Roman military frontiers and fortifications
Roman military borders and fortifications were part of a grand strategy of territorial defense in the Roman Empire, although this is a matter of debate. By the early 2nd century, the Roman Empire had reached the peak of its territorial expansion and rather than expanding their borders as earlier in the Empire and Republic, the Romans solidified their position by fortifying their strategic position with a series of fortifications and established lines of defense. Historian Adrian Goldsworthy argues that the Romans had reached the natural limits which their military traditions afforded them conquest over and that beyond the borders of the early-to-mid Empire lay peoples whose military traditions made them militarily unconquerable, despite many Roman battle victories. In particular, Goldsworthy argues that the cavalry-based warfare of the Parthians and Persians presented a major challenge to the expansion of Rome's infantry-based armies; the borders of the Roman Empire, which fluctuated throughout the empire's history, were a combination of natural frontiers and man-made fortifications which separated the lands of the empire from the "barbarian" lands beyond.
Individual fortifications had been constructed by the Roman military from as early as the building of Rome's first city walls in the 6th or 7th century BC. However, systematic construction of fortifications around the periphery of the empire on a strategic scale began around 40 AD under Emperor Caligula. However, it was under Hadrian's rule, which began in 117, that the Roman frontier was systematically fortified, he spent half of his 21-year reign touring the empire and advocating for the construction of forts and walls all across the edges of the empire. The coherent construction of these fortifications on a strategic scale are known as the limes, continued until around 270; the limes consisted of fortresses for legions or vexillations as well as a system of roads for the rapid transit of troops and, in some places, extensive walls. The most famous example of these is Hadrian's Wall in Great Britain, built across the entire width of the island to protect from attack from tribes located in modern-day Scotland.
The so-called Limes Britannicus is the best example of the ultimate limes - like the Great Wall of China, it was an attempt to construct a continuous man-made fortification along the length of an entire border, a massive undertaking. However, it is not correct to interpret other limes in the same way or to view the limes as an impenetrable barrier. Other limes would not have had a continuous man-made fortification for the entirety of their length. In places, a river, desert or natural outcropping of rock could provide the same effect for zero outlay. Fortifications as impressive as Hadrian's Wall were not unbreachable: with milecastles some distance apart and patrols infrequent, small enemy forces would have been able to penetrate the defenses for small-scale raiding. However, a raiding party would be forced to fight its way through one of the well-defended gates, abandon its loot, such as cattle, thus negating the whole purpose of the raid or be trapped against the wall by the responding legions.
Additionally, a large army would have been able to force a crossing of the limes using siege equipment. The value of the limes lay not in its absolute impenetrability but, as S. Thomas Parker argues, in its hindrance to the enemy: granting a delay or warning that could be used to summon concentrated Roman forces to the site; the limes are therefore better seen as an instrument allowing a greater economy of force in defense of a border than otherwise would be necessary to provide the same level of defense. After 270, the maintenance of an impenetrable solid frontier was abandoned by Constantine I in favor of a policy, whether deliberate or forced by circumstance, of "defense in depth"; this called for the maintenance of a softer, deeper perimeter area of defense, with concentrated hard points throughout its depth. The idea was that any invading force of a sufficient size could penetrate the initial perimeter but in doing so with any element of surprise or rapid movement would be forced to leave several defended hard points to its rear, hampering its lines of supply and communications, threatening surrounding of the force.
In the late Empire the frontiers became more elastic, with little effort expended in maintaining frontier defense. Instead, armies were concentrated near the heart of the empire, enemies allowed to penetrate in cases as far inwards as the Italian peninsula before being met in battle. After conquering much of the modern landmass of Great Britain, the Romans halted their northern expansion at the southern fringe of Caledonia, what is now central Scotland; this left them with a border shared with a people who made repeated raids and insurrections against them. Unlike other borders throughout the empire, there was no natural border to fall back on such as desert or wide river that crossed the whole peninsula, so instead a series of defenses were built in southern to mid-Scotland in order to protect the province of Britannia from the Caledonians and the Picts. Although the border was not a continuous wall, a series of fortifications known as Gask Ridge in mid-Scotland may well be Rome's earliest fortified land frontier.
Constructed in the 70CE or 80CE, it was superseded by the Hadrian's Wall forty years and the final Antonine Wall twenty years after that. Rather than representing a series of consecutive advancements, the border should be seen as fluctuating - the Antonine Wall for exam
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is an art museum in Cleveland, located in the Wade Park District, in the University Circle neighborhood on the city's east side. Internationally renowned for its substantial holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, the museum houses a diverse permanent collection of more than 45,000 works of art from around the world; the museum provides general admission free to the public. With a $755 million endowment, it is the fourth-wealthiest art museum in the United States. With about 770,000 visitors annually, it is one of the most visited art museums in the world; the Cleveland Museum of Art was founded as a trust in 1913 with an endowment from prominent Cleveland industrialists Hinman Hurlbut, John Huntington, Horace Kelley. The neoclassical, white Georgian Marble, Beaux-Arts building was constructed on the southern edge of Wade Park, at the cost of $1.25 million. Wade Park and the museum were designed by the local architectural firm, Hubbell & Benes, with the museum planned as the park's centerpiece.
The 75-acre green space takes its name from philanthropist Jeptha H. Wade, who donated part of his wooded estate to the city in 1881; the museum opened its doors to the public on June 6, 1916, with Wade's grandson, Jeptha H. Wade II, proclaiming it, "for the benefit of all people, forever". Wade, like his grandfather, had a great interest in art and served as the museum's first vice-president. Today, the park, with the museum still as its centerpiece, is on the National Register of Historic Places. In March 1958, the first addition to the building opened; this addition, on the north side of the original building, was designed by the Cleveland architectural firm of Hayes and Ruth. They designed a new art library; the museum again expanded in 1971 with the opening of the North Wing. With its stepped, two-toned granite facade, the addition designed by modernist architect Marcel Breuer provided angular lines in distinct contrast with the flourishes of the 1916 building's neoclassical facade; the museum's main entrance was shifted to the North Wing.
The auditorium and lecture halls were moved into the North Wing, allowing their spaces in the Original Building to be renovated as gallery space. In 1983, a West Wing, designed by the Cleveland architectural firm of Dalton, van Dijk, Johnson, & Partners, was completed; this provided larger library space, as well as nine new galleries. Between 2001 and 2012, the 1958 and 1983 additions were demolished. A new wrap-around building, east and west wings were constructed. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, this $350 million project doubled the museum's size to 592,000 square feet. To integrate the new east and west wings with the Breuer building to the north, a new structure was built along the south side of the 1971 addition, creating extensive new gallery space on two levels, as well as providing for a museum store and other amenities. Viñoly covered the space created by the demolition of the 1958 and 1983 structures with a glass-roofed atrium; the east wing opened in 2009, the north wing and atrium in 2012.
The West Wing opened on January 2, 2014. The museum's building and renovation project, "Building for the Future", began in 2005 and was targeted for completion in 2012 at projected costs of $258 million; the museum celebrated the official completion of the renovation and expansion project with a grand opening celebration held on December 31, 2013, additional activities that continued through the first week of 2014. The $350 million project—two-thirds of, earmarked for the complete renovation of the original 1916 structure—added two new wings, was the largest cultural project in Ohio's history; the new east and west wings, as well as the enclosing of the atrium courtyard under a soaring glass canopy, have brought the museum's total floor space to 592,000 square feet. The first phase of the project had $9.3 million in cost overruns. Museum director Timothy Rub assured the public that the increase in quality would be worth both the wait and expense. In June 2008, after being closed for nearly three years for the overhaul, the museum reopened 19 of its permanent galleries to the public in the renovated 1916 building main floor.
On June 27, 2009, the newly constructed East Wing opened to the public. On June 26, 2010, the ground level of the 1916 building reopened, it now houses the collections of Greek, Egyptian, Sub-Saharan African and Medieval art. The expanded museum includes enhanced visitor amenities, such as new restrooms, an expanded store and café, a sit-down gourmet restaurant, parking capacity increased to 620 spaces, a 34,000 square feet glass-covered courtyard. Wade Park includes an outdoor gallery displaying part of the museum's holdings in the Wade Park Fine Arts Garden; the bulk of this collection is located between the original 1916 main entrance to the building and the lagoon. Highlights of the public sculpture include the large cast of Chester Beach's 1927 Fountain of the Waters. Rodin's The Thinker in installed at the top of the museum's main staircase. After being destroyed in a 1970 bombing, the statue was never restored. Art historians knew that Rodin was involved in the original casting of
The Limes Germanicus was a line of frontier fortifications that bounded the ancient Roman provinces of Germania Inferior, Germania Superior and Raetia, dividing the Roman Empire and the unsubdued Germanic tribes from the years 83 to about 260 AD. At its height, the limes stretched from the North Sea outlet of the Rhine to near Regensburg on the Danube; those two major rivers afforded natural protection from mass incursions into imperial territory, with the exception of a gap stretching from Mogontiacum on the Rhine to Castra Regina. The Limes Germanicus was divided into: The Lower Germanic Limes, which extended from the North Sea at Katwijk in the Netherlands along the main Lower Rhine branches The Upper Germanic Limes started from the Rhine at Rheinbrohl across the Taunus mountains to the river Main along the Main to Miltenberg, from Osterburken south to Lorch in a nearly perfect straight line of more than 70 km; the total length was 568 km. It included 900 watchtowers; the weakest, hence most guarded, part of the Limes was the aforementioned gap between the westward bend of the Rhine at modern-day Mainz and the main flow of the Danube at Regensburg.
This 300-km wide land corridor between the two great rivers permitted movement of large groups of people without the need for water transport, hence the heavy concentration of forts and towers there, arranged in depth and in multiple layers along waterways, fords and hilltops. Roman border defences have become much better known through systematic excavations financed by Germany and through other research connected to them. In 2005, the remnants of the Upper Germanic & Rhaetian Limes were inscribed on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as Frontiers of the Roman Empire, with lower Limes being placed on the tentative list in 2011, aiming to extend the world heritage site to the whole limes; the Saalburg is a reconstructed museum of the Limes near Frankfurt. The first emperor who began to build fortifications along the border was Augustus, shortly after the devastating Roman defeat at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. There were numerous Limes walls, which were connected to form the Upper Germanic Limes along the Rhine and the Rhaetian Limes along the Danube.
These two walls were linked to form a common borderline. From the death of Augustus until after 70 AD, Rome accepted as her Germanic frontier the water-boundary of the Rhine and upper Danube. Beyond these rivers she held only the fertile plain of Frankfurt, opposite the Roman border fortress of Moguntiacum, the southernmost slopes of the Black Forest and a few scattered bridge-heads; the northern section of this frontier, where the Rhine is deep and broad, remained the Roman boundary until the empire fell. The southern part was different; the upper Rhine and upper Danube are crossed. The frontier which they form is inconveniently long, enclosing an acute-angled wedge of foreign territory between the modern Baden and Württemberg; the Germanic populations of these lands seem in Roman times to have been scanty, Roman subjects from the modern Alsace-Lorraine had drifted across the river eastwards. The motives alike of geographical convenience and of the advantages to be gained by recognising these movements of Roman subjects combined to urge a forward policy at Rome, when the vigorous Vespasian had succeeded Nero, a series of advances began which closed up the acute angle, or at least rendered it obtuse.
The first advance came about 74 AD, when what is now Baden was invaded and annexed and a road carried from the Roman base on the upper Rhine, Straßburg, to the Danube just above Ulm. The point of the angle was broken off; the second advance was made by Domitian about 83 AD. He pushed out from Moguntiacum, extended the Roman territory east of it and enclosed the whole within a systematically delimited and defended frontier with numerous blockhouses along it and larger forts in the rear. Among the blockhouses was one which by various enlargements and refoundations grew into the well-known Saalburg fort on the Taunus near Bad Homburg; this advance necessitated a third movement, the construction of a frontier connecting the annexations of AD 74 and AD 83. We know the line of this frontier which ran from the Main across the upland Odenwald to the upper waters of the Neckar and was defended by a chain of forts. We do not, know its date, save that, if not Domitian's work, it was carried out soon after his death, the whole frontier thus constituted was reorganised by Hadrian, with a continuous wooden palisade reaching from Rhine to Danube.
The angle between the rivers was now full. But there remained further fortification. Either Hadrian or, more his successor Antoninus Pius pushed out from the Odenwald and the Danube, marked out a new frontier parallel to, but in advance of these two lines, though sometimes, as on the Taunus, coinciding with the older line; this is the frontier, now visible and visited by the curious. It consists, as we see it today, of two distinct frontier works, known as the Pfahlgraben, is a palisade of stakes with a ditch and earthen mound behind it, best seen in the neighbourhood of the Saalburg but once extending from the Rhine southwards into southern Germany; the other, which begins where the earthwork stops, is a wall, though not a formidable wall, of stone, the Teufelsmauer.
Military of ancient Rome
The military of ancient Rome, according to Titus Livius, one of the more illustrious historians of Rome over the centuries, was a key element in the rise of Rome over “above seven hundred years” from a small settlement in Latium to the capital of an empire governing a wide region around the shores of the Mediterranean, or, as the Romans themselves said, ‘’mare nostrum’’, “our sea.” Livy asserts ”... if any people ought to be allowed to consecrate their origins and refer them to a divine source, so great is the military glory of the Roman People that when they profess that their Father and the Father of their Founder was none other than Mars, the nations of the earth may well submit to this with as good a grace as they submit to Rome's dominion.”Titus Flavius Josephus, a contemporary historian, sometime high-ranking officer in the Roman army, commander of the rebels in the Jewish revolt, describes the Roman people as if they were "born ready armed." At the time of the two historians, Roman society had evolved an effective military and had used it to defend itself against the Etruscans, the Italics, the Greeks, the Gauls, the maritime empire of Carthage, the Macedonian kingdoms.
In each war it acquired more territory until, when civil war ended the Roman Republic, nothing was left for the first emperor, Augustus, to do except declare it an empire and defend it. The role and structure of the military was altered during the empire, it became less Roman, the duties of border protection and territorial administration being more and more taken by foreign mercenaries officered by Romans. When they divided at last into warring factions the empire fell." ’’ - an agency designated by'SPQR' on public inscriptions. Its main body was the senate, its decrees were handed off to the two chief officers of the consuls. They could levy from the citizens whatever military force they judged was necessary to execute such decree; this conscription was executed through a draft of male citizens assembled by age class. The officers of the legion were tasked with selecting men for the ranks; the will of the SPQR was binding on the consuls and the men, with the death penalty assigned for disobedience or failure.
The men were under a rigorous code, known now for its punitive crucifixion. The consular duties were of any type whatever: military defense, police work, public hygiene, assistance in civil disaster, health work and construction of public roads, aqueducts and the maintenance of such; the soldiers were kept busy doing whatever service needed to be done: soldiering, manning vessels, blacksmithing, etc. They were trained as required, but previous skills, such as a trade, were exploited, they were protected by the authority of the state. The military's campaign history stretched over 1300 years and saw Roman armies campaigning as far east as Parthia, as far south as Africa and Aegyptus and as far north as Britannia; the makeup of the Roman military changed over its history, from its early history as an unsalaried citizen militia to a professional force, the Imperial Roman army. The equipment used by the military altered in type over time, though there were few technological improvements in weapons manufacture, in common with the rest of the classical world.
For much of its history, the vast majority of Rome's forces were maintained at or beyond the limits of its territory, in order to either expand Rome's domain, or protect its existing borders. Expansions were infrequent, as the emperors, adopting a strategy of fixed lines of defense, had determined to maintain existing borders. For that purpose they created permanent stations that became cities. At its territorial height, the Roman Empire may have contained between 45 million and 120 million people. Historian Edward Gibbon estimated that the size of the Roman army "most formed a standing force of three hundred and seventy-five thousand men" at the Empire's territorial peak in the time of the Roman Emperor Hadrian; this estimate included only legionary and auxiliary troops of the Roman army. However, Gibbon states that it is "not... easy to define the size of the Roman military with any tolerable accuracy." In the late Imperial period, when vast numbers of foederati were employed by the Romans, Antonio Santosuosso estimated the combined number of men in arms of the two Roman empires numbered closer to 700,000 in total, drawing on data from the Notitia Dignitatum.
However, he notes that these figures were subject to inflation due to the practice of leaving dead soldiers "on the books" in order to continue to draw their wage and ration. Furthermore, it is irrespective of whether the troops were raised by the Romans or hired by them to fight on their behalf. Rome's military consisted of an annual citizen levy performing military service as part of their duty to the state. During this period, the Roman army would prosecute seasonal campaigns against local adversaries; as the extent of the territories falling under Roman suzerainty expanded, the size of the city's forces increased, the soldiery of ancient Rome became professional and salaried. As a consequence, military service at the lower levels became progressively longer-term. Roman military units of the period were homogeneous and regulated; the army consisted of units of citizen infantry known as legions as well as non-legionary allied troops known
The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, it spanned 63 kilometres and was about 3 metres high and 5 metres wide. Lidar scans have been carried out to establish the length of the wall and the Roman distance units used. Security was bolstered by a deep ditch on the northern side, it is thought. The barrier was the second of two "great walls" created by the Romans in what the English once called Northern Britain, its ruins are less evident than the better-known Hadrian's Wall to the south because the turf and wood wall has weathered away, unlike its stone-built southern predecessor. Construction began in AD 142 at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, took about 12 years to complete. Antoninus Pius never visited Britain. Pressure from the Caledonians may have led Antoninus to send the empire's troops further north.
The Antonine Wall was protected by 16 forts with small fortlets between them. The soldiers who built the wall commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs, twenty of which survive; the wall was abandoned only eight years after completion, the garrisons relocated back to Hadrian's Wall. In 208 Emperor Septimius ordered repairs; the occupation ended a few years and the wall was never fortified again. Most of the wall and its associated fortifications have been destroyed over time, but some remains are visible. Many of these have come under the care of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of the Antonine Wall around 142. Quintus Lollius Urbicus, governor of Roman Britain at the time supervised the effort, which took about twelve years to complete; the wall stretches 63 kilometres from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire on the Firth of Clyde to Carriden near Bo'ness on the Firth of Forth. The wall was intended to extend Roman territory and dominance by replacing Hadrian's Wall 160 kilometres to the south, as the frontier of Britannia.
But while the Romans did establish many forts and temporary camps further north of the Antonine Wall in order to protect their routes to the north of Scotland, they did not conquer the Caledonians, the Antonine Wall suffered many attacks. The Romans called the land north of the wall Caledonia, though in some contexts the term may refer to the whole area north of Hadrian's Wall; the Antonine Wall was shorter than Hadrian's Wall and built of turf on a stone foundation, but it was still an impressive achievement. It was a simpler fortification than Hadrian's Wall insofar as it did not have a subsidiary ditch system behind it to the south, as Hadrian's Wall did with its Vallum; the stone foundations and wing walls of the original forts on the Antonine Wall demonstrate that the original plan was to build a stone wall similar to Hadrian's Wall, but this was amended. As built, the wall was a bank, about four metres high, made of layered turves and earth with a wide ditch on the north side, a military way on the south.
The Romans planned to build forts every 10 kilometres, but this was soon revised to every 3.3 kilometres, resulting in a total of nineteen forts along the wall. The best preserved but one of the smallest forts is Rough Castle Fort. In addition to the forts, there are at least 9 smaller fortlets likely on Roman mile spacings, which formed part of the original scheme, some of which were replaced by forts; the most visible fortlet is Kinneil, at the eastern end of the Wall, near Bo'ness. There was once a remarkable Roman structure within sight of the Antonine Wall at Stenhousemuir; this was Arthur's O'on, a circular stone domed monument or rotunda, which may have been a temple, or a tropaeum, a victory monument. It was demolished for its stone in 1743. In addition to the line of the Wall itself there are a number of coastal forts both in the East and West, which should be considered as outposts and/or supply bases to the Wall itself. In addition a number of forts farther north were brought back into service in the Gask Ridge area, including Ardoch, Strageath and Dalginross and Cargill.
Recent research by Glasgow University has shown that the distance stones, stone sculptures unique to the Antonine Wall which were embedded in the wall to mark the lengths built by each legion, were brightly painted unlike their present bare appearance. These stones are preserved in the University's museum and are said to be the best-preserved examples of statuary from any Roman frontier. Several of the slabs have been analysed by various techniques including portable X-ray fluorescence. Tiny remnants of paint have been detected by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Several of the distance slabs have been scanned and 3-D videos produced. There are plans to reproduce the slabs, both digitally and in real physical copies, with their authentic colours. A copy of the Bridgeness Slab has been made and can be found in Bo'ness, it is expected that lottery funding will allow replicas of distance markers to be placed along the length of the wall. The wall was abandoned onl
SPQR refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic. It appears on Roman currency, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, in dedications of monuments and public works; the phrase appears in the Roman political and historical literature, such as the speeches of Cicero and Ab Urbe Condita Libri of Livy. SPQR: Senātus Populusque Rōmānus. In Latin, Senātus is a nominative singular noun meaning "Senate". Populusque is compounded from the nominative noun Populus, "the People", -que, an enclitic particle meaning "and" which connects the two nominative nouns; the last word, Rōmānus is an adjective modifying the whole of Senātus Populusque: the "Roman Senate and People", taken as a whole. Thus, the phrase is translated as "The Roman Senate and People", or more as "The Senate and People of Rome"; the title's date of establishment is unknown, but it first appears in inscriptions of the Late Republic, from c. 80 BC onwards. The official name of the Roman state, as evidenced on coins, was ROMA.
The abbreviation last appears on coins of Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to support Christianity. The two legal entities mentioned, Senātus and the Populus Rōmānus, are sovereign. However, where populus is sovereign alone, Senātus is not. Under the Roman Kingdom, neither entity was sovereign; the phrase, can be dated to no earlier than the foundation of the Republic. This signature continued in use under the Roman Empire; the emperors were considered the de jure representatives of the people though the senātūs consulta, or decrees of the Senate, were made at the de facto pleasure of the emperor. Populus Rōmānus in Roman literature is a phrase meaning the government of the People; when the Romans named governments of other countries, they used populus in the singular or plural, such as populī Prīscōrum Latīnōrum, "the governments of the Old Latins". Rōmānus is the established adjective used to distinguish the Romans, as in cīvis Rōmānus, "Roman citizen"; the Roman people appear often in law and history in such phrases as dignitās, maiestās, auctoritās, lībertās populī Rōmānī, the "dignity, authority, freedom of the Roman people".
They were a populus līber, "a free people". There was an exercitus, iudicia, honorēs, consulēs, voluntās of this same populus: "the army, judgments, offices and will of the Roman people", they appear in early Latin as Popolus and Poplus, so the habit of thinking of themselves as free and sovereign was quite ingrained. The Romans believed, it could be said that similar language seen in more modern political and social revolutions directly comes from this usage. People in this sense meant the whole government; the latter, was divided into the aristocratic Senate, whose will was executed by the consuls and praetors, the comitia centuriāta, "committee of the centuries", whose will came to be safeguarded by the Tribunes. One of the ways the emperor Commodus paid for his donatives and mass entertainments was to tax the senatorial order, on many inscriptions, the traditional order is provocatively reversed. Beginning in 1184, the Commune of Rome struck coins in the name of the SENATVS P Q R. From 1414 until 1517, the Roman Senate struck coins with a shield inscribed SPQR.
During the regime of Benito Mussolini, SPQR was emblazoned on a number of public buildings and manhole covers in an attempt to promote his dictatorship as a "New Roman Empire". In contemporary usage, SPQR is still used as the municipal symbol of the city of Rome. SPQx is sometimes used as an assertion of civic rights; the Italian town of Reggio Emilia, for instance, has SPQR in its coat of arms, standing for "Senatus Populusque Regiensis". There have been confirmed reports of the deployment of the "SPQx" template in. Amsterdam, Netherlands, SPQA at one of the major theatres and some of the bridges Antwerp, Belgium, SPQA on the Antwerp City Hall Basel, Switzerland, SPQB on the Webern-Brunnen in Steinenvorstadt Benevento, Italy, SPQB on manhole covers Bremen, Germany, SPQB in the Bremen City Hall Bruges, Belgium, SPQB on its coat of arms Brussels, Belgium, SPQB found on the Palais de Justice, over the main stage of La Monnaie Capua, Italy, SPQC Catania, Italy, SPQC can be found on manhole covers Dublin, Ireland, SPQH on the City Hall, built in 1769 Florence, Italy, SPQF Franeker, Netherlands, SPQF, At the a gate on the Westerbolwerk and Academiestraat 16.
Freising, Germany, SPQF, above the door of the town hall. Ghent, Belgium, SPQG on the Opera and some other major buildings. In 1583, during the Dutch Revolt, Ghent struck coins with a shield inscribed SPQG; the Hague, Netherlands, SPQL above the stage in Koninklijke Schouwburg Hamburg, Germany, SPQH on a door in the Hamburg Rathaus Hanover, Germany Haarlem, the Netherlands, SPQH on the face of the town hall at the "Grote Markt" Hasselt, Belgium, SPQH Kortrijk, Belgium, SPQC, city hall Lazio, Italy, SPQS, coat of arms and flag Leeuwarden, Netherlands, SPQL on the mayor's chain of office Liverpool, England, SPQL on various gold doors in St George's Hall City of London, England, SPQL Lübeck, Germany, SPQL on the Holstentor Lucerne, Switzerland Milan, The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V struck coins at Milan with the inscription S P Q MEDIOL OPTIMO PRINCIPI. M
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, its vast territory was divided into several successor polities. The Roman Empire lost the strengths that had allowed it to exercise effective control over its Western provinces. Increasing pressure from invading barbarians outside Roman culture contributed to the collapse; the reasons for the collapse are major subjects of the historiography of the ancient world and they inform much modern discourse on state failure. Relevant dates include 117 CE, when the Empire was at its greatest territorial extent, the accession of Diocletian in 284. Irreversible major territorial loss, began in 376 with a large-scale irruption of Goths and others. In 395, after winning two destructive civil wars, Theodosius I died, leaving a collapsing field army and the Empire, still plagued by Goths, divided between the warring ministers of his two incapable sons. Further barbarian groups crossed the Rhine and other frontiers, like the Goths were not exterminated, expelled or subjugated.
The armed forces of the Western Empire became few and ineffective, despite brief recoveries under able leaders, central rule was never consolidated. By 476 when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the Western Roman Emperor wielded negligible military, political, or financial power and had no effective control over the scattered Western domains that could still be described as Roman. Barbarian kingdoms had established their own power in much of the area of the Western Empire. While its legitimacy lasted for centuries longer and its cultural influence remains today, the Western Empire never had the strength to rise again; the Eastern Empire survived, though lessened in strength remained for centuries an effective power of the Eastern Mediterranean. While the loss of political unity and military control is universally acknowledged, the Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events. Since 1776, when Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Fall has been the theme around which much of the history of the Roman Empire has been structured.
"From the eighteenth century onward," historian Glen Bowersock wrote, "we have been obsessed with the fall: it has been valued as an archetype for every perceived decline, hence, as a symbol for our own fears." The Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events. The Fall of the Western Roman Empire was the process; the loss of centralized political control over the West, the lessened power of the East, are universally agreed, but the theme of decline has been taken to cover a much wider time span than the hundred years from 376. For Cassius Dio, the accession of the emperor Commodus in 180 CE marked the descent "from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron", while Gibbon began his narrative of decline from the reign of Commodus, after a number of introductory chapters. Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke argue that the entire Imperial era was one of steady decay of institutions founded in republican times, while Theodor Mommsen excluded the imperial period from his Nobel Prize-winning History of Rome.
As one convenient marker for the end, 476 has been used since Gibbon, but other key dates for the fall of the Roman Empire in the West include the Crisis of the Third Century, the Crossing of the Rhine in 406, the sack of Rome in 410, the death of Julius Nepos in 480. Gibbon gave a classic formulation of reasons, he began an ongoing controversy by attributing a significant role to Christianity in the Western Roman Empire's fall, no longer accepted by modern Roman historians. However, he did give great weight to other causes of internal decline as well and to the attacks from outside the Empire; the story of its ruin is obvious. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, afterwards violated the majesty of the purple; the emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy.
Alexander Demandt enumerated 210 different theories on why Rome fell, new ideas have emerged since. Historians still try to analyze the reasons for loss of political control over a vast territory. Comparison has been made with China after the end of the Han dynasty, which re-established unity under the Sui dynasty while the Mediterranean world remained politically disunited. From at least the time of Henri Pirenne scholars have described a continuity of Roman culture and political legitimacy long aft