted down and killed out of hand. Because Hadrian was not in Rome at the time, he was able to claim that Attianus had acted on his own initiative. According to Elizabeth Speller the real reason for their deaths was that they were Trajan’s men. Hadrian and the military. Despite his own great stature as a military administrator, Hadrian’s reign was marked by a general lack of major military conflicts, apart from the Second Roman-Jewish War. He surrendered Trajan’s conquests in Mesopotamia , considering them to be indefensible. There was almost a war with Parthia around 121, but the threat was averted when Hadrian succeeded in negotiating a peace. The peace policy was strengthened by the erection of permanent fortifications along the empire’s borders limites , sl. The most famous of these is the massive Hadrian’s Wall in Great Britain , and the Danube and Rhine borders were strengthened with a series of mostly wooden fortifications , forts, outposts and watchtowers , the latter specifically improving communications and local area security. To maintain morale and keep the troops from getting restive, Hadrian established intensive drill routines, and personally inspected the armies. Although his coins showed military images almost as often as peaceful ones, Hadrian’s policy was peace through strength, even threat. Cultural pursuits and patronage. Hadrian has been described, by Ronald Syme among others, as the most versatile of all the Roman Emperors. He also liked to display a knowledge of all intellectual and artistic fields. Above all, Hadrian patronized the arts: Hadrian’s Villa at Tibur (Tivoli) was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden, recreating a sacred landscape, lost in large part to the despoliation of the ruins by the Cardinal d’Este who had much of the marble removed to build Villa d’Este. In Rome , the Pantheon , originally built by Agrippa but destroyed by fire in 80, was rebuilt under Hadrian in the domed form it retains to this day. It is among the best preserved of Rome’s ancient buildings and was highly influential to many of the great architects of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods. From well before his reign, Hadrian displayed a keen interest in architecture, but it seems that his eagerness was not always well received. For example, Apollodorus of Damascus , famed architect of the Forum of Trajan , dismissed his designs. When Trajan , predecessor to Hadrian, consulted Apollodorus about an architectural problem, Hadrian interrupted to give advice, to which Apollodorus replied, Go away and draw your pumpkins. You know nothing about these problems. ” “Pumpkins refers to Hadrian’s drawings of domes like the Serapeum in his Villa. It is rumored that once Hadrian succeeded Trajan to become emperor, he had Apollodorus exiled and later put to death. It is very possible that this later story was a later attempt to defame his character, as Hadrian, though popular among a great many across the empire, was not universally admired, either in his lifetime or afterward. Hadrian wrote poetry in both Latin and Greek; one of the few surviving examples is a Latin poem he reportedly composed on his deathbed (see below). He also wrote an autobiography not, apparently, a work of great length or revelation, but designed to scotch various rumours or explain his various actions. The work is lost but was apparently used by the writer whether Marius Maximus or someone else on whom the Historia Augusta principally relied for its vita of Hadrian: at least, a number of statements in the vita have been identified (by Ronald Syme and others) as probably ultimately stemming from the autobiography. Hadrian was a passionate hunter, already from the time of his youth according to one source. In northwest Asia, he founded and dedicated a city to commemorate a she-bear he killed. It is documented that in Egypt he and his beloved Antinous killed a lion. In Rome, eight reliefs featuring Hadrian in different stages of hunting on a building that began as a monument celebrating a kill. Another of Hadrian’s contributions to “popular” culture was the beard, which symbolised his philhellenism. Except for Nero (also a great lover of Greek culture), all Roman emperors before Hadrian were clean shaven. Most of the emperors after Hadrian would be portrayed with beards. Their beards, however, were not worn out of an appreciation for Greek culture but because the beard had, thanks to Hadrian, become fashionable. Hadrian had a face covered in warts and scars, and this may have partially motivated Hadrian’s beard growth. Hadrian was a humanist and deeply Hellenophile in all his tastes. He favoured the doctrines of the philosophers Epictetus , Heliodorus and Favorinus , but was generally considered an Epicurean , as were some of his friends such as Caius Bruttius Praesens. At home he attended to social needs. Hadrian mitigated but did not abolish slavery, had the legal code humanized and forbade torture. He built libraries, aqueducts , baths and theaters. Hadrian is considered by many historians to have been wise and just: Schiller called him “the Empire’s first servant”, and British historian Edward Gibbon admired his “vast and active genius”, as well as his “equity and moderation”. In 1776, he stated that Hadrian’s epoch was part of the “happiest era of human history”. While visiting Greece in 126, Hadrian attempted to create a kind of provincial parliament to bind all the semi-autonomous former city states across all Greece and Ionia (in Asia Minor). This parliament, known as the Panhellenion , failed despite spirited efforts to instill cooperation among the Hellenes. Hadrian had a close relationship, widely reported to have been romantic, with a Greek youth, Antinous , whom he met in Bithynia in 124 when the boy was thirteen or fourteen. While touring Egypt in 130, Antinous mysteriously drowned in the Nile. Deeply saddened, Hadrian founded the Egyptian city of Antinopolis , and had Antinous deified – an unprecedented honour for one not of the ruling family. Hadrian died at his villa in Baiae. He was buried in a mausoleum on the western bank of the Tiber , in Rome , a building later transformed into a papal fortress, Castel Sant’Angelo. The dimensions of his mausoleum, in its original form, were deliberately designed to be slightly larger than the earlier Mausoleum of Augustus. According to Cassius Dio a gigantic equestrian statue was erected to Hadrian after his death. It was so large that the bulkiest man could walk through the eye of each horse, yet because of the extreme height of the foundation persons passing along on the ground below believe that the horses themselves as well as Hadrian are very small. The Stoic-Epicurean Emperor traveled broadly, inspecting and correcting the legions in the field. Even prior to becoming emperor, he had traveled abroad with the Roman military, giving him much experience in the matter. More than half his reign was spent outside of Italy. Other emperors often left Rome to simply go to war, returning soon after conflicts concluded. A previous emperor, Nero , once traveled through Greece and was condemned for his self indulgence. Hadrian, by contrast, traveled as a fundamental part of his governing, and made this clear to the Roman senate and the people. He was able to do this because at Rome he possessed a loyal supporter within the upper echelons of Roman society, a military veteran by the name of Marcius Turbo. Also, there are hints within certain sources that he also employed a secret police force, the frumentarii , to exert control and influence in case anything should go wrong while he journeyed abroad. Hadrian’s visits were marked by handouts which often contained instructions for the construction of new public buildings. Hadrian was willful of strengthening the Empire from within through improved infrastructure, as opposed to conquering or annexing perceived enemies. This was often the purpose of his journeys; commissioning new structures, projects and settlements. His almost evangelical belief in Greek culture strengthened his views: like many emperors before him, Hadrian’s will was almost always obeyed. His traveling court was large, including administrators and likely architects and builders. The burden on the areas he passed through were sometimes great. While his arrival usually brought some benefits it is possible that those who had to carry the burden were of different class to those who reaped the benefits. For example, huge amounts of provisions were requisitioned during his visit to Egypt , this suggests that the burden on the mainly subsistence farmers must have been intolerable, causing some measure of starvation and hardship. At the same time, as in later times all the way through the European Renaissance, kings were welcomed into their cities or lands, and the financial burden was completely on them, and only indirectly on the poorer class. Hadrian’s first tour came in 121 and was initially aimed at covering his back to allow himself the freedom to concern himself with his general cultural aims. He traveled north, towards Germania and inspected the Rhine-Danube frontier, allocating funds to improve the defenses. However it was a voyage to the Empire’s very frontiers that represented his perhaps most significant visit; upon hearing of a recent revolt, he journeyed to Britannia. Hadrian’s Wall (Vallum Hadriani), a fortification in Northern England (viewed from Vercovicium). Hadrian’s Gate , in Antalya, southern Turkey was built to honour Hadrian who visited the city in 130 CE. Prior to Hadrian’s arrival on Great Britain there had been a major rebellion in Britannia , spanning roughly two years (119121). It was here where in 122 he initiated the building of Hadrian’s Wall (the exact Latin name of which is unknown). The purpose of the wall is academically debated. In 1893, Haverfield stated categorically that the Wall was a means of military defence. This prevailing, early 20th century view was challenged by Collingwood. Since then, other points of view have been put forwards; the wall has been seen as a marker to the limits of Romanitas , as a monument to Hadrian to gain glory in lieu of military campaigns, as work to keep the Army busy and prevent mutiny and waste through boredom, or to safeguard the frontier province of Britannia, by preventing future small scale invasions and unwanted immigration from the northern country of Caledonia (now modern day Scotland). Caledonia was inhabited by tribes known to the Romans as Caledonians. Hadrian realized that the Caledonians would refuse to cohabitate with the Romans. He also was aware that although Caledonia was valuable, the harsh terrain and highlands made its conquest costly and unprofitable for the Empire at large. Thus, he decided instead on building a wall. Unlike the Germanic limes , built of wood palisades, the lack of suitable wood in the area required a stone construction; nevertheless, the Western third of the wall, from modern-day Carlisle to the River Irthing, was built of turf because of the lack of suitable building stone. This problem also led to the narrowing of the width of the wall, from the original 12 feet to 7, saving masonry. Hadrian is perhaps most famous for the construction of this wall whose ruins still span many miles and to date bear his name. In many ways it represents Hadrian’s will to improve and develop within the Empire , rather than waging wars and conquering. Under him, a shrine was erected in York to Britain as a Goddess, and coins were struck which introduced a female figure as the personification of Britain, labeled. By the end of 122 he had concluded his visit to Britannia, and from there headed south by sea to Mauretania. In 123, he arrived in Mauretania where he personally led a campaign against local rebels. However this visit was to be short, as reports came through that the Eastern nation of Parthia was again preparing for war, as a result Hadrian quickly headed eastwards. On his journey east it is known that at some point he visited Cyrene during which he personally made available funds for the training of the young men of well bred families for the Roman military. This might well have been a stop off during his journey East. Cyrene had already benefited from his generosity when he in 119 had provided funds for the rebuilding of public buildings destroyed in the recent Jewish revolt. When Hadrian arrived on the Euphrates , he characteristically solved the problem through a negotiated settlement with the Parthian king Osroes I. He then proceeded to check the Roman defenses before setting off West along the coast of the Black Sea. He probably spent the winter in Nicomedia , the main city of Bithynia. As Nicomedia had been hit by an earthquake only shortly prior to his stay, Hadrian was generous in providing funds for rebuilding. Thanks to his generosity he was acclaimed as the chief restorer of the province as a whole. It is more than possible that Hadrian visited Claudiopolis and there espied the beautiful Antinous , a young boy who was destined to become the emperor’s beloved. Sources say nothing about when Hadrian met Antinous, however, there are depictions of Antinous that shows him as a young man of 20 or so. As this was shortly before Antinous’s drowning in 130 Antinous would more likely have been a youth of 13 or 14. It is possible that Antinous may have been sent to Rome to be trained as page to serve the emperor and only gradually did he rise to the status of imperial favorite. After meeting Antinous, Hadrian traveled through Anatolia. The route he took is uncertain. Various incidents are described such as his founding of a city within Mysia, Hadrianutherae, after a successful boar hunt. (The building of the city was probably more than a mere whim lowly populated wooded areas such as the location of the new city were already ripe for development). Some historians dispute whether Hadrian did in fact commission the city’s construction at all. At about this time, plans to build a temple in Asia minor were written up. The new temple would be dedicated to Trajan and Hadrian and built with dazzling white marble. Temple of Zeus in Athens. The Pantheonn was rebuilt by Hadrian. The climax of this tour was the destination that the hellenophile Hadrian must all along have had in mind, Greece. He arrived in the autumn of 124 in time to participate in the Eleusinian Mysteries. By tradition at one stage in the ceremony the initiates were supposed to carry arms but this was waived to avoid any risk to the emperor among them. At the Athenians’ request he conducted a revision of their constitution among other things a new phyle (tribe) was added bearing his name. During the winter he toured the Peloponnese. His exact route is uncertain, however Pausanias reports of tell-tale signs, such as temples built by Hadrian and the statue of the emperor built by the grateful citizens of Epidaurus in thanks to their “restorer”. He was especially generous to Mantinea which supports the theory that Antinous was in fact already Hadrian’s lover because of the strong link between Mantinea and Antinous’s home in Bithynia. By March 125, Hadrian had reached Athens presiding over the festival of Dionysia. The building program that Hadrian initiated was substantial. Various rulers had done work on building the Temple of Olympian Zeus it was Hadrian who ensured that the job would be finished. He also initiated the construction of several public buildings on his own whim and even organized the building of an aqueduct. On his return to Italy, Hadrian made a detour to Sicily. Coins celebrate him as the restorer of the island though there is no record of what he did to earn this accolade. Back in Rome he was able to see for himself the completed work of rebuilding the Pantheon. Also completed by then was Hadrian’s villa nearby at Tibur a pleasant retreat by the Sabine Hills for whenever Rome became too much for him. At the beginning of March 127 Hadrian set off for a tour of Italy. Once again, historians are able to reconstruct his route by evidence of his hand-outs rather than the historical records. For instance, in that year he restored the Picentine earth goddess Cupra in the town of Cupra Maritima. At some unspecified time he improved the drainage of the Fucine lake. Less welcome than such largesse was his decision to divide Italy into 4 regions under imperial legates with consular rank. Being effectively reduced to the status of mere provinces did not go down well and this innovation did not long outlive Hadrian. Hadrian fell ill around this time, though the nature of his sickness is not known. Whatever the illness was, it did not stop him from setting off in the spring of 128 to visit Africa. His arrival began with the good omen of rain ending a drought. Along with his usual role as benefactor and restorer he found time to inspect the troops and his speech to the troops survives to this day. Greece, Asia and Egypt. In September 128 Hadrian again attended the Eleusinian mysteries. This time his visit to Greece seems to have concentrated on Athens and Sparta the two ancient rivals for dominance of Greece. Hadrian had played with the idea of focusing his Greek revival round Amphictyonic League based in Delphi but he by now had decided on something far grander. His new Panhellenion was going to be a council that would bring together Greek cities wherever they might be found. The meeting place was to be the new temple to Zeus in Athens. Having set in motion the preparations deciding whose claim to be a Greek city was genuine would in itself take time Hadrian set off for Ephesus. In October 130, while Hadrian and his entourage were sailing on the Nile , Antinous drowned, for unknown reasons, though accident, suicide, murder or religious sacrifice have all been postulated. The emperor was grief stricken. He ordered Antinous deified, and cities were named after the boy, medals struck with his effigy, and statues erected to him in all parts of the empire. Temples were built for his worship in Bithynia, Mantineia in Arcadia, and Athens, festivals celebrated in his honour and oracles delivered in his name. The city of Antinopolis or Antinoe was founded on the ruins of Besa where he died Cassius Dio, LIX. 11; Historia Augusta , Hadrian. Hadrians movements subsequent to the founding of Antinopolis on October 30, 130 are obscure. See also: Bar Kokhba revolt. In 130, Hadrian visited the ruins of Jerusalem , in Judaea , left after the First Roman-Jewish War of 6673. He rebuilt the city, renaming it Aelia Capitolina after himself and Jupiter Capitolinus , the chief Roman deity. A new temple dedicated to the worship of Jupiter was built on the ruins of the old Jewish Second Temple , which had been destroyed in 70. In addition, Hadrian abolished circumcision , which was considered by Romans and Greeks as a form of bodily mutilation and hence “barbaric”. These anti-Jewish policies of Hadrian triggered in Judaea a massive Jewish uprising, led by Simon bar Kokhba and Akiba ben Joseph. Following the outbreak of the revolt, Hadrian called his general Sextus Julius Severus from Britain , and troops were brought from as far as the Danube. Roman losses were very heavy, and it is believed that an entire legion, the XXII Deiotariana was destroyed. Indeed, Roman losses were so heavy that Hadrian’s report to the Roman Senate omitted the customary salutation “I and the legions are well”. However, Hadrian’s army eventually put down the rebellion in 135, after three years of fighting. According to Cassius Dio , during the war 580,000 Jews were killed, 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed. The final battle took place in Beitar , a fortified city 10 km. The city only fell after a lengthy siege, and Hadrian only allowed the Jews to bury their dead after a period of six days. According to the Babylonian Talmud , after the war Hadrian continued the persecution of Jews. He attempted to root out Judaism , which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions, prohibited the Torah law, the Hebrew calendar and executed Judaic scholars (see Ten Martyrs). The sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount. In an attempt to erase the memory of Judaea, he renamed the province Syria Palaestina (after the Philistines), and Jews were forbidden from entering its rededicated capital. When Jewish sources mention Hadrian it is always with the epitaph “may his bones be crushed” (or , the Aramaic equivalent), an expression never used even with respect to Vespasian or Titus who destroyed the Second Temple. Hadrian spent the final years of his life at Rome. In 134, he took an Imperial salutation or the end of the Second Jewish War (which was not actually concluded until the following year). In 136, he dedicated a new Temple of Venus and Roma on the former site of Nero’s Golden House. About this time, suffering from poor health, he turned to the problem of the succession. In 136 he adopted one of the ordinary consuls of that year, Lucius Ceionius Commodus, who took the name Lucius Aelius Caesar. He was both the stepson and son-in-law of Gaius Avidius Nigrinus, one of the “four consulars” executed in 118, but was himself in delicate health. Granted tribunician power and the governorship of Pannonia , Aelius Caesar held a further consulship in 137, but died on January 1, 138. Following the death of Aelius Caesar, Hadrian next adopted Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus (the future emperor Antoninus Pius), who had served as one of the four imperial legates of Italy (a post created by Hadrian) and as proconsul of Asia. On 25 February 138 Antoninus received tribunician power and imperium. Moreover, to ensure the future of the dynasty, Hadrian required Antoninus to adopt both Lucius Ceionius Commodus (son of the deceased Aelius Caesar) and Marcus Annius Verus (who was the grandson of an influential senator of the same name who had been Hadrians close friend; Annius was already betrothed to Aelius Caesars daughter Ceionia Fabia). Hadrians precise intentions in this arrangement are debatable. Though the consensus is that he wanted Annius Verus (who would later become the Emperor Marcus Aurelius) to succeed Antoninus, it has also been argued that he actually intended Ceionius Commodus, the son of his own adopted son, to succeed, but was constrained to show favour simultaneously to Annius Verus because of his strong connections to the Hispano-Narbonensian nexus of senatorial families of which Hadrian himself was a part. It may well not have been Hadrian, but rather Antoninus Pius who was Annius Veruss uncle who advanced the latter to the principal position. The fact that Annius would divorce Ceionia Fabia and re-marry to Antoninus’ daughter Annia Faustina points in the same direction. When he eventually became Emperor, Marcus Aurelius would co-opt Ceionius Commodus as his co-Emperor (under the name of Lucius Verus) on his own initiative. The ancient sources present Hadrian’s last few years as marked by conflict and unhappiness. The adoption of Aelius Caesar proved unpopular, not least with Hadrian’s brother-in-law Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus and Servianus’ grandson Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator. Servianus, though now far too old, had stood in line of succession at the beginning of the reign; Fuscus is said to have had designs on the imperial power for himself, and in 137 he may have attempted a coup in which his grandfather was implicated. Whatever the truth, Hadrian ordered that both be put to death. Servianus is reported to have prayed before his execution that Hadrian would “long for death but be unable to die”. The prayer was fulfilled; as Hadrian suffered from his final, protracted illness, he had to be prevented from suicide on several occasions. Hadrian died in 138 on the tenth day of July, in his villa at Baiae at age 62. The cause of death is believed to have been heart failure. Dio Cassius and the Historia Augusta record details of his failing health, and a study published in 1980 drew attention to classical sculptures of Hadrian that show he had diagonal earlobe creases a characteristic associated with coronary heart disease. Hadrian was buried first at Puteoli , near Baiae, on an estate which had once belonged to Cicero. Soon after, his remains were transferred to Rome and buried in the Gardens of Domitia, close by the almost-complete mausoleum. Upon the completion of the Tomb of Hadrian in Rome in 139 by his successor Antoninus Pius , his body was cremated, and his ashes were placed there together with those of his wife Vibia Sabina and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius , who also died in 138. Antoninus also had him deified in 139 and given a temple on the Campus Martius. According to the Historia Augusta Hadrian composed shortly before his death the following poem. Quae nunc abibis in loca. Nec, ut soles, dabis iocos.. Little soul, roamer and charmerr. Body’s guest and companion. Into what places will you now depart. Pale, stiff, and nude. An end to all your jokes.. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? 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  • Ruler: Hadrian
  • Composition: Silver