Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality, deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual greatness. In other words, it is a behavior. Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong; the opposite of virtue is vice. The four classic cardinal virtues in Christianity are temperance, prudence and justice. Christianity derives the three theological virtues of faith and love from 1 Corinthians. Together these make up the seven virtues. Buddhism's four brahmavihara can be regarded as virtues in the European sense; the Japanese Bushidō code is characterized by up to ten virtues, including rectitude and benevolence. The ancient Romans used the Latin word virtus to refer to all of the "excellent qualities of men, including physical strength, valorous conduct, moral rectitude." The French words vertu and virtu came from this Latin root. In the 13th century, the word virtue was "borrowed into English".
During Egyptian civilization, Maat or Ma'at spelled māt or mayet, was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, order, law and justice. Maat was personified as a goddess regulating the stars and the actions of both mortals and the deities; the deities set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. Her counterpart was Isfet, who symbolized chaos and injustice; the four classic cardinal virtues are: temperance: σωφροσύνη prudence: φρόνησις courage: ἀνδρεία justice: δικαιοσύνη This enumeration is traced to Greek philosophy and was listed by Plato in addition to piety: ὁσιότης, with the exception that wisdom replaced prudence as virtue. Some scholars consider either of the above four virtue combinations as mutually reducible and therefore not cardinal, it is unclear whether multiple virtues were of construct, whether Plato subscribed to a unified view of virtues. In Protagoras and Meno, for example, he states that the separate virtues cannot exist independently and offers as evidence the contradictions of acting with wisdom, yet in an unjust way.
In his work Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined a virtue as a point between a deficiency and an excess of a trait. The point of greatest virtue lies not in the exact middle, but at a golden mean sometimes closer to one extreme than the other. However, the virtuous action is not the "mean" between two opposite extremes; as Aristotle says in the Nicomachean Ethics: "at the right times, about the right things, towards the right people, for the right end, in the right way, is the intermediate and best condition, this is proper to virtue." This is not splitting the difference between two extremes. For example, generosity is a virtue between the two extremes of miserliness and being profligate. Further examples include: courage between cowardice and foolhardiness, confidence between self-deprecation and vanity. In Aristotle's sense, virtue is excellence at being human. Seneca, the Roman Stoic, said. Thus, in considering all consequences, a prudent person would act in the same way as a virtuous person.
The same rationale was expressed by Plato in Meno, when he wrote that people only act in ways that they perceive will bring them maximum good. It is the lack of wisdom. In this way, wisdom is the central part of virtue. Plato realized that because virtue was synonymous with wisdom it could be taught, a possibility he had earlier discounted, he added "correct belief" as an alternative to knowledge, proposing that knowledge is correct belief, thought through and "tethered". The term "virtue" itself is derived from the Latin "virtus", had connotations of "manliness", "honour", worthiness of deferential respect, civic duty as both citizen and soldier; this virtue was but one of many virtues which Romans of good character were expected to exemplify and pass on through the generations, as part of the Mos Maiorum. Romans distinguished between the spheres of private and public life, thus, virtues were divided between those considered to be in the realm of private family life, those expected of an upstanding Roman citizen.
Most Roman concepts of virtue were personified as a numinous deity. The primary Roman virtues, both public and private, were: Auctoritas – "spiritual authority" – the sense of one's social standing, built up through experience and Industria; this was considered to be essential for a magistrate's ability to enforce order. Comitas – "humour" – ease of manner, courtesy and friendliness. Constantia – "perseverance" – military stamina, as well as general mental and physical endurance in the face of hardship. Clementia – "mercy" – mildness and gentleness, the ability to set aside previous transgressions. Dignitas – "dignity" – a sense of self-worth, personal self-respect and self-esteem. Disciplina – "discipline" – considered essential to military excellence. Firmitas – "tenacity" – strength of mind, the ability to stick to one's purpose at hand without wavering. Frugalitas – "frugality" – economy and
The Severan dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 193 and 235. The dynasty was founded by the general Septimius Severus, who rose to power as the victor of the Civil War of 193–197. Although Septimius Severus restored peace following the upheaval of the late 2nd century, the dynasty was disturbed by unstable family relationships, as well as constant political turmoil foreshadowing the imminent Crisis of the Third Century, it was one of the last lineages of the Principate founded by Augustus. For dynastic relationships: see Severan dynasty family tree Lucius Septimius Severus was born to a family of Phoenicia equestrian rank in Leptis Magna, the Roman province of Africa proconsularis, in modern-day Libya, he rose through military service to consular rank under the Antonines. He married Syrian noblewoman Julia Domna and had two children with her and Geta, he was subsequently proclaimed emperor in 193 by his legionaries in Noricum during the political unrest that followed the death of Commodus, he secured sole rule over the empire in 197 after defeating his last rival, Clodius Albinus, at the Battle of Lugdunum.
Severus fought a successful war against the Parthians and campaigned with success against barbarian incursions in Roman Britain, rebuilding Hadrian's Wall. In Rome, his relations with the Senate were poor, but he was popular with the commoners, as with his soldiers, whose salary he raised. Starting in 197, his Praetorian prefect Gaius Fulvius Plautianus was a negative influence, he would be executed in 205. One of Plautianus's successors was the jurist Aemilius Papinianus. Severus continued official persecution of Christians and Jews, as they were the only two groups who would not assimilate their beliefs to the official syncretistic creed. Severus died, he was succeeded by his sons Caracalla and Geta, who reigned under the influence of their mother, Julia Domna. The eldest son of Severus, he was born Lucius Septimius Bassianus in Gaul. "Caracalla" was a nickname referring to the Gallic hooded tunic he habitually wore when he slept. Upon his father's death, Caracalla was proclaimed co-emperor with his brother Geta.
Conflict between the two culminated in the assassination of the latter less than a year after their father's death. Reigning alone, Caracalla was noted for lavish bribes to the legionaries and unprecedented cruelty, authorizing numerous assassinations of perceived enemies and rivals, he campaigned with indifferent success against the Alamanni. The Baths of Caracalla in Rome are the most enduring monument of his rule, he was assassinated while en route to a campaign against the Parthians by a Praetorian Guard. Younger son of Severus, Geta was made co-emperor with his older brother Caracalla upon his father's death. Unlike the much more successful joint reign of Marcus Aurelius and his brother Lucius Verus in the previous century, relations were hostile between the two Severan brothers from the start. Geta was assassinated in his mother's apartments by order of Caracalla, who thereafter ruled as sole Augustus. Marcus Opelius Macrinus was born in 164 at Caesarea Mauretaniae. Although coming from a humble background, not dynastically related to the Severan dynasty.
On account of the cruelty and treachery of the emperor, Macrinus became involved in a conspiracy to kill him, ordered the Praetorian Guard to do so. On April 8, 217, Caracalla was assassinated travelling to Carrhae. Three days Macrinus was declared Augustus, his most significant early decision was to make peace with the Parthians, but many thought that the terms were degrading to the Romans. However, his downfall was his refusal to award the pay and privileges promised to the eastern troops by Caracalla, he kept those forces wintered in Syria, where they became attracted to the young Elagabalus. After months of mild rebellion by the bulk of the army in Syria, Macrinus took his loyal troops to meet the army of Elagabalus near Antioch. Despite a good fight by the Praetorian Guard, his soldiers were defeated. Macrinus managed to escape to Chalcedon but his authority was lost: he was betrayed and executed after a short reign of just 14 months. Marcus Opelius Diadumenianus was the son of Macrinus, born in 208.
He was given the title Caesar in 217. After his father's defeat outside Antioch, he tried to escape east to Parthia, but was captured and killed before he could achieve this. Elagabalus was born Varius Avitus Bassianus in 204, became known as Marcus Aurelius Antonius; the name "Elagabalus" followed the Latin nomenclature for the Syrian sun god Elagabal, of whom he had become a priest at an early age. Elagabal was represented by a dark rock called a baetyl. Elagabalus's grandmother, Julia Maesa, Julia Domna's sister and sister-in-law of Emperor Septimius Severus, arranged for the restoration of the Severan dynasty, persuaded soldiers from The Gallic Third Legion who were stationed near Emesa, using her enormous wealth, as well as the claim that Caracalla had slept with her daughter and that the boy was his bastard to swear fealty to Elagabalus, he was invited alongside his mother and daughters to the military camp, clad in imperial purple, crowned as emperor by the soldiers. His reign in Rome has long been known for being outrageous, although the historical sources are few, in many cases not to be trusted.
He is said to have smothered guests at a banquet by flooding the room with rose petals, married his male lover, married a vestal virgin. Dio suggests he
In Roman mythology, Flora is a Sabine-derived goddess of flowers and of the season of spring – a symbol for nature and flowers. While she was otherwise a minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility goddesses, her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime, as did her role as goddess of youth, her Greek counterpart is Chloris. Her name is derived from the Latin word "flos" which means "flower". In modern English, "Flora" means the plants of a particular region or period, her festival, the Floralia, was held between April 28 and May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life and flowers. The festival was first instituted in 240 B. C. E, on the advice of the Sibylline books, she was given a temple in 238 B. C. E. At the festival, with the men decked in flowers, the women wearing forbidden gay costumes, five days of farces and mimes were enacted – ithyphallic, including nudity when called for – followed by a sixth day of the hunting of goats and hares.
On May 23 another festival was held in her honor. Flora's Greek equivalent is Chloris, a nymph. Flora is married to Favonius, the wind god known as Zephyr, her companion was Hercules. Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of Antiquity among Renaissance humanists than she had enjoyed in ancient Rome. Flora is the main character of the ballet The Awakening of Flora, she is mentioned in Henry Purcell's Nymphs and Shepherds. There are many monuments of Flora, e.g. in Valencia and Szczecin. Ovid, Fasti V.193-212 Macrobius, Saturnalia I.10.11-14 Lactantius, Divinae institutions I.20.6-10 Media related to Flora at Wikimedia Commons "Flora". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914. "Flora". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory: Flora
In Roman religion, the genius is the individual instance of a general divine nature, present in every individual person, place, or thing. Much like a guardian angel, the genius would follow each man from the hour of his birth until the day he died. For women, it was the Juno spirit; each individual place so did powerful objects, such as volcanoes. The concept extended to some specifics: the genius of the theatre, of vineyards, of festivals, which made performances successful, grapes grow, celebrations succeed, respectively, it was important in the Roman mind to propitiate the appropriate genii for the major undertakings and events of their lives. The Christian theologian Augustine equated the Christian "soul" with the Roman genius, citing Varro as attributing the rational powers and abilities of every human being to their genius. Although the term genius might apply to any divinity whatsoever, most of the higher-level and state genii had their own well-established names. Genius applied most to individual places or people not known.
Houses, gates, districts, each one had its own genius. The supreme hierarchy of the Roman gods, like that of the Greeks, was modelled after a human family, it featured a father, the supreme divine unity, a mother, queen of the gods. These supreme unities were subdivided into genii for each individual family; the male function was a Jupiter. The juno was worshipped under many titles: Iugalis, "of marriage" Matronalis, "of married women" Pronuba, "of brides" Virginalis, "of virginity"Genii were viewed as protective spirits, as one would propitiate them for protection. For example, to protect infants one propitiated a number of deities concerned with birth and childrearing: Cuba and Rumina. If those genii did not perform their proper function well, the infant would be in danger. Hundreds of lararia, or family shrines, have been discovered at Pompeii off the atrium, kitchen or garden, where the smoke of burnt offerings could vent through the opening in the roof. A lararium was distinct from the penus, another shrine where the penates, gods associated with the storerooms, was located.
Each lararium features a panel fresco containing the same theme: two peripheral figures attend on a central figure or two figures who may or may not be at an altar. In the foreground is one or two serpents crawling toward the genius through a meadow motif. Campania and Calabria preserved an ancient practice of keeping a propitious house snake, here linked with the genius. In another, unrelated fresco the snake-in-meadow appears below a depiction of Mount Vesuvius and is labelled Agathodaimon, "good daimon", where daimon must be regarded as the Greek equivalent of genius; the word is loaned from genius, deriving from gēns from the Indo-European root *gene-, "give birth, produce". The genius appears explicitly in Roman literature as early as Plautus, where one character in the play, jests that the father of another is so avaricious that he uses cheap Samian ware in sacrifices to his own genius, so as not to tempt the genius to steal it. In this passage, the genius is not identical to the person, as to propitiate oneself would be absurd, yet the genius has the avarice of the person.
Horace, writing when the first emperor was introducing the cult of his own genius, describes the genius as "the companion which controls the natal star. Octavius Caesar on return to Rome after the final victory of the Roman Civil War at the Battle of Actium appeared to the Senate to be a man of great power and success a mark of divinity. In recognition of the prodigy they voted. In concession to this sentiment he chose the name Augustus, capturing the numinous meaning of English "august." The household cult of the Genius Augusti dates from this period. It was propitiated at every meal along with the other household numina, thus began the tradition of the Imperial cult, in which Romans worshipped the genius of the emperor rather than the person. If the genius of the imperator, or commander of all troops, was to be propitiated, so was that of all the units under his command; the provincial troops expanded the idea of the genii of state. Inscriptional dedications to genius were not confined to the military.
From Gallia Cisalpina under the empire are numerous dedications to the genii of persons of authority and respect. Sometimes the dedication is combined with other words, such as "to the genius and honor" or in the case of couples, "to the genius and Juno."Surviving from the time of the empire hundreds of dedicatory and sepulchral inscriptions ranging over the entire t
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may refer to the modern study of these representations, to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. The Romans treated their traditional narratives as historical when these have miraculous or supernatural elements; the stories are concerned with politics and morality, how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism was an important theme; when the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual and institutions than with theology or cosmogony. The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, by the artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors.
In matters of theology, the Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks, to reinterpret stories about Greek deities under the names of their Roman counterparts. Rome's early myths and legends have a dynamic relationship with Etruscan religion, less documented than that of the Greeks. While Roman mythology may lack a body of divine narratives as extensive as that found in Greek literature and Remus suckling the she-wolf is as famous as any image from Greek mythology except for the Trojan Horse; because Latin literature was more known in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the interpretations of Greek myths by the Romans had a greater influence on narrative and pictorial representations of "classical mythology" than Greek sources. In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical; because ritual played the central role in Roman religion that myth did for the Greeks, it is sometimes doubted that the Romans had much of a native mythology.
This perception is a product of Romanticism and the classical scholarship of the 19th century, which valued Greek civilization as more "authentically creative." From the Renaissance to the 18th century, Roman myths were an inspiration for European painting. The Roman tradition is rich in historical myths, or legends, concerning the foundation and rise of the city; these narratives focus on human actors, with only occasional intervention from deities but a pervasive sense of divinely ordered destiny. In Rome's earliest period and myth have a mutual and complementary relationship; as T. P. Wiseman notes: The Roman stories still matter, as they mattered to Dante in 1300 and Shakespeare in 1600 and the founding fathers of the United States in 1776. What does it take to be a free citizen? Can a superpower still be a republic? How does well-meaning authority turn into murderous tyranny? Major sources for Roman myth include the Aeneid of Vergil and the first few books of Livy's history as well as Dionysius' s Roman Antiquities.
Other important sources are the Fasti of Ovid, a six-book poem structured by the Roman religious calendar, the fourth book of elegies by Propertius. Scenes from Roman myth appear in Roman wall painting and sculpture reliefs; the Aeneid and Livy's early history are the best extant sources for Rome's founding myths. Material from Greek heroic legend was grafted onto this native stock at an early date; the Trojan prince Aeneas was cast as husband of Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus, patronymical ancestor of the Latini, therefore through a convoluted revisionist genealogy as forebear of Romulus and Remus. By extension, the Trojans were adopted as the mythical ancestors of the Roman people; the characteristic myths of Rome are political or moral, that is, they deal with the development of Roman government in accordance with divine law, as expressed by Roman religion, with demonstrations of the individual's adherence to moral expectations or failures to do so. Rape of the Sabine women, explaining the importance of the Sabines in the formation of Roman culture, the growth of Rome through conflict and alliance.
Numa Pompilius, the Sabine second king of Rome who consorted with the nymph Egeria and established many of Rome's legal and religious institutions. Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome, whose mysterious origins were mythologized and, said to have been the lover of the goddess Fortuna; the Tarpeian Rock, why it was used for the execution of traitors. Lucretia, whose self-sacrifice prompted the overthrow of the early Roman monarchy and led to the establishment of the Republic. Cloelia, A Roman woman taken hostage by Lars Porsena, she escaped the Clusian camp with a group of Roman virgins. Horatius at the bridge, on the importance of individual valor. Mucius Scaevola, who thrust his right hand into the fire to prove his loyalty to Rome. Caeculus and the founding of Praeneste. Manlius and the geese, about divine intervention at the Gallic siege of Rome. Stories pertaining to the Nonae Caprotinae and Poplifugia festivals. Coriolanus, a story of politics and morality; the Etruscan city of Corythus as the "cradle" of Trojan and Italian civilization.
The arrival of the Great Mother in Rome. Narratives of divine activity played a more important role in the system of Greek religious belief than among the Romans, for whom ritual and cult were primary. Although Roman religion did not have a basis in scriptures and exegesis, priestly literature was one of the earliest written forms of Latin prose; the books and commentaries of the College of Pontiffs and
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus near Santiponce, Spain into a Hispano-Roman family, his father was a first cousin of Emperor Trajan. He married Trajan's grand-niece Vibia Sabina early in his career, before Trajan became emperor and at the behest of Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan's close friend and adviser Lucius Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian; when Trajan died, his widow claimed that he had nominated Hadrian as emperor before his death. Rome's military and Senate approved Hadrian's succession, but four leading senators were unlawfully put to death soon after, they had opposed Hadrian or seemed to threaten his succession, the senate held him responsible for it and never forgave him. He earned further disapproval among the elite by abandoning Trajan's expansionist policies and territorial gains in Mesopotamia, Assyria and parts of Dacia. Hadrian preferred to invest in the development of stable, defensible borders and the unification of the empire's disparate peoples.
He is known for building Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian energetically pursued personal interests, he visited every province of the Empire, accompanied by an Imperial retinue of specialists and administrators. He encouraged military preparedness and discipline, he fostered, designed, or subsidised various civil and religious institutions and building projects. In Rome itself, he constructed the vast Temple of Venus and Roma. In Egypt, he may have rebuilt the Serapeum of Alexandria, he was an ardent admirer of Greece and sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire, so he ordered the construction of many opulent temples there. His intense relationship with Greek youth Antinous and Antinous' untimely death led Hadrian to establish a widespread cult late in his reign, he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea. Hadrian's last years were marred by chronic illness, he saw the Bar Kokhba revolt as the failure of his panhellenic ideal. He executed two more senators for their alleged plots against him, this provoked further resentment.
His marriage to Vibia Sabina had been childless. Hadrian died the same year at Baiae, Antoninus had him deified, despite opposition from the Senate. Edward Gibbon includes him among the Empire's "Five good emperors", a "benevolent dictator", he has been described as enigmatic and contradictory, with a capacity for both great personal generosity and extreme cruelty and driven by insatiable curiosity, self-conceit, ambition. Modern interest was revived thanks to Marguerite Yourcenar's novel Mémoires d'Hadrien. Hadrian was born on 24 January 76 in Italica in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, he was named Publius Aelius Hadrianus. His father was Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer, a senator of praetorian rank and raised in Italica but paternally linked, through many generations over several centuries, to a family from Hadria, an ancient town in Picenum; the family had settled in Italica soon after its founding by Scipio Africanus. Hadrian's mother was Domitia Paulina, daughter of a distinguished Hispano-Roman senatorial family from Gades.
His only sibling was Aelia Domitia Paulina. Hadrian's great-nephew, Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator, from Barcino would become Hadrian's colleague as co-consul in 118; as a senator, Hadrian's father would have spent much of his time in Rome. In terms of his career, Hadrian's most significant family connection was to Trajan, his father's first cousin, of senatorial stock, had been born and raised in Italica. Hadrian and Trajan were both considered to be – in the words of Aurelius Victor – "aliens", people "from the outside". Hadrian's parents died in 86, he and his sister became wards of Publius Acilius Attianus. Hadrian was physically active, enjoyed hunting. Hadrian's enthusiasm for Greek literature and culture earned him the nickname Graeculus. Trajan married Paulina off to the three-times consul Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus. Hadrian's first official post in Rome was as a judge at the Inheritance court, one among many vigintivirate offices at the lowest level of the cursus honorum that could lead to higher office and a senatorial career.
He served as a military tribune, first with the Legio II Adiutrix in 95 with the Legio V Macedonica. During Hadrian's second stint as tribune, the frail and aged reigning emperor Nerva adopted Trajan as his heir, he was transferred to Legio XXII Primigenia and a third tribunate. Hadrian's three tribunates gave him some career advantage. Most scions of the older senatorial families might serve one, or at most two military tribunates as a prerequisite to higher office; when Nerva died in 98, Hadrian is said to have hastened to Trajan, to inform him ahead of the official envoy sent by the go
A sceptre or scepter is a symbolic ornamental staff or wand held in the hand by a ruling monarch as an item of royal or imperial insignia. Figuratively, it means royal or imperial sovereignty; the Was and other types of staves were signs of authority in Ancient Egypt. For this reason they are described as "sceptres" if they are full-length staffs. One of the earliest royal sceptres was discovered in the 2nd Dynasty tomb of Khasekhemwy in Abydos. Kings were known to carry a staff, Pharaoh Anedjib is shown on stone vessels carrying a so-called mks-staff; the staff with the longest history seems to be the heqa-sceptre. The sceptre assumed a central role in the Mesopotamian world, was in most cases part of the royal insignia of sovereigns and gods; this is valid throughout the whole Mesopotamian history, as illustrated by both literary and administrative texts and iconography. The Mesopotamian sceptre was called ĝidru in Sumerian and ḫaṭṭum in Akkadian; the ancient Indian work of Tirukkural dedicates one chapter each to the ethics of the sceptre.
According to Valluvar, "it was not his spear but the sceptre which bound a king to his people."Among the early Greeks, the sceptre was a long staff, such as Agamemnon wielded or was used by respected elders, came to be used by judges, military leaders and others in authority. It is represented on painted vases as a long staff tipped with a metal ornament; when the sceptre is borne by Zeus or Hades, it is headed by a bird. It was this symbol of Zeus, the king of the gods and ruler of Olympus, that gave their inviolable status to the kerykes, the heralds, who were thus protected by the precursor of modern diplomatic immunity. When, in the Iliad, Agamemnon sends Odysseus to the leaders of the Achaeans, he lends him his sceptre. Among the Etruscans, sceptres of great magnificence were used by kings and upper orders of the priesthood. Many representations of such sceptres occur on the walls of the painted tombs of Etruria; the British Museum, the Vatican, the Louvre possess Etruscan sceptres of gold, most elaborately and minutely ornamented.
The Roman sceptre derived from the Etruscan. Under the Republic, an ivory sceptre was a mark of consular rank, it was used by victorious generals who received the title of imperator, its use as a symbol of delegated authority to legates was revived in the marshal’s baton. In the First Persian Empire, the Biblical Book of Esther mentions the sceptre of the King of Persia. Esther 5:2 "When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight. So Esther came near, touched the top of the scepter." Under the Roman Empire, the sceptrum Augusti was specially used by the emperors, was of ivory tipped with a golden eagle. It is shown on medallions of the empire, which have on the obverse a half-length figure of the emperor, holding in one hand the sceptrum Augusti, in the other the orb surmounted by a small figure of Victory; the codes of the right and the cruel sceptre are found in the ancient Tamil work of Tirukkural, dating back to the first century BCE. In Chapters 55 and 56, the text deals with the right and the cruel sceptre furthering the thought on the ethical behaviour of the ruler discussed in many of the preceding and the following chapters.
The ancient treatise says it was not the king's spear but the sceptre that bound him to his people—and to the extent that he guarded them, his own good rule would guard him. With the advent of Christianity, the sceptre was tipped with a cross instead of with an eagle. However, during the Middle Ages, the finials on the top of the sceptre varied considerably. In England, from a early period, two sceptres have been concurrently used, from the time of Richard I, they have been distinguished as being tipped with a cross and a dove respectively. In France, the royal sceptre was tipped with a fleur de lys, the other, known as the main de justice, had an open hand of benediction on the top. Sceptres with small shrines on the top are sometimes represented on royal seals, as on the great seal of Edward III, where the king, bears such a sceptre, but it was an unusual form; this sceptre was, it is believed, made in France around 1536 for James V. Great seals represent the sovereign enthroned, holding a sceptre in the right hand, the orb and cross in the left.
Harold Godwinson appears thus in the Bayeux tapestry. The earliest English coronation form of the 9th century mentions a sceptre, a staff. In the so-called coronation form of Ethelred II a sceptre, a rod appear, as they do in the case of a coronation order of the 12th century. In a contemporary account of Richard I’s coronation, the royal sceptre of gold with a gold cross, the gold rod with a gold dove on the top, enter the historical record for the first time. About 1450, Sporley, a monk of Westminster, compiled a list of the relics there; these included the articles used at the coronation of Saint Edward the Confessor, left by him for the coronations of his successors. A golden sceptre, a wooden rod gilt, an iron rod are named; these survived until the Commonwealth, are minutely described in an inventory of the