Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Relics from the time of the Battle of Salamis uncovered

The remains of a building was discovered by archaeologists working at a site off the coast of Salamis in 2019. They found ceramics, statues, columns and other features. They also found marble sculptures, including the head of a statue.
It was around this time, 480 B.C., that the Battle of Salamis took place. Following successful invasions by the Persians, the Greek fleet had withdrawn to Salamis and they were outnumbered. At this point Themistocles, a politician and general, convinced Greek allies to build a fleet and fight.
See ----->Ancient Naval Bases Discovered in Athens' Piraeus Harbor

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

The Aqueduct of Constantinople

The longest aqueduct of all time, the Aqueduct of Valens is 429 km long and supplied Constantinople with water. In AD 324, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great made Constantinople the new capital of the Roman Empire. The aqueduct system worked for more than 700 years, until at least the 12th century.

Judaea Capta

Vespasian levied the punitive Fiscus Judaicus tax against all five million of his Jewish subjects. The Great Revolt between the Romans and the Jews in 63 CE occured when Roman governor Gessius Florus looted the Second Temple. After the capture of Jerusalem, the last rebels committed suicide at Masada. In 69 CE, Galba, the governor of Hispania (Spain), rebelled against Nero and Rome saw the 'year of 4 emperors'.

Vespasian. AU Aureus (7.05 g), AD 69-79. ‘Judaea Capta’ type.
Vespasian then began striking vast numbers of Judaea Capta coins in all denominations.

One element of the Judaea Capta imagery is a group of military trophies. Captured weapons and armor hung from a tree or post represents a military victory over the defeated enemy.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Empress Livia Drusilla

Empress Livia Drusilla was Roman empress from 27 BC to 14 AD as the wife of Emperor Augustus. She was known as Julia Augusta after her formal adoption into the Julian family in AD 14. "Livia: a blight upon the nation as a mother, a blight upon the house of Caesar as a stepmother". That was Tacitus's assessment of Livia Drusilla. The historian elaborated that Livia put her husband, Emperor Augustus, under her control, and banished or had killed every potential heir to the throne in order to promote her own son, the bizzare Tiberius, as his successor.
In 42 AD Livia was deified by Claudius.
After Augustus died in 14 AD, Tiberius became emperor. Livia continued to exert political influence as the mother of the emperor. She was the great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, grandmother of the emperor Claudius, and the great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero. Livia is depicted as having great influence, to the extent where she "had the aged Augustus firmly under control." She died in 29 AD.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

House of the Tragic Poet

The House of the Tragic Poet is a Roman house in Pompeii famous for its elaborate mosaic floors and frescoes depicting scenes from Greek mythology. The house itself is not remarkable, but its interior decorations are not only numerous but of the highest quality among all others from ancient Pompeii. The mismatch between the size of the house and the quality of its decoration has been pondered. Little is known about the lives of the homeowners. The house originally contained more than twenty painted and mosaic panels, six of which have been relocated to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.
The House of the Tragic Poet was discovered in 1824 by archaeologist Antonio Bonucci.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Roman gold ring that inspired J.R.R Tolkien

In 2016 the UK National Trust and the Tolkien Society put an artifact on display for fans of "The Lord of the Rings" to decide for themselves whether this was Tolkien's precious ring of power. The Vyne Ring or the Ring of Silvianus is a gold ring, dating to the 4th century, discovered in a field in Hampshire, England, in 1785.
It was originally the property of a British Roman called Silvianus. The gold ring is inscribed in Latin, "Senicianus live well in God," and inset with an image of the goddess Venus. It is larger than average, weighing about 12 grams. The ring is believed to be linked to a curse tablet found separately at the site of a Roman temple dedicated to a god named Nodens in Gloucestershire.
The tablet says a man called Silvianus had lost a ring, and it asks Nodens to place a curse of ill health on Senicianus until he returns it. An archeologist who looked into the connection between the ring and the curse tablet asked Tolkien, who was an Anglo-Saxon professor at Oxford University, to work on the etymology of the name Nodens in 1929.

Agrippina “the Elder”

Agrippina I (mother of Caligula) Æ Sestertius. Rome, 37-41 CE. AGRIPPINA M F MAT C CAESARIS AVGVSTI, draped bust right / S P Q R MEMORIAE AGRIPPINAE, carpentum to left, drawn by two mules. $6,400. Born in 14 BCE, Agrippina “the Elder” was the daughter of Marcus Agrippa. Her mother was Julia, daughter of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. Agrippina married Germanicus, the adopted son of Augustus’ successor Tiberius, and in 12 CE bore the future emperor Gaius, nicknamed 'Caligula'.

She spent the time following Germanicus' death in 12 AD supporting the cause of her sons Nero and Drusus Caesar. She was caught in Nero's exile in AD 29. Nero was exiled to Pontia and she was exiled to the island of Pandateria, where she would remain until her death by starvation in AD 33.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Mosaics of Pompeii

Pompeii has provided valuable insight to the Roman world and most agree it is the richest archaeological site in the world. Fine mosaics were a common feature in the villas of the town and depicted scenes from mythology, the owner’s business interests or animal scenes.

They are of the highest artistic merit.

Plato's Academy Circle
Detail of Musician with tympanon, Villa del Cicerone
House of Neptune

Detail Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus

Head of Medusa

Detail Satyr and nymph