CONSTANTIUS II son of Constantine the Great with globe Ancient Roman Coin i39959
Item: i39959 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantius II – Roman Emperor: 337-361 A. Son of Constantine I the Great Bronze AE3 15mm (1.95 grams) Siscia mint: 355-361 A. Reference: RIC 390 (VIII, Siscia) DNCONSTANTIVSPFAVG – Diademed (pearls), draped and cuirassed bust right. SPESREIPVBLICE Exe: B SIS – Helmeted and cuirassed emperor standing left, holding globe and spear. Royal/Imperial symbols of power. Ruling dynasties often exploit pomp and ceremony with the use of regalia : crowns , robes , orb (globe) and sceptres , some of which are reflections of formerly practical objects. The use of language mechanisms also support this differentiation with subjects talking of “the crown” and/or of “the throne ” rather than referring directly to personal names and items. Monarchies provide the most explicit demonstration of tools to strengthen the elevation of leaders. Thrones sit high on daises leading to subjects lifting their gaze (if they have permission) to contemplate the ruler. Architecture in general can set leaders apart: note the symbolism inherent in the very name of the Chinese imperial Forbidden City. Flavius Iulius Constantius , known in English as Constantius II (7 August 317 November 3 361) was a Roman Emperor (337-361) of the Constantinian dynasty. Constantius joins the lengthy list of emperors whose career was marked by a seemingly endless series of wars both domestic and foreign. He served as Caesar from 324 until his father’s death in 337 at which time he shared the title of Augustus with two other brothers, Constantine II and Constans. To make sure no more Johnny-come-latelies in his family would try their hand at being emperor too it is thought that he engineered a bloodbath that left nary a relative. Constantine II died in battle and Constans was murdered by the men of Magnentius, the first of several usurpers. This left Constantius finally as sole legitimate emperor and he moved quickly to suppress Magnentius, an endeavor he eventually accomplished. The strife didn’t end there, however, as he still had to deal with other revolts and wars on every corner of the empire. Caught in these never-ending battles he died while on his way to battle Julian II. Flavius Iulius Constantius was born at Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia) in province of Pannonia , the third son of Constantine the Great , and second by his second wife Fausta , the daughter of Maximian. Constantius was made Caesar by his father on 13 November 324. The Massacre of 337. The role of Constantius in the massacre of his relatives (those descended from the second marriage of his paternal grandfather Constantius Chlorus and Theodora) is unclear. Zosimus , writing 498-518 claims that Constantius caused the soldiers to murder his relatives, as opposed to actually ordering the action. Eutropius , writing between 350 and 370, writes that Constantius merely sanctioned the act, rather than commanding it. However, it must be noted that both of these sources are hostile to Constantius – Zosimus being a pagan, Eutropius a friend of Julian , Constantius cousin and, ultimately, his enemy. Whatever the case, Constantius himself, his older brother Constantine II , his younger brother Constans and three cousins, Gallus , his half-brother Julian and Nepotianus , son of Eutropia , were left as the only surviving males related to Constantine. Division of the Empire. Meeting at Sirmium not long after the massacre, the three brothers proceeded to divide the Roman Empire among them, according to their father’s will. Constantine II received Britannia , Gaul and Hispania ; Constans (initially under the supervision of Constantine II) Italia , Africa , Illyricum, Thrace , Macedon and Achaea ; and Constantius the East. Reign in the East. There are few details of the early years of Constantius’ sole reign in the East. He seems to have spent most of his time defending the eastern border against invasions by the aggressive Sassanid Empire under Shapur II. These conflicts seem to have been mainly limited to Sassanid sieges of the various fortresses (Nisibis , Singara , Constantia and Amida) of Roman Mesopotamia , which achieved little for either side. Although Shapur II seems to have been victorious in most of the confrontations – except the Battle of Narasara, where one of Shapur II’s brothers, Narses, was killed – the overall result must be considered a victory for Constantius because Shapur failed to make any significant gains. In the meantime, Constantine II’s desire to retain control of Constans’ realm had lead Constantius’ two surviving brothers into open conflict; resulting in the death of the elder in 340. As a result, Constans took control of his deceased elder brothers realms and became sole ruler of the Western two-thirds of the Empire. This division lasted until 350, when Constans was killed in battle by forces loyal to the usurper Magnentius. This new state of affairs proved unacceptable to Constantius, who felt that, as the only surviving son of Constantine the Great , the position of Emperor was his alone. As such, he determined to march west to enforce his claims. However, feeling that the east still required some sort of imperial control, he elevated his cousin Constantius Gallus to Caesar of the East. As an extra measure to ensure the loyalty of his cousin, he married the elder of his two sisters, Constantina , to Gallus. Before facing Magnentius , Constantius first came to terms with Vetranio , a loyal Constantian general, who had previously accepted the position of Augustus in order to retain the loyalty of his troops, and probably to stop Magnentius from gaining more support. This action may have been carried out at the urging of Constantius own sister, Constantina , who had since traveled east to marry Gallus. Constantius for his own part had previously sent Vetranio the imperial diadem and acknowledged the generals new position. However, when Constantius arrived, Vetranio willingly and gladly resigned his position and accepted Constantius offer of a comfortable retirement in Bithynia. The following year, Constantius finally met Magnentius in the Battle of Mursa Major , one of the bloodiest battles in Roman history. The result was a defeat for the usurper, who withdrew back to his Gaulish domains. As a result, the cities of Italy switched their allegiance to Constantius and ejected all of Magnentius garrisons. Constantius spent the early months of 352 on a campaign against the Sarmatians , before moving on to invade Italy. When Constantius and Magnentius finally met again, at the Battle of Mons Seleucus in southern Gaul, Constantius once again emerged the victor. Soon after, Magnentius , realising the futility of continuing his revolt, committed suicide 10 August 353. Sole Ruler of the Roman Empire. Constantius spent much of the rest of 353 and early 354 on campaign against the Alemanni on the Danubian borders. The exact details of this campaign are uncertain, though it seems to have ended with victory for Constantius. The Downfall of Gallus. In the meantime, Constantius had been receiving some disturbing reports regarding the actions of his cousin, Gallus. Possibly as a result of these reports, Constantius concluded a peace with the Alemanni , and withdrew to Milan. Once there, he decided to first call Ursicinus , Gallus magister equitum , to Milan for reasons that remain unclear. Constantius then requested the presence of Gallus and Constantina. Although at first Gallus and Constantina complied with this order, when Constantina died in Bithynia , Gallus begun to hesitate. However, after some convincing by one of Constantius agents, Gallus continued his journey west, passing through Constantinople and Thrace to Petobio in the province of Noricum. It was there that Gallus was arrested by the soldiers of Constantius under the command of Barbatio. He was then moved to Pola , and interrogated. Once there, Gallus claimed that it was Constantina who was to blame for all the trouble that had been caused while he was in charge of the east. Apparently, at first, this so greatly angered Constantius that he immediately ordered the death of Gallus. However, soon after, he changed his mind, and recanted his execution order. Unfortunately for Gallus, this order was delayed by Eusebius , one of Constantius eunuchs, and, as a result, Gallus was executed. More Usurpers and Julian Caesar. On 11 August 355, the magister militum Claudius Silvanus revolted in Gaul. Silvanus had surrendered to Constantius after the battle of Mursa Major. A plot organized by members of Constantius’ court led the emperor to recall Silvanus. After Silvanus revolted, he received a letter by Constantius that recalled him to Milan, but which made no reference to the revolt. Ursicinus , who was meant to replace Silvanus, bribed some troops, and Silvanus was killed. However, Constantius realised that too many threats still faced the Empire, and he could not possibly handle all of them by himself, so on 6 November 355, he elevated his last remaining relative, Julian, to the rank of Caesar. A few days later, Julian was married to Helena , the last surviving sister of Constantius. Not long after Constantius sent Julian off to Gaul. Constantius in the West and Return to the East. Constantius spent the next few years overseeing affairs in the western part of the Empire primarily from his base at Milan. However, he also visited Rome – for the first and only time in his life – in 357, and, in that same year, he forced Sarmatian and Quadi invaders out of Pannonia and Moesia Inferior , then led a successful campaign across the Danube against the Sarmatians and the Germanic Quadi tribe. Around 357/8, Constantius received ambassadors from Shapur II , who demanded that Constantius restore the lands surrendered by Narseh. Despite rejecting these terms, Constantius still tried to avert war with the Sassanid Empire by sending two embassies to Shapur II. As a result of Constantius’ rejection of his terms, Shapur II launched another invasion of Roman Mesopotamia. When news reached Constantius that Shapur II had not only invaded Roman territory, but taken Amida. Destroyed Singara and taken Bezabde he decided to return to there to face this re-emergent threat in 360. The usurpation of Julian and Problems in the East. In the meantime, Julian had won some victories against the Alemanni tribe, who had once again invaded Roman Gaul. As such, Constantius requested reinforcements from Julian for his own campaign against Shapur II. However, when he requested reinforcements from Julian s Gaulish army, the Gaulish legions revolted and proclaimed Julian Augustus. However, on account of the immediate Sassanid threat, Constantius was unable to directly respond to his cousins usurpation other than by sending missives by which he tried to convince Julian to resign the title of Augustus and be satisfied with that of Caesar. By 361, Constantius saw no alternative but to face the usurper with violent force; and yet the threat of the Sassanids remained. Constantius had already spent part of early 361 unsuccessfully attempting to take the fortress of Bezabde. After a time, he had withdrawn to Antioch to regroup, and prepare for a confrontation with Shapur II. However, as it turned out, the campaigns of the previous year had inflicted such heavy losses on the Sassanids that they did not attempt another round of engagements in 361. This allowed Constantius to turn his full attention to facing the usurpation of Julian. As such, Constantius immediately gathered his forces and set off west. However, by the time he reached Mopsuestia in Cicilia, it was clear that he was fatally ill and would not survive to face Julian. Apparently, realising his death was near, Constantius had himself baptised by Euzoius , the Semi-Arian bishop of Antioch , and then declared that Julian was his rightful successor. Constantius II died of fever on 3 November 361. Constantius II was married three times. First to a daughter of his half-uncle Julius Constantius , whose name is unknown. She was a full-sister of Gallus and a half-sister of Julian. Second, to Eusebia, a woman of Macedonian origin from the city of Thessaloniki , whom he married before Constantius’ defeat of Magnentius in 353. She died in 360. Third and lastly, in 360, to Faustina (empress) , who gave birth to Constantius’ only child, a posthumous daughter named Flavia Maxima Constantia , who later married Emperor Gratian. Constantius seems to have had a particular interest in the religious state of the Roman Empire. As a Christian Roman Emperor , Constantius made a concerted effort to promote Christianity at the expense of Roman polytheism (paganism). As such, over the course of his reign, he issued a number of different edicts designed specifically to carry out this agenda (see below). Constantius also took an active part in attempting to shape the Christian church. In spite of the some of the edicts issued by Constantius, it should be recognised that he was not fanatically anti-pagan – he never made any attempt to disband the various Roman priestly colleges or the Vestal Virgins , he never acted against the various pagan schools, and, at times, he actually even made some effort to protect paganism. Also, most notably, he remained pontifex maximus until his death, and was actually deified by the Roman Senate after his death. The relative moderation of Constantius’ actions toward paganism is reflected by the fact that it was not until over 20 years after Constantius’ death, during the reign of Gratian , that any pagan senators protested their religion’s treatment. Although often considered an Arian , Constantius ultimately preferred a third, compromise version that lay somewhere in between Arianism and the Nicaean Creed , retrospectively called Semi-Arianism. As such, during his reign, Constantius made a concerted attempt to mold the Christian church to follow this compromise position, and to this end, he convened several Christian councils during his reign, the most notable of which were one at Rimini and its twin at Seleuca , which met in 359 and 360 respectively. “Unfortunately for his memory the theologians whose advice he took were ultimately discredited and the malcontents whom he pressed to conform emerged victorious, ” writes the historian A. The great councils of 359-60 are therefore not reckoned ecumenical in the tradition of the church, and Constantius II is not remembered as a restorer of unity, but as a heretic who arbitrarily imposed his will on the church. Judaism faced some severe restrictions under Constantius, who seems to have followed an anti-Jewish policy in line with that of his father. Early in his reign, Constantius issued a double edict in concert with his brothers limiting the ownership of slaves by Jewish people and banning marriages between Jews and Christian women. A later edict (issued by Constantius after becoming sole Emperor) decreed that a person who was proven to have converted from Christianity to Judaism would have their entire property confiscated by the state. However, it should be noted that Constantius’ actions in this regard may not have been so much to do with Jewish religion as Jewish business; apparently, it was often the case that privately-owned Jewish businesses were in competition with state-owned businesses. As such, Constantius may have sought to provide as much of an advantage to the state-owned businesses as possible by limiting the skilled workers and the slaves available to the Jewish businesses. Religious Edicts Issued by Constantius. Pagan-related edicts issued by Constantius (by himself or with others) included. The banning of sacrifices. The closing of pagan temples. Edicts against soothsayers and magicians. Christian-related edicts issued by Constantius (by himself or with others) included. Exemption from compulsory public service for the clergy; Exemption from compulsory public service for the sons of clergy. Clergy and the issue of private property. Bishops exempted from being tried in secular courts. Christian prostitutes only able to be bought by Christians. Jew-related edicts issued by Constantius (by himself or with others) included. Weaving women who moved from working for the government to working for Jews, must be restored to the government; Jews may not marry Christian women; Jews may not attempt to convert Christian women. Any non-Jewish slave bought by a Jew will be confiscated by the state; if a Jew attempts to circumcise a non-Jewish slave, the slave will be freed and the Jew shall face capital punishment; any Christian slaves owned by a Jew will be taken away and freed. A person who is proven to have converted from Christianity to Judaism shall have their property confiscated by the state. Constantius II is a particularly difficult figure to judge properly, mainly as a result of the hostility of most every source that mentions him. M Jones writes that Constantius appears in the pages of Ammianus as a conscientious emperor but a vain and stupid man, an easy prey to flatterers. He was timid and suspicious, and interested persons could easily play on his fears for their own advantage. However, Kent & M. Hirmer suggest that Constantius has suffered at the hands of unsympathetic authors, ecclesiastical and civil alike. To orthodox churchmen he was a bigoted supporter of the Arian heresy, to Julian the Apostate and the many who have subsequently taken his part he was a murderer, a tyrant and inept as a ruler. They go on to add, “Most contemporaries seem in fact to have held him in high esteem, and he certainly inspired loyalty in a way his brother could not”. The Roman Empire Latin. Was the post- Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization , characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, during the reign of Trajan in 117 AD. The 500-year-old Roman Republic , which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars. Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar’s appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium. 31 BC, and the Roman Senate’s granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus. Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but the Empire reached its greatest extent under Emperor Trajan : during his reign (98 to 117 AD) the Roman Empire controlled approximately. Because of the Empire’s vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe, and by means of European expansionism throughout the modern world. In the late 3rd century AD, Diocletian established the practice of dividing authority between four co-emperors (known as the tetrarchy) in order to better secure the vast territory, putting an end to the Crisis of the Third Century. During the following decades the Empire was often divided along an East/West axis. After the death of Theodosius I in 395 it was divided for the last time. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 as Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer. The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire ended in 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople to Mehmed II , leader of the Ottoman Turks. The powers of an emperor (his imperium) existed, in theory at least, by virtue of his “tribunician powers” (potestas tribunicia) and his “proconsular powers” (imperium proconsulare). In theory, the tribunician powers (which were similar to those of the Plebeian Tribunes under the old republic) made the Emperor’s person and office sacrosanct, and gave the Emperor authority over Rome’s civil government, including the power to preside over and to control the Senate. The proconsular powers (similar to those of military governors, or Proconsuls , under the old Republic) gave him authority over the Roman army. He was also given powers that, under the Republic, had been reserved for the Senate and the assemblies , including the right to declare war, to ratify treaties, and to negotiate with foreign leaders. In addition, the emperor controlled the religious institutions , since, as emperor, he was always Pontifex Maximus and a member of each of the four major priesthoods. While these distinctions were clearly defined during the early Empire, eventually they were lost, and the emperor’s powers became less constitutional and more monarchical. Realistically, the main support of an emperor’s power and authority was the military. Being paid by the imperial treasury, the legionaries also swore an annual military oath of loyalty towards him, called the Sacramentum. The death of an emperor led to a crucial period of uncertainty and crisis. In theory the Senate was entitled to choose the new emperor, but most emperors chose their own successors, usually a close family member. The new emperor had to seek a swift acknowledgement of his new status and authority in order to stabilize the political landscape. No emperor could hope to survive, much less to reign, without the allegiance and loyalty of the Praetorian Guard and of the legions. To secure their loyalty, several emperors paid the donativum , a monetary reward. While the Roman assemblies continued to meet after the founding of the Empire, their powers were all transferred to the Roman Senate , and so senatorial decrees (senatus consulta) acquired the full force of law. In theory, the Emperor and the Senate were two equal branches of government, but the actual authority of the Senate was negligible and it was largely a vehicle through which the Emperor disguised his autocratic powers under a cloak of republicanism. Although the Senate still commanded much prestige and respect, it was largely a glorified rubber stamp institution. Stripped of most of its powers, the Senate was largely at the Emperor’s mercy. Many emperors showed a certain degree of respect towards this ancient institution, while others were notorious for ridiculing it. During Senate meetings, the Emperor sat between the two consuls. And usually acted as the presiding officer. Higher ranking senators spoke before lower ranking senators, although the Emperor could speak at any time. By the 3rd century, the Senate had been reduced to a glorified municipal body. No emperor could rule the Empire without the Senatorial order and the Equestrian order. Most of the more important posts and offices of the government were reserved for the members of these two aristocratic orders. It was from among their ranks that the provincial governors, legion commanders, and similar officials were chosen. These two classes were hereditary. And mostly closed to outsiders. Very successful and favoured individuals could enter, but this was a rare occurrence. The career of a young aristocrat was influenced by his family connections and the favour of patrons. As important as ability, knowledge, skill, or competence, patronage was considered vital for a successful career and the highest posts and offices required the Emperor’s favour and trust. The son of a senator was expected to follow the Cursus honorum , a career ladder , and the more prestigious positions were restricted to senators only. A senator also had to be wealthy; one of the basic requirements was the wealth of 12,000 gold aurei (about 100 kg of gold), a figure which would later be raised with the passing of centuries. Below the Senatorial order was the Equestrian order. The requirements and posts reserved for this class, while perhaps not so prestigious, were still very important. Some of the more vital posts, like the governorship of Egypt (Latin Aegyptus) , were even forbidden to the members of the Senatorial order and available only to equestrians. During and after the civil war, Octavian reduced the huge number of the legions (over 60) to a much more manageable and affordable size (28). Several legions, particularly those with doubtful loyalties, were simply disbanded. Other legions were amalgamated, a fact suggested by the title Gemina (Twin). In AD 9, Germanic tribes wiped out three full legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This disastrous event reduced the number of the legions to 25. The total of the legions would later be increased again and for the next 300 years always be a little above or below 30. Augustus also created the Praetorian Guard : nine cohorts ostensibly to maintain the public peace which were garrisoned in Italy. Better paid than the legionaries, the Praetorians also served less time; instead of serving the standard 25 years of the legionaries, they retired after 16 years of service. While the auxilia (Latin: auxilia = supports) are not as famous as the legionaries, they were of major importance. Unlike the legionaries, the auxilia were recruited from among the non-citizens. Organized in smaller units of roughly cohort strength, they were paid less than the legionaries, and after 25 years of service were rewarded with Roman citizenship , also extended to their sons. According to Tacitus there were roughly as many auxiliaries as there were legionaries. Since at this time there were 25 legions of around 5,000 men each, the auxilia thus amounted to around 125,000 men, implying approximately 250 auxiliary regiments. The Roman navy Latin: Classis , lit. “Fleet” not only aided in the supply and transport of the legions, but also helped in the protection of the frontiers in the rivers Rhine and Danube. Therefore it patrolled the whole of the Mediterranean, parts of the North Atlantic (coasts of Hispania, Gaul, and Britannia), and had also a naval presence in the Black Sea. Nevertheless the army was considered the senior and more prestigious branch. The Temple of Bacchus in Baalbec , Lebanon. Until the Tetrarchy (296 AD) Roman provinces lat. Provincae were administrative and territorial units of the Roman Empire outside of Italy. In the old days of the Republic the governorships of the provinces were traditionally awarded to members of the Senatorial Order. Augustus’ reforms changed this policy. Augustus created the Imperial provinces. Most, but not all, of the Imperial provinces were relatively recent conquests and located at the borders. Thereby the overwhelming majority of legions, which were stationed at the frontiers, were under direct Imperial control. Very important was the Imperial province of Egypt , the major breadbasket of the Empire, whose grain supply was vital to feed the masses in Rome. It was considered the personal fiefdom of the Emperor, and Senators were forbidden to even visit this province. The governor of Egypt and the commanders of any legion stationed there were not from the Senatorial Order, but were chosen by the Emperor from among the members of the lower Equestrian Order. The old traditional policy continued largely unchanged in the Senatorial provinces. Due to their location, away from the borders, and to the fact that they were under longer Roman sovereignty and control, these provinces were largely peaceful and stable. Only a single legion was based in a Senatorial province: Legio III Augusta , stationed in the Senatorial province of Africa (modern northern Algeria). The status of a province was subject to change; it could change from Senatorial towards Imperial, or vice-versa. This happened several times. Another trend was to create new provinces, mostly by dividing older ones, or by expanding the Empire. The Pantheon , the present structure built during Hadrian’s reign, was dedicated to the worship of all Roman deities. As the Empire expanded, and came to include people from a variety of cultures, the worship of an ever increasing number of deities was tolerated and accepted. The Imperial government, and the Romans in general, tended to be very tolerant towards most religions and cults, so long as they did not cause trouble. This could easily be accepted by other faiths as Roman liturgy and ceremonies were frequently tailored to fit local culture and identity. Since the Romans practiced polytheism they were also able to easily assimilate the gods of the peoples the Empire conquered. An individual could attend to both the Roman gods representing his Roman identity and his own personal faith, which was considered part of his personal identity. There were periodic persecutions of various religions at various points in time, most notably that of Christians. As the historian Edward Gibbon noted, however, most of the recorded histories of Christian persecutions come to us through the Christian church, which had an incentive to exaggerate the degree to which the persecutions occurred. The non-Christian contemporary sources only mention the persecutions passingly and without assigning great importance to them. The Augustus of Prima Porta , showing Augustus in military outfit holding a consular baton (now broken off). In an effort to enhance loyalty, the inhabitants of the Empire were called to participate in the Imperial cult to revere (usually deceased) emperors as demigods. Few emperors claimed to be Gods while living, with the few exceptions being emperors who were widely regarded at the time to be insane (such as Caligula). Doing so in the early Empire would have risked revealing the shallowness of what the Emperor Augustus called the “restored Republic” and would have had a decidedly eastern quality to it. Since the tool was mostly one the Emperor used to control his subjects, its usefulness would have been greatest in the chaotic later Empire, when the emperors were often Christians and unwilling to participate in the practice. Usually, an emperor was deified after his death by his successor in an attempt by that successor to enhance his own prestige. This practice can be misunderstood, however, since “deification” was to the ancient world what canonization is to the Christian world. Likewise, the term “god” had a different context in the ancient world. This could be seen during the years of the Roman Republic with religio-political practices such as the disbanding of a Senate session if it was believed the gods disapproved of the session or wished a particular vote. Deification was one of the many honors a dead emperor was entitled to, as the Romans (more than modern societies) placed great prestige on honors and national recognitions. The importance of the Imperial cult slowly grew, reaching its peak during the Crisis of the Third Century. Especially in the eastern half of the Empire, imperial cults grew very popular. As such it was one of the major agents of romanization. The central elements of the cult complex were next to a temple; a theatre or amphitheatre for gladiator displays and other games and a public bath complex. Sometimes the imperial cult was added to the cults of an existing temple or celebrated in a special hall in the bath complex. The seriousness of this belief is unclear. Some Romans ridiculed the notion that a Roman emperor was to be considered a living god, or would even make fun of the deification of an emperor after his death. Seneca the Younger parodied the notion of apotheosis in his only known satire The Pumpkinification of Claudius , in which the clumsy and ill-spoken Claudius is transformed not into a god, but a pumpkin or gourd. An element of mockery was present even at Claudius’s funeral, and Vespasian’s purported last words were Væ, puto deus fio , Oh dear! I think I’m becoming a god! Absorption of foreign cults. Since Roman religion did not have a core belief that excluded other religions, several foreign gods and cults became popular. The worship of Cybele was the earliest, introduced from around 200 BC. Isis and Osiris were introduced from Egypt a century later. Bacchus and Sol Invictus were quite important and Mithras became very popular with the military. Several of these were Mystery cults. In the 1st century BC Julius Caesar granted Jews the freedom to worship in Rome as a reward for their help in Alexandria. Druids were considered as essentially non-Roman: a prescript of Augustus forbade Roman citizens to practice “druidical” rites. Pliny reports that under Tiberius the druids were suppressedalong with diviners and physiciansby a decree of the Senate, and Claudius forbade their rites completely in AD 54. The Crisis under Caligula (3741) has been proposed as the “first open break between Rome and the Jews”, even though problems were already evident during the Census of Quirinius in 6 and under Sejanus (before 31). Until the rebellion in Judea in AD 66, Jews were generally protected. To get around Roman laws banning secret societies and to allow their freedom of worship, Julius Caesar declared Synagogues were colleges. Claudius expelled Jews from the city; however, the passage of Suetonius is ambiguous: Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus he [Claudius] expelled them from the city. Chrestus has been identified as another form of Christus ; the disturbances may have been related to the arrival of the first Christians , and that the Roman authorities, failing to distinguish between the Jews and the early Christians, simply decided to expel them all. Historians debate whether or not the Roman government distinguished between Christians and Jews prior to Nerva’s modification of the Fiscus Judaicus in 96. The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer , by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883). Christianity emerged in Roman Judea as a Jewish religious sect in the 1st century AD. The religion gradually spread out of Jerusalem , initially establishing major bases in first Antioch , then Alexandria , and over time throughout the Empire as well as beyond. Christianity shares numerous traits with other mystery cults that existed in Rome at the time. Early Christianity placed a strong emphasis on baptism, a ritual which marked the convert as having been inducted into the mysteries of the faith. The focus on a belief in salvation and the afterlife was another major similarity to other mystery cults. The crucial difference between Christianity and other mystery cults was the monotheism of Christianity. Early Christians thus refused to participate in civic cults because of these monotheistic beliefs, leading to their persecution. For the first two centuries of the Christian era , Imperial authorities largely viewed Christianity simply as a Jewish sect rather than a distinct religion. No emperor issued general laws against the faith or its Church, and persecutions, such as they were, were carried out under the authority of local government officials. A surviving letter from Pliny the Younger , governor of Bythinia, to the Emperor Trajan describes his persecution and executions of Christians; Trajan notably responded that Pliny should not seek out Christians nor heed anonymous denunciations, but only punish open Christians who refused to recant. Suetonius mentions in passing that during the reign of Nero “punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition ” (superstitionis novae ac maleficae). He gives no reason for the punishment. Tacitus reports that after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, some among the population held Nero responsible and that the emperor attempted to deflect blame onto the Christians. One of the earliest persecutions occurred in Gaul at Lyon in 177. Persecution was often local and sporadic, and some Christians welcomed martyrdom as a testament of faith. The Decian persecution (246251) was a serious threat to the Church, but while it potentially undermined the religious hierarchy in urban centers, ultimately it served to strengthen Christian defiance. Diocletian undertook what was to be the most severe and last major persecution of Christians , lasting from 303 to 311. Christianity had become too widespread to suppress, and in 313, the Edict of Milan made tolerance the official policy. Constantine I (sole ruler 324337) became the first Christian emperor, and in 380 Theodosius I established Christianity as the official religion. By the 5th century Christian hegemony had rapidly changed the Empire’s identity even as the Western provinces collapsed. Those who practiced the traditional polytheistic religions were persecuted, as were Christians regarded as heretics by the authorities in power. The language of Rome before its expansion was Latin , and this became the empire’s official language. By the time of the imperial period Latin had developed two registers : the “high” written Classical Latin and the “low” spoken Vulgar Latin. While Classical Latin remained relatively stable, even through the Middle Ages , Vulgar Latin as with any spoken language was fluid and evolving. Vulgar Latin became the lingua franca in the western provinces, later evolving into the modern Romance languages : Italian , French , Portuguese , Spanish , Romanian , etc. Greek and Classical Latin were the languages of literature, scholarship, and education. Although Latin remained the most widely spoken language in the West, through to the fall of Rome and for some centuries afterwards, in the East the Greek language was the literary language and the lingua franca. The Romans generally did not attempt to supplant local languages. Along with Greek, many other languages of different tribes were used but almost without expression in writing. Greek was already widely spoken in many cities in the east, and as such, the Romans were quite content to retain it as an administrative language there rather than impede bureaucratic efficiency. Hence, two official secretaries served in the Roman Imperial court, one charged with correspondence in Latin and the other with correspondence in Greek for the East. Thus in the Eastern Province, as with all provinces, original languages were retained. Moreover, the process of hellenisation widened its scope during the Roman period, for the Romans perpetuated “Hellenistic” culture. But with all the trappings of Roman improvements. This further spreading of “Hellenistic” culture (and therefore language) was largely due to the extensive infrastructure in the form of entertainment, health, and education amenities, and extensive transportation networks, etc. Put in place by the Romans and their tolerance of, and inclusion of, other cultures, a characteristic which set them apart from the xenophobic nature of the Greeks preceding them. Since the Roman annexation of Greece in 146 BC, the Greek language gradually obtained a unique place in the Roman world, owing initially to the large number of Greek slaves in Roman households. However, due to the presence of other widely spoken languages in the densely populated east, such as Coptic , Syriac , Armenian , Aramaic and Phoenician (which was also extensively spoken in North Africa), Greek never took as strong a hold beyond Asia Minor (some urban enclaves notwithstanding) as Latin eventually did in the west. This is partly evident in the extent to which the derivative languages are spoken today. Like Latin, the language gained a dual nature with the literary language, an Attic Greek variant, existing alongside spoken language, Koine Greek , which evolved into Medieval or Byzantine Greek (Romaic). By the 4th century AD, Greek no longer held such dominance over Latin in the arts and sciences as it had previously, resulting to a great extent from the growth of the western provinces. This was true also of Christian literature, reflected, for example, in the publication in the early 5th century AD of the Vulgate Bible , the first officially accepted Latin Bible. As the Western Empire declined , the number of people who spoke both Greek and Latin declined as well, contributing greatly to the future East West / Orthodox Catholic cultural divide in Europe. Important as both languages were, today the descendants of Latin are widely spoken in many parts of the world, while the Greek dialects are limited mostly to Greece, Cyprus , and small enclaves in Turkey and Southern Italy (where the Eastern Empire retained control for several more centuries). To some degree this can be attributed to the fact that the western provinces fell mainly to “Latinised” Christian tribes whereas the eastern provinces fell to Muslim Arabs and Turks for whom Greek held less cultural significance. Life in the Roman Empire revolved around the city of Rome, and its famed seven hills. The city also had several theatres , gymnasia , and many taverns , baths and brothels. Throughout the territory under Rome’s control, residential architecture ranged from very modest houses to country villas , and in the capital city of Rome, to the residences on the elegant Palatine Hill , from which the word ” palace ” is derived. The vast majority of the population lived in the city centre, packed into apartment blocks. Most Roman towns and cities had a forum and temples, as did the city of Rome itself. Aqueducts were built to bring water to urban centres. And served as an avenue to import wine and oil from abroad. Landlords generally resided in cities and their estates were left in the care of farm managers. To stimulate a higher labour productivity, many landlords freed a large numbers of slaves. By the time of Augustus, cultured Greek household slaves taught the Roman young (sometimes even the girls). Greek sculptures adorned Hellenistic landscape gardening on the Palatine or in the villas. Many aspects of Roman culture were taken from the Etruscans and the Greeks. In architecture and sculpture , the difference between Greek models and Roman paintings are apparent. The chief Roman contributions to architecture were the arch and the dome. Roman public baths (Thermae) in Bath , England (Aquae Sulis in the Roman province of Britannia). The centre of the early social structure was the family, which was not only marked by blood relations but also by the legally constructed relation of patria potestas. The Pater familias was the absolute head of the family; he was the master over his wife, his children, the wives of his sons, the nephews, the slaves and the freedmen, disposing of them and of their goods at will, even putting them to death. Originally, only patrician aristocracy enjoyed the privilege of forming familial clans, or gens , as legal entities; later, in the wake of political struggles and warfare, clients were also enlisted. Thus, such plebian gentes were the first formed, imitating their patrician counterparts. Generally mutilation and murder of slaves was prohibited by legislation. It is estimated that over 25% of the Roman population was enslaved Professor Gerhard Rempel from the Western New England College claims that in the city of Rome alone, during the Empire, there were about 400,000 slaves. The city of Rome had a place called the Campus Martius (“Field of Mars”), which was a sort of drill ground for Roman soldiers. Later, the Campus became Rome’s track and field playground. In the campus, the youth assembled to play and exercise, which included jumping, wrestling , boxing and racing. Riding , throwing, and swimming were also preferred physical activities. In the countryside, pastimes also included fishing and hunting. Board games played in Rome included Dice (Tesserae or Tali), Roman Chess (Latrunculi), Roman Checkers (Calculi), Tic-tac-toe (Terni Lapilli), and Ludus duodecim scriptorum and Tabula, predecessors of backgammon. There were several other activities to keep people engaged like chariot races, musical and theatrical performances. Clothing, dining, and the arts. Fresco of a Roman woman from Pompeii , c. Roman clothing fashions changed little from the late Republic to the end of the Western empire 600 years later. The cloth and the dress distinguished one class of people from the other class. The tunic worn by plebeians (common people) like shepherds and slaves was made from coarse and dark material, whereas the tunic worn by patricians was of linen or white wool. A magistrate would wear the tunica augusticlavi ; senators wore a tunic with broad stripes, called tunica laticlavi. Military tunics were shorter than the ones worn by civilians. Boys, up until the festival of Liberalia, wore the toga praetexta , which was a toga with a crimson or purple border. The toga virilis , (or toga pura) was worn by men over the age of 16 to signify their citizenship in Rome. The toga picta was worn by triumphant generals and had embroidery of their skill on the battlefield. The toga pulla was worn when in mourning. Even footwear indicated a person’s social status: patricians wore red and orange sandals, senators had brown footwear, consuls had white shoes, and soldiers wore heavy boots. Men typically wore a toga , and women a stola. The woman’s stola looked different from a toga, and was usually brightly coloured. The Romans also invented socks for those soldiers required to fight on the northern frontiers, sometimes worn in sandals. In the later empire after Diocletian’s reforms, clothing worn by soldiers and non-military government bureaucrats became highly decorated, with woven or embroidered strips, clavi , and circular roundels, orbiculi , added to tunics and cloaks. These decorative elements usually consisted of geometrical patterns and stylised plant motifs, but could include human or animal figures. The use of silk also increased steadily and most courtiers of the later empire wore elaborate silk robes. Heavy military-style belts were worn by bureaucrats as well as soldiers, revealing the general militarization of late Roman government. Trousersconsidered barbarous garments worn by Germans and Persianswere only adopted partially near the end of the empire in a sign for conservatives of cultural decay. Early medieval kings and aristocrats dressed like late Roman generals, not like the older toga-clad senatorial tradition. Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti (IX 12, 6-8) in Pompeii. Romans had simple food habits. Staple food was simple, generally consumed at around 11 o’clock, and consisted of bread, salad, cheese, fruits, nuts, and cold meat left over from the dinner the night before. The Roman poet, Horace mentions another Roman favourite, the olive , in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: As for me, olives, endives , and smooth mallows provide sustenance. The family ate together, sitting on stools around a table. Fingers were used to eat solid foods and spoons were used for soups. Wine was considered a staple drink, consumed at all meals and occasions by all classes and was quite cheap. Many types of drinks involving grapes and honey were consumed as well. Drinking on an empty stomach was regarded as boorish and a sure sign for alcoholism , whose debilitating physical and psychological effects were known to the Romans. An accurate accusation of being an alcoholic was an effective way to discredit political rivals. Woman playing a kithara , a wall mural from Boscoreale , dated 4030 BC. Roman literature was from its very inception influenced heavily by Greek authors. Some of the earliest works we possess are of historical epics telling the early military history of Rome. As the empire expanded, authors began to produce poetry, comedy, history, and tragedy. Virgil represents the pinnacle of Roman epic poetry. His Aeneid tells the story of flight of Aeneas from Troy and his settlement of the city that would become Rome. The genre of satire was common in Rome, and satires were written by, among others, Juvenal and Persius. Many Roman homes were decorated with landscapes by Greek artists. Portrait sculpture during the period utilized youthful and classical proportions, evolving later into a mixture of realism and idealism. Advancements were also made in relief sculptures, often depicting Roman victories. Music was a major part of everyday life. The word itself derives from Greek (mousike), “(art) of the Muses “. Many private and public events were accompanied by music, ranging from nightly dining to military parades and maneuvers. In a discussion of any ancient music, however, non-specialists and even many musicians have to be reminded that much of what makes our modern music familiar to us is the result of developments only within the last 1,000 years; thus, our ideas of melody, scales, harmony, and even the instruments we use would not be familiar to Romans who made and listened to music many centuries earlier. Over time, Roman architecture was modified as their urban requirements changed, and the civil engineering and building construction technology became developed and refined. The Roman concrete has remained a riddle, and even after more than 2,000 years some Roman structures still stand magnificently. The architectural style of the capital city was emulated by other urban centres under Roman control and influence. Following various military conquests in the Greek East , Romans adapted a number of Greek educational precepts to their own system. Conforming to discipline was a point of great emphasis. Girls generally received instruction. From their mothers in the art of spinning , weaving , and sewing. Education nominally began at the age of six. During the next six to seven years, both boys and girls were taught the basics of reading , writing and arithmetic. From the age of twelve, they would be learning Latin , Greek , grammar and literature , followed by training for public speaking. Oratory was an art to be practised and learnt, and good orators commanded respect. To become an effective orator was one of the objectives of education and learning. In some cases, services of gifted slaves were utilized for imparting education. The invention and widespread application of hydraulic mining , namely hushing and ground-sluicing, aided by the ability of the Romans to plan and execute mining operations on a large scale, allowed various base and precious metals to be extracted on a proto-industrial scale. The annual total iron output is estimated at 82,500 t , assuming a productive capacity of c. 1.5 kg per capita. Copper was produced at an annual rate of 15,000 t, and lead at 80,000 t. Both production levels not to be paralled until the Industrial Revolution. Spain alone had a 40% share in world lead production. The high lead output was a by-product of extensive silver mining which reached an amount of 200 t per annum. At its peak around the mid-2nd century AD, the Roman silver stock is estimated at 10,000 t, five to ten times larger than the combined silver mass of medieval Europe and the Caliphate around 800 AD. Any one of the Imperium’ s most important mining provinces produced as much silver as the contemporary Han empire as a whole, and more gold by an entire order of magnitude. A Roman aureus struck under Augustus, c. AD 1314; the reverse shows Tiberius riding on a quadriga , celebrating the fifteenth renewal of his tribunal power. The imperial government was, as all governments, interested in the issue and control of the currency in circulation. To mint coins was an important political act: the image of the ruling emperor appeared on most issues, and coins were a means of showing his image throughout the empire. Also featured were predecessors, empresses, other family members, and heirs apparent. By issuing coins with the image of an heir his legitimacy and future succession was proclaimed and reinforced. Political messages and imperial propaganda such as proclamations of victory and acknowledgements of loyalty also appeared in certain issues. Legally only the emperor and the Senate had the authority to mint coins inside the empire. However the authority of the Senate was mainly in name only. In general, the imperial government issued gold and silver coins while the Senate issued bronze coins marked by the legend “SC” , short for Senatus Consulto “by decree of the Senate”. However, bronze coinage could be struck without this legend. Some Greek cities were allowed to mint. Bronze and certain silver coins, which today are known as Greek Imperials (also Roman Colonials or Roman Provincials). The imperial mints were under the control of a chief financial minister, and the provincial mints were under the control of the imperial provincial procurators. The Senatorial mints were governed by officials of the Senatorial treasury. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “CONSTANTIUS II son of Constantine the Great with globe Ancient Roman Coin i39959″ is in sale since Thursday, May 1, 2014. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.