Dec 10 2018

AELIA FLACILLA Ancient Chi-Rho Christian Symbol 379AD Roman Coin VICTORY i66487

AELIA FLACILLA Ancient Chi-Rho Christian Symbol 379AD Roman Coin VICTORY i66487

AELIA FLACILLA Ancient Chi-Rho Christian Symbol 379AD Roman Coin VICTORY i66487

AELIA FLACILLA Ancient Chi-Rho Christian Symbol 379AD Roman Coin VICTORY i66487

Item: i66487 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Wife of Theodosius I. Bronze AE2 21mm (4.30 grams) Antioch mint, struck 379-388 A. Reference: RIC IX 61; Sear 20616 AEL FLACCILLA AVG – Diademed, draped bust bust right. SALVS REIPVBLICAE / ANTB, Victory seated right on cuirass, inscribing a Chi-Rho on a shield set on column. The reverse is an allusion to Saint Constantine’s vision from God to paint the Chi-Rho on his shields and go win a victory with it. Here we have the actual personification of victory inscribing the Chi-Rho, also known as a Christogram, or in other words Christ’s monogram. VICTOR ERIS – The monogram of Christ was introduced by order of Constantine the Great on a standard, when setting out on his campaign against Maxentius. This standard being carried into the middle of the ranks, where the danger appeared the greatest, and invariably bringing victory with it, according to Eusebius, it at length became the belief, that success was to be attributed to the standard alone; and hence is gathered the sense of the legend, HOC SIGNO VICTORY ERIS, which, in all probability, was inscribed upon the actual standard. The Chi Rho is one of the earliest christograms used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters in the Greek spelling of the word Christ (Greek :), chi=ch and rho=r, in such a way to produce the monogram. The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by pagan Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chrston, meaning good. Although not technically a cross, the Chi Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ. There is early evidence of the Chi Rho symbol on Christian Rings of the third century. The labarum (Greek:) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the “Chi-Rho” symbol, formed from the first two Greek letters of the word “Christ” (Greek: , or) – Chi and Rho. It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I. Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize crucifixion. The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chrston, meaning good. Aelia Flavia Flaccilla (died 385), first wife of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. She was of Hispanian Roman descent. During her marriage to Theodosius, she gave birth to two sons – future Emperors Arcadius and Honorius – and a daughter, Aelia Pulcheria. She was given the title of Augusta , as her coinage shows. According to Laus Serenae (“In Praise of Serena”), a poem by Claudian, both Serena and Flaccilla were from Hispania. A passage of Themistius (Oratio XVI, De Saturnino) has been interpreted as identifying Flavius Claudius Antonius, Praetorian prefect of Gaul from 376 to 377 and Roman consul in 382, to be her father. However the relation is considered doubtful. In 1967, John Robert Martindale, later one of several article writers in the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, suggested that the passage actually identifies Antonius as the brother-in-law of Theodosius. However the passage is vague enough to allow Flavius Afranius Syagrius, co-consul of Antonius in 382, to be the brother-in-law in question. The only kin clearly identified in primary sources was her nephew Nebridius, son of an unnamed sister. He married Salvina, a daughter of Gildo. Their marriage was mentioned by Jerome in his correspondence with Salvina. They had a son and a daughter. In about 375-376, Flaccilla married Theodosius I, a son of Count Theodosius. At the time Theodosius had fallen out of favor with Valentinian I and had withdrawn to civilian life in Cauca, Gallaecia. Their first son Arcadius was born prior to the elevation of his parents on the throne. Their secold son Honorius was born on 9 September 384. Their daughter Pulcheria has been suggested to have been born prior to the elevation of her parents to the throne due to another passage of Laus Serenae. She predeceased her parents as mentioned in the writings of Gregory of Nyssa. Mentioned alongside the imperial children by Ambrose. Has at times been suggested as a third son. However, Gregory of Nyssa reports the existence of only three imperial children and other sources do not mention Gratian. Gratian was possibly a relation of some sort but not an actual member of the Theodosian dynasty. Valens, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire was killed in the Battle of Adrianople (9 August 378). He was survived by his wife Albia Dominica and his daughters Anastasia and Carosa. He had however survived his only son, Valentinianus Galates. His nephew Gratian, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was his heir and assumed control of the Eastern Empire as well. With his younger half-brother Valentinian II as his nominal co-ruler. On 19 January, Gratian declared Theodosius, magister militum per Illyricum, to be his new colleague in the Eastern Roman Empire. Theodosius seems to have been the senior officer of Roman origins available for promotion at the time. Merobaudes and Frigeridus, the two magistri militum in praesenti were probably not considered due to their Germanic origins. Several other equivalent positions remained vacant since the deaths of their last holders in Adrianople. At this point Flacilla became the Empress consort. She was a fervent supporter of the Nicene Creed. Sozomen reports her preventing a conference between Theodosius and Eunomius of Cyzicus who served as figurehead of Anomoeanism, a distinct sect of Arians. Ambrose and Gregory of Nyssa praise her Christian virtue and comment on her role as “a leader of justice” and “pillar of the Church”. Theodoret reports on her works of charity, personally tending to the disabled. She died in 385 (or 386). Her death is mentioned by (among others) Claudian, Zosimus, Philostorgius and Joannes Zonaras. According to the Chronicon Paschale, the palatium Flaccillianum of Constantinople was named in her honor. A statue of her was placed within the Byzantine Senate. She is commemorated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church, her feast day being 14 September. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very 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. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. Whether your goal is to collect or give the item as a gift, coins presented like this could be more prized and valued higher than items that were not given such care and attention to. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens sometimes that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for their 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. How and where do I learn more about collecting ancient coins? Visit the “Guide on How to Use My Store”. For on an overview about using my store, with additional information and links to all other parts of my store which may include educational information on topics you are looking for. The item “AELIA FLACILLA Ancient Chi-Rho Christian Symbol 379AD Roman Coin VICTORY i66487″ is in sale since Sunday, January 28, 2018. 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: Aelia Flacilla
  • Ancient Coins: Roman Coins
  • Coin Type: Ancient Roman

Dec 7 2018

SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS Rare Silver Ancient Roman Coin Victory over Parthians i50031

SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS Rare Silver Ancient Roman Coin Victory over Parthians i50031

SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS Rare Silver Ancient Roman Coin Victory over Parthians i50031

SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS Rare Silver Ancient Roman Coin Victory over Parthians i50031

Item: i50031 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Septimius Severus – Roman Emperor : 193-211 A. Victory over the Parthian empire Silver Denarius 17mm (3.83 grams) Rome mint: 199 A. Reference: RIC 144b, S 6381 Denarius Obv: LSEPTSEVAVGIMPXIPARTMAX – Laureate head right. Advancing left, holding opened wreath over shield. Numismatic Note: Celebrates victory over the Parthian empire. The Parthian Empire (247 BC 224 AD), also known as the Arsacid Empire (Modern Persian : Ashknin), was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia. Who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the Parthia region. In Iran’s northeast, then a satrapy (province) in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia r. 171138 BC greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates , in what is now south-eastern Turkey , to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and Han Empire of China , became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian , Hellenistic , and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture , though it eventually saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions. The Arsacid rulers were titled the ” King of Kings “, as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire ; indeed, they accepted many local kings as vassals where the Achaemenids would have had centrally appointed, albeit largely autonomous, satraps. The court did appoint a small number of satraps, largely outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of central government shifted from Nisa, Turkmenistan to Ctesiphon along the Tigris (south of modern Baghdad , Iraq), although several other sites also served as capitals. The earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Seleucids in the west and the Scythians in the east. However, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia , and eventually the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with each other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients. The Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, and in 4039 BC, Parthian forces captured the whole of the Levant , excepting Tyre , from the Romans. However, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia and several Roman emperors invaded Mesopotamia during the Roman-Parthian Wars. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, but were never able to hold onto them. Frequent civil war between Parthian contenders to the throne proved more dangerous than foreign invasion, and Parthian power evaporated when Ardashir I , ruler of Estakhr in Fars , revolted against the Arsacids and killed their last ruler, Artabanus IV , in 224 AD. Ardashir established the Sassanid Empire , which ruled Iran and much of the Near East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, although the Arsacid dynasty lived on through the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia. Native Parthian sources, written in Parthian , Greek and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and even earlier Achaemenid sources. Aside from scattered cuneiform tablets, fragmentary ostraca , rock inscriptions, drachma coins, and the chance survival of some parchment documents, much of Parthian history is only known through external sources. These include mainly Greek and Roman histories , but also Chinese histories prompted by the market for Chinese goods in Parthia. Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources. The silver drachma of Arsaces I of Parthia r. 247211 BC with a Greek-alphabet inscription of his name. Further information: Parni conquest of Parthia. Before Arsaces I of Parthia founded the Arsacid Dynasty, he was chieftain of the Parni , an ancient Central-Asian tribe of Iranian peoples and one of several nomadic tribes within the Dahae confederacy. The Parni most likely spoke an eastern Iranian language , in contrast to the northwestern Iranian language spoken at the time in Parthia. The latter was a northeastern province, first under the Achaemenid , and then the Seleucid empires. After conquering the region, the Parni adopted Parthian as the official court language, speaking it alongside Middle Persian , Aramaic , Greek , Babylonian , Sogdian and other languages in the multilingual territories they would conquer. Why the Arsacid court retroactively chose 247 BC as the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain. Bivar concludes that this was the year the Seleucids lost control of Parthia to Andragoras , the appointed satrap who rebelled against them. Hence, Arsaces I “backdated his regnal years ” to the moment when Seleucid control over Parthia ceased. However, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis asserts that this was simply the year Arsaces was made chief of the Parni tribe. And Gene Ralph Garthwaite. Claim it was the year Arsaces conquered Parthia and expelled the Seleucid authorities, yet Curtis. State that Andragoras was not overthrown by the Arsacids until 238 BC. It is unclear who immediately succeeded Arsaces I. Affirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia , who in turn was succeeded by his son Arsaces II of Parthia in 211 BC. State that Arsaces II was the immediate successor of Arsaces I, with Curtis claiming the succession took place in 211 BC, and Brosius in 217 BC. Bivar insists that 138 BC, the last regnal year of Mithridates I, is the first precisely established regnal date of Parthian history. Due to these and other discrepancies, Bivar outlines two distinct royal chronologies accepted by historians. Later on, some of the Parthian Kings would claim Achaemenid descent. The claim has recently received support from numismatic and other written evidence suggesting that both Achaemenid and Parthian kings sufffered from the hereditery disease neurofibromatosis. For a time, Arsaces consolidated his position in Parthia and Hyrcania by taking advantage of the invasion of Seleucid territory in the west by Ptolemy III Euergetes r. This conflict with Ptolemy, the Third Syrian War (246241 BC), also allowed Diodotus I to rebel and form the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom in Central Asia. The latter’s successor, Diodotus II , formed an alliance with Arsaces against the Seleucids, but Arsaces was temporarily driven from Parthia by the forces of Seleucus II Callinicus r. After spending some time in exile among the nomadic Apasiacae tribe, Arsaces led a counterattack and recaptured Parthia. Seleucus II’s successor, Antiochus III the Great r. 222187 BC, was unable to immediately retaliate because his troops were engaged in putting down the rebellion of Molon in Media. Antiochus III launched a massive campaign to retake Parthia and Bactria in 210 or 209 BC. He was unsuccessful, but did negotiate a peace settlement with Arsaces II. The latter was granted the title of king (Greek : basileus) in return for his submission to Antiochus III as his superior. The Seleucids were unable to further intervene in Parthian affairs following increasing Roman Republic encroachment and the Seleucid defeat at Magnesia in 190 BC. Phriapatius of Parthia r. 191176 BC succeeded Arsaces II, and Phraates I of Parthia r. 176171 BC eventually ascended the throne. Phraates I ruled Parthia without further Seleucid interference. In Roman mythology , Victoria was the personification/Goddess of victory. She is the Roman version of the Greek goddess Nike , and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. Her name (in Latin) means victory. Unlike the Greek Nike, Victoria (Latin for “victory”) was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected in her honour. When her statue was removed in 382 AD by emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshipped by triumphant generals returning from war. Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war. Appearing on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts, Victoria is often seen with or in a chariot. An example of this is her place upon the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. L ucius Septimius Severus (or rarely Severus I) (April 11, 145/146-February 4, 211) was a Roman general, and Roman Emperor from April 14, 193 to 211. He was born in what is now the Berber part of Rome’s historic Africa Province. Septimius Severus was born and raised at Leptis Magna (modern Berber , southeast of Carthage , modern Tunisia). Severus came from a wealthy, distinguished family of equestrian rank. Severus was of Italian Roman ancestry on his mother’s side and of Punic or Libyan -Punic ancestry on his father’s. Little is known of his father, Publius Septimius Geta , who held no major political status but had two cousins who served as consuls under emperor Antoninus Pius. His mother, Fulvia Pia’s family moved from Italy to North Africa and was of the Fulvius gens, an ancient and politically influential clan, which was originally of plebeian status. His siblings were a younger Publius Septimius Geta and Septimia Octavilla. Severuss maternal cousin was Praetorian Guard and consul Gaius Fulvius Plautianus. In 172, Severus was made a Senator by the then emperor Marcus Aurelius. In 187 he married secondly Julia Domna. In 190 Severus became consul , and in the following year received from the emperor Commodus (successor to Marcus Aurelius) the command of the legions in Pannonia. On the murder of Pertinax by the troops in 193, they proclaimed Severus Emperor at Carnuntum , whereupon he hurried to Italy. The former emperor, Didius Julianus , was condemned to death by the Senate and killed, and Severus took possession of Rome without opposition. The legions of Syria , however, had proclaimed Pescennius Niger emperor. At the same time, Severus felt it was reasonable to offer Clodius Albinus , the powerful governor of Britannia who had probably supported Didius against him, the rank of Caesar, which implied some claim to succession. With his rearguard safe, he moved to the East and crushed Niger’s forces at the Battle of Issus. The following year was devoted to suppressing Mesopotamia and other Parthian vassals who had backed Niger. When afterwards Severus declared openly his son Caracalla as successor, Albinus was hailed emperor by his troops and moved to Gallia. Severus, after a short stay in Rome, moved northwards to meet him. In the Battle of Lugdunum , with an army of 100,000 men, mostly composed of Illyrian , Moesian and Dacian legions, Severus defeated and killed Clodius Albinus, securing his full control over the Empire. Severus was at heart a soldier , and sought glory through military exploits. In 197 he waged a brief and successful war against the Parthian Empire in retaliation for the support given to Pescennius Niger. The Parthian capital Ctesiphon was sacked by the legions, and the northern half of Mesopotamia was restored to Rome. His relations with the Roman Senate were never good. Severus ordered the execution of dozens of Senators on charges of corruption and conspiracy against him, replacing them with his own favorites. He also disbanded the Praetorian Guard and replaced it with one of his own, made up of 50,000 loyal soldiers mainly camped at Albanum , near Rome (also probably to grant the emperor a kind of centralized reserve). During his reign the number of legions was also increased from 25/30 to 33. He also increased the number of auxiliary corps (numerii), many of these troops coming from the Eastern borders. Additionally the annual wage for a soldier was raised from 300 to 500 denarii. Although his actions turned Rome into a military dictatorship , he was popular with the citizens of Rome, having stamped out the rampant corruption of Commodus’s reign. According to Cassius Dio, however, after 197 Severus fell heavily under the influence of his Praetorian Prefect, Gaius Fulvius Plautianus , who came to have almost total control of most branches of the imperial administration. Plautianus’s daughter, Fulvia Plautilla , was married to Severus’s son, Caracalla. Plautianuss excessive power came to an end in 205, when he was denounced by the Emperor’s dying brother and killed. The two following praefecti , including the jurist Aemilius Papinianus , received however even larger powers. Campaigns in Caledonia (Scotland). Starting from 208 Severus undertook a number of military actions in Roman Britain , reconstructing Hadrian’s Wall and campaigning in Scotland. He reached the area of the Moray Firth in his last campaign in Caledonia, as was called Scotland by the Romans.. In 210 obtained a peace with the Picts that lasted practically until the final withdrawal of the Roman legions from Britain, before falling severely ill in Eboracum (York). He is famously said to have given the advice to his sons: “Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men” before he died at Eboracum on. Upon his death in 211, Severus was deified by the Senate and succeeded by his sons, Caracalla and Geta , who were advised by his wife Julia Domna. The stability Severus provided the Empire was soon gone under their reign. Though his military expenditure was costly to the empire, Severus was the strong, able ruler that Rome needed at the time. He began a tradition of effective emperors elevated solely by the military. Severus was also distinguished for his buildings. Apart from the triumphal arch in the Roman Forum carrying his full name, he also built the Septizodium in Rome and enriched greatly his native city of Leptis Magna (including another triumphal arch on the occasion of his visit of 203). Christians were persecuted during the reign of Septimus Severus. Severus allowed the enforcement of policies already long-established, which meant that Roman authorities did not intentionally seek out Christians, but when people were accused of being Christians they could either curse Jesus and make an offering to Roman gods , or be executed. Furthermore, wishing to strengthen the peace by encouraging religious harmony through syncretism , Severus tried to limit the spread of the two quarrelsome groups who refused to yield to syncretism by outlawing conversion to Christianity or Judaism. Individual officials availed themselves of the laws to proceed with rigor against the Christians. Naturally the emperor, with his strict conception of law, did not hinder such partial persecution, which took place in Egypt and the Thebaid , as well as in Africa proconsularis and the East. Christian martyrs were numerous in Alexandria cf. Clement of Alexandria , Stromata , ii. 20; Eusebius , Church History , V. No less severe were the persecutions in Africa, which seem to have begun in 197 or 198 cf. Tertullian’s Ad martyres , and included the Christians known in the Roman martyrology as the martyrs of Madaura. Probably in 202 or 203 Felicitas and Perpetua suffered for their faith. Persecution again raged for a short time under the proconsul Scapula in 211, especially in Numidia and Mauritania. Later accounts of a Gallic persecution, especially at Lyon , are legendary. In general it may thus be said that the position of the Christians under Septimius Severus was the same as under the Antonines ; but the law of this Emperor at least shows clearly that the rescript of Trajan. Had failed to execute its purpose. 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 “SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS Rare Silver Ancient Roman Coin Victory over Parthians i50031″ is in sale since Wednesday, January 13, 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: Septimius Severus
  • Composition: Silver

Nov 25 2018

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE

ONE is,” 2 LEGION SOLDIERS STANDING HOLDING SPEARS AND SHIELDS, ONE VICTORY STANDARD in THE MIDDLE” CONSTANTINE ERA 307 – 361 AD. IT is 16 mm. WITH GREAT CONDITION AND DETAILS SUPER GREAT ORIGINAL PATINA. And ONE is,” WINGED VICTORY ADVANCING holding TROPHY and DRAGGING CAPTIVE”. ARCADIUS 383 – 408 AD. WITH GREAT CONDITION AND DETAILS , GREAT ORIGINAL PATINA , IT is 12 mm. THE UNCLEAN COINS LOT PICTURES ARE JUST TO SHOW YOU WHERE THIS COINS CAME FROM and HOW THIS ONE’s WERE LOOKING BEFORE I CLEANED THEM. BUT I KNOW YOU WON’T DO THAT… CONSIDERING THE OLD AGE ARE… ALMOST 2000 YEARS OLD. PLEASE CHECK ALL THE PICTURES BECAUSE IT IS EXACTLY THE 2 COINS YOU’LL GET IN MYLAR CASES. AND YOU’LL BE THE JUDGE OF GRADING. Check out my other items. Be sure to add me to your favorites list. 11-22-18 THANK YOU AND GOOD LUCK. PLEASE CHECK MY OTHER ANCIENT GREEK, ROMAN and BYZANTINE COINS… FOUND IN ONE OF MY UNCLEAN ANCIENT ROMAN COINS AND ARTIFACTS LOTS. FROM AUTHENTIC ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN EUROPE FOR ca. The item “ANCIENT ROMAN Auth. 2 coin$. 2 LEGION SOLDIERS 307-361 AD & VICTORY DR. CAPTIVE” is in sale since Friday, November 23, 2018. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “nicnicro” and is located in Laguna Hills, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.

Nov 22 2018

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men’s Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men's Ring

Dear Customer, Thank you for taking a look around my shop. I appreciate your interest! I use Authentic Ancient Coins and Objects unless stated. I have worn both and you can tell the difference. The ancient coins seem to possess a power (if you will) as they have passed thru many hands and have been owned by many people over thousands of years! I feel the essence of all these people are infused in the objects! My pricing reflects the cost of obtaining authentic ancient items and I only use solid Gold, Platinum and Silver. These metals are an investment and hold their VALUE! My goal is to make something you will be proud to pass on to your family. Coin is Authentic Ancient Roman Bronze Constantine I, AE Follis, Alexandria, 314-315 AD. FL VALER CONSTANTINVS PF AVG, laureate head right / IOVI CON-SERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, chlamys across left shoulder, holding Victory on globe and sceptre; eagle left (no wreath in beak) N-delta across fields. RIC VII Alexandria 6; Sear 15947. Total weight of ring is 13.63 Grams. The item “Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Beautiful Bronze Scene of Victory Men’s Ring” is in sale since Monday, November 19, 2018. This item is in the category “Jewelry & Watches\Men’s Jewelry\Rings”. The seller is “fabioandstella” and is located in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Brand: “Handmade”
  • Metal: Sterling Silver
  • Metal Purity: 925
  • Ring Size: 10.25
  • Style: Historic
  • Sizable: Yes
  • Color: Silver
  • Main Stone: Ancient Roman Bronze
  • Material: Bronze
  • Theme: Roman Ritual
  • Country/Region of Manufacture: United States

Nov 18 2018

MARCUS AURELIUS Authentic Ancient 164AD Roman ARMENIAN VICTORY Coin NGC i73145

MARCUS AURELIUS Authentic Ancient 164AD Roman ARMENIAN VICTORY Coin NGC i73145

MARCUS AURELIUS Authentic Ancient 164AD Roman ARMENIAN VICTORY Coin NGC i73145

MARCUS AURELIUS Authentic Ancient 164AD Roman ARMENIAN VICTORY Coin NGC i73145

MARCUS AURELIUS Authentic Ancient 164AD Roman ARMENIAN VICTORY Coin NGC i73145

Item: i73145 Authentic Ancient Coin of. VICTORY over ARMENIA Silver Denarius 17mm Rome mint:, struck 164 A. Reference: RIC 82a, BMC 276, C 7d Certification: NGC Ancients. VF 4683157-014 ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. P M TR P XVIII IMP II COS III, Armenia seated left, in mournful attitude, vexillum and shield before, hand on bow behind; ARMEN in exergue. This coin celebrates Marcus Aurelius victory over Armenia, giving him the title of ARMENIACVS and showing the personification of Armenia on the reverse. And heir of Hadrian. Father-in-law of Lucius Verus. Marcus Aurelius (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus ; 26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD) was Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus’ death in 169. Marcus Aurelius was the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors. He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations , is a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy, and is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy. During his reign, the Roman Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East: Aurelius’ general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, although the threat of the Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately. Persecution of Christians increased during his reign. Aurelius’ Meditations , written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity, a state of psychological stability and composure, in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration. His death in 180 is widely cited as the end of the Pax Romana and the increasing instability in the west that followed has traditionally been seen as the beginning of the eventual Fall of the Western Roman Empire. The Statue of Marcus Aurelius (detail) in the Musei Capitolini in Rome. The major sources depicting the life and rule of Marcus Aurelius are patchy and frequently unreliable. The most important group of sources, the biographies contained in the Historia Augusta , claim to be written by a group of authors at the turn of the 4th century AD, but are in fact written by a single author (referred to here as “the biographer”) from the later 4th century c. The later biographies and the biographies of subordinate emperors and usurpers are a tissue of lies and fiction, but the earlier biographies, derived primarily from now-lost earlier sources (Marius Maximus or Ignotus), are much more accurate. For Marcus’ life and rule, the biographies of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus and Lucius Verus are largely reliable, but those of Aelius Verus and Avidius Cassius are full of fiction. A body of correspondence between Marcus’ tutor Fronto and various Antonine officials survives in a series of patchy manuscripts, covering the period from c. Marcus’ own Meditations offer a window on his inner life, but are largely undateable, and make few specific references to worldly affairs. The main narrative source for the period is Cassius Dio, a Greek senator from Bithynian Nicaea who wrote a history of Rome from its founding to 229 in eighty books. Dio is vital for the military history of the period, but his senatorial prejudices and strong opposition to imperial expansion obscure his perspective. Some other literary sources provide specific detail: the writings of the physician Galen on the habits of the Antonine elite, the orations of Aelius Aristides on the temper of the times, and the constitutions preserved in the Digest and Codex Justinianus on Marcus’ legal work. Inscriptions and coin finds supplement the literary sources. Early life and career. Main article: Early life and career of Marcus Aurelius. Marcus’ family originated in Ucubi, a small town southeast of Córdoba in Iberian Baetica. The family rose to prominence in the late 1st century AD. Marcus’ great-grandfather Marcus Annius Verus (I) was a senator and (according to the Historia Augusta) ex-praetor; in 73-74, his grandfather, Marcus Annius Verus (II), was made a patrician. Verus’ elder son-Marcus Aurelius’ father-Marcus Annius Verus (III) married Domitia Lucilla. Statue of young Marcus Aurelius from a private collection housed in the San Antonio Museum of Art. Lucilla was the daughter of the patrician P. Calvisius Tullus Ruso and the elder Domitia Lucilla. The elder Domitia Lucilla had inherited a great fortune (described at length in one of Pliny’s letters) from her maternal grandfather and her paternal grandfather by adoption. The younger Lucilla would acquire much of her mother’s wealth, including a large brickworks on the outskirts of Rome-a profitable enterprise in an era when the city was experiencing a construction boom. A bust of Marcus Aurelius as a young boy (Capitoline Museum). Anthony Birley, Marcus’ modern biographer, writes of the bust: This is certainly a grave young man. Lucilla and Verus (III) had two children: a son, Marcus, born on 26 April 121 AD, and a daughter, Annia Cornificia Faustina, probably born in 122 or 123 AD. Verus (III) probably died in 124 AD, during his praetorship, when Marcus was only three years old. Though he can hardly have known him, Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations that he had learned “modesty and manliness” from his memories of his father and from the man’s posthumous reputation. Lucilla did not remarry. Portrait of Emperor Marcus Aurelius – Palazzo Nuovo (Musei Capitolini). Marcus was in the care of “nurses”. Even so, Marcus credits his mother with teaching him “religious piety, simplicity in diet” and how to avoid “the ways of the rich”. In his letters, Marcus makes frequent and affectionate reference to her; he was grateful that, “although she was fated to die young, yet she spent her last years with me”. After his father’s death, Aurelius was raised by his paternal grandfather Marcus Annius Verus who, according to Roman Law, had always retained the “patria potestas” over his son and grandson. Technically this was not an adoption, since an adoption would be the legal creation of a new and different “patria potestas” (II). Another man, Lucius Catilius Severus, also participated in his upbringing. Severus is described as Marcus’ “maternal great-grandfather”; he is probably the stepfather of the elder Lucilla. Marcus was raised in his parents’ home on the Caelian Hill, a district he would affectionately refer to as “my Caelian”. It was an upscale region, with few public buildings but many aristocratic villas. Marcus’ grandfather owned his own palace beside the Lateran, where Marcus would spend much of his childhood. Marcus thanks his grandfather for teaching him “good character and avoidance of bad temper”. He was less fond of the mistress his grandfather took and lived with after the death of Rupilia Faustina, his wife. Marcus was grateful that he did not have to live with her longer than he did. Marcus was taught at home, in line with contemporary aristocratic trends; Marcus thanks Catilius Severus for encouraging him to avoid public schools. One of his teachers, Diognetus, a painting-master, proved particularly influential; he seems to have introduced Marcus to the philosophic way of life. In April 132, at the behest of Diognetus, Marcus took up the dress and habits of the philosopher: he studied while wearing a rough Greek cloak, and would sleep on the ground until his mother convinced him to sleep on a bed. A new set of tutors-Alexander of Cotiaeum, Trosius Aper and Tuticius Proculus-took over Marcus’ education in about 132 or 133. Little is known of the latter two (both teachers of Latin), but Alexander was a major littérateur, the leading Homeric scholar of his day. Marcus thanks Alexander for his training in literary styling. Alexander’s influence-an emphasis on matter over style, on careful wording, with the occasional Homeric quotation-has been detected in Marcus’ Meditations. Succession to Hadrian, 136-38. In late 136, Hadrian almost died from a haemorrhage. Convalescent in his villa at Tivoli, he selected Lucius Ceionius Commodus, Marcus’ intended father-in-law, as his successor and adopted him as his son. The selection was done invitis omnibus , “against the wishes of everyone”. While there will never be absolute certainty regarding his motives, it would appear that his goal was to eventually place the then-too-young Marcus on the throne. As part of his adoption, Commodus took the name Lucius Aelius Caesar. His health was so poor that during a ceremony to mark his becoming heir to the throne, he was too weak to lift a large shield on his own. The night before the speech, however, he grew ill, and died of a haemorrhage later in the day. On 24 January 138 AD, Hadrian selected Aurelius Antoninus as his new successor. After a few days’ consideration, Antoninus accepted. He was adopted on 25 February. As part of Hadrian’s terms, Antoninus adopted Marcus and Lucius Verus, the son of Lucius Aelius. By this scheme, Lucius Verus, who was already Hadrian’s adoptive grandson through his natural father, remained Hadrian’s adoptive grandson through his new father. The adoption of Marcus Aurelius was probably a suggestion of Antoninus himself, since Aurelius was the nephew of Antoninus’s wife and would be his favorite son. Aelius Aurelius Verus; Lucius became L. At Hadrian’s request, Antoninus’ daughter Faustina was betrothed to Lucius. He reportedly greeted the news that Hadrian had become his adoptive grandfather with sadness, instead of joy. Only with reluctance did he move from his mother’s house on the Caelian to Hadrian’s private home. At some time in 138 AD, Hadrian requested in the senate that Marcus be exempt from the law barring him from becoming quaestor before his twenty-fourth birthday. The senate complied, and Marcus served under Antoninus, consul for 139. Marcus’ adoption diverted him from the typical career path of his class. If not for his adoption, he probably would have become triumvir monetalis , a highly regarded post involving token administration of the state mint; after that, he could have served as tribune with a legion, becoming the legion’s nominal second-in-command. Marcus probably would have opted for travel and further education instead. As it was, Marcus was set apart from his fellow citizens. Nonetheless, his biographer attests that his character remained unaffected: He still showed the same respect to his relations as he had when he was an ordinary citizen, and he was as thrifty and careful of his possessions as he had been when he lived in a private household. Baiae, seaside resort and site of Hadrian’s last days. Marcus would holiday in the town with the imperial family in the summer of 143. Turner, The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and Sybil , 1823. After a series of suicide attempts, all thwarted by Antoninus, Hadrian left for Baiae, a seaside resort on the Campanian coast. His condition did not improve, and he abandoned the diet prescribed by his doctors, indulging himself in food and drink. He sent for Antoninus, who was at his side when he died on 10 July 138. His remains were buried quietly at Puteoli. The succession to Antoninus was peaceful and stable: Antoninus kept Hadrian’s nominees in office and appeased the senate, respecting its privileges and commuting the death sentences of men charged in Hadrian’s last days. For his dutiful behavior, Antoninus was asked to accept the name “Pius”. Heir to Antoninus Pius, 138-45. Immediately after Hadrian’s death, Antoninus approached Marcus and requested that his marriage arrangements be amended: Marcus’ betrothal to Ceionia Fabia would be annulled, and he would be betrothed to Faustina, Antoninus’ daughter, instead. Faustina’s betrothal to Ceionia’s brother Lucius Commodus would also have to be annulled. Marcus consented to Antoninus’ proposal. Antoninus bolstered Marcus’ dignity: Marcus was made consul for 140 AD, with Antoninus as his colleague, and was appointed as a seviri , one of the knights’ six commanders, at the order’s annual parade on 15 July 139 AD. As the heir apparent, Marcus became princeps iuventutis , head of the equestrian order. He now took the name Caesar: Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar. Marcus would later caution himself against taking the name too seriously: “See that you do not turn into a Caesar; do not be dipped into the purple dye-for that can happen”. At the senate’s request, Marcus joined all the priestly colleges pontifices , augures , quindecimviri sacris faciundis , septemviri epulonum , etc. ; direct evidence for membership, however, is available only for the Arval Brethren. Antoninus demanded that Marcus take up residence in the House of Tiberius, the imperial palace on the Palatine. Antoninus also made him take up the habits of his new station, the aulicum fastigium or “pomp of the court”, against Marcus’ objections. Marcus would struggle to reconcile the life of the court with his philosophic yearnings. He told himself it was an attainable goal-”where life is possible, then it is possible to live the right life; life is possible in a palace, so it is possible to live the right life in a palace”-but he found it difficult nonetheless. He would criticize himself in the Meditations for “abusing court life” in front of company. As quaestor, Marcus would have had little real administrative work to do. He would read imperial letters to the senate when Antoninus was absent, and would do secretarial work for the senators. He was being “fitted for ruling the state”, in the words of his biographer. He was required to make a speech to the assembled senators as well, making oratorical training essential for the job. On 1 January 145 AD, Marcus was made consul a second time. He might have been unwell at this time: a letter from Fronto that might have been sent at this time urges Marcus to have plenty of sleep “so that you may come into the Senate with a good colour and read your speech with a strong voice”. Marcus was never particularly healthy or strong. The Roman historian Cassius Dio, writing of his later years, praised him for behaving dutifully in spite of his various illnesses. A bust of Faustina the Younger, Marcus’ wife (Louvre). In April 145 AD, Marcus married Faustina, as had been planned since 138 AD. Since Marcus was, by adoption, Antoninus Pius’ son, under Roman law he was marrying his sister; Antoninus would have had to formally release one or the other from his paternal authority (his patria potestas) for the ceremony to take place. Little is specifically known of the ceremony, but it is said to have been “noteworthy”. Coins were issued with the heads of the couple, and Antoninus, as Pontifex Maximus , would have officiated. Marcus makes no apparent reference to the marriage in his surviving letters, and only sparing references to Faustina. Fronto and further education, 136-61. After taking the toga virilis in 136 AD, Marcus probably began his training in oratory. He had three tutors in Greek, Aninus Macer, Caninius Celer, and Herodes Atticus, and one in Latin, Fronto. The latter two were the most esteemed orators of the day. Fronto and Atticus, however, probably did not become his tutors until his adoption by Antoninus in 138 AD. The preponderance of Greek tutors indicates the importance of the language to the aristocracy of Rome. This was the age of the Second Sophistic, a renaissance in Greek letters. Although educated in Rome, in his Meditations , Marcus would write his inmost thoughts in Greek. A bust of Herodes Atticus, from his villa at Kephissia (National Archaeological Museum of Athens). Herodes was controversial: an enormously rich Athenian (probably the richest man in the eastern half of the empire), he was quick to anger, and resented by his fellow-Athenians for his patronizing manner. Atticus was an inveterate opponent of Stoicism and philosophic pretensions. He thought the Stoics’ desire for a “lack of feeling” foolish: they would live a “sluggish, enervated life”, he said. Marcus would become a Stoic. He would not mention Herodes at all in his Meditations , in spite of the fact that they would come into contact many times over the following decades. Fronto was highly esteemed: in the self-consciously antiquarian world of Latin letters, he was thought of as second only to Cicero, perhaps even an alternative to him. He did not care much for Herodes, though Marcus was eventually to put the pair on speaking terms. Fronto exercised a complete mastery of Latin, capable of tracing expressions through the literature, producing obscure synonyms, and challenging minor improprieties in word choice. A significant amount of the correspondence between Fronto and Marcus has survived. The pair were very close. Farewell my Fronto, wherever you are, my most sweet love and delight. How is it between you and me? I love you and you are not here. Marcus spent time with Fronto’s wife and daughter, both named Cratia, and they enjoyed light conversation. He wrote Fronto a letter on his birthday, claiming to love him as he loved himself, and calling on the gods to ensure that every word he learned of literature, he would learn “from the lips of Fronto”. His prayers for Fronto’s health were more than conventional, because Fronto was frequently ill; at times, he seems to be an almost constant invalid, always suffering-about one-quarter of the surviving letters deal with the man’s sicknesses. Marcus asks that Fronto’s pain be inflicted on himself, “of my own accord with every kind of discomfort”. Fronto never became Marcus’ full-time teacher, and continued his career as an advocate. One notorious case brought him into conflict with Herodes. Marcus pleaded with Fronto, first with “advice”, then as a “favor”, not to attack Herodes; he had already asked Herodes to refrain from making the first blows. Fronto replied that he was surprised to discover Marcus counted Herodes as a friend (perhaps Herodes was not yet Marcus’ tutor), allowed that Marcus might be correct, but nonetheless affirmed his intent to win the case by any means necessary:… The charges are frightful and must be spoken of as frightful. Those in particular which refer to the beating and robbing I will describe in such a way that they savour of gall and bile. If I happen to call him an uneducated little Greek it will not mean war to the death. The outcome of the trial is unknown. By the age of twenty-five (between April 146 and April 147), Marcus had grown disaffected with his studies in jurisprudence, and showed some signs of general malaise. His master, he writes to Fronto, was an unpleasant blowhard, and had made “a hit at” him: It is easy to sit yawning next to a judge, he says, but to be a judge is noble work. Marcus had grown tired of his exercises, of taking positions in imaginary debates. When he criticized the insincerity of conventional language, Fronto took to defend it. In any case, Marcus’ formal education was now over. He had kept his teachers on good terms, following them devotedly. It “affected his health adversely”, his biographer writes, to have devoted so much effort to his studies. It was the only thing the biographer could find fault with in Marcus’ entire boyhood. Fronto had warned Marcus against the study of philosophy early on: it is better never to have touched the teaching of philosophy… Than to have tasted it superficially, with the edge of the lips, as the saying is. He disdained philosophy and philosophers, and looked down on Marcus’ sessions with Apollonius of Chalcedon and others in this circle. Fronto put an uncharitable interpretation of Marcus’ “conversion to philosophy”: “in the fashion of the young, tired of boring work”, Marcus had turned to philosophy to escape the constant exercises of oratorical training. Marcus kept in close touch with Fronto, but he would ignore his scruples. Apollonius may have introduced Marcus to Stoic philosophy, but Quintus Junius Rusticus would have the strongest influence on the boy. He was the man Fronto recognized as having “wooed Marcus away” from oratory. He was twenty years older than Marcus, older than Fronto. As the grandson of Arulenus Rusticus, one of the martyrs to the tyranny of Domitian r. 81-96, he was heir to the tradition of “Stoic opposition” to the “bad emperors” of the 1st century; the true successor of Seneca (as opposed to Fronto, the false one). Births and deaths, 147-160. On November 30, 147, Faustina gave birth to a girl, named Domitia Faustina. She was the first of at least thirteen children (including two sets of twins) that Faustina would bear over the next twenty-three years. The next day, 1 December, Antoninus Pius gave Marcus the tribunician power and the imperium -authority over the armies and provinces of the emperor. As tribune, Marcus had the right to bring one measure before the senate after the four Antoninus could introduce. His tribunican powers would be renewed, with Antoninus’, on 10 December 147. The Mausoleum of Hadrian, where the children of Marcus and Faustina were buried. The first mention of Domitia in Marcus’ letters reveals her as a sickly infant. If the gods are willing we seem to have a hope of recovery. The diarrhea has stopped, the little attacks of fever have been driven away. But the emaciation is still extreme and there is still quite a bit of coughing. ” He and Faustina, Marcus wrote, had been “pretty occupied with the girl’s care. Domitia would die in 151. In 149, Faustina gave birth again, to twin sons. Contemporary coinage commemorates the event, with crossed cornucopiae beneath portrait busts of the two small boys, and the legend temporum felicitas , “the happiness of the times”. They did not survive long. Before the end of the year, another family coin was issued: it shows only a tiny girl, Domitia Faustina, and one boy baby. Then another: the girl alone. The infants were buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian, where their epitaphs survive. They were called Titus Aurelius Antoninus and Tiberius Aelius Aurelius. Marcus steadied himself: One man prays:’How I may not lose my little child’, but you must pray:’How I may not be afraid to lose him’. ” He quoted from the Iliad what he called the “briefest and most familiar saying… Enough to dispel sorrow and fear. Iliad 6.146. Another daughter was born on 7 March 150, Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla. At some time between 155 and 161, probably soon after 155, Marcus’ mother, Domitia Lucilla, died. Faustina probably had another daughter in 151, but the child, Annia Galeria Aurelia Faustina, might not have been born until 153. Another son, Tiberius Aelius Antoninus, was born in 152. A coin issue celebrates fecunditati Augustae , “the Augusta’s fertility”, depicting two girls and an infant. The boy did not survive long; on coins from 156, only the two girls were depicted. He might have died in 152, the same year as Marcus’ sister, Cornificia. By 28 March 158, however, when Marcus replied, the child was dead, Marcus thanked the temple synod, “even though this turned out otherwise”. The child’s name is unknown. In 159 and 160, Faustina gave birth to daughters: Fadilla, after one of Faustina’s dead sisters, and Cornificia, after Marcus’ dead sister. Antoninus Pius’ last years, 152-61. Antoninus Pius, Marcus’ adoptive father and predecessor as emperor (Glyptothek). Meanwhile, during the reign of his adoptive father, Antoninus, as a prince and future emperor, Marcus’ adoptive brother Lucius Verus received careful education from the famous “grammaticus” Marcus Cornelius Fronto. The young Verus was reported to have been an excellent student, fond of writing poetry and delivering speeches. Lucius started his political career as a quaestor in 153, two years before the legal age of 25 (Marcus held the office at 17). In 154, he was consul, nine years before the legal age of 32 (Marcus held the office at 18 and 23), and in 161 was consul again with Marcus Aurelius as his senior partner. Lucius had no other titles, except that of “son of Augustus”. Lucius had a markedly different personality from Marcus: he enjoyed sports of all kinds, but especially hunting and wrestling; he took obvious pleasure in the circus games and gladiatorial fights. He did not marry until 164. In 156, Antoninus Pius turned 70. He found it difficult to keep himself upright without stays. He started nibbling on dry bread to give him the strength to stay awake through his morning receptions. In 160, Marcus and Lucius were designated joint consuls for the following year. Perhaps Antoninus was already ill; in any case, he died before the year was out. Two days before his death, the biographer reports, Antoninus was at his ancestral estate at Lorium, in Etruria, about 19 kilometres (12 mi) from Rome. He ate Alpine cheese at dinner quite greedily. In the night he vomited; he had a fever the next day. The day after that, 7 March 161, he summoned the imperial council, and passed the state and his daughter to Marcus. The emperor gave the keynote to his life in the last word that he uttered when the tribune of the night-watch came to ask the password-”aequanimitas” (equanimity). He then turned over, as if going to sleep, and died. His death closed out the longest reign since Augustus, surpassing Tiberius by a couple of months. Main article: Emperorship of Marcus Aurelius. Accession of Marcus and Lucius, 161. Lucius Verus, Marcus’ co-emperor from 161 to Verus’ death in 169 (Metropolitan Museum of Art lent by Musée du Louvre). Busts of the co-emperors Marcus Aurelius (left) and Lucius Verus (right), British Museum. After the death of Antoninus Pius, Marcus was effectively sole ruler of the Empire. The formalities of the position would follow. The senate would soon grant him the name Augustus and the title imperator , and he would soon be formally elected as Pontifex Maximus , chief priest of the official cults. Marcus made some show of resistance: the biographer writes that he was “compelled” to take imperial power. This may have been a genuine horror imperii , “fear of imperial power”. Marcus, with his preference for the philosophic life, found the imperial office unappealing. His training as a Stoic, however, had made the choice clear. It was his duty. Although Marcus showed no personal affection for Hadrian (significantly, he does not thank him in the first book of his Meditations), he presumably believed it his duty to enact the man’s succession plans. Thus, although the senate planned to confirm Marcus alone, he refused to take office unless Lucius received equal powers. The senate accepted, granting Lucius the imperium , the tribunician power, and the name Augustus. Marcus became, in official titulature, Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; Lucius, forgoing his name Commodus and taking Marcus’ family name, Verus, became Imperator Caesar Lucius Aurelius Verus Augustus. It was the first time that Rome was ruled by two emperors. In spite of their nominal equality, Marcus held more auctoritas , or “authority”, than Lucius. He had been consul once more than Lucius, he had shared in Antoninus’ administration, and he alone was Pontifex Maximus. It would have been clear to the public which emperor was the more senior. Immediately after their senate confirmation, the emperors proceeded to the Castra Praetoria, the camp of the praetorian guard. Lucius addressed the assembled troops, which then acclaimed the pair as imperatores. Then, like every new emperor since Claudius, Lucius promised the troops a special donative. This donative, however, was twice the size of those past: 20,000 sesterces (5,000 denarii) per capita, with more to officers. In return for this bounty, equivalent to several years’ pay, the troops swore an oath to protect the emperors. Upon his accession he also devalued the Roman currency. He decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 83.5% to 79%-the silver weight dropping from 2.68 grams to 2.57 grams. However, Marcus would later revisit the issue of currency reform. Antoninus Pius’ funeral ceremonies were, in the words of the biographer, “elaborate”. If his funeral followed the pattern of past funerals, his body would have been incinerated on a pyre at the Campus Martius, while his spirit would rise to the gods’ home in the heavens. Marcus and Lucius nominated their father for deification. In contrast to their behavior during Antoninus’ campaign to deify Hadrian, the senate did not oppose the emperors’ wishes. A flamen , or cultic priest, was appointed to minister the cult of the deified Antoninus, now Divus Antoninus. Antoninus Pius’ remains were laid to rest in the Hadrian’s mausoleum, beside the remains of Marcus’ children and of Hadrian himself. The temple he had dedicated to his wife, Diva Faustina, became the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. It survives as the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda. In accordance with his will, Antoninus’ fortune passed on to Faustina. Marcus had little need of his wife’s fortune. Indeed, at his accession, Marcus transferred part of his mother’s estate to his nephew, Ummius Quadratus. Faustina was three months pregnant at her husband’s accession. During the pregnancy she dreamed of giving birth to two serpents, one fiercer than the other. On 31 August she gave birth at Lanuvium to twins: T. Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus. Aside from the fact that the twins shared Caligula’s birthday, the omens were favorable, and the astrologers drew positive horoscopes for the children. The births were celebrated on the imperial coinage. This marble portrait depicts Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180) The Walters Art Museum. Soon after the emperors’ accession, Marcus’ eleven-year-old daughter, Annia Lucilla, was betrothed to Lucius (in spite of the fact that he was, formally, her uncle). At the ceremonies commemorating the event, new provisions were made for the support of poor children, along the lines of earlier imperial foundations. Marcus and Lucius proved popular with the people of Rome, who strongly approved of their civiliter (“lacking pomp”) behavior. The emperors permitted free speech, evidenced by the fact that the comedy writer Marullus was able to criticize them without suffering retribution. At any other time, under any other emperor, he would have been executed. But it was a peaceful time, a forgiving time. And thus, as the biographer wrote, No one missed the lenient ways of Pius. Marcus replaced a number of the empire’s major officials. The ab epistulis Sextus Caecilius Crescens Volusianus, in charge of the imperial correspondence, was replaced with Titus Varius Clemens. Clemens was from the frontier province of Pannonia and had served in the war in Mauretania. Recently, he had served as procurator of five provinces. He was a man suited for a time of military crisis. Lucius Volusius Maecianus, Marcus’ former tutor, had been prefectural governor of Egypt at Marcus’ accession. Maecianus was recalled, made senator, and appointed prefect of the treasury (aerarium Saturni). He was made consul soon after. Fronto’s son-in-law, Aufidius Victorinus, was appointed governor of Upper Germany. He sent a note to the imperial freedman Charilas, asking if he could call on the emperors. Fronto would later explain that he had not dared to write the emperors directly. The tutor was immensely proud of his students. Reflecting on the speech he had written on taking his consulship in 143, when he had praised the young Marcus, Fronto was ebullient: There was then an outstanding natural ability in you; there is now perfected excellence. There was then a crop of growing corn; there is now a ripe, gathered harvest. What I was hoping for then, I have now. The hope has become a reality. Fronto called on Marcus alone; neither thought to invite Lucius. Tiber Island seen at a forty-year high-water mark of the Tiber, December 2008. Lucius was less esteemed by his tutor than his brother, as his interests were on a lower level. Lucius asked Fronto to adjudicate in a dispute he and his friend Calpurnius were having on the relative merits of two actors. Marcus told Fronto of his reading-Coelius and a little Cicero-and his family. His daughters were in Rome, with their great-great-aunt Matidia; Marcus thought the evening air of the country was too cold for them. He asked Fronto for some particularly eloquent reading matter, something of your own, or Cato, or Cicero, or Sallust or Gracchus-or some poet, for I need distraction, especially in this kind of way, by reading something that will uplift and diffuse my pressing anxieties. Marcus’ early reign proceeded smoothly. Marcus was able to give himself wholly to philosophy and the pursuit of popular affection. Soon, however, Marcus would find he had many anxieties. It would mean the end of the felicitas temporum (“happy times”) that the coinage of 161 had so glibly proclaimed. In the spring of 162, the Tiber overflowed its banks, flooding much of Rome. It drowned many animals, leaving the city in famine. Marcus and Lucius gave the crisis their personal attention. In other times of famine, the emperors are said to have provided for the Italian communities out of the Roman granaries. Fronto’s letters continued through Marcus’ early reign. He believed Marcus was “beginning to feel the wish to be eloquent once more, in spite of having for a time lost interest in eloquence”. Fronto would again remind his pupil of the tension between his role and his philosophic pretensions: Suppose, Caesar, that you can attain to the wisdom of Cleanthes and Zeno, yet, against your will, not the philosopher’s woolen cape. The early days of Marcus’ reign were the happiest of Fronto’s life: his pupil was beloved by the people of Rome, an excellent emperor, a fond pupil, and, perhaps most importantly, as eloquent as could be wished. Marcus had displayed rhetorical skill in his speech to the senate after an earthquake at Cyzicus. It had conveyed the drama of the disaster, and the senate had been awed: “not more suddenly or violently was the city stirred by the earthquake than the minds of your hearers by your speech”. Fronto was hugely pleased. War with Parthia, 161-66. Main article: Roman-Parthian War of 161-66 See also: Roman-Persian Wars Origins to Lucius’ dispatch, 161-62. On his deathbed, Antoninus Pius spoke of nothing but the state and the foreign kings who had wronged him. One of those kings, Vologases IV of Parthia, made his move in late summer or early autumn 161. Vologases entered the Kingdom of Armenia (then a Roman client state), expelled its king and installed his own-Pacorus, an Arsacid like himself. The governor of Cappadocia, the front-line in all Armenian conflicts, was Marcus Sedatius Severianus, a Gaul with much experience in military matters. Convinced by the prophet Alexander of Abonutichus that he could defeat the Parthians easily, and win glory for himself, Severianus led a legion (perhaps the IX Hispana) into Armenia, but was trapped by the great Parthian general Chosrhoes at Elegia, a town just beyond the Cappadocian frontiers, high up past the headwaters of the Euphrates. Severianus made some attempt to fight Chosrhoes, but soon realized the futility of his campaign, and committed suicide. His legion was massacred. The campaign had only lasted three days. Coin of Vologases IV, king of Parthia, from 152/53. There was threat of war on other frontiers as well-in Britain, and in Raetia and Upper Germany, where the Chatti of the Taunus mountains had recently crossed over the limes. Antoninus seems to have given him no military experience; the biographer writes that Marcus spent the whole of Antoninus’ twenty-three-year reign at his emperor’s side-and not in the provinces, where most previous emperors had spent their early careers. More bad news arrived: the Syrian governor’s army had been defeated by the Parthians, and retreated in disarray. Reinforcements were dispatched for the Parthian frontier. Julius Geminius Marcianus, an African senator commanding X Gemina at Vindobona (Vienna), left for Cappadocia with detachments from the Danubian legions. Three full legions were also sent east: I Minervia from Bonn in Upper Germany, II Adiutrix from Aquincum, and V Macedonica from Troesmis. The northern frontiers were strategically weakened; frontier governors were told to avoid conflict wherever possible. Annius Libo, Marcus’ first cousin, was sent to replace the Syrian governor. He was young-his first consulship was in 161, so he was probably in his early thirties-and, as a mere patrician, lacked military experience. Marcus had chosen a reliable man rather than a talented one. Marcus took a four-day public holiday at Alsium, a resort town on the coast of Etruria. He was too anxious to relax. Writing to Fronto, he declared that he would not speak about his holiday. Fronto replied ironically: What? Do I not know that you went to Alsium with the intention of devoting yourself to games, joking, and complete leisure for four whole days? He encouraged Marcus to rest, calling on the example of his predecessors (Antoninus had enjoyed exercise in the palaestra , fishing, and comedy), going so far as to write up a fable about the gods’ division of the day between morning and evening-Marcus had apparently been spending most of his evenings on judicial matters instead of at leisure. Marcus could not take Fronto’s advice. Marcus put on Fronto’s voice to chastise himself:’Much good has my advice done you’, you will say! ” He had rested, and would rest often, but “-this devotion to duty! Who knows better than you how demanding it is! Fronto sent Marcus a selection of reading material, and, to settle his unease over the course of the Parthian war, a long and considered letter, full of historical references. In modern editions of Fronto’s works, it is labeled De bello Parthico (On the Parthian War). There had been reverses in Rome’s past, Fronto writes, but, in the end, Romans had always prevailed over their enemies: “always and everywhere [Mars] has changed our troubles into successes and our terrors into triumphs”. Lucius at Antioch, 162-65. The dissolute Syrian army was said to spend more time in Antioch’s open-air taverns than with their units. Engraving by William Miller after a drawing by H. Warren from a sketch by Captain Byam Martin, R. Over the winter of 161-62, as more bad news arrived-a rebellion was brewing in Syria-it was decided that Lucius should direct the Parthian war in person. He was stronger and healthier than Marcus, the argument went, more suited to military activity. Lucius’ biographer suggests ulterior motives: to restrain Lucius’ debaucheries, to make him thrifty, to reform his morals by the terror of war, to realize that he was an emperor. Whatever the case, the senate gave its assent, and, in the summer of 162, Lucius left. Marcus would remain in Rome; the city “demanded the presence of an emperor”. Lucius spent most of the campaign in Antioch, though he wintered at Laodicea and summered at Daphne, a resort just outside Antioch. Critics declaimed Lucius’ luxurious lifestyle. He had taken to gambling, they said; he would “dice the whole night through”. He enjoyed the company of actors. Libo died early in the war; perhaps Lucius had murdered him. In the middle of the war, perhaps in autumn 163 or early 164, Lucius made a trip to Ephesus to be married to Marcus’ daughter Lucilla. Marcus moved up the date; perhaps he had already heard of Lucius’ mistress, the low-born and beautiful Panthea. Lucilla’s thirteenth birthday was in March 163; whatever the date of her marriage, she was not yet fifteen. Lucilla was accompanied by her mother Faustina and M. Vettulenus Civica Barbarus, the half-brother of Lucius’ father. Civica was made comes Augusti , “companion of the emperors”; perhaps Marcus wanted him to watch over Lucius, the job Libo had failed at. Marcus may have planned to accompany them all the way to Smyrna (the biographer says he told the senate he would); this did not happen. Counterattack and victory, 163-66. The Armenian capital Artaxata was captured in 163. At the end of the year, Verus took the title Armeniacus , despite having never seen combat; Marcus declined to accept the title until the following year. When Lucius was hailed as imperator again, however, Marcus did not hesitate to take the Imperator II with him. The Euphrates river near Raqqa, Syria. Occupied Armenia was reconstructed on Roman terms. In 164, a new capital, Kaine Polis (‘New City’), replaced Artaxata. A new king was installed: a Roman senator of consular rank and Arsacid descent, Gaius Julius Sohaemus. He may not even have been crowned in Armenia; the ceremony may have taken place in Antioch, or even Ephesus. Sohaemus was hailed on the imperial coinage of 164 under the legend Rex armeniis Datus: Lucius sat on a throne with his staff while Sohamenus stood before him, saluting the emperor. In 163, the Parthians intervened in Osroene, a Roman client in upper Mesopotamia centered on Edessa, and installed their own king on its throne. In response, Roman forces were moved downstream, to cross the Euphrates at a more southerly point. Before the end of 163, however, Roman forces had moved north to occupy Dausara and Nicephorium on the northern, Parthian bank. Soon after the conquest of the north bank of the Euphrates, other Roman forces moved on Osroene from Armenia, taking Anthemusia, a town southwest of Edessa. In 165, Roman forces moved on Mesopotamia. Edessa was re-occupied, and Mannus, the king deposed by the Parthians, was re-installed. The Parthians retreated to Nisibis, but this too was besieged and captured. The Parthian army dispersed in the Tigris. A second force, under Avidius Cassius and the III Gallica, moved down the Euphrates, and fought a major battle at Dura. By the end of the year, Cassius’ army had reached the twin metropolises of Mesopotamia: Seleucia on the right bank of the Tigris and Ctesiphon on the left. Ctesiphon was taken and its royal palace set to flame. The citizens of Seleucia, still largely Greek (the city had been commissioned and settled as a capital of the Seleucid Empire, one of Alexander the Great’s successor kingdoms), opened its gates to the invaders. The city got sacked nonetheless, leaving a black mark on Lucius’ reputation. Excuses were sought, or invented: the official version had it that the Seleucids broke faith first. Cassius’ army, although suffering from a shortage of supplies and the effects of a plague contracted in Seleucia, made it back to Roman territory safely. Lucius took the title Parthicus Maximus, and he and Marcus were hailed as imperatores again, earning the title’imp. Lucius took the title’Medicus’, and the emperors were again hailed as imperatores , becoming’imp. IV’ in imperial titulature. Marcus took the Parthicus Maximus now, after another tactful delay. Conclusion of the war and events at Rome, mid-160s-167. A bust of Marcus Aurelius, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Most of the credit for the war’s success must be ascribed to subordinate generals, the most prominent of which was C. Avidius Cassius, commander of III Gallica, one of the Syrian legions. Cassius was a young senator of low birth from the north Syrian town of Cyrrhus. His father, Heliodorus, had not been a senator, but was nonetheless a man of some standing: he had been Hadrian’s ab epistulis , followed the emperor on his travels, and was prefect of Egypt at the end of Hadrian’s reign. Cassius also, with no small sense of self-worth, claimed descent from the Seleucid kings. Cassius and his fellow commander in the war, Martius Verus, still probably in their mid-thirties, took the consulships for 166. After their consulships, they were made governors: Cassius, of Syria; Martius Verus, of Cappadocia. At Rome, Marcus was occupied with family matters. Matidia, his great-aunt, had died. However, her will was invalid under the lex Falcidia : Matidia had assigned more than three-quarters of her estate to non-relatives. This was because many of her clients were included in codicils to her will. Matidia had never confirmed the documents, but as she was dying, her clients had sealed them in with the original, making them valid. Fronto urged Marcus to push the family’s case, but Marcus demurred, saying his brother would make the final decision. On the return from the campaign, Lucius was awarded with a triumph; the parade was unusual because it included the two emperors, their sons and unmarried daughters as a big family celebration. Marcus Aurelius’ two sons, Commodus, five years old, and Annius Verus, three, were elevated to the status of Caesar for the occasion. The returning army carried with them a plague, afterwards known as the Antonine Plague, or the Plague of Galen, which spread through the Roman Empire between 165 and 180. The disease was a pandemic believed to be either of smallpox or measles, and may have claimed the lives of two Roman emperors-Lucius Verus, who died in 169, and Marcus Aurelius, whose family name, Antoninus, was given to the epidemic. The disease broke out again nine years later, according to the Roman historian Dio Cassius, and caused up to 2,000 deaths a day at Rome, one-quarter of those infected. Total deaths have been estimated at five million. A possible contact with Han China occurred in 166 when a Roman traveller visited the Han court, claiming to be an ambassador representing a certain Andun (Chinese:), ruler of Daqin, who can be identified either with Marcus Aurelius or his predecessor Antoninus Pius. In addition to Republican-era Roman glasswares found at Guangzhou along the South China Sea, Roman golden medallions made during the reign of Antoninus Pius and perhaps even Marcus Aurelius have been found at Óc Eo, Vietnam, then part of the Kingdom of Funan near the Chinese province of Jiaozhi (in northern Vietnam). This may have been the port city of Kattigara, described by Ptolemy c. 150 as being visited by a Greek sailor named Alexander and laying beyond the Golden Chersonese i. Roman coins from the reigns of Tiberius to Aurelian have been found in Xi’an, China (site of the Han capital Chang’an), although the far greater amount of Roman coins in India suggests the Roman maritime trade for purchasing Chinese silk was centered there, not in China or even the overland Silk Road running through Persia. Legal and administrative work, 161-80. Like many emperors, Marcus spent most of his time addressing matters of law such as petitions and hearing disputes; but unlike many of his predecessors, he was already proficient in imperial administration when he assumed power. Marcus took great care in the theory and practice of legislation. Professional jurists called him “an emperor most skilled in the law” and “a most prudent and conscientiously just emperor”. He shows marked interest in three areas of the law: the manumission of slaves, the guardianship of orphans and minors, and the choice of city councillors (decuriones). In 168 he revalued the denarius, increasing the silver purity from 79% to 82% – the actual silver weight increasing from 2.57 grams to 2.67 grams. However, two years later Marcus reverted to the previous values because of the military crises facing the empire. War with Germanic tribes 166-180. The Roman Empire during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. His annexation of lands of the Marcomanni and the Jazyges – perhaps to be provincially called Marcomannia and Sarmatia – was cut short in 175 by the revolt of Avidius Cassius and in 180 by his death. Bas-relief scenes depicting events of the Marcomannic Wars, from the (now destroyed) Arch of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, 176-180 AD, Capitoline Museums. Marcus Aurelius receiving the submission of the vanquished, with raised vexillum standards. Marcus Aurelius celebrating his triumph over Rome’s enemies in 176 AD, riding in a quadriga chariot. During the early 160s, Fronto’s son-in-law Victorinus was stationed as a legate in Germany. He was there with his wife and children (another child had stayed with Fronto and his wife in Rome). The condition on the northern frontier looked grave. A frontier post had been destroyed, and it looked like all the peoples of central and northern Europe were in turmoil. There was corruption among the officers: Victorinus had to ask for the resignation of a legionary legate who was taking bribes. Experienced governors had been replaced by friends and relatives of the imperial family. Dasumius Tullius Tuscus, a distant relative of Hadrian, was in Upper Pannonia, succeeding the experienced M. Lower Pannonia was under the obscure Ti. Servilius Fabianus Maximus was shuffled from Lower Moesia to Upper Moesia when Iallius Bassus had joined Lucius in Antioch. Lower Moesia was filled by Pontius Laelianus’ son. The Dacias were still divided in three, governed by a praetorian senator and two procurators. The peace could not hold long; Lower Pannonia did not even have a legion. Starting in the 160s, Germanic tribes and other nomadic people launched raids along the northern border, particularly into Gaul and across the Danube. This new impetus westwards was probably due to attacks from tribes further east. A first invasion of the Chatti in the province of Germania Superior was repulsed in 162. Far more dangerous was the invasion of 166, when the Marcomanni of Bohemia, clients of the Roman Empire since year 19, crossed the Danube together with the Lombards and other Germanic tribes. Soon thereafter, the Iranian Sarmatians attacked between the Danube and the Theiss rivers. Due to the situation in the East, only a punitive expedition could be launched in 167. Both Marcus and Verus led the troops. After the death of Verus (169), Marcus personally led the struggle against the Germanic tribes for most of his remaining life. The Romans suffered at least two serious defeats by the Quadi and Marcomanni, who would cross the Alps, ravage Opitergium (Oderzo) and besiege Aquileia, the main Roman city of north-east Italy. At the same time the Costoboci, coming from the Carpathian area, invaded Moesia, Macedonia and Greece. After a long struggle, Marcus Aurelius managed to push back the invaders. Numerous members of Germanic tribes settled in frontier regions like Dacia, Pannonia, Germany and Italy itself. This was not a new thing, but this time the numbers of settlers required the creation of two new frontier provinces on the left shore of the Danube, Sarmatia and Marcomannia, including today’s Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Some Germanic tribes who settled in Ravenna revolted and managed to seize possession of the city. For this reason, Marcus Aurelius decided not only against bringing more barbarians into Italy, but even banished those who had previously been brought there. The emperor’s plans were prevented by an usurpation in 175 of the governor of Syria, Avidius Cassius, which was prompted by false news of the death of Marcus after an illness. The rebellion quickly gathered support in the Eastern provinces, only Cappadocia and Bithynia did not side with the rebels. When it became clear that Marcus Aurelius was still alive, Cassius’ fortunes declined quickly and he was killed by his troops after only 100 days of power. Together with his wife Faustina, Marcus Aurelius toured the eastern provinces until 173. He visited Athens, declaring himself a protector of philosophy. After a triumph in Rome, the following year he marched again to the Danubian frontier. After a decisive victory in 178, the plan to annex Moravia and West Slovakia seemed poised for success but was abandoned after Marcus Aurelius again fell ill in 180. Death and succession 180. Bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius, piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, Rome. Marcus Aurelius died on 17 March 180, in the city of Vindobona (modern Vienna). His campaigns against Germans and Sarmatians were also commemorated by a column and a temple built in Rome. He was succeeded by his son Commodus, whom he had named Caesar in 166 and with whom he had jointly ruled since 177. It was only the second time that a “non-adoptive” son was chosen as heir to the throne. The only other having been a century earlier when Vespasian was succeeded by his son Titus. Historians have criticized the decision, citing Commodus’ erratic behavior and lack of political and military acumen. At the end of his history of Marcus’ reign, Cassius Dio wrote an encomium to the emperor, and described the transition to Commodus in his own lifetime with sorrow. [Marcus] did not meet with the good fortune that he deserved, for he was not strong in body and was involved in a multitude of troubles throughout practically his entire reign. But for my part, I admire him all the more for this very reason, that amid unusual and extraordinary difficulties he both survived himself and preserved the empire. Just one thing prevented him from being completely happy, namely, that after rearing and educating his son in the best possible way he was vastly disappointed in him. This matter must be our next topic; for our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust, as affairs did for the Romans of that day. Cassius Dio 71.36.3-4. Michael Grant, in The Climax of Rome (1968), writes of Commodus. The youth turned out to be very erratic, or at least so anti-traditional that disaster was inevitable. But whether or not Marcus ought to have known this to be so, the rejections of his son’s claims in favour of someone else would almost certainly have involved one of the civil wars which were to proliferate so disastrously around future successions. Castings of the busts of Antonius Pius (left), Marcus Aurelius (center), and Clodius Albinus (right), Pushkin Museum, Moscow. Marcus Aurelius acquired the reputation of a philosopher king within his lifetime, and the title would remain his after death; both Dio and the biographer call him “the philosopher”. Christians such as Justin Martyr, Athenagoras and Melito gave him the title, too. The last named went so far as to call Marcus Aurelius “more philanthropic and philosophic” than Antoninus Pius and Hadrian, and set him against the persecuting emperors Domitian and Nero to make the contrast bolder. “Alone of the emperors, ” wrote the historian Herodian, he gave proof of his learning not by mere words or knowledge of philosophical doctrines but by his blameless character and temperate way of life. Iain King concludes Marcus Aurelius’ legacy is tragic, because the emperor’s “Stoic philosophy – which is about self-restraint, duty, and respect for others – was so abjectly abandoned by the imperial line he anointed on his death”. In the 1964 movie The Fall of the Roman Empire he was portrayed by Alec Guinness and in the 2000 movie Gladiator by Richard Harris. Both movie plots posited that Marcus Aurelius was assassinated because he intended to pass down power to his adopted son, a Roman general, instead of his biological son, Commodus. In the first two centuries of the Christian era, it was local Roman officials who were largely responsible for persecution of Christians. In the second century, the emperors treated Christianity as a local problem to be dealt with by their subordinates. The number and severity of persecutions of Christians in various locations of the empire seemingly increased during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The extent to which Marcus Aurelius himself directed, encouraged, or was aware of these persecutions is unclear and much debated by historians. According to Gibbon, with the onset of the Germanic war, his treatment of the Christians degraded with increased persecutions uncharacteristic of the previous years of his reign and those of his predecessors. Bust of Faustina the Younger, Louvre, Paris. Aurelius married his first cousin Faustina the Younger in 145. During their 30-year marriage, Faustina bore 13 children. Only one son and four daughters outlived their father. Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina (147-after 165). Gemellus Lucillae (died around 150), twin brother of Lucilla. Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla (148/50-182), twin sister of Gemellus, married her father’s co-ruler Lucius Verus. Titus Aelius Antoninus (born after 150, died before 7 March 161). Titus Aelius Aurelius (born after 150, died before 7 March 161). Domitia Faustina (born after 150, died before 7 March 161). Annia Aurelia Fadilla (159-after 211). Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor (160-after 211). Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus (161-165), twin brother of Commodus. Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (Commodus) (161-192), twin brother of Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, later emperor. Marcus Annius Verus Caesar (162-169). Vibia Aurelia Sabina (170-died before 217). While on campaign between 170 and 180, Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. The original title of this work, if it had one, is unknown. “Meditations” as well as others, including “To Himself” were adopted later. He had a logical mind and his notes were representative of Stoic philosophy and spirituality. Meditations is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty. The book was a favourite of Frederick the Great, John Stuart Mill, Matthew Arnold, and Goethe. Modern figures such as Wen Jiabao, Bill Clinton, and James Mattis are admirers of the book. It is not known how far Marcus’ writings were circulated after his death. There are stray references in the ancient literature to the popularity of his precepts, and Julian the Apostate was well aware of Marcus’ reputation as a philosopher, though he does not specifically mention the Meditations. It survived in the scholarly traditions of the Eastern Church and the first surviving quotes of the book, as well as the first known reference of it by name (“Marcus’ writings to himself”) are from Arethas of Caesarea in the 10th century and in the Byzantine Suda (perhaps inserted by Arethas himself). It was first published in 1558 in Zurich by Wilhelm Xylander (ne Holzmann), from a manuscript reportedly lost shortly afterwards. The oldest surviving complete manuscript copy is in the Vatican library and dates to the 14th century. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very 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. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. 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  • Ruler: Marcus Aurelius
  • Certification: NGC
  • Certification Number: 4683157-014
  • Grade: VF
  • Composition: Silver

Nov 17 2018

COMMODUS 184AD Rome Sestertius VICTORY vs BRITAIN Ancient Roman Coin NGC i68554

COMMODUS 184AD Rome Sestertius VICTORY vs BRITAIN Ancient Roman Coin NGC i68554

COMMODUS 184AD Rome Sestertius VICTORY vs BRITAIN Ancient Roman Coin NGC i68554

COMMODUS 184AD Rome Sestertius VICTORY vs BRITAIN Ancient Roman Coin NGC i68554

COMMODUS 184AD Rome Sestertius VICTORY vs BRITAIN Ancient Roman Coin NGC i68554

COMMODUS 184AD Rome Sestertius VICTORY vs BRITAIN Ancient Roman Coin NGC i68554

Item: i68554 Authentic Ancient Coin of. VICTORY over BRITAIN Bronze Sestertius 30mm (21.71 grams) Rome mint, struck 184/185 A. Reference: RIC 440; Cohen 945 Certification: NGC Ancients. VF 4281763-006 M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS BRIT, Laureate head right. Son of Marcus Aurelius. Commodus (Latin: 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 (161-180). 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 (185-190). 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 consulship-all 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 father’s policies, his father’s advisers, and especially his father’s 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. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very 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. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. Whether your goal is to collect or give the item as a gift, coins presented like this could be more prized and valued higher than items that were not given such care and attention to. When should I leave feedback? Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens sometimes that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for their 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. How and where do I learn more about collecting ancient coins? Visit the “Guide on How to Use My Store”. For on an overview about using my store, with additional information and links to all other parts of my store which may include educational information on topics you are looking for. The item “COMMODUS 184AD Rome Sestertius VICTORY vs BRITAIN Ancient Roman Coin NGC i68554″ is in sale since Monday, April 9, 2018. 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.
  • Denomination: Sestertius
  • Ruler: Commodus
  • Ancient Coins: Roman Coins
  • Coin Type: Ancient Roman
  • Certification: NGC
  • Grade: VF
  • Certification Number: 4281763-006

Nov 15 2018

NERO Authentic Ancient 66AD Lugdunum Genuine Ancient Roman Coin w VICTORY i66746

NERO Authentic Ancient 66AD Lugdunum Genuine Ancient Roman Coin w VICTORY i66746

NERO Authentic Ancient 66AD Lugdunum Genuine Ancient Roman Coin w VICTORY i66746

NERO Authentic Ancient 66AD Lugdunum Genuine Ancient Roman Coin w VICTORY i66746

Item: i66746 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Bronze As 27mm (8.59 grams) Lugdunum mint, struck 66 A. Reference: RIC 606 or 544, C 303 IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, bare head left, globe at point of bust. Victory advancing left, holding shield reading SPQR; S C across fields. In ancient Roman religion, Victoria or Victory was the personified goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. The goddess Vica Pota was also sometimes identified with Victoria. Unlike the Greek Nike , the goddess Victoria (Latin for “victory”) was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected in her honor. When her statue was removed in 382 CE by Emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshiped by triumphant generals returning from war. Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war. Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts. She is often seen with or in a chariot, as in the late 18th-century sculpture representing Victory in a quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany; “Il Vittoriano” in Rome has two. Winged figures, very often in pairs, representing victory and referred to as “victories”, were common in Roman official iconography, typically hovering high in a composition, and often filling spaces in spandrels or other gaps in architecture. These represent the spirit of victory rather than the goddess herself. They continued to appear after Christianization of the Empire, and slowly mutated into Christian angels. Caesar, 50-54 (Under Claudius). Nero (Latin: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ;15 December 37 – 9 June 68) was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius’ death. During his reign, Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade, and enhancing the cultural life of the Empire. He ordered theaters built and promoted athletic games. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a revolt in Britain. Nero annexed the Bosporan Kingdom to the Empire and began the First Roman-Jewish War. In 64, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, which many Romans believed Nero himself had started in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. In 68, the rebellion of Vindex in Gaul and later the acclamation of Galba in Hispania drove Nero from the throne. Facing assassination, he committed suicide on 9 June 68 (the first Roman emperor to do so) His death ended the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Nero’s rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance. He is known for many executions, including that of his mother, and the probable murder by poison of his stepbrother Britannicus. He is infamously known as the Emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned” and as an early persecutor of Christians. He was known for having captured Christians to burn them in his garden at night for a source of light. This view is based on the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius, and Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Nero’s reign. Few surviving sources paint Nero in a favorable light. Some sources, though, including some mentioned above, portray him as an emperor who was popular with the common Roman people, especially in the East. Some modern historians question the reliability of ancient sources when reporting on Nero’s tyrannical acts. Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus , the future Nero, was born on 15 December 37 in Antium, near Rome. He was the only son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, sister of Emperor Caligula. Nero’s father Gnaeus was the son of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 16 BC) and Antonia Major. Gnaeus was thus the grandson of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 32 BC) and probably Aemilia Lepida on his father’s side, and the grandson of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor on his mother’s side. Thus, Nero had as his paternal grandmother Antonia Maior, and also claimed more remote descent from Antonia Minor as a great-grandson-later grandson after Claudius adopted him. Through Octavia, Nero was the grandnephew of Caesar Augustus. Nero’s father had been employed as a praetor and was a member of Caligula’s staff when the latter traveled to the East (some apparently think Suetonius refers to Augustus’ adopted son Gaius Caesar here, but this is not likely). Nero’s father was described by Suetonius as a murderer and a cheat who was charged by Emperor Tiberius with treason, adultery, and incest. Tiberius died, allowing him to escape these charges. Nero’s father died of edema (“dropsy”) in 39 when Nero was two. Nero’s mother was Agrippina the Younger, a great-granddaughter of Caesar Augustus and his wife Scribonia through their daughter Julia the Elder and her husband Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Agrippina’s father, Germanicus, was a grandson of Augustus’s wife, Livia, on one side and to Mark Antony and Octavia on the other. Germanicus’ mother Antonia Minor, was a daughter of Octavia Minor and Mark Antony. Octavia was Augustus’ elder sister. Germanicus was also the adopted son of Tiberius. Agrippina poisoned her second husband Passienus Crispus, so many ancient historians also accuse her of murdering her third husband, the emperor Claudius. Coin issued under Claudius celebrating young Nero as the future emperor, c. Nero was not expected to become Emperor because his maternal uncle, Caligula, had begun his reign at the age of 25 with enough time to produce his own heir. Nero’s mother, Agrippina, lost favor with Caligula and was exiled in 39 after her husband’s death. Caligula seized Nero’s inheritance and sent him to be raised by his less wealthy aunt, Domitia Lepida, who was the mother of Valeria Messalina, Claudius’s third wife. Caligula, his wife Caesonia and their infant daughter Julia Drusilla were murdered on 24 January 41. These events led Claudius, Caligula’s uncle, to become emperor. Claudius allowed Agrippina to return from exile. Claudius had married twice before marrying Valeria Messalina. His previous marriages produced three children including a son, Drusus, who died at a young age. He had two children with Messalina – Claudia Octavia (born 40) and Britannicus (born 41). Messalina was executed by Claudius in the year 48. In 49 AD, Claudius married a fourth time, to Nero’s mother Agrippina. To aid Claudius politically, young Nero was adopted in 50 and took the name Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus. Nero was older than his stepbrother Britannicus, and thus became heir to the throne. Nero was proclaimed an adult in 51 at the age of 14. He was appointed proconsul, entered and first addressed the Senate, made joint public appearances with Claudius, and was featured in coinage. In 53, he married his stepsister Claudia Octavia. Agrippina crowns her young son Nero with a laurel wreath. She carries a cornucopia, symbol of fortune and plenty, and he wears the armour and cloak of a Roman commander, with a helmet on the ground at his feet. The scene refers to Nero’s accession as emperor in 54 AD and is dated before 59 AD when Nero had Agrippina murdered. Claudius died in 54 and Nero, taking the name Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus , was established as Emperor. Though accounts vary, many ancient historians state Agrippina poisoned Claudius. According to Pliny the Elder, she used poison mushrooms. It is not known how much Nero knew or if he was even involved in the death of Claudius. For even if he was not the instigator of the emperor’s death, he was at least privy to it, as he openly admitted; for he used afterwards to laud mushrooms, the vehicle in which the poison was administered to Claudius, as “the food of the gods, ” as the Greek proverb has it. At any rate, after Claudius’ death he vented on him every kind of insult, in act and word, charging him now with folly and now with cruelty; for it was a favourite joke of his to say that Claudius had ceased to play the fool among mortals, lengthening the first syllable of the word morari, and he disregarded many of his decrees and acts as the work of a madman and a dotard. Finally, he neglected to enclose the place where his body was burned except with a low and mean wall. Nero became Emperor at 17 when the news of Claudius’ death was made known, the youngest emperor until that time. Ancient historians describe Nero’s early reign as being strongly influenced by his mother, Agrippina, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and the Praetorian Prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus, especially in the first year. Other tutors were less often mentioned, such as Alexander of Aegae. Very early in Nero’s rule, problems arose from competition for influence between Agrippina and Nero’s two main advisers, Seneca and Burrus. In 54, Agrippina tried to sit down next to Nero while he met with an Armenian envoy, but Seneca stopped her and prevented a scandalous scene (as it was unimaginable at that time for a woman to be in the same room as men doing official business). Nero’s friends also mistrusted Agrippina and told Nero to beware of his mother. Nero was reportedly unsatisfied with his marriage to Octavia and entered into an affair with Claudia Acte, a former slave. In 55, Agrippina attempted to intervene in favor of Octavia and demanded that her son dismiss Acte. Nero, with the support of Seneca, resisted the intervention of his mother in his personal affairs. With Agrippina’s influence over her son severed, she reportedly began pushing for Britannicus, Nero’s stepbrother, to become emperor. Nearly fifteen-year-old Britannicus, heir-designate prior to Nero’s adoption, was still legally a minor, but was approaching legal adulthood. According to Tacitus, Agrippina hoped that with her support, Britannicus, being the blood son of Claudius, would be seen as the true heir to the throne by the state over Nero. However, the youth died suddenly and suspiciously on 12 February 55, the very day before his proclamation as an adult had been set. Nero claimed that Britannicus died from an epileptic seizure, but ancient historians all claim Britannicus’ death came from Nero’s poisoning him. Supposedly, he enlisted the services of Locusta, a woman who specialized in the manufacture of poisons. She devised a mixture to kill Britannicus, but after testing it unsuccessfully on a slave, Nero angrily threatened to have her put to death if she did not come up with something usable. Locusta then devised a new concoction that she promised would kill swifter than a viper. Her promise was fulfilled after Britannicus consumed it at a dinner party from water used to cool his wine, which had already been tasted, and succumbed within minutes. After the death of Britannicus, Agrippina was accused of slandering Octavia and Nero ordered her out of the imperial residence. Matricide and consolidation of power. Coin of Nero and Poppaea Sabina. Over time, Nero became progressively more powerful, freeing himself of his advisers and eliminating rivals to the throne. In 55, he removed Marcus Antonius Pallas, an ally of Agrippina, from his position in the treasury. Pallas, along with Burrus, was accused of conspiring against the Emperor to bring Faustus Sulla to the throne. Seneca was accused of having relations with Agrippina and embezzlement. Seneca succeeded in having himself, Pallas and Burrus acquitted. According to Cassius Dio, at this time, Seneca and Burrus reduced their role in governing from careful management to mere moderation of Nero. In 58, Nero became romantically involved with Poppaea Sabina, the wife of his friend and future emperor Otho. Reportedly because a marriage to Poppaea and a divorce from Octavia did not seem politically feasible with Agrippina alive, Nero ordered the murder of his mother in 59. A number of modern historians find this an unlikely motive as Nero did not marry Poppaea until 62. Additionally, according to Suetonius, Poppaea did not divorce her husband until after Agrippina’s death, making it unlikely that the already married Poppaea would be pressing Nero for marriage. Some modern historians theorize that Nero’s execution of Agrippina was prompted by her plotting to set Rubellius Plautus on the throne. According to Suetonius, Nero tried to kill his mother through a planned shipwreck, which took the life of her friend, Acerronia Polla, but when Agrippina survived, he had her executed and framed it as a suicide. The incident is also recorded by Tacitus. The Remorse of the Emperor Nero after the Murder of his Mother , by John William Waterhouse, 1878. In 62, Nero’s adviser, Burrus, died. Additionally, Seneca was again faced with embezzlement charges. Seneca asked Nero for permission to retire from public affairs. Nero divorced and banished Octavia on grounds of infertility, leaving him free to marry the pregnant Poppaea. After public protests, Nero was forced to allow Octavia to return from exile, but she was executed shortly after her return. Nero also was reported to have kicked Poppaea to death in 65 before she could have his second child. However, modern historians, noting Suetonius, Tacitus and Cassius Dio’s possible bias against Nero and the likelihood that they did not have eyewitness accounts of private events, postulate that Poppaea may have died because of complications of miscarriage or childbirth. Accusations of treason being plotted against Nero and the Senate first appeared in 62. The Senate ruled that Antistius, a praetor, should be put to death for speaking ill of Nero at a party. Later, Nero ordered the exile of Fabricius Veiento who slandered the Senate in a book. Tacitus writes that the roots of the conspiracy led by Gaius Calpurnius Piso began in this year. To consolidate power, Nero executed a number of people in 62 and 63 including his rivals Pallas, Rubellius Plautus and Faustus Sulla. According to Suetonius, Nero “showed neither discrimination nor moderation in putting to death whomsoever he pleased” during this period. Nero’s consolidation of power also included a slow usurping of authority from the Senate. In 54, Nero promised to give the Senate powers equivalent to those under Republican rule. By 65, senators complained that they had no power left and this led to the Pisonian conspiracy. When Nero’s wife Poppaea Sabina died in 65, Nero went into deep mourning. Her body was not cremated, it was stuffed with spices, embalmed and put in the Mausoleum of Augustus. She was given a state funeral. Nero praised her during the funeral eulogy and gave her divine honors. It is said that Nero burned ten years’ worth of Arabia’s incense production at her funeral. In the beginning of 66, he married Statilia Messalina. She was already married when she became Nero’s mistress in 65 AD, with Statilia’s husband being driven to suicide in 66, so Nero could marry Statilia. She was one of the few of Nero’s courtiers who survived the fall of his reign. In 67, Nero ordered a young freedman, Sporus, to be castrated and then married him. According to Dion Cassius, Sporus bore an uncanny resemblance to Sabina, and Nero even called him by his dead wife’s name. Over the course of his reign, Nero often made rulings that pleased the lower class. Nero was criticized as being obsessed with personal popularity. Nero began his reign in 54 by promising the Senate more autonomy. In this first year, he forbade others to refer to him with regard to enactments, for which he was praised by the Senate. Nero was known for spending his time visiting brothels and taverns during this period. In 55, Nero began taking on a more active role as an administrator. He was consul four times between 55 and 60. During this period, some ancient historians speak fairly well of Nero and contrast it with his later rule. Under Nero, restrictions were put on the amount of bail and fines. There was a discussion in the Senate on the misconduct of the freedmen class, and a strong demand was made that patrons should have the right of revoking freedom. Nero supported the freedmen and ruled that patrons had no such right. The Senate tried to pass a law in which the crimes of one slave applied to all slaves within a household. Despite riots from the people, Nero supported the Senate on their measure, and deployed troops to organise the execution of 400 slaves affected by the law. However, he vetoed strong measures against the freedmen affected by the case. Nero banned any magistrate or procurator from exhibiting public entertainment for fear that the venue was being used as a method to sway the populace. Additionally, there were many impeachments and removals of government officials along with arrests for extortion and corruption. The Senate convinced him this action would bankrupt the public treasury. In imitation of the Greeks, Nero built a number of gymnasiums and theatres. Enormous gladiatorial shows were also held. Nero also established the quinquennial Neronia. The festival included games, poetry, and theater. Historians indicate that there was a belief that theatre led to immorality. Others considered that to have performers dressed in Greek clothing was old fashioned. Some questioned the large public expenditure on entertainment. In 64, Rome burned. Nero enacted a public relief effort as well as significant reconstruction. A number of other major construction projects occurred in Nero’s late reign. Nero had the marshes of Ostia filled with rubble from the fire. He erected the large Domus Aurea. In 67, Nero attempted to have a canal dug at the Isthmus of Corinth. Ancient historians state that these projects and others exacerbated the drain on the State’s budget. The cost to rebuild Rome was immense, requiring funds the state treasury did not have. Nero devalued the Roman currency for the first time in the Empire’s history. He reduced the weight of the denarius from 84 per Roman pound to 96 (3.85 grams to 3.35 grams). He also reduced the silver purity from 99.5% to 93.5%-the silver weight dropping from 3.83 grams to 3.4 grams. Furthermore, Nero reduced the weight of the aureus from 40 per Roman pound to 45 (8 grams to 7.2 grams). Between 62 and 67, according to Plinius the Elder and Seneca, Nero promoted an expedition to discover the sources of the Nile River. It was the first exploration of equatorial Africa from Europe in history. However, Nero’s expedition up the Nile failed because water plants had clogged the river, denying Nero’s vessels access to the Sudd of Nubia. The economic policy of Nero is a point of debate among scholars. Modern historians, though, note that the period was riddled with deflation and that it is likely that Nero’s spending came in the form of public works projects and charity intended to ease economic troubles. Great Fire of Rome (64 AD). The Great Fire of Rome erupted on the night of 18 July to 19 July 64. Artwork depicting the Great Fire of Rome. The extent of the fire is uncertain. According to Tacitus, who was nine at the time of the fire, it spread quickly and burned for over five days. It destroyed three of fourteen Roman districts and severely damaged seven. The only other historian who lived through the period and mentioned the fire is Pliny the Elder, who wrote about it in passing. Other historians who lived through the period (including Josephus, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch, and Epictetus) make no mention of it in what remains of their work. It is uncertain who or what actually caused the fire-whether accident or arson. Suetonius and Cassius Dio favor Nero as the arsonist, so he could build a palatial complex. Tacitus mentions that Christians confessed to the crime, but it is not known whether these confessions were induced by torture. However, accidental fires were common in ancient Rome. In fact, Rome suffered another large fire in 69 and in 80. It was said by Suetonius and Cassius Dio that Nero sang the “Sack of Ilium” in stage costume while the city burned. Popular legend claims that Nero played the fiddle at the time of the fire, an anachronism based merely on the concept of the lyre, a stringed instrument associated with Nero and his performances. There were no fiddles in 1st-century Rome. Tacitus’s account, however, has Nero in Antium at the time of the fire. Tacitus also said that Nero playing his lyre and singing while the city burned was only rumor. Nero’s contributions to the relief extended to personally taking part in the search for and rescue of victims of the blaze, spending days searching the debris without even his bodyguards. After the fire, Nero opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, and arranged for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors. In the wake of the fire, he made a new urban development plan. Houses after the fire were spaced out, built in brick, and faced by porticos on wide roads. Nero also built a new palace complex known as the Domus Aurea in an area cleared by the fire. This included lush artificial landscapes and a 30-meter-tall statue of himself, the Colossus of Nero. The size of this complex is debated (from 100 to 300 acres). To find the necessary funds for the reconstruction, tributes were imposed on the provinces of the empire. Tacitus notes that the population searched for a scapegoat and rumors held Nero responsible. To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned. Nero enjoyed driving a one-horse chariot, singing to the lyre, and poetry. He even composed songs that were performed by other entertainers throughout the empire. At first, Nero only performed for a private audience. Nero began singing in public in Neapolis in order to improve his popularity. He also sang at the second quinquennial Neronia in 65. It was said that Nero craved the attention, but historians also write that Nero was encouraged to sing and perform in public by the Senate, his inner circle and the people. Ancient historians strongly criticize his choice to perform, calling it shameful. Nero was convinced to participate in the Olympic Games of 67 in order to improve relations with Greece and display Roman dominance. As a competitor, Nero raced a ten-horse chariot and nearly died after being thrown from it. He also performed as an actor and a singer. The victories are attributed to Nero bribing the judges and his status as emperor. War and peace with Parthia. Shortly after Nero’s accession to the throne in 54, the Roman vassal kingdom of Armenia overthrew their Iberian prince Rhadamistus and he was replaced with the Parthian prince Tiridates. This was seen as a Parthian invasion of Roman territory. There was concern in Rome over how the young Emperor would handle the situation. Nero reacted by immediately sending the military to the region under the command of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. The Parthians temporarily relinquished control of Armenia to Rome. The peace did not last and full-scale war broke out in 58. The Parthian king Vologases I refused to remove his brother Tiridates from Armenia. The Parthians began a full-scale invasion of the Armenian kingdom. Commander Corbulo responded and repelled most of the Parthian army that same year. Tiridates retreated and Rome again controlled most of Armenia. Nero was acclaimed in public for this initial victory. Tigranes, a Cappadocian noble raised in Rome, was installed by Nero as the new ruler of Armenia. Corbulo was appointed governor of Syria as a reward. In 62, Tigranes invaded the Parthian province of Adiabene. Again, Rome and Parthia were at war and this continued until 63. Parthia began building up for a strike against the Roman province of Syria. Corbulo tried to convince Nero to continue the war, but Nero opted for a peace deal instead. There was anxiety in Rome about eastern grain supplies and a budget deficit. The result was a deal where Tiridates again became the Armenian king, but was crowned in Rome by Emperor Nero. In the future, the king of Armenia was to be a Parthian prince, but his appointment required approval from the Romans. Tiridates was forced to come to Rome and partake in ceremonies meant to display Roman dominance. This peace deal of 63 was a considerable victory for Nero politically. Nero became very popular in the eastern provinces of Rome and with the Parthians as well. The peace between Parthia and Rome lasted 50 years until Emperor Trajan of Rome invaded Armenia in 114. Other major power struggles and rebellions. A plaster bust of Nero, Pushkin Museum, Moscow. The war with Parthia was not Nero’s only major war but he was both criticized and praised for an aversion to battle. Like many emperors, Nero faced a number of rebellions and power struggles within the empire. British Revolt of 60-61 (Boudica’s Uprising). In 60, a major rebellion broke out in the province of Britannia. While the governor Gaius Suetonius Paullinus and his troops were busy capturing the island of Mona (Anglesey) from the druids, the tribes of the southeast staged a revolt led by queen Boudica of the Iceni. Boudica and her troops destroyed three cities before the army of Paullinus could return, receive reinforcements, and quell the rebellion in 61. Fearing Paullinus himself would provoke further rebellion, Nero replaced him with the more passive Publius Petronius Turpilianus. The Pisonian Conspiracy of 65. In 65, Gaius Calpurnius Piso, a Roman statesman, organized a conspiracy against Nero with the help of Subrius Flavus and Sulpicius Asper, a tribune and a centurion of the Praetorian Guard. According to Tacitus, many conspirators wished to “rescue the state” from the emperor and restore the Republic. The freedman Milichus discovered the conspiracy and reported it to Nero’s secretary, Epaphroditos. As a result, the conspiracy failed and its members were executed including Lucan, the poet. Nero’s previous advisor, Seneca was ordered to commit suicide after admitting he discussed the plot with the conspirators. The First Jewish War of 66-70. In 66, there was a Jewish revolt in Judea stemming from Greek and Jewish religious tension. In 67, Nero dispatched Vespasian to restore order. This revolt was eventually put down in 70, after Nero’s death. This revolt is famous for Romans breaching the walls of Jerusalem and destroying the Second Temple of Jerusalem. The revolt of Vindex and Galba and the death of Nero. Lucius Verginius Rufus, the governor of Germania Superior, was ordered to put down Vindex’s rebellion. In an attempt to gain support from outside his own province, Vindex called upon Servius Sulpicius Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, to join the rebellion and further, to declare himself emperor in opposition to Nero. At the Battle of Vesontio in May 68, Verginius’ forces easily defeated those of Vindex and the latter committed suicide. However, after putting down this one rebel, Verginius’ legions attempted to proclaim their own commander as Emperor. Verginius refused to act against Nero, but the discontent of the legions of Germany and the continued opposition of Galba in Spain did not bode well for Nero. While Nero had retained some control of the situation, support for Galba increased despite his being officially declared a public enemy. The prefect of the Praetorian Guard, Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus, also abandoned his allegiance to the Emperor and came out in support for Galba. In response, Nero fled Rome with the intention of going to the port of Ostia and, from there, to take a fleet to one of the still-loyal eastern provinces. However, he abandoned the idea when some army officers openly refused to obey his commands, responding with a line from Vergil’s Aeneid : Is it so dreadful a thing then to die? ” Nero then toyed with the idea of fleeing to Parthia, throwing himself upon the mercy of Galba, or to appeal to the people and beg them to pardon him for his past offences “and if he could not soften their hearts, to entreat them at least to allow him the prefecture of Egypt. Suetonius reports that the text of this speech was later found in Nero’s writing desk, but that he dared not give it from fear of being torn to pieces before he could reach the Forum. After sleeping, he awoke at about midnight to find the palace guard had left. Dispatching messages to his friends’ palace chambers for them to come, he received no answers. Upon going to their chambers personally, he found them all abandoned. When he called for a gladiator or anyone else adept with a sword to kill him, no one appeared. He cried, Have I neither friend nor foe? And ran out as if to throw himself into the Tiber. Returning, Nero sought for some place where he could hide and collect his thoughts. An imperial freedman, Phaon, offered his villa, located 4 miles outside the city. Travelling in disguise, Nero and four loyal freedman, Epaphroditos, Phaon, Neophytus, and Sporus, reached the villa, where Nero ordered them to dig a grave for him. At this time, a courier arrived with a report that the Senate had declared Nero a public enemy and that it was their intention to execute him by beating him to death. At this news, Nero prepared himself for suicide. Losing his nerve, he first begged for one of his companions to set an example by first killing himself. At last, the sound of approaching horsemen drove Nero to face the end. However, he still could not bring himself to take his own life but instead he forced his private secretary, Epaphroditos, to perform the task. Nero’s famous dying words were “Qualis artifex pereo, ” which translates into English as What an artist dies in me! Events and revolts leading up to Nero’s death are portrayed in the 1951 film, Quo Vadis, with Peter Ustinov playing Nero. When one of the horsemen entered, upon his seeing Nero all but dead he attempted to stop the bleeding in vain. Nero died on 9 June 68, the anniversary of the death of Octavia, and was buried in the Mausoleum of the Domitii Ahenobarbi, in what is now the Villa Borghese (Pincian Hill) area of Rome. With his death, the Julio-Claudian dynasty ended. Chaos ensued in the year of the Four Emperors. According to Suetonius and Cassius Dio, the people of Rome celebrated the death of Nero. Tacitus, though, describes a more complicated political environment. Tacitus mentions that Nero’s death was welcomed by Senators, nobility and the upper class. The lower-class, slaves, frequenters of the arena and the theater, and “those who were supported by the famous excesses of Nero”, on the other hand, were upset with the news. Members of the military were said to have mixed feelings, as they had allegiance to Nero, but were bribed to overthrow him. Eastern sources, namely Philostratus II and Apollonius of Tyana, mention that Nero’s death was mourned as he “restored the liberties of Hellas with a wisdom and moderation quite alien to his character” and that he held our liberties in his hand and respected them. Modern scholarship generally holds that, while the Senate and more well-off individuals welcomed Nero’s death, the general populace was loyal to the end and beyond, for Otho and Vitellius both thought it worthwhile to appeal to their nostalgia. Nero’s name was erased from some monuments, in what Edward Champlin regards as an “outburst of private zeal”. Many portraits of Nero were reworked to represent other figures; according to Eric R. Varner, over fifty such images survive. This reworking of images is often explained as part of the way in which the memory of disgraced emperors was condemned posthumously (see damnatio memoriae). Champlin, however, doubts that the practice is necessarily negative and notes that some continued to create images of Nero long after his death. The civil war during the year of the Four Emperors was described by ancient historians as a troubling period. According to Tacitus, this instability was rooted in the fact that emperors could no longer rely on the perceived legitimacy of the imperial bloodline, as Nero and those before him could. Galba began his short reign with the execution of many allies of Nero and possible future enemies. One such notable enemy included Nymphidius Sabinus, who claimed to be the son of Emperor Caligula. Otho was said to be liked by many soldiers because he had been a friend of Nero’s and resembled him somewhat in temperament. It was said that the common Roman hailed Otho as Nero himself. Otho used “Nero” as a surname and reerected many statues to Nero. Vitellius began his reign with a large funeral for Nero complete with songs written by Nero. After Nero’s suicide in 68, there was a widespread belief, especially in the eastern provinces, that he was not dead and somehow would return. This belief came to be known as the Nero Redivivus Legend. The legend of Nero’s return lasted for hundreds of years after Nero’s death. Augustine of Hippo wrote of the legend as a popular belief in 422. At least three Nero imposters emerged leading rebellions. The first, who sang and played the cithara or lyre and whose face was similar to that of the dead emperor, appeared in 69 during the reign of Vitellius. After persuading some to recognize him, he was captured and executed. Sometime during the reign of Titus (79-81), another impostor appeared in Asia and sang to the accompaniment of the lyre and looked like Nero but he, too, was killed. Twenty years after Nero’s death, during the reign of Domitian, there was a third pretender. He was supported by the Parthians, who only reluctantly gave him up, and the matter almost came to war. In his book The Lives of the Twelve Caesars , Suetonius describes Nero as about the average height, his body marked with spots and malodorous, his hair light blond, his features regular rather than attractive, his eyes blue and somewhat weak, his neck over thick, his belly prominent, and his legs very slender. The history of Nero’s reign is problematic in that no historical sources survived that were contemporary with Nero. These first histories at one time did exist and were described as biased and fantastical, either overly critical or praising of Nero. The original sources were also said to contradict on a number of events. Nonetheless, these lost primary sources were the basis of surviving secondary and tertiary histories on Nero written by the next generations of historians. A few of the contemporary historians are known by name. Fabius Rusticus, Cluvius Rufus and Pliny the Elder all wrote condemning histories on Nero that are now lost. There were also pro-Nero histories, but it is unknown who wrote them or for what deeds Nero was praised. The bulk of what is known of Nero comes from Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, who were all of the senatorial class. Tacitus and Suetonius wrote their histories on Nero over fifty years after his death, while Cassius Dio wrote his history over 150 years after Nero’s death. These sources contradict on a number of events in Nero’s life including the death of Claudius, the death of Agrippina, and the Roman fire of 64, but they are consistent in their condemnation of Nero. At the end of 66, conflict broke out between Greeks and Jews in Jerusalem and Caesarea. According to the Talmud, Nero went to Jerusalem and shot arrows in all four directions. All the arrows landed in the city. He then asked a passing child to repeat the verse he had learned that day. The child responded, “I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel” Ez. Nero became terrified, believing that God wanted the Temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed, but would punish the one to carry it out. Nero said, “He desires to lay waste His House and to lay the blame on me, ” whereupon he fled and converted to Judaism to avoid such retribution. Vespasian was then dispatched to put down the rebellion. The Talmud adds that the sage Reb Meir Baal HaNess, a prominent supporter of the Bar Kokhba rebellion against Roman rule, was a descendant of Nero. Roman and Greek sources nowhere report Nero’s alleged trip to Jerusalem or his alleged conversion to Judaism. There is also no record of Nero having any offspring who survived infancy: his only recorded child, Claudia Augusta, died aged 4 months. Christian tradition and secular historical sources hold Nero as the first major state sponsor of Christian persecution, and sometimes as the killer of Apostles Peter and Paul. Some 2nd- and 3rd-century theologians, among others, recorded their belief that Nero would return from death or exile, usually as the Anti-Christ. He is also seen as one of the most savage persecutors of Christians. Non-Christian historian Tacitus describes Nero extensively torturing and executing Christians after the fire of 64. Suetonius also mentions Nero punishing Christians, though he does so as a praise and does not connect it with the fire. Christian writer Tertullian c. 155-230 was the first to call Nero the first persecutor of Christians. He wrote, Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine. 240-320 also said that Nero “first persecuted the servants of God”. As does Sulpicius Severus. However, Suetonius writes that, “since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [emperor Claudius] expelled them from Rome” (” Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit “). These expelled “Jews” may have been early Christians, although Suetonius is not explicit. Nor is the Bible explicit, calling Aquila of Pontus and his wife, Priscilla, both expelled from Italy at the time, Jews. Killer of Peter and Paul. The first text to suggest that Nero killed an apostle is the apocryphal Ascension of Isaiah , a Christian writing from the 2nd century. It says, the slayer of his mother, who himself this king, will persecute the plant which the Twelve Apostles of the Beloved have planted. Of the Twelve one will be delivered into his hands. Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea c. 275-339 was the first to write that Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero. He states that Nero’s persecution led to Peter and Paul’s deaths, but that Nero did not give any specific orders. Several other accounts have Paul surviving his two years in Rome and traveling to Hispania. Peter is first said to have been crucified upside-down in Rome during Nero’s reign (but not by Nero) in the apocryphal Acts of Peter c. The account ends with Paul still alive and Nero abiding by God’s command not to persecute any more Christians. By the 4th century, a number of writers were stating that Nero killed Peter and Paul. The Ascension of Isaiah is the first text to suggest that Nero was the Antichrist. It claims that a lawless king, the slayer of his mother… Will come and there will come with him all the powers of this world, and they will hearken unto him in all that he desires. The Sibylline Oracles, Book 5 and 8, written in the 2nd century, speak of Nero returning and bringing destruction. Within Christian communities, these writings, along with others, fueled the belief that Nero would return as the Antichrist. In 310, Lactantius wrote that Nero suddenly disappeared, and even the burial-place of that noxious wild beast was nowhere to be seen. This has led some persons of extravagant imagination to suppose that, having been conveyed to a distant region, he is still reserved alive; and to him they apply the Sibylline verses. In 422, Augustine of Hippo wrote about 2 Thessalonians 2:1-11, where he believed Paul mentioned the coming of the Antichrist. Though he rejects the theory, Augustine mentions that many Christians believed that Nero was the Antichrist or would return as the Antichrist. He wrote, so that in saying, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, ” he alluded to Nero, whose deeds already seemed to be as the deeds of Antichrist. Some modern biblical scholars such as Delbert Hillers (Johns Hopkins University) of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the editors of the Oxford & Harper Collins Study Bibles, contend that the number 666 in the Book of Revelation is a code for Nero, a view that is also supported in Roman Catholic Biblical commentaries. The concept of Nero as the Antichrist is often a central belief of Preterist eschatology. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very 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. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. 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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.
  • Coin Type: Ancient Roman
  • Ruler: Nero
  • Denomination: As

Oct 4 2018

TRAJAN Genuine 103AD Rome Ancient Silver Roman Coin DACIA Victory CAPTIVE i64868

TRAJAN Genuine 103AD Rome Ancient Silver Roman Coin DACIA Victory CAPTIVE i64868

TRAJAN Genuine 103AD Rome Ancient Silver Roman Coin DACIA Victory CAPTIVE i64868

TRAJAN Genuine 103AD Rome Ancient Silver Roman Coin DACIA Victory CAPTIVE i64868

Item: i64868 Authentic Ancient Coin of. TRAJAN’s VICTORY OVER DACIA Silver Denarius 17mm (3.30 grams) Rome mint, struck circa 103-111 A. Reference: RIC 98; RSC 120a; BMC 390 IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate head right, drapery on far shoulder. COS V P P SPQR OPTIMO PRINC, Dacian seated left in mourning, on pile of captured arms, DAC CAP in exergue. Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus , commonly known as Trajan (18 September, 53 – 8 August, 117), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from AD 98 until his death in AD 117. Born Marcus Ulpius Traianus into a non-patrician family in the Hispania Baetica province (modern day Spain), Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian, serving as a general in the Roman army along the German frontier, and successfully crushing the revolt of Antonius Saturninus in 89. On September 18, 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard compelled him to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. Nerva died on January 27, 98, and was succeeded by his adopted son without incident. As a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left multiple enduring landmarks such as Trajan’s Forum, Trajan’s Market and Trajan’s Column. It was as a military commander however that Trajan celebrated his greatest triumphs. In 101, he launched a punitive expedition into the kingdom of Dacia against king Decebalus, defeating the Dacian army near Tapae in 102, and finally conquering Dacia completely in 106. In 107, Trajan pushed further east and annexed the Nabataean kingdom, establishing the province of Arabia Petraea. After a period of relative peace within the Empire, he launched his final campaign in 113 against Parthia, advancing as far as the city of Susa in 116, and expanding the Roman Empire to its greatest extent. During this campaign Trajan was struck by illness, and late in 117, while sailing back to Rome, he died of a stroke on August 9, in the city of Selinus. He was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan’s Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son (not having a biological heir) Publius Aelius Hadrianus-commonly known as Hadrian. As an emperor, Trajan’s reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived the scrutiny of nineteen centuries of history. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the prayer felicior Augusto, melior Traiano , meaning “may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan”. Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan, while the 18th century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of which Trajan was the second. Early life and rise to power. Trajan was born on September 18, 53 in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica (in what is now Andalusia in modern Spain), a province that was thoroughly Romanized and called southern Hispania, in the city of Italica, where the Italian families were paramount. Of Italian stock himself, Trajan is frequently but misleadingly designated the first provincial emperor. Trajan was the son of Marcia and Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a prominent senator and general from the famous gens Ulpia. Trajan himself was just one of many well-known Ulpii in a line that continued long after his own death. His elder sister was Ulpia Marciana and his niece was Salonina Matidia. The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica, where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family’s ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. As a young man, he rose through the ranks of the Roman army, serving in some of the most contentious parts of the Empire’s frontier. In 76-77, Trajan’s father was Governor of Syria (Legatus pro praetore Syriae), where Trajan himself remained as Tribunus legionis. Trajan was nominated as Consul and brought Apollodorus of Damascus with him to Rome around 91. Along the Rhine River, he took part in the Emperor Domitian’s wars while under Domitian’s successor, Nerva, who was unpopular with the army and needed to do something to gain their support. He accomplished this by naming Trajan as his adoptive son and successor in the summer of 97. According to the Augustan History , it was the future Emperor Hadrian who brought word to Trajan of his adoption. When Nerva died on January 27, 98, the highly respected Trajan succeeded without incident. The new Roman emperor was greeted by the people of Rome with great enthusiasm, which he justified by governing well and without the bloodiness that had marked Domitian’s reign. His popularity was such that the Roman Senate eventually bestowed upon Trajan the honorific of optimus , meaning “the best”. Dio Cassius, sometimes known as Dio, reveals that Trajan drank heartily and was involved with boys. I know, of course, that he was devoted to boys and to wine, but if he had ever committed or endured any base or wicked deed as the result of this, he would have incurred censure; as it was, however, he drank all the wine he wanted, yet remained sober, and in his relation with boys he harmed no one. ” This sensibility was one that influenced his governing on at least one occasion, leading him to favour the king of Edessa out of appreciation for his handsome son: “On this occasion, however, Abgarus, induced partly by the persuasions of his son Arbandes, who was handsome and in the pride of youth and therefore in favour with Trajan, and partly by his fear of the latter’s presence, he met him on the road, made his apologies and obtained pardon, for he had a powerful intercessor in the boy. It was as a military commander that Trajan is best known to history, particularly for his conquests in the Near East, but initially for the two wars against Dacia – the reduction to client kingdom (101-102), followed by actual incorporation to the Empire of the trans-Danube border kingdom of Dacia-an area that had troubled Roman thought for over a decade with the unfavourable (and to some, shameful) peace negotiated by Domitian’s ministers In the first war c. March-May 101, he launched a vicious attack into the kingdom of Dacia with four legions, crossing to the northern bank of the Danube River on a stone bridge he had built, and defeating the Dacian army near or in a mountain pass called Tapae (see Second Battle of Tapae). Trajan’s troops were mauled in the encounter, however and he put off further campaigning for the year to heal troops, reinforce, and regroup. During the following winter, King Decebalus launched a counter-attack across the Danube further downstream, but this was repulsed. Trajan’s army advanced further into Dacian territory and forced King Decebalus to submit to him a year later, after Trajan took the Dacian capital/fortress of Sarmizegethusa. The Emperor Domitian had campaigned against Dacia from 86 to 87 without securing a decisive outcome, and Decebalus had brazenly flouted the terms of the peace (89 AD) which had been agreed on conclusion of this campaign. The victory was celebrated by the Tropaeum Traiani. Decebalus though, after being left to his own devices, in 105 undertook an invasion against Roman territory by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against her. Trajan took to the field again and after building with the design of Apollodorus of Damascus his massive bridge over the Danube, he conquered Dacia completely in 106. Sarmizegethusa was destroyed, Decebalus committed suicide, and his severed head was exhibited in Rome on the steps leading up to the Capitol. Trajan built a new city, “Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa”, on another site than the previous Dacian Capital, although bearing the same full name, Sarmizegetusa. He resettled Dacia with Romans and annexed it as a province of the Roman Empire. Trajan’s Dacian campaigns benefited the Empire’s finances through the acquisition of Dacia’s gold mines. The victory is celebrated by Trajan’s Column. Expansion in the East. At about the same time Rabbel II Soter, one of Rome’s client kings, died. This event might have prompted the annexation of the Nabataean kingdom, although the manner and the formal reasons for the annexation are unclear. Some epigraphic evidence suggests a military operation, with forces from Syria and Egypt. What is clear, however, is that by 107, Roman legions were stationed in the area around Petra and Bostra, as is shown by a papyrus found in Egypt. The empire gained what became the province of Arabia Petraea (modern southern Jordan and north west Saudi Arabia). The next seven years, Trajan ruled as a civilian emperor, to the same acclaim as before. It was during this time that he corresponded with Pliny the Younger on the subject of how to deal with the Christians of Pontus, telling Pliny to leave them alone unless they were openly practicing the religion. He built several new buildings, monuments and roads in Italia and his native Hispania. His magnificent complex in Rome raised to commemorate his victories in Dacia (and largely financed from that campaign’s loot)-consisting of a forum, Trajan’s Column, and Trajan’s Market still stands in Rome today. He was also a prolific builder of triumphal arches, many of which survive, and rebuilder of roads (Via Traiana and Via Traiana Nova). One notable act of Trajan was the hosting of a three-month gladiatorial festival in the great Colosseum in Rome (the precise date of this festival is unknown). Combining chariot racing, beast fights and close-quarters gladiatorial bloodshed, this gory spectacle reputedly left 11,000 dead (mostly slaves and criminals, not to mention the thousands of ferocious beasts killed alongside them) and attracted a total of five million spectators over the course of the festival. Another important act was his formalisation of the Alimenta , a welfare program that helped orphans and poor children throughout Italy. It provided general funds, as well as food and subsidized education. Although the system is well documented in literary sources and contemporary epigraphy, its precise aims are controversial and have generated considerable dispute between modern scholars: usually, it’s assumed that the programme intended to bolster citzen numbers in Italy. However, the fact that it was subsidized by means of interest payments on loans made by landowners restricted it to a small percentage of potential welfare recipients (Paul Veyne has assumed that, in the city of Veleia, only one child out of ten was an actual beneficiary) – therefore, the idea, advanced by Moses I. Finley, that the whole scheme was at most a form of random charity, a mere imperial benevolence. Maximum extent of the Empire. The extent of the Roman Empire under Trajan (117). In 113, he embarked on his last campaign, provoked by Parthia’s decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero some fifty years earlier. Some modern historians also attribute Trajan’s decision to wage war on Parthia to economic motives: to control, after the annexation of Arabia, Mesopotamia and the coast of the Persian Gulf, and with it the sole remaining receiving-end of the Indian trade outside Roman control – an attribution of motive other historians find absurd, as seeing a commercial motive in a campaign triggered by the lure of territorial annexation and prestige – by the way, the only motive for Trajan’s actions ascribed by Dio Cassius in his description of the events. Other modern historians, however, think that Trajan’s original aim was quite modest: to assure a more defensible Eastern frontier for the Roman Empire, crossing across Northern Mesopotamia along the course of the river Khabur in order to offer cover to a Roman Armenia. Trajan marched first on Armenia, deposed the Parthian-appointed king (who was afterwards murdered while kept in the custody of Roman troops in an unclear incident) and annexed it to the Roman Empire as a province, receiving in passing the acknowledgement of Roman hegemony by various tribes in the Caucasus and on the Eastern coast of the Black Sea – a process that kept him busy until the end of 114. The cronology of subsequent events is uncertain, but it’s generally believed that early in 115 Trajan turned south into the core Parthian hegemony, taking the Northern Mesopotamian cities of Nisibis and Batnae and organizing a province of Mesopotamia in the beginning of 116, when coins were issued announcing that Armenia and Mesopotamia had been put under the authority of the Roman people. In early 116, however, Trajan began to toy with the conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia, an overambitious goal that eventually backfired on the results of his entire campaign: One Roman division crossed the Tigris into Adiabene, sweeping South and capturing Adenystrae; a second followed the river South, capturing Babylon; while Trajan himself sailed down the Euphrates, then dragged his fleet overland into the Tigris, capturing Seleucia and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. He continued southward to the Persian Gulf, receiving the submission of Athambelus, the ruler of Charax, whence he declared Babylon a new province of the Empire, sent the Senate a laurelled letter declaring the war to be at a close and lamented that he was too old to follow in the steps of Alexander the Great and reach the distant India itself. A province of Assyria was also proclaimed, apparently covering the territory of Adiabene, as well as some measures seem to have been considered about the fiscal administration of the Indian trade. However, as Trajan left the Persian Gulf for Babylon – where he intended to offer sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he had died in 323 B. A sudden outburst of Parthian resistance, led by a nephew of the Parthian king, Sanatrukes, imperilled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia, something Trajan sought to deal with by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially: later in 116, after defeating a Parthian army in a battle where Sanatrukes was killed and re-taking Seleucia, he formally deposed the Parthian king Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. That done, he retreated North in order to retain what he could of the new provinces of Armenia and Mesopotamia. Bust of Trajan, Glyptothek, Munich. It was at this point that Trajan’s health started to fail him. The fortress city of Hatra, on the Tigris in his rear, continued to hold out against repeated Roman assaults. He was personally present at the siege and it is possible that he suffered a heat stroke while in the blazing heat. Shortly afterwards, the Jews inside the Eastern Roman Empire rose up in rebellion once more, as did the people of Mesopotamia. Trajan was forced to withdraw his army in order to put down the revolts. Trajan saw it as simply a temporary setback, but he was destined never to command an army in the field again, turning his Eastern armies over to the high ranking legate and governor of Judaea, Lusius Quietus, who in early 116 had been in charge of the Roman division who had recovered Nisibis and Edessa from the rebels; Quietus was promised for this a consulate in the following year – when he was actually put to death by Hadrian , who had no use for a man so committed to Trajan’s aggressive policies. Early in 117, Trajan grew ill and set out to sail back to Italy. His health declined throughout the spring and summer of 117, something publicy acknowledged by the fact that a bronze bust displayed at the time in the public baths of Ancyra showed him clearly aged and edemaciated. By the time he had reached Selinus in Cilicia which was afterwards called Trajanopolis, he suddenly died from edema on August 9. Some say that he had adopted Hadrian as his successor, but others that it was his wife Pompeia Plotina who hired someone to impersonate him after he had died. Hadrian, upon becoming ruler, recognized the abandonment of Mesopotamia and restored Armenia – as well as Osroene – to the Parthian hegemony under Roman suzerainty – a telling sign the Roman Empire lacked the means for pursuing Trajan’s overambitious goals. However, all the other territories conquered by Trajan were retained. Trajan’s ashes were laid to rest underneath Trajan’s column, the monument commemorating his success. The Alcántara Bridge, widely hailed as a masterpiece of Roman engineering. Trajan was a prolific builder in Rome and the provinces, and many of his buildings were erected by the gifted architect Apollodorus of Damascus. Notable structures include Trajan’s Column, Trajan’s Forum, Trajan’s Bridge, Alcántara Bridge, and possibly the Alconétar Bridge. In order to build his forum and the adjacent brick market that also held his name Trajan had vast areas of the surrounding hillsides leveled. Unlike many lauded rulers in history, Trajan’s reputation has survived undiminished for nearly nineteen centuries. Ancient sources on Trajan’s personality and accomplishments are unanimously positive. Pliny the younger, for example, celebrates Trajan in his panegyric as a wise and just emperor and a moral man. Dio Cassius admits Trajan had vices like heavy drinking and sexual involvement with boys, but added that he always remained dignified and fair. The Christianisation of Rome resulted in further embellishment of his legend: it was commonly said in medieval times that Pope Gregory I, through divine intercession, resurrected Trajan from the dead and baptized him into the Christian faith. An account of this features in the Golden Legend. Theologians, such as Thomas Aquinas, discussed Trajan as an example of a virtuous pagan. In the Divine Comedy, Dante, following this legend, sees the spirit of Trajan in the Heaven of Jupiter with other historical and mythological persons noted for their justice. He also features in Piers Plowman. An episode, referred to as the justice of Trajan was reflected in several art works. In the 18th Century King Charles III of Spain comminsioned Anton Raphael Mengs to paint The Triumph of Trajan on the ceiling of the banqueting-hall of the Royal Palace of Madrid – considered among the best work of this artist. “Traian” is used as a male first name in present-day Romania – among others, that of the country’s incumbent president, Traian Bsescu. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. 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How and where do I learn more about collecting ancient coins? Visit the “Guide on How to Use My Store”. For on an overview about using my store, with additional information and links to all other parts of my store which may include educational information on topics you are looking for. The item “TRAJAN Genuine 103AD Rome Ancient Silver Roman Coin DACIA Victory CAPTIVE i64868″ is in sale since Friday, October 20, 2017. 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: Trajan
  • Composition: Silver
  • Denomination: Denarius

Oct 3 2018

VESPASIAN Ancient 72AD GOLD AUREUS Roman Coin Victory of JUDAEA CAPTA NGC i71698

VESPASIAN Ancient 72AD GOLD AUREUS Roman Coin Victory of JUDAEA CAPTA NGC i71698

VESPASIAN Ancient 72AD GOLD AUREUS Roman Coin Victory of JUDAEA CAPTA NGC i71698

VESPASIAN Ancient 72AD GOLD AUREUS Roman Coin Victory of JUDAEA CAPTA NGC i71698

VESPASIAN Ancient 72AD GOLD AUREUS Roman Coin Victory of JUDAEA CAPTA NGC i71698

Item: i71698 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Gold Aureus 17mm (7.20 grams) Rome mint, struck circa 72-73 A. Reference: RIC 361; Calico 699b Certification: NGC Ancients. Ch VF Strike: 5/5 Surface: 3/5 3924523-007. IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, Laureate head of Vespasian right. Victory standing facing right on globe, holding wreath and palm; VIC-AVG across central field. Numismatic Note: Could be considered a Victory over Judaea (Judaea Capta) type in the First Jewish War, 66-70 A. , as this coin celebrates the victory of Augustus with the inscription VIC-AVG and it would be a likely reference to that victory. The first Jewish-Roman War (66-70), sometimes called The Great Revolt (Hebrew: , ha-Mered Ha-Gadol), was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews of the Iudaea Province (Judea Province), against the Roman Empire (the second was the Kitos War in 115-117 CE; the third was Bar Kokhba’s revolt, 132-135)CE. It began in the year 66 initially because of Greek and Jewish religious tensions but grew with anti-taxation protests and attacks upon Roman citizens. It ended when legions under Titus besieged and destroyed the centre of rebel resistance in Jerusalem, and defeated the remaining Jewish strongholds. Sole Reign with Titus. As Caesars 71-79 A. Sole Reign (with Titus as Imperator and Domitian as Caesar). Titus Flavius Vespasianus , known in English as Vespasian (November 17 9AD – June 23 79AD), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 69 AD until his death in 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the short-lived Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 AD and 96 AD He was succeeded by his sons Titus (79-81) and Domitian (81-96). Vespasian descended from a family of equestrians which rose into the senatorial rank under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Although he attained the standard succession of public offices, holding the consulship in 51, Vespasian became more reputed as a successful military commander, partaking in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43, and subjugating the Judaea province during the Jewish rebellion of 66. While Vespasian was preparing to besiege the city of Jerusalem during the latter campaign, emperor Nero committed suicide, plunging the Roman Empire into a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho perished in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in mid 69. In response, the armies in Egypt and Judaea themselves declared Vespasian emperor on July 1. On December 20, Vitellius was defeated, and the following day, Vespasian was declared emperor by the Roman Senate. Little factual information survives about Vespasian’s government during the ten years he was emperor. His reign is best known for financial reforms following the demise of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, the successful campaign against Judaea, and several ambitious construction projects such as the Colosseum. Upon his death on June 23, 79, he was succeeded by his eldest son Titus. Family and early career. Vespasian was born in Falacrina, in the Sabine country near Reate. His mother, Vespasia Polla, was the sister of a Senator. After prompting from his mother, Vespasian followed his older brother, also called Titus Flavius Sabinus, into public life. He served in the army as a military tribune in Thrace in 36. The following year he was elected quaestor and served in Crete and Cyrene. He rose through the ranks of Roman public office, being elected aedile on his second attempt in 39 and praetor on his first attempt in 40, taking the opportunity to ingratiate himself with the Emperor Caligula. In the meantime, he married Domitilla the Elder, the daughter of an equestrian from Ferentium. They had two sons, Titus Flavius Vespasianus b. 41 and Titus Flavius Domitianus b. 51, and a daughter, Domitilla b. Domitilla died before Vespasian became emperor. Thereafter his mistress, Caenis, was his wife in all but name until she died in 74. Upon the accession of Claudius as emperor in 41, Vespasian was appointed legate of Legio II Augusta , stationed in Germania, thanks to the influence of the Imperial freedman Narcissus. In 43, Vespasian and the II Augusta participated in the Roman invasion of Britain, and he distinguished himself under the overall command of Aulus Plautius. After participating in crucial early battles on the rivers Medway and Thames, he was sent to reduce the south west, penetrating through the modern counties of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall with the probable objectives of securing the south coast ports and harbours along with the tin mines of Cornwall and the silver and lead mines of Somerset. Vespasian marched from Noviomagus Reginorum (Chichester) to subdue the hostile Durotriges and Dumnonii tribes. Captured twenty oppida (towns, or more probably hill forts, including Hod Hill and Maiden Castle in Dorset). He also invaded Vectis (the Isle of Wight), finally setting up a fortress and legionary headquarters at Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter). These successes earned him triumphal regalia (ornamenta triumphalia) on his return to Rome. Vespasian was elected consul for the last two months of 51, after which he withdrew from public life. He came out of retirement in 63 when he was sent as governor to Africa Province. According to Tacitus ii. 97, his rule was “infamous and odious” but according to Suetonius Vesp. 4, he was “upright and, highly honourable”. On one occasion he was pelted with turnips. Vespasian used his time in North Africa wisely. Corruption was so rife, that it was almost expected that a governor would come back from these appointments with his pockets full. During his time in North Africa, he found himself in financial difficulties and was forced to mortgage his estates to his brother. To revive his fortunes he turned to the mule trade and gained the nickname mulio (mule-driver). Returning from Africa, Vespasian toured Greece in Nero’s retinue, but lost Imperial favour after paying insufficient attention (some sources suggest he fell asleep) during one of the Emperor’s recitals on the lyre, and found himself in the political wilderness. However, in 66, Vespasian was appointed to conduct the war in Judea. A revolt there had killed the previous governor and routed Licinius Mucianus, the governor of Syria, when he tried to restore order. Two legions, with eight cavalry squadrons and 10 auxiliary cohorts, were therefore dispatched under the command of Vespasian to add to the one already there. His elder son, Titus, served on his staff. During this time he became the patron of Flavius Josephus, a Jewish resistance leader turned Roman agent who would go on to write his people’s history in Greek. In the end, thousands of Jews were killed and many towns destroyed by the Romans, who successfully re-established control over Judea. They took Jerusalem in 70. He is remembered by Jews as a fair and humane official, in contrast to the notorious Herod the Great. Josephus wrote that after the Roman Legio X Fretensis accompanied by Vespasian destroyed Jericho on June 21, 68, he took a group of Jews who could not swim (possibly Essenes from Qumran), fettered them, and threw them into the Dead Sea to test its legendary buoyancy. Sure enough, the Jews shot back up after being thrown in from boats and floated calmly on top of the sea. Year of Four Emperors. Main article: Year of the Four Emperors. Map of the Roman Empire during the Year of the Four Emperors (69 AD). Blue areas indicate provinces loyal to Vespasian and Gaius Licinius Mucianus. After the death of Nero in 68, Rome saw a succession of short-lived emperors and a year of civil wars. Galba was murdered by Otho, who was defeated by Vitellius. Otho’s supporters, looking for another candidate to support, settled on Vespasian. According to Suetonius, a prophecy ubiquitous in the Eastern provinces claimed that from Judaea would come the future rulers of the world. Vespasian eventually believed that this prophecy applied to him, and found a number of omens, oracles, and portents that reinforced this belief. He also found encouragement in Mucianus, the governor of Syria; and, although Vespasian was a strict disciplinarian and reformer of abuses, Vespasian’s soldiers were thoroughly devoted to him. All eyes in the East were now upon him. Mucianus and the Syrian legions were eager to support him. While he was at Caesarea, he was proclaimed emperor (July 1, 69), first by the army in Egypt under Tiberius Julius Alexander, and then by his troops in Judaea (July 11 according to Suetonius, July 3 according to Tacitus). Nevertheless, Vitellius, the occupant of the throne, had Rome’s best troops on his side – the veteran legions of Gaul and the Rhineland. But the feeling in Vespasian’s favour quickly gathered strength, and the armies of Moesia, Pannonia, and Illyricum soon declared for him, and made him the de facto master of half of the Roman world. While Vespasian himself was in Egypt securing its grain supply, his troops entered Italy from the northeast under the leadership of M. They defeated Vitellius’s army (which had awaited him in Mevania) at Bedriacum (or Betriacum), sacked Cremona and advanced on Rome. They entered Rome after furious fighting. In the resulting confusion, the Capitol was destroyed by fire and Vespasian’s brother Sabinus was killed by a mob. On receiving the tidings of his rival’s defeat and death at Alexandria, the new emperor at once forwarded supplies of urgently needed grain to Rome, along with an edict or a declaration of policy, in which he gave assurance of an entire reversal of the laws of Nero, especially those relating to treason. While in Egypt he visited the Temple of Serapis, where reportedly he experienced a vision. Later he was confronted by two labourers who were convinced that he possessed a divine power that could work miracles. Aftermath of the civil war. Bust of Vespasian, Pushkin Museum, Moscow. Vespasian was declared emperor by the Senate while he was in Egypt in December of 69 (the Egyptians had declared him emperor in June of 69). In the short-term, administration of the empire was given to Mucianus who was aided by Vespasian’s son, Domitian. By his own example of simplicity of life – he caused something of a scandal when it was made known he took his own boots off – he initiated a marked improvement in the general tone of society in many respects. In early 70, Vespasian was still in Egypt, the source of Rome’s grain supply, and had not yet left for Rome. According to Tacitus, his trip was delayed due to bad weather. Modern historians theorize that Vespasian had been and was continuing to consolidate support from the Egyptians before departing. Stories of a divine Vespasian healing people circulated in Egypt. In addition to the uprising in Egypt, unrest and civil war continued in the rest of the empire in 70. In Judea, rebellion had continued from 66. Vespasian’s son, Titus, finally subdued the rebellion with the capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70. According to Eusebius, Vespasian then ordered all descendants of the royal line of David to be hunted down, causing the Jews to be persecuted from province to province. Several modern historians have suggested that Vespasian, already having been told by Josephus that he was prophesied to become emperor whilst in Judaea, was probably reacting to other widely-known Messianic prophecies circulating at the time, to suppress any rival claimants arising from that dynasty. In January of the same year, an uprising occurred in Gaul and Germany, known as the second Batavian Rebellion. This rebellion was headed by Gaius Julius Civilis and Julius Sabinus. Sabinus, claiming he was descended from Julius Caesar, declared himself emperor of Gaul. The rebellion defeated and absorbed two Roman legions before it was suppressed by Vespasian’s brother-in-law, Quintus Petillius Cerialis, by the end of 70. Arrival in Rome and gathering support. In mid-70, Vespasian first came to Rome. Vespasian immediately embarked on a series of efforts to stay in power and prevent future revolts. He offered gifts to many in the military and much of the public. Soldiers loyal to Vitellius were dismissed or punished. He also restructured the Senatorial and Equestrian orders, removing his enemies and adding his allies. Regional autonomy of Greek provinces was repealed. Additionally, he made significant attempts to control public perception of his rule. Many modern historians note the increased amount of propaganda that appeared during Vespasian’s reign. Stories of a supernatural emperor who was destined to rule circulated in the empire. Nearly one-third of all coins minted in Rome under Vespasian celebrated military victory or peace. The word vindex was removed from coins so as not to remind the public of rebellious Vindex. Construction projects bore inscriptions praising Vespasian and condemning previous emperors. A temple of peace was constructed in the forum as well. Vespasian approved histories written under his reign, ensuring biases against him were removed. Vespasian also gave financial rewards to ancient writers. The ancient historians who lived through the period such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Pliny the Elder speak suspiciously well of Vespasian while condemning the emperors who came before him. Tacitus admits that his status was elevated by Vespasian, Josephus identifies Vespasian as a patron and savior, and Pliny dedicated his Natural Histories to Vespasian, Titus. Those who spoke against Vespasian were punished. A number of stoic philosophers were accused of corrupting students with inappropriate teachings and were expelled from Rome. Helvidius Priscus, a pro-republic philosopher, was executed for his teachings. Construction of the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum, was begun by Vespasian, and ultimately finished by his son Titus. Between 71 and 79, much of Vespasian’s reign is a mystery. Historians report that Vespasian ordered the construction of several buildings in Rome. Additionally, he survived several conspiracies against him. Vespasian helped rebuild Rome after the civil war. He added the temple of Peace and the temple to the Deified Claudius. In 75, he erected a colossal statue of Apollo, begun under Nero, and he dedicated a stage of the theater of Marcellus. He also began construction of the Colosseum. Suetonius claims that Vespasian was met with “constant conspiracies” against him. Only one conspiracy is known specifically, though. In 78 or 79, Eprius Marcellus and Aulus Caecina Alienus attempted to kill Vespasian. Why these men turned against Vespasian is not known. Military pursuits and death. In 78, Agricola was sent to Britain, and both extended and consolidated the Roman dominion in that province, pushing his way into what is now Scotland. On June 23 of the following year, Vespasian was on his deathbed and expiring rapidly, he demanded that he be helped to stand as he believed “An emperor should die on his feet”. He died of an intestinal inflammation which led to excessive diarrhea. His purported great wit can be glimpsed from his last words; Væ, puto deus fio , Damn. Vespasian was known for his wit and his amiable manner alongside his commanding persona and military prowess. He could be liberal to impoverished Senators and equestrians and to cities and towns desolated by natural calamity. He was especially generous to men of letters and rhetors, several of whom he pensioned with salaries of as much as 1,000 gold pieces a year. Quintilian is said to have been the first public teacher who enjoyed this imperial favor. Pliny the Elder’s work, the Natural History , was written during Vespasian’s reign, and dedicated to Vespasian’s son Titus. Vespasian distrusted philosophers in general, viewing them as unmanly complainers who talked too much. It was the idle talk of philosophers, who liked to glorify the good times of the Republic, that provoked Vespasian into reviving the obsolete penal laws against this profession as a precautionary measure. Only one however, Helvidius Priscus, was put to death, and he had repeatedly affronted the Emperor by studied insults which Vespasian had initially tried to ignore, “I will not kill a dog that barks at me, ” were his words on discovering Priscus’s public slander. Vespasian was indeed noted for mildness when dealing with political opposition. According to Suetonius, he bore the frank language of his friends, the quips of pleaders, and the impudence of the philosophers with the greatest patience. Marcus Didius Falco novels. The Course of Honour , a novel by Lindsey Davis. Edward Rutherfurd’s historical fiction novel Sarum contains an account of one the protagonists’ (a Celtic chief) meeting Vespasian during his campaign through southern Britannia. Vespasian, as legate under Aulus Plautius, is a regular secondary character in Simon Scarrow’s Eaglegle series. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very 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. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. Whether your goal is to collect or give the item as a gift, coins presented like this could be more prized and valued higher than items that were not given such care and attention to. When should I leave feedback? Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens sometimes that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for their 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. How and where do I learn more about collecting ancient coins? Visit the “Guide on How to Use My Store”. For on an overview about using my store, with additional information and links to all other parts of my store which may include educational information on topics you are looking for. The item “VESPASIAN Ancient 72AD GOLD AUREUS Roman Coin Victory of JUDAEA CAPTA NGC i71698″ is in sale since Sunday, August 19, 2018. 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.
  • Certification Number: 3924523-007
  • Certification: NGC
  • Grade: Ch VF
  • Composition: Gold
  • Ruler: Vespasian
  • Denomination: Solidus

Oct 1 2018

Roman Republic 115BC ROME Authentic Ancient Silver Coin VICTORY CHARIOT i63934

Roman Republic 115BC ROME Authentic Ancient Silver Coin VICTORY CHARIOT i63934

Roman Republic 115BC ROME Authentic Ancient Silver Coin VICTORY CHARIOT i63934

Roman Republic 115BC ROME Authentic Ancient Silver Coin VICTORY CHARIOT i63934

Item: i63934 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Moneyer Silver Denarius 16mm (3.86 grams) Rome mint, struck circa 115-114 B. Italy 522; Syd 546; Crawford 289/1 Head of Roma right, M. Victory in biga right, rudder below horses, ROMA in exergue. This moneyer has been identified with a certain Cipius, who gave rise to the proverb Non omnibus dormio, and who was called the snorer’ because he pretended to be asleep in order to facilitate his wife’s acts of adultery. The story can be found in Lucilius. Cipius feigned sleep to avoid having to acknowledge certain actions of his wife. When a slave stole wine while Cipius was “sleeping, ” Cipius said’non omnibus dormio. (I do not sleep for all) Plutarch Amat. 16 says the story is told of Augustus’ jester Gabba. Or read the Guide to the Coins of the Roman Republic. In ancient Roman religionn, Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. As personification, as goddess or as symbol, the name Roma stretches from classical Greece to Mussolini’s Fascist propaganda… Roma has been seen as a goddess, a whore, a near-saint, and as the symbol of civilization itself. She remains the oldest continuous political-religious symbol in Western civilization. Ronald Mellor, Introduction, The goddess Roma. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 BCE, probably to mark Rome’s successful alliance against Antiochus III. Mellor has proposed her cult as a form of religio-political diplomacy which adjusted traditional Graeco-Eastern monarchic honours to Republican mores: honours addressed to the divine personification of the Roman state acknowledged the authority of its offices, Republic and city as divine and eternal. Democratic city-states such as Athens and Rhodes accepted Roma as analogous to their traditional cult personifications of the demos (ordinary people). In 189 BCE, Delphi and Lycia instituted festivals in her honour. Roma as “divine sponsor” of athletics and pan-Hellenic culture seems to have dovetailed neatly into a well-established and enthusiastic festival circuit, and temples to her were outnumbered by her civic statues and dedications. In 133 BCE Attalus III bequeathed the people and territories of Pergamon to Rome, as to a trusted ally and protector. The Pergamene bequest became the new Roman province of Asia, and Roma’s cult spread rapidly within it. In Hellenistic religious tradition, gods were served by priests and goddesses by priestesses but Roma’s priesthood was male, perhaps in acknowledgment of the virility of Rome’s military power. Priesthood of the Roma cult was competed among the highest ranking local elites. In contrast to her putative “Amazonian” Roman original, Greek coinage depicts Roma in the “dignified and rather severe style” of a Greek goddess, often wearing a mural crown, or sometimes a Phrygian helmet. She is occasionally bareheaded. In this and later periods, she was often associated with Zeus (as guardian of oaths) and Fides (the personification of mutual trust). Her Eastern cult appealed for Rome’s loyalty and protection – there is no reason to suppose this as other than genuine (and diplomatically sound) respect. A panegyric to her survives, in five Sapphic stanzas attributed to Melinno. In Republican Rome and its Eastern colonae her cult was virtually non-existent. Roma was thus absorbed into the earliest (Eastern) form of “Imperial cult” – or, from an Eastern viewpoint, the cult to Augustus was grafted onto their time-honoured cult to Roma. From here on, she increasingly took the attributes of an Imperial or divine consort to the Imperial divus , but some Greek coin types show her as a seated or enthroned authority, and the Imperial divus standing upright as her supplicant or servant. The Imperial cult arose as a pragmatic and ingenious response to an Eastern initiative. It blended and “renewed” ancient elements of traditional religions and Republican government to create a common cultural framework for the unification of Empire as a Principate. In the West, this was a novelty, as the Gauls, Germans and Celts had no native precedent for ruler cult or a Roman-style administration. The foundation of the Imperial cult centre at Lugdunum introduced Roman models for provincial and municipal assemblies and government, a Romanised lifestyle, and an opportunity for local elites to enjoy the advantages of citizenship through election to Imperial cult priesthood, with an ara (altar) was dedicated to Roma and Augustus. Thereafter, Roma is well attested by inscriptions and coinage throughout the Western provinces. Literary sources have little to say about her, but this may reflect her ubiquity rather than neglect: in the early Augustan era, she may have been honoured above her living Imperial consort. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with cult to Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia , which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma’s honour. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma – the Palladium in her right hand symbolised Rome’s eternity. In Rome, this was a novel realisation. Greek interpretations of Roma as a dignified deity had transformed her from a symbol of military dominance to one of Imperial protection and gravitas. In ancient Roman religion, Victoria or Victory was the personified goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. The goddess Vica Pota was also sometimes identified with Victoria. Unlike the Greek Nike , the goddess Victoria (Latin for “victory”) was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected in her honor. When her statue was removed in 382 CE by Emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshiped by triumphant generals returning from war. Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war. Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts. She is often seen with or in a chariot, as in the late 18th-century sculpture representing Victory in a quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany; “Il Vittoriano” in Rome has two. Winged figures, very often in pairs, representing victory and referred to as “victories”, were common in Roman official iconography, typically hovering high in a composition, and often filling spaces in spandrels or other gaps in architecture. These represent the spirit of victory rather than the goddess herself. They continued to appear after Christianization of the Empire, and slowly mutated into Christian angels. The biga (Latin, plural bigae) is the two-horse chariot as used in ancient Rome for sport, transportation, and ceremonies. Other animals may replace horses in art and occasionally for actual ceremonies. The term biga is also used by modern scholars for the similar chariots of other Indo-European cultures, particularly the two-horse chariot of the ancient Greeks and Celts. The driver of a biga is a bigarius. Other Latin words that distinguish chariots by the number of animals yoked as a team are quadriga , a four-horse chariot used for racing and associated with the Roman triumph; triga , or three-horse chariot, probably driven for ceremonies more often than racing (see Trigarium); and seiugis or seiuga , the six-horse chariot, more rarely raced and requiring a high degree of skill from the driver. The biga and quadriga are the most common types. Two-horse chariots are a common icon on Roman coins; see bigatus , a type of denarius so called because it depicted a biga. In the iconography of religion and cosmology, the biga represents the moon, as the quadriga does the sun. The Roman Republic (Latin: Res Publica Romana) was the period of the ancient Roman civilization when the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 509 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and advised by a senate. A complex constitution gradually developed, centered on the principles of a separation of powers and checks and balances. Except in times of dire national emergency, public offices were limited to one year, so that, in theory at least, no single individual could dominate his fellow citizens. Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC. Roman society was hierarchical. The evolution of the Constitution of the Roman Republic was heavily influenced by the struggle between the patricians, Rome’s land-holding aristocracy, who traced their ancestry back to the early history of the Roman kingdom, and the plebeians, the far more numerous citizen-commoners. Over time, the laws that gave patricians exclusive rights to Rome’s highest offices were repealed or weakened, and a new aristocracy emerged from among the plebeian class. The leaders of the Republic developed a strong tradition and morality requiring public service and patronage in peace and war, making military and political success inextricably linked. During the first two centuries of its existence the Republic expanded through a combination of conquest and alliance, from central Italy to the entire Italian peninsula. By the following century it included North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, Greece, and what is now southern France. Two centuries after that, towards the end of the 1st century BC, it included the rest of modern France, and much of the eastern Mediterranean. By this time, despite the Republic’s traditional and lawful constraints against any individual’s acquisition of permanent political powers, Roman politics was dominated by a small number of Roman leaders, their uneasy alliances punctuated by a series of civil wars. The victor in one of these civil wars, Octavian, reformed the Republic as a Principate, with himself as Rome’s “first citizen” (princeps). The Senate continued to sit and debate. Annual magistrates were elected as before, but final decisions on matters of policy, warfare, diplomacy and appointments were privileged to the princeps as “first among equals” later to be known as imperator due to the holding of imperium, from which the term emperor is derived. His powers were monarchic in all but name, and he held them for his lifetime, on behalf of the Senate and people of Rome. The Roman Republic was never restored, but neither was it abolished, so the exact date of the transition to the Roman Empire is a matter of interpretation. Historians have variously proposed the appointment of Julius Caesar as perpetual dictator in 44 BC, the defeat of Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Roman Senate’s grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian under the first settlement and his adopting the title Augustus in 27 BC, as the defining event ending the Republic. Many of Rome’s legal and legislative structures can still be observed throughout Europe and much of the world in modern nation states and international organizations. Latin, the language of the Romans, has influenced language across parts of Europe and the world. The Constitution of the Roman Republic was an unwritten set of guidelines and principles passed down mainly through precedent. The Roman constitution was not formal or even official. It was largely unwritten, uncodified, and constantly evolving. The Roman Forum, the commercial, cultural, and political center of the city and the Republic which housed the various offices and meeting places of the government. Senate of the Roman Republic. The Senate’s ultimate authority derived from the esteem and prestige of the Senate. This esteem and prestige was based on both precedent and custom, as well as the high calibre and prestige of the Senators. The Senate passed decrees, which were called senatus consulta. This was officially “advice” from the Senate to a magistrate. In practice, however, these were usually obeyed by the magistrates. The focus of the Roman Senate was directed towards foreign policy. Though it technically had no official role in the management of military conflict, the Senate ultimately was the force that oversaw such affairs. Not all those rights were available to every citizen – women could be citizens, but were denied the rights to vote or hold elected office. An adult male citizen with the full complement of legal and political rights was called optimo jure. The optimo jure elected their assemblies, whereupon the assemblies elected magistrates, enacted legislation, presided over trials in capital cases, declared war and peace, and forged or dissolved treaties. There were two types of legislative assemblies. The first was the comitia (“committees”), which were assemblies of all optimo jure. The second was the concilia (“councils”), which were assemblies of specific groups of optimo jure. Assembly of the Centuries. Citizens were organized on the basis of centuries and tribes. The centuries and the tribes would each gather into their own assemblies. The Comitia Centuriata (“Century Assembly”) was the assembly of the centuries. The president of the Comitia Centuriata was usually a consul. The centuries would vote, one at a time, until a measure received support from a majority of the centuries. The Comitia Centuriata would elect magistrates who had imperium powers (consuls and praetors). It also elected censors. Only the Comitia Centuriata could declare war, and ratify the results of a census. It also served as the highest court of appeal in certain judicial cases. Assembly of the Tribes. The assembly of the tribes, the Comitia Tributa, was presided over by a consul, and was composed of 35 tribes. The tribes were not ethnic or kinship groups, but rather geographical subdivisions. The order that the thirty-five tribes would vote in was selected randomly by lot. Once a measure received support from a majority of the tribes, the voting would end. While it did not pass many laws, the Comitia Tributa did elect quaestors, curule aediles, and military tribunes. The Plebeian Council was an assembly of plebeians, the non-patrician citizens of Rome, who would gather into their respective tribes. They elected their own officers, plebeian tribunes and plebeian aediles. Usually a plebeian tribune would preside over the assembly. This assembly passed most laws, and could also act as a court of appeal. Since it was organised on the basis of the tribes, its rules and procedures were nearly identical to those of the Comitia Tributa. Each magistrate was vested with a degree of maior potestas (“major power”). Each magistrate could veto any action that was taken by a magistrate of an equal or lower rank. Plebeian tribunes and plebeian aediles, on the other hand, were independent of the other magistrates. Magisterial powers, and checks on those powers. Each republican magistrate held certain constitutional powers. Only the People of Rome (both plebeians and patricians) had the right to confer these powers on any individual magistrate. The most powerful constitutional power was imperium. Imperium was held by both consuls and praetors. Imperium gave a magistrate the authority to command a military force. All magistrates also had the power of coercion. This was used by magistrates to maintain public order. While in Rome, all citizens had a judgement against coercion. This protection was called provocatio (see below). Magistrates also had both the power and the duty to look for omens. This power would often be used to obstruct political opponents. One check on a magistrate’s power was his collegiality. Each magisterial office would be held concurrently by at least two people. Another such check was provocatio. Provocatio was a primordial form of due process. It was a precursor to habeas corpus. This created problems for some consuls and praetors, and these magistrates would occasionally have their imperium extended. In effect, they would retain the powers of the office (as a promagistrate), without officially holding that office. Consuls, Praetors, Censors, Aediles, Quaestors, Tribunes, and Dictators. Of Marius, had been put on full display. The populares party took full advantage of this opportunity by allying itself with Marius. Several years later, in 88 BC, a Roman army was sent to put down an emerging Asian power, king Mithridates of Pontus. The army, however, was defeated. One of Marius’ old quaestors, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, had been elected consul for the year, and was ordered by the senate to assume command of the war against Mithridates. Marius, a member of the ” populares ” party, had a tribune revoke Sulla’s command of the war against Mithridates. Sulla, a member of the aristocratic (” optimates “) party, brought his army back to Italy and marched on Rome. Sulla was so angry at Marius’ tribune that he passed a law intended to permanently weaken the tribunate. With Sulla gone, the populares under Marius and Lucius Cornelius Cinna soon took control of the city. During the period in which the populares party controlled the city, they flouted convention by re-electing Marius consul several times without observing the customary ten-year interval between offices. They also transgressed the established oligarchy by advancing unelected individuals to magisterial office, and by substituting magisterial edicts for popular legislation. Sulla soon made peace with Mithridates. Sulla and his supporters then slaughtered most of Marius’ supporters. Sulla, having observed the violent results of radical popular reforms, was naturally conservative. As such, he sought to strengthen the aristocracy, and by extension the senate. Sulla made himself dictator, passed a series of constitutional reforms, resigned the dictatorship, and served one last term as consul. He died in 78 BC. Pompey, Crassus and the Catilinarian Conspiracy. A Roman marble head of Pompey (now found in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek). In 77 BC, the senate sent one of Sulla’s former lieutenants, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (“Pompey the Great”), to put down an uprising in Spain. Around the same time, another of Sulla’s former lieutenants, Marcus Licinius Crassus, had just put down the Spartacus led gladiator/slave revolt in Italy. Upon their return, Pompey and Crassus found the populares party fiercely attacking Sulla’s constitution. They attempted to forge an agreement with the populares party. If both Pompey and Crassus were elected consul in 70 BC, they would dismantle the more obnoxious components of Sulla’s constitution. The two were soon elected, and quickly dismantled most of Sulla’s constitution. Around 66 BC, a movement to use constitutional, or at least peaceful, means to address the plight of various classes began. After several failures, the movement’s leaders decided to use any means that were necessary to accomplish their goals. The movement coalesced under an aristocrat named Lucius Sergius Catilina. The movement was based in the town of Faesulae, which was a natural hotbed of agrarian agitation. The rural malcontents were to advance on Rome, and be aided by an uprising within the city. After assassinating the consuls and most of the senators, Catiline would be free to enact his reforms. The conspiracy was set in motion in 63 BC. The consul for the year, Marcus Tullius Cicero, intercepted messages that Catiline had sent in an attempt to recruit more members. As a result, the top conspirators in Rome (including at least one former consul) were executed by authorisation (of dubious constitutionality) of the senate, and the planned uprising was disrupted. Cicero then sent an army, which cut Catiline’s forces to pieces. The most important result of the Catilinarian conspiracy was that the populares party became discredited. The prior 70 years had witnessed a gradual erosion in senatorial powers. The violent nature of the conspiracy, in conjunction with the senate’s skill in disrupting it, did a great deal to repair the senate’s image. The Senate, elated by its successes against Catiline, refused to ratify the arrangements that Pompey had made. Pompey, in effect, became powerless. Caesar and Pompey, along with Crassus, established a private agreement, now known as the First Triumvirate. Under the agreement, Pompey’s arrangements would be ratified. Caesar would be elected consul in 59 BC, and would then serve as governor of Gaul for five years. Crassus was promised a future consulship. Caesar became consul in 59 BC. His colleague, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, was an extreme aristocrat. Caesar submitted the laws that he had promised Pompey to the assemblies. Bibulus attempted to obstruct the enactment of these laws, and so Caesar used violent means to ensure their passage. Caesar was then made governor of three provinces. He facilitated the election of the former patrician Publius Clodius Pulcher to the tribunate for 58 BC. Clodius set about depriving Caesar’s senatorial enemies of two of their more obstinate leaders in Cato and Cicero. Clodius was a bitter opponent of Cicero because Cicero had testified against him in a sacrilege case. Clodius attempted to try Cicero for executing citizens without a trial during the Catiline conspiracy, resulting in Cicero going into self-imposed exile and his house in Rome being burnt down. Clodius also passed a bill that forced Cato to lead the invasion of Cyprus which would keep him away from Rome for some years. Clodius also passed a bill that gave the populace a free grain dole, which had previously just been subsidised. The end of the First Triumvirate. Clodius formed armed gangs that terrorised the city and eventually began to attack Pompey’s followers, who in response funded counter-gangs formed by Titus Annius Milo. The political alliance of the triumvirate was crumbling. Domitius Ahenobarbus ran for the consulship in 55 BC promising to take Caesar’s command from him. Eventually, the triumvirate was renewed at Lucca. Pompey and Crassus were promised the consulship in 55 BC, and Caesar’s term as governor was extended for five years. Crassus led an ill-fated expedition with legions led by his son, Caesar’s lieutenant, against the Kingdom of Parthia. This resulted in his defeat and death at the Battle of Carrhae. Finally, Pompey’s wife, Julia, who was Caesar’s daughter, died in childbirth. This event severed the last remaining bond between Pompey and Caesar. Beginning in the summer of 54 BC, a wave of political corruption and violence swept Rome. This chaos reached a climax in January of 52 BC, when Clodius was murdered in a gang war by Milo. On 1 January 49 BC, an agent of Caesar presented an ultimatum to the senate. The ultimatum was rejected, and the senate then passed a resolution which declared that if Caesar did not lay down his arms by July of that year, he would be considered an enemy of the Republic. On 7 January of 49 BC, the senate passed a senatus consultum ultimum , which vested Pompey with dictatorial powers. Pompey’s army, however, was composed largely of untested conscripts. On 10 January, Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his veteran army (in violation of Roman laws) and marched towards Rome. Caesar’s rapid advance forced Pompey, the consuls and the Senate to abandon Rome for Greece. Caesar entered the city unopposed. The period of transition (49-29 BC). By 29 BC, Rome had completed its transition from being a city-state with a network of dependencies, to being the capital of a world empire. With Pompey defeated and order restored, Caesar wanted to ensure that his control over the government was undisputed. The powers which he would give himself would ultimately be used by his imperial successors. He would assume these powers by increasing his own authority, and by decreasing the authority of Rome’s other political institutions. Caesar would hold both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the proconsulship. In 48 BC, Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers. This made his person sacrosanct, gave him the power to veto the senate, and allowed him to dominate the Plebeian Council. In 46 BC, Caesar was given censorial powers, which he used to fill the senate with his own partisans. Caesar then raised the membership of the Senate to 900. This robbed the senatorial aristocracy of its prestige, and made it increasingly subservient to him. While the assemblies continued to meet, he submitted all candidates to the assemblies for election, and all bills to the assemblies for enactment. Thus, the assemblies became powerless and were unable to oppose him. Near the end of his life, Caesar began to prepare for a war against the Parthian Empire. Since his absence from Rome would limit his ability to install his own consuls, he passed a law which allowed him to appoint all magistrates in 43 BC, and all consuls and tribunes in 42 BC. This, in effect, transformed the magistrates from being representatives of the people to being representatives of the dictator. Caesar’s assassination and the Second Triumvirate. Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 BC. The assassination was led by Gaius Cassius and Marcus Brutus. Most of the conspirators were senators, who had a variety of economic, political, or personal motivations for carrying out the assassination. Many were afraid that Caesar would soon resurrect the monarchy and declare himself king. Others feared loss of property or prestige as Caesar carried out his land reforms in favor of the landless classes. Virtually all the conspirators fled the city after Caesar’s death in fear of retaliation. The civil war that followed destroyed what was left of the Republic. After the assassination, Mark Antony formed an alliance with Caesar’s adopted son and great-nephew, Gaius Octavian. Along with Marcus Lepidus, they formed an alliance known as the Second Triumvirate. They held powers that were nearly identical to the powers that Caesar had held under his constitution. As such, the Senate and assemblies remained powerless, even after Caesar had been assassinated. The conspirators were then defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC. Eventually, however, Antony and Octavian fought against each other in one last battle. Antony was defeated in the naval Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and he committed suicide with his love, Cleopatra. Julius Caesar, from the bust in the British Museum, in Cassell’s History of England (1902). Life in the Roman Republic revolved around the city of Rome, and its famed seven hills. The city also had several theatres, gymnasiums, 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 center, packed into apartment blocks. Most Roman towns and cities had a forum and temples, as did the city of Rome itself. Aqueducts brought water to urban centers and wine and cooking oil were imported from abroad. Landlords generally resided in cities and left their estates in the care of farm managers. To stimulate a higher labour productivity, many landlords freed large numbers of slaves. Beginning in the middle of the 2nd century BC, Greek culture was increasingly ascendant, in spite of tirades against the “softening” effects of Hellenised culture. 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, and much of Roman cuisine was essentially Greek. Roman writers disdained Latin for a cultured Greek style. Social history and structure. Many aspects of Roman culture were borrowed from 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. Rome has also had a tremendous impact on European cultures following it. Its significance is perhaps best reflected in its endurance and influence, as is seen in the longevity and lasting importance of works of Virgil and Ovid. Latin, the Republic’s primary language, remains used for liturgical purposes by the Roman Catholic Church, and up to the 19th century was used extensively in scholarly writings in, for example, science and mathematics. Roman law laid the foundations for the laws of many European countries and their colonies. The center 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. Roman law recognised only patrician families as legal entities. Generally, mutilation and murder of slaves was prohibited by legislation. It is estimated that over 25% of the Roman population was enslaved. Roman clad in a toga. Men typically wore a toga, and women a stola. The woman’s stola differed in looks from a toga, and was usually brightly coloured. The cloth and the dress distinguished one class of people from the other class. The tunic worn by plebeians, or 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 knight or magistrate would wear an augusticlavus , a tunic bearing small purple studs. Senators wore tunics with broad red stripes, called tunica laticlavia. 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. The Romans also invented socks for those soldiers required to fight on the northern frontiers, sometimes worn in sandals. Romans had simple food habits. Staple food was 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 favorite, 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. Cato the Elder once advised cutting his rations in half to conserve wine for the workforce. 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, the debilitating physical and psychological effects of which were known to the Romans. An accurate accusation of being an alcoholic was an effective way to discredit political rivals. Prominent Roman alcoholics included Mark Antony, and Cicero’s own son Marcus (Cicero Minor). Even Cato the Younger was known to be a heavy drinker. Following various military conquests in the Greek East, Romans adapted a number of Greek educational precepts to their own fledgling system. Physical training to prepare the boys to grow as Roman citizens and for eventual recruitment into the army. Conforming to discipline was a point of great emphasis. Girls generally received instruction from their mothers in the art of spinning, weaving, and sewing. Schooling in a more formal sense was begun around 200 BC. Education began at the age of around six, and in the next six to seven years, boys and girls were expected to learn the basics of reading, writing and counting. By 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 practiced and learnt, and good orators commanded respect. The native language of the Romans was Latin. Although surviving Latin literature consists almost entirely of Classical Latin, an artificial and highly stylised and polished literary language from the 1st century BC, the actual spoken language was Vulgar Latin, which significantly differed from Classical Latin in grammar, vocabulary, and eventually pronunciation. Rome’s expansion spread Latin throughout Europe, and over time Vulgar Latin evolved and dialectised in different locations, gradually shifting into a number of distinct Romance languages. Many of these languages, including French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish, flourished, the differences between them growing greater over time. Although English is Germanic rather than Roman in origin, English borrows heavily from Latin and Latin-derived words. 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 republic 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. Lucretius, in his On the Nature of Things , attempted to explicate science in an epic poem. The genre of satire was common in Rome, and satires were written by, among others, Juvenal and Persius. The rhetorical works of Cicero are considered to be some of the best bodies of correspondence recorded in antiquity. In the 3rd century BC, Greek art taken as booty from wars became popular, and many Roman homes were decorated with landscapes by Greek artists. Portrait sculpture during the period utilised 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 manoeuvres. 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 centers under Roman control and influence. Roman cities were well planned, efficiently managed and neatly maintained. 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. Equestrian sports, throwing, and swimming were also preferred physical activities. In the countryside, pastime 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. Roman religious beliefs date back to the founding of Rome, around 800 BC. However, the Roman religion commonly associated with the republic and early empire did not begin until around 500 BC, when Romans came in contact with Greek culture, and adopted many of the Greek religious beliefs. Private and personal worship was an important aspect of religious practices. In a sense, each household was a temple to the gods. Each household had an altar (lararium), at which the family members would offer prayers, perform rites, and interact with the household gods. Many of the gods that Romans worshiped came from the Proto-Indo-European pantheon, others were based on Greek gods. The two most famous deities were Jupiter (the king God) and Mars (the god of war). With its cultural influence spreading over most of the Mediterranean, Romans began accepting foreign gods into their own culture, as well as other philosophical traditions such as Cynicism and Stoicism. The structural history of the Roman military describes the major chronological transformations in the organisation and constitution of the Roman armed forces. The Roman military was split into the Roman army and the Roman navy, although these two branches were less distinct than they tend to be in modern defence forces. Within the top-level branches of army and navy, structural changes occurred both as a result of positive military reform and through organic structural evolution. During this period, Roman soldiers seem to have been modelled after those of the Etruscans to the north, who themselves seem to have copied their style of warfare from the Greeks. Traditionally, the introduction of the phalanx formation into the Roman army is ascribed to the city’s penultimate king, Servius Tullius (ruled 578 to 534 BC). Each subsequent rank consisted of those with less wealth and poorer equipment than the one before it. One disadvantage of the phalanx was that it was only effective when fighting in large, open spaces, which left the Romans at a disadvantage when fighting in the hilly terrain of central Italian peninsula. In the 4th century BC, the Romans abandoned the phalanx in favour of the more flexible manipular formation. This change is sometimes attributed to Marcus Furius Camillus and placed shortly after the Gallic invasion of 390 BC; it is more likely, however, that they were copied from Rome’s Samnite enemies to the south, possibly as a result of Samnite victories during the Second Samnite War (326 to 304 BC). During this period, an army formation of around 5,000 men (of both heavy and light infantry) was known as a legion. The manipular army was based upon social class, age and military experience. Maniples were units of 120 men each drawn from a single infantry class. The maniples were typically deployed into three discrete lines based on the three heavy infantry types. Each first line maniple were leather-armoured infantry soldiers who wore a bronze breastplate and a bronze helmet adorned with 3 feathers approximately 30 cm (12 in) in height and carried an iron-clad wooden shield. They were armed with a sword and two throwing spears. The second infantry line was armed and armoured in the same manner as was the first infantry line. The third infantry line was the last remnant of the hoplite-style (the Greek-style formation used occasionally during the early Republic) troops in the Roman army. They were armed and armoured in the same manner as were the soldiers in the second line, with the exception that they carried a lighter spear. The three infantry classes may have retained some slight parallel to social divisions within Roman society, but at least officially the three lines were based upon age and experience rather than social class. Young, unproven men would serve in the first line, older men with some military experience would serve in the second line, and veteran troops of advanced age and experience would serve in the third line. The heavy infantry of the maniples were supported by a number of light infantry and cavalry troops, typically 300 horsemen per manipular legion. The cavalry was drawn primarily from the richest class of equestrians. There was an additional class of troops who followed the army without specific martial roles and were deployed to the rear of the third line. Their role in accompanying the army was primarily to supply any vacancies that might occur in the maniples. The light infantry consisted of 1,200 unarmoured skirmishing troops drawn from the youngest and lower social classes. They were armed with a sword and a small shield, as well as several light javelins. Rome’s military confederation with the other peoples of the Italian peninsula meant that half of Rome’s army was provided by the Socii, such as the Etruscans, Umbrians, Apulians, Campanians, Samnites, Lucani, Bruttii, and the various southern Greek cities. Polybius states that Rome could draw on 770,000 men at the beginning of the Second Punic War, of which 700,000 were infantry and 70,000 met the requirements for cavalry. Rome’s Italian allies would be organized in alae , or wings , roughly equal in manpower to the Roman legions, though with 900 cavalry instead of 300. A small navy had operated at a fairly low level after about 300 BC, but it was massively upgraded about forty years later, during the First Punic War. After a period of frenetic construction, the navy mushroomed to a size of more than 400 ships on the Carthaginian (“Punic”) pattern. Once completed, it could accommodate up to 100,000 sailors and embarked troops for battle. The navy thereafter declined in size. The extraordinary demands of the Punic Wars, in addition to a shortage of manpower, exposed the tactical weaknesses of the manipular legion, at least in the short term. In 217 BC, near the beginning of the Second Punic War, Rome was forced to effectively ignore its long-standing principle that its soldiers must be both citizens and property owners. During the 2nd century BC, Roman territory saw an overall decline in population, partially due to the huge losses incurred during various wars. This was accompanied by severe social stresses and the greater collapse of the middle classes. As a result, the Roman state was forced to arm its soldiers at the expense of the state, which it had not had to do in the past. The distinction between the heavy infantry types began to blur, perhaps because the state was now assuming the responsibility of providing standard-issue equipment. In addition, the shortage of available manpower led to a greater burden being placed upon Rome’s allies for the provision of allied troops. Eventually, the Romans were forced to begin hiring mercenaries to fight alongside the legions. The legion after the reforms of Gaius Marius (107-27 BC). Bust of Gaius Marius, instigator of the Marian reforms. In a process known as the Marian reforms, Roman consul Gaius Marius carried out a programme of reform of the Roman military. In 107 BC, all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for entry into the Roman army. This move formalised and concluded a gradual process that had been growing for centuries, of removing property requirements for military service. The distinction between the three heavy infantry classes, which had already become blurred, had collapsed into a single class of heavy legionary infantry. The heavy infantry legionaries were drawn from citizen stock, while non-citizens came to dominate the ranks of the light infantry. The army’s higher-level officers and commanders were still drawn exclusively from the Roman aristocracy. Unlike earlier in the Republic, legionaries were no longer fighting on a seasonal basis to protect their land. Instead, they received standard pay, and were employed by the state on a fixed-term basis. As a consequence, military duty began to appeal most to the poorest sections of society, to whom a salaried pay was attractive. A destabilising consequence of this development was that the proletariat acquired a stronger and more elevated position within the state. The legions of the late Republic were, structurally, almost entirely heavy infantry. The legion’s main sub-unit was called a cohort and consisted of approximately 480 infantrymen. The cohort was therefore a much larger unit than the earlier maniple sub-unit, and was divided into six centuries of 80 men each. Each century was separated further into 10 “tent groups” of 8 men each. Legions additionally consisted of a small body, typically 120 men, of Roman legionary cavalry. The cavalry troops were used as scouts and dispatch riders rather than battlefield cavalry. Legions also contained a dedicated group of artillery crew of perhaps 60 men. Each legion was normally partnered with an approximately equal number of allied (non-Roman) troops. However, the most obvious deficiency of the Roman army remained its shortage of cavalry, especially heavy cavalry. As Rome’s borders expanded and its adversaries changed from largely infantry-based to largely cavalry-based troops, the infantry-based Roman army began to find itself at a tactical disadvantage, particularly in the East. After having declined in size following the subjugation of the Mediterranean, the Roman navy underwent short-term upgrading and revitalisation in the late Republic to meet several new demands. Under Caesar, an invasion fleet was assembled in the English Channel to allow the invasion of Britannia ; under Pompey, a large fleet was raised in the Mediterranean Sea to clear the sea of Cilician pirates. During the civil war that followed, as many as a thousand ships were either constructed or pressed into service from Greek cities. The core of the campaign history of the Roman Republican military is the account of the Roman military’s land battles. Despite the encompassing of lands around the periphery of the Mediterranean sea, naval battles were typically less significant than land battles to the military history of Rome. As with most ancient civilisations, Rome’s military served the triple purposes of securing its borders, exploiting peripheral areas through measures such as imposing tribute on conquered peoples, and maintaining internal order. From the outset, Rome’s military typified this pattern and the majority of Rome’s campaigns were characterised by one of two types. The first is the territorial expansionist campaign, normally begun as a counter-offensive, in which each victory brought subjugation of large areas of territory. The second is the civil war, of which examples plagued the Roman Republic in its final century. Roman armies were not invincible, despite their formidable reputation and host of victories. Over the centuries the Romans ” produced their share of incompetents ” who led Roman armies into catastrophic defeats. Nevertheless, it was generally the fate of even the greatest of Rome’s enemies, such as Pyrrhus and Hannibal, to win the battle but lose the war. The history of Rome’s campaigning is, if nothing else, a history of obstinate persistence overcoming appalling losses. Early Republic (458-274 BC) Early Italian campaigns (458-396 BC). The first Roman republican wars were wars of both expansion and defence, aimed at protecting Rome itself from neighbouring cities and nations and establishing its territory in the region. Initially, Rome’s immediate neighbours were either Latin towns and villages, or else tribal Sabines from the Apennine hills beyond. One by one Rome defeated both the persistent Sabines and the local cities that were either under Etruscan control or else Latin towns that had cast off their Etruscan rulers. Rome defeated Latin cities in the Battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BC, the Battle of Mons Algidus in 458 BC, the Battle of Corbione in 446 BC, the Battle of Aricia, and an Etruscan city in the Battle of the Cremera in 477 BC. By the end of this period, Rome had effectively completed the conquest of their immediate Etruscan and Latin neighbours, as well as secured their position against the immediate threat posed by the tribespeople of the nearby Apennine hills. Celtic invasion of Italia (390-387 BC). By 390 BC, several Gallic tribes had begun invading Italy from the north as their culture expanded throughout Europe. The Romans were alerted of this when a particularly warlike tribe invaded two Etruscan towns from the north. These two towns were not far from Rome’s sphere of influence. These towns, overwhelmed by the size of the enemy in numbers and ferocity, called on Rome for help. The Romans met them in pitched battle at the Battle of Allia River around 390-387 BC. The Gauls, under their chieftain Brennus, defeated the Roman army of around 15,000 troops and proceeded to pursue the fleeing Romans back to Rome itself and sacked the city before being either driven off or bought off. Now that the Romans and Gauls had bloodied one another, intermittent warfare was to continue between the two in Italy for more than two centuries. The Celtic problem would not be resolved for Rome until the final subjugation of all Gaul by Julius Caesar at the Battle of Alesia in 52 BC. Roman expansion into Italia (343-282 BC). After recovering surprisingly swiftly from the sack of Rome, the Romans immediately resumed their expansion within Italy. The First Samnite War of between 343 BC and 341 BC was a relatively short affair: the Romans beat the Samnites in two battles, but were forced to withdraw from the war before they could pursue the conflict further due to the revolt of several of their Latin allies in the Latin War. Rome bested the Latins in the Battle of Vesuvius and again in the Battle of Trifanum, after which the Latin cities were obliged to submit to Roman rule. The Second Samnite War, from 327 BC to 304 BC, was a much longer and more serious affair for both the Romans and Samnites. The fortunes of the two sides fluctuated throughout its course. The Romans then proved victorious at the Battle of Bovianum and the tide turned strongly against the Samnites from 314 BC onwards, leading them to sue for peace with progressively less generous terms. By 304 BC the Romans had effectively annexed the greater degree of the Samnite territory, founding several colonies. Seven years after their defeat, with Roman dominance of the area looking assured, the Samnites rose again and defeated a Roman army in 298 BC, to open the Third Samnite War. With this success in hand they managed to bring together a coalition of several previous enemies of Rome. In the Battle of Populonia in 282 BC Rome finished off the last vestiges of Etruscan power in the region. Pyrrhic War (280-275 BC). Route of Pyrrhus of Epirus. By the beginning of the 3rd century, Rome had established itself as a major power on the Italian Peninsula, but had not yet come into conflict with the dominant military powers in the Mediterranean Basin at the time: Carthage and the Greek kingdoms. When a diplomatic dispute between Rome and a Greek colony erupted into open warfare in a naval confrontation, the Greek colony appealed for military aid to Pyrrhus, ruler of the northwestern Greek kingdom of Epirus. Motivated by a personal desire for military accomplishment, Pyrrhus landed a Greek army of some 25,000 men on Italian soil in 280 BC. Despite early victories, Pyrrhus found his position in Italy untenable. Rome steadfastly refused to negotiate with Pyrrhus as long as his army remained in Italy. Facing unacceptably heavy losses with each encounter with the Roman army, Pyrrhus withdrew from the peninsula (thus deriving the term “pyrrhic victory”). In 275 BC, Pyrrhus again met the Roman army at the Battle of Beneventum. While Beneventum was indecisive, Pyrrhus realised his army had been exhausted and reduced, by years of foreign campaigns, and seeing little hope for further gains, he withdrew completely from Italy. The conflicts with Pyrrhus would have a great effect on Rome. Rome had shown it was capable of pitting its armies successfully against the dominant military powers of the Mediterranean, and that the Greek kingdoms were incapable of defending their colonies in Italy and abroad. Rome quickly moved into southern Italia, subjugating and dividing the Greek colonies. Now, Rome effectively dominated the Italian peninsula, and won an international military reputation. Mid-Republic (274-148 BC) Punic Wars (264-146 BC). Theatre of the Punic Wars. The First Punic War began in 264 BC when settlements on Sicily began to appeal to the two powers between which they lay – Rome and Carthage – to solve internal conflicts. The war saw land battles in Sicily early on, but the theatre shifted to naval battles around Sicily and Africa. Before the First Punic War there was no Roman navy to speak of. The new war in Sicily against Carthage, a great naval power, forced Rome to quickly build a fleet and train sailors. The first few naval battles were catastrophic disasters for Rome. However, after training more sailors and inventing a grappling engine, a Roman naval force was able to defeat a Carthaginian fleet, and further naval victories followed. The Carthaginians then hired Xanthippus of Carthage, a Spartan mercenary general, to reorganize and lead their army. He managed to cut off the Roman army from its base by re-establishing Carthaginian naval supremacy. With their newfound naval abilities, the Romans then beat the Carthaginians in naval battle again at the Battle of the Aegates Islands and leaving Carthage without a fleet or sufficient coin to raise one. For a maritime power the loss of their access to the Mediterranean stung financially and psychologically, and the Carthaginians sued for peace. Continuing distrust led to the renewal of hostilities in the Second Punic War when Hannibal Barca attacked a Spanish town, which had diplomatic ties to Rome. Hannibal then crossed the Italian Alps to invade Italy. Hannibal’s successes in Italy began immediately, and reached an early climax at the Battle of Cannae, where 70,000 Romans were killed. In three battles, the Romans managed to hold off Hannibal but then Hannibal smashed a succession of Roman consular armies. By this time Hannibal’s brother Hasdrubal Barca sought to cross the Alps into Italy and join his brother with a second army. Hasdrubal managed to break through into Italy only to be defeated decisively on the Metaurus River. Unable to defeat Hannibal himself on Italian soil, the Romans boldly sent an army to Africa under Scipio Africanus with the intention of threatening the Carthaginian capital. Hannibal was recalled to Africa, and defeated at the Battle of Zama. Carthage never managed to recover after the Second Punic War. And the Third Punic War that followed was in reality a simple punitive mission to raze the city of Carthage to the ground. Carthage was almost defenseless and when besieged offered immediate surrender, conceding to a string of outrageous Roman demands. The Romans refused the surrender, and the city was stormed after a short siege and completely destroyed. Ultimately, all of Carthage’s North African and Spanish territories were acquired by Rome. Kingdom of Macedonia, the Greek poleis, and Illyria (215-148 BC). Rome’s preoccupation with its war with Carthage provided an opportunity for Philip V of the kingdom of Macedonia, located in the north of the Greek peninsula, to attempt to extend his power westward. Philip sent ambassadors to Hannibal’s camp in Italy, to negotiate an alliance as common enemies of Rome. However, Rome discovered the agreement when Philip’s emissaries were captured by a Roman fleet. The First Macedonian War saw the Romans involved directly in only limited land operations, but they ultimately achieved their objective of pre-occupying Philip and preventing him from aiding Hannibal. Macedonia began to encroach on territory claimed by Greek city states in 200 BC and these states pleaded for help from their newfound ally Rome. Rome gave Philip an ultimatum that he must submit several parts of Greater Macedonia to Rome and give up his designs on Greece. Philip refused, and Rome declared war starting the Second Macedonian War. Ultimately, in 197 BC, the Romans decisevely defeated Philip at the Battle of Cynoscephalae, subsequently Macedonia was reduced to a central rump state. Rome now turned its attentions to one of the Greek kingdoms, the Seleucid Empire, in the east. A Roman force defeated the Seleucids at the Battle of Thermopylae and forced them to evacuate Greece. The Romans then pursued the Seleucids beyond Greece, beating them in the decisive engagement of the Battle of Magnesia. In 179 BC, Philip died and his talented and ambitious son, Perseus, took his throne and showed a renewed interest in Greece. Rome declared war on Macedonia again, starting the Third Macedonian War. Perseus initially had some success against the Romans. However, Rome responded by simply sending another stronger army. The second consular army decisively defeated the Macedonians at the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC and the Macedonians duly capitulated, ending the Third Macedonian War. The Kingdom of Macedonia was then divided by the Romans into four client republics. The Fourth Macedonian War, fought from 150 BC to 148 BC, was fought against a Macedonian pretender to the throne who was attempting to re-establish the old Kingdom. The Romans swiftly defeated the Macedonians at the Second battle of Pydna. The Achaean League chose this moment to rebel against Roman domination but was swiftly defeated. Corinth was besieged and destroyed in 146 BC, the same year as the destruction of Carthage, which led to the league’s surrender. Late Republic (147-30 BC) Jugurthine War (111-104 BC). The Jugurthine War of 111-104 BC was fought between Rome and Jugurtha of the North African kingdom of Numidia. It constituted the final Roman pacification of Northern Africa, after which Rome largely ceased expansion on the continent after reaching natural barriers of desert and mountain. Following Jugurtha’s usurpation of the throne of Numidia, a loyal ally of Rome since the Punic Wars, Rome felt compelled to intervene. Jugurtha impudently bribed the Romans into accepting his usurpation. Jugurtha was finally captured not in battle but by treachery. The Celtic threat (121 BC) and the new Germanic threat (113-101 BC). In 121 BC, Rome came into contact with two Celtic tribes (from a region in modern France), both of which they defeated with apparent ease. The Cimbrian War (113-101 BC) was a far more serious affair than the earlier clashes of 121 BC. The Germanic tribes of the Cimbri and the Teutons migrated from northern Europe into Rome’s northern territories, and clashed with Rome and her allies. At the Battle of Aquae Sextiae and the Battle of Vercellae both tribes were virtually annihilated, which ended the threat. Internal unrest (135-71 BC). The extensive campaigning abroad by Roman generals, and the rewarding of soldiers with plunder on these campaigns, led to a general trend of soldiers becoming increasingly loyal to their generals rather than to the state. Rome was also plagued by several slave uprisings during this period, in part because vast tracts of land had been given over to slave farming in which the slaves greatly outnumbered their Roman masters. In the last century BC at least twelve civil wars and rebellions occurred. This pattern did not break until Octavian (later Caesar Augustus) ended it by becoming a successful challenger to the Senate’s authority, and was made princeps (emperor). Between 135 BC and 71 BC there were three “Servile Wars” involving slave uprisings against the Roman state. The third and final uprising was the most serious, involving ultimately between 120,000 and 150,000. Slaves under the command of the gladiator Spartacus. Additionally, in 91 BC the Social War broke out between Rome and its former allies in Italy over dissent among the allies that they shared the risk of Rome’s military campaigns, but not its rewards. Although they lost militarily, the allies achieved their objectives with legal proclamations which granted citizenship to more than 500,000 Italians. The internal unrest reached its most serious state, however, in the two civil wars that were caused by the consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla at the beginning of 82 BC. In the Battle of the Colline Gate at the very door of the city of Rome, a Roman army under Sulla bested an army of the Roman Senate and entered the city. Sulla’s actions marked a watershed in the willingness of Roman troops to wage war against one another that was to pave the way for the wars which ultimately overthrew the Republic, and caused the founding of the Roman Empire. Conflicts with Mithridates (89-63 BC) and the Cilician pirates (67 BC). Mithridates the Great was the ruler of Pontus, a large kingdom in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), from 120 to 63 BC. The massacre was the official reason given for the commencement of hostilities in the First Mithradatic War. The Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla forced Mithridates out of Greece proper, but then had to return to Italy to answer the internal threat posed by his rival, Gaius Marius. A peace was made between Rome and Pontus, but this proved only a temporary lull. The Second Mithridatic War began when Rome tried to annex a province that Mithridates claimed as his own. In the Third Mithridatic War, first Lucius Licinius Lucullus and then Pompey the Great were sent against Mithridates. Mithridates was finally defeated by Pompey in the night-time Battle of the Lycus. The Mediterranean had at this time fallen into the hands of pirates, largely from Cilicia. Pompey was nominated as commander of a special naval task force to campaign against the pirates. It took Pompey just forty days to clear the western portion of the sea of pirates and restore communication between Iberia (Spain), Africa, and Italy. Caesar’s early campaigns (59-50 BC). Map of the Gallic Wars. During a term as praetor in the Iberian Peninsula (modern Portugal and Spain), Pompey’s contemporary Julius Caesar defeated two local tribes in battle. Following his term as consul in 59 BC, he was then appointed to a five-year term as the proconsular Governor of Cisalpine Gaul (current northern Italy), Transalpine Gaul (current southern France) and Illyria (the modern Balkans). Not content with an idle governorship, Caesar strove to find reason to invade Gaul, which would give him the dramatic military success he sought. When two local tribes began to migrate on a route that would take them near (not into) the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul, Caesar had the barely sufficient excuse he needed for his Gallic Wars, fought between 58 BC and 49 BC. Caesar defeated large armies at major battles 58 BC and 57 BC. In 55 and 54 BC he made two expeditions into Britain, becoming the first Roman to do so. Caesar then defeated a union of Gauls at the Battle of Alesia, completing the Roman conquest of Transalpine Gaul. By 50 BC, the entirety of Gaul lay in Roman hands. Gaul never regained its Celtic identity, never attempted another nationalist rebellion, and, other than the crisis of the 3rd century, remained loyal to Rome until the fall of the western empire in 476. Triumvirates and Caesarian ascension (53-30 BC). By 59 BC an unofficial political alliance known as the First Triumvirate was formed between Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (“Pompey the Great”) to share power and influence. In 53 BC, Crassus launched a Roman invasion of the Parthian Empire (modern Iraq and Iran). After initial successes, he marched his army deep into the desert; but here his army was cut off deep in enemy territory, surrounded and slaughtered at the Battle of Carrhae in which Crassus himself perished. The death of Crassus removed some of the balance in the Triumvirate and, consequently, Caesar and Pompey began to move apart. While Caesar was fighting in Gaul, Pompey proceeded with a legislative agenda for Rome that revealed that he was at best ambivalent towards Caesar and perhaps now covertly allied with Caesar’s political enemies. In 51 BC, some Roman senators demanded that Caesar not be permitted to stand for consul unless he turned over control of his armies to the state, which would have left Caesar defenceless before his enemies. Caesar chose civil war over laying down his command and facing trial. By the spring of 49 BC, the hardened legions of Caesar crossed the river Rubicon and swept down the Italian peninsula towards Rome, while Pompey ordered the abandonment of Rome. Afterwards Caesar turned his attention to the Pompeian stronghold of Iberia (modern Spain) but decided to tackle Pompey himself in Greece. Pompey initially defeated Caesar, but failed to follow up on the victory, and was decisively defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, despite outnumbering Caesar’s forces two to one, albeit with inferior quality troops. Pompey fled again, this time to Egypt, where he was murdered. Pompey’s death did not result in an end to the civil war as Caesar’s enemies were manifold and continued to fight on. In 46 BC Caesar lost perhaps as much as a third of his army, but ultimately came back to defeat the Pompeian army of Metellus Scipio in the Battle of Thapsus, after which the Pompeians retreated yet again to Iberia. Caesar then defeated the combined Pompeian forces at the Battle of Munda. Caesar was now the primary figure of the Roman state, enforcing and entrenching his powers and his enemies feared that he had ambitions to become an autocratic ruler. Arguing that the Roman Republic was in danger a group of senators hatched a conspiracy and murdered Caesar in the Senate in March 44 BC. Mark Antony, Caesar’s lieutenant, condemned Caesar’s assassination, and war broke out between the two factions. Antony was denounced as a public enemy, and Caesar’s adopted son and chosen heir, Gaius Octavian, was entrusted with the command of the war against him. At the Battle of Mutina Antony was defeated by the consuls Hirtius and Pansa, who were both killed. Octavian came to terms with Caesarians Antony and Lepidus in 43 BC when the Second Triumvirate was formed. In 42 BC Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian fought the Battle of Philippi with Caesar’s assassins Brutus and Cassius. Although Brutus defeated Octavian, Antony defeated Cassius, who committed suicide. Brutus joined him shortly afterwards. However, civil war flared again when the Second Triumvirate of Octavian, Lepidus and Mark Antony failed. The ambitious Octavian built a power base of patronage and then launched a campaign against Mark Antony. At the naval Battle of Actium off the coast of Greece, Octavian decisively defeated Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian was granted a series of special powers including sole “imperium” within the city of Rome, permanent consular powers and credit for every Roman military victory, since all future generals were assumed to be acting under his command. In 27 BC Octavian was granted the use of the names “Augustus” and “Princeps” indicating his primary status above all other Romans, and he adopted the title “Imperator Caesar” making him the first Roman Emperor. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very 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. 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The item “Roman Republic 115BC ROME Authentic Ancient Silver Coin VICTORY CHARIOT i63934″ is in sale since Sunday, August 27, 2017. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Republic (300 BC-27 BC)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Composition: Silver
  • Era: Roman: Republic
  • Material: Silver