Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
Victoria, in ancient Roman religion, was the personified goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona and she was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. The goddess Vica Pota was identified with Victoria. Victoria is often described as a daughter of Pallas and Styx, and as a sister of Zelus, unlike the Greek Nike, the goddess Victoria was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected in her honor, when her statue was removed in 382 CE by Emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshiped by triumphant generals returning from war, unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war. Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewelry and she is often seen with or in a chariot, as in the late 18th-century sculpture representing Victory in a quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Il Vittoriano in Rome has two.
Nike or Victoria was the charioteer for Zeus in his battle to over take Mount Olympus and these represent the spirit of victory rather than the goddess herself. They continued to appear after Christianization of the Empire, and slowly mutated into Christian angels,12 Victoria Media related to Victoria at Wikimedia Commons
Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus
The Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus or Great Ludovisi sarcophagus is an ancient Roman sarcophagus dating to around 250–260 AD from a tomb near the Porta Tiburtina. It is known as the Via Tiburtina Sarcophagus, though other sarcophagi have been found there, discovered in 1621 and named for its first modern owner, Ludovico Ludovisi, the sarcophagus is now displayed at the Palazzo Altemps in Rome, part of the National Museum of Rome. The sarcophagus is an outlier in a group of about twenty-five late Roman battle sarcophagi. These derive from Hellenistic monuments from Pergamon in Asia Minor showing Pergamene victories over the Gauls, the sarcophagus measures 1. 53m in height and is made from Proconnesian marble, a medium characterized by dark gray stripes and a medium to coarse grain. It is decorated in a high relief with many elements of the composition cut completely free of the background. Overlapping figures entirely fill the space, allowing no room to depict a background. In many battle sarcophagi the side panels show more tranquil scenes, the lid of the sarcophagus depicts barbarian children handed over to a Roman general by men presumably their fathers.
Children were sometimes taken into Roman custody as pledges of peace, the lid, which was broken in 1945 while on display in Mainz, shows a bust of a female figure. The central figure of the composition on the front is a young Roman military commander on horseback. His face is serene, and his arm is extended confidently in a gesture which is difficult to interpret, an X-mark on his forehead has been interpreted as the cross received by initiates into the Mithraic mysteries as a sign of the god Mithras favor. The Mithraic religion was popular among Roman soldiers, the valor shown by the horseman may represent real-life bravery on the battlefield, but the religious connotation of the X may suggest victory over death, a theme of mounted warriors in funerary art. The horseman probably represents the deceased, the figure is sometimes identified as the younger son of the emperor Decius, who reigned briefly in the year 251. Decius and his son, whom he had made his co-ruler, were killed in battle against a federation of Scythians under the command of the Gothic king Cniva.
They were the first Roman emperors to die in battle at the hands of a foreign enemy, despite the battle imagery, Hostilian himself died of plague. The sarcophagus contains many depictions of military details such as the draco military standard. The undercutting of the deep relief exhibits virtuosic and very time-consuming drill work that conveys chaos and it differs from earlier battle scenes on sarcophagi in which more shallowly carved figures are less convoluted and intertwined. But the main difference is in the symbolism, the barbarians all seem frozen in the moment before disaster and death overwhelm them, their attitudes are highly theatrical but none the less immensely expressive. The main theme is no longer the glorification of military prowess but that of transcending the struggle, the ugliness of pain and suffering is stressed by the dishevelled hair, the tormented eyes, the twisted mouth
Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born in the city of Italica in the province of Hispania Baetica, Trajans non-patrician family was of Italian, Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus, in September 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, culminating in a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard, Nerva was compelled to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and he died on 27 January 98 and was succeeded by his adopted son without incident. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, creating the province of Arabia Petraea and his conquest of Dacia enriched the empire greatly, as the new province possessed many valuable gold mines. However, its position north of the Danube made it susceptible to attack on three sides, and it was abandoned by Emperor Aurelian.
Trajans war against the Parthian Empire ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon and his campaigns expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent. In late 117, while sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and he was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajans Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian, as an emperor, Trajans reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived nineteen centuries. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the wish felicior Augusto, among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan. As far as ancient literary sources are concerned, an extant continuous account of Trajans reign does not exist, only fragments remain of the Getiká, a book by Trajans personal physician Titos Statilios Kriton. The Parthiká, a 17-volume account of the Parthian Wars written by Arrian, has met a similar fate, book 68 in Cassius Dios Roman History, which survives mostly as Byzantine abridgments and epitomes, is the main source for the political history of Trajans rule.
Besides this, Pliny the Youngers Panegyricus and Dio of Prusas orations are the best surviving contemporary sources and it is certain that much of text of the letters that appear in this collection over Trajans signature was written and/or edited by Trajans Imperial secretary, his ab epistulis. Therefore, discussion of Trajan and his rule in modern historiography cannot avoid speculation, as well as recourse to sources such as archaeology. Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, Trajans birthplace of Italica was founded as a Roman military colony in 206 BC, though it is unknown when the Ulpii arrived there. Trajan was the son of Marcia, a Roman noblewoman and sister-in-law of the second Flavian Emperor Titus, and Marcus Ulpius Traianus, Marcus Ulpius Traianus the elder served Vespasian in the First Jewish-Roman War, commanding the Legio X Fretensis. Trajan himself was just one of many well-known Ulpii in a line that continued long after his own death and his elder sister was Ulpia Marciana, and his niece was Salonina Matidia.
The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica, as a young man, he rose through the ranks of the Roman army, serving in some of the most contested parts of the Empires frontier
Battle of Abritus
The Romans were soundly defeated, and Roman emperors Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus were both killed during battle. They became the first Roman emperors killed in a battle by a foreign enemy, soon after Decius ascended to the throne in 249, barbarian tribes invaded the Roman provinces of Dacia, Moesia Superior and Moesia Inferior. Two factors had contributed to growing unrest in the north of Danube. First, Decius predecessor Philip the Arab had refused to continue payments, initiated by Emperor Maximinus Thrax in 238, second and more important, there were continuous movements of new peoples since the time of Emperor Severus Alexander. Decius may have taken with him troops from the Danube frontier, the resultant military vacuum would inevitably attract invaders. The course of events is not clear and it seems that in 250 the Carpi invaded Dacia, eastern Moesia Superior and western Moesia Inferior. At the same time, a coalition under Cniva crossed the Roman frontier. Whether these were consisted only of Goths is rather unlikely so the name Scythians by which the Greek sources called them more appropriate.
It is quite possible that people of Germanic and Sarmatian origin. However, the name of the king is indeed Gothic and probably genuine, the first column of Cnivas army, a detachment of about 20,000 or so likely led by the chieftains Argaith and Gunteric, besieged Marcianopolis, without success it seems. Then they probably headed south to besiege Philippopolis, Cnivas main column under the King himself crossed Danube at Oescus headed eastwards to Novae, where he was repelled by the provincial governor Trebonianus Gallus. Then the invaders headed south to plunder Nicopolis ad Istrum where Decius defeated them, after these initial setbacks, the barbarians moved southwards through Haemus mountain and Decius pursued them to save Philippopolis. This time Decius army was taken by surprise while resting at Beroe/Augusta Traiana, the Romans were heavily defeated in the ensuing battle. It seems that Priscus, after receiving the news of the defeat at Beroe, thought that the Goths would spare him and he was wrong and was probably killed when the city fell.
Then the Scythians began returning to their homeland, laden with booty and captives, in the meantime, Decius had returned with his re-organized army, accompanied by his son Herennius Etruscus and the general Trebonianus Gallus, intending to defeat the invaders and recover the booty. Probably in July or August of 251, the Roman army engaged the Scythians under Cniva near Abritus, the strengths of the bellingerent forces are unknown, but we know that Cniva divided his forces into three units, with one of these parts concealed behind a swamp. While Jordanes claimed that the force that Cniva was command of numbered around 70,000, Decius own army consisted of 4-6 legions from the Danube frontier, along with available auxiliaries and cavalry, and was probably estimated to be no more than 20-30,000 soldiers in total. Decius felt extremely confident that he would be able to crush the Goths in one final assault and it seems that Cniva was a skilled tactician and that he was very familiar with the surrounding terrain
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the named for him, and in October. Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, in the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia.
Like Ares who was the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars is usually considered to be the son of Jupiter, however, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mothers function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead, to restore the balance, Flora obtained a magic flower and tested it on a heifer who became fecund at once. She plucked a flower ritually using her thumb, touched Junos belly, Juno withdrew to Thrace and the shore of Marmara for the birth. Ovid tells this story in the Fasti, his poetic work on the Roman calendar. In the earliest Roman calendar, March was the first month, Ovid is the only source for the story. The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine and she represents the vital force and majesty of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, in the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars greeting Nerio, his wife. A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Nerine were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23, in the Roman Empire, Nerine came to be identified with Minerva.
Nerio probably originates as a personification of Mars power, as such abstractions in Latin are generally feminine. Her name appears with that of Mars in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities, the influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat these pairs as marriages. The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, in Greek myth, the adultery of Ares and Aphrodite had been exposed to ridicule when her husband Hephaestus caught them in the act by means of a magical snare
Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated.
The senate appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine adopted Christianity which became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos.
The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperor
Moesia was an ancient region and Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Serbia and the parts of the modern Republic of Macedonia, as well Northern Bulgaria. In ancient geographical sources, Moesia was bounded to the south by the Haemus and Scardus mountains, to the west by the Drinus river, on the north by the Donaris, the region was inhabited chiefly by Thracians, Dacians and Thraco-Illyrian peoples. The name of the region comes from Moesi, Thraco-Dacian peoples who lived there before the Roman conquest, parts of Moesia belonged to the polity of Burebista, a Getae king who established his rule over a large part of the Northern Balkans between 82 BC and 44 BC. He led plunder and conquest raids across Central and Southeastern Europe, after his assassination in an inside plot, the empire was divided into several smaller states. The region, was not organized as a province until the last years of Augustus reign, in 6 AD, mention is made of its governor, as a province, Moesia was under an imperial consular legate.
In 86 AD the Dacian king Duras ordered his troops to attack Roman Moesia, each was governed by an imperial consular legate and a procurator. From Moesia, Domitian began planning future campaigns into Dacia and by 87 he started an offensive against Dacia. Therefore, in the summer of 87, Fuscus led five or six legions across the Danube. The campaign against the Dacians ended without an outcome, and Decebalus. Emperor Trajan arrived in Moesia, and he launched his first military campaign into the Dacian Kingdom c, march–May 101, crossing to the northern bank of the Danube River and defeating the Dacian army near Tapae, a mountain pass in the Carpathians. Trajans troops were mauled in the encounter, and he put off further campaigning for the year to heal troops, during the following winter, King Decebalus launched a counter-attack across the Danube further downstream, but this was repulsed. Trajans army advanced further into Dacian territory and forced King Decebalus to submit to him a year later, Trajan returned to Rome in triumph and was granted the title Dacicus.
The victory was celebrated by the Tropaeum Traiani, Decebalus in 105 undertook an invasion against Roman territory by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against the empire. Trajan took to the field again and after building with the design of Apollodorus of Damascus his massive bridge over the Danube, sometime around 272, at the Moesian city of Naissus or Nissa, future emperor Constantine I was born. During administrative reforms of Emperor Diocletian, both of the Moesian provinces were reorganized, in the same time, Moesia Inferior was divided into Moesia Secunda and Scythia Minor. Moesia Secundas main cities included Marcianopolis, Nicopolis, Durostorum, Sexaginta Prista and Novae, the garrison of Moesia Secunda included Legio I Italica and Legio XI Claudia, as well as independent infantry units, cavalry units, and river flotillas. The Notitia Dignitatum lists its units and their bases as of the 390s CE, units in Scythia Minor included Legio I Iovia and Legio II Herculia
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator, the change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called Year of the Four Emperors. For political and personal reasons Octavian chose to emphasize his relationship with Caesar by styling himself simply Imperator Caesar, without any of the other elements of his full name. His successor as emperor, his stepson Tiberius, bore the name as a matter of course, born Tiberius Claudius Nero, he was adopted by Caesar Augustus on June 26,4 AD, as Tiberius Julius Caesar. The precedent was set, the Emperor designated his successor by adopting him, Claudius in turn adopted his stepson and grand-nephew Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, giving him the name Caesar in the traditional way, his stepson would rule as the Emperor Nero. Galba helped solidify Caesar as the title of the heir by giving it to his own adopted heir. Galbas reign did not last long and he was deposed by Marcus Otho.
Otho did not at first use the title Caesar and occasionally used the title Nero as emperor, Otho was defeated by Aulus Vitellius who acceded with the name Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Augustus. Vitellius did not adopt the cognomen Caesar as part of his name, vespasians son, Titus Flavius Vespasianus became Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus. By this point the status of Caesar had been regularised into that of a given to the Emperor-designate. After some variation among the earliest emperors, the style of the Emperor-designate on coins was usually Nobilissimus Caesar Most Noble Caesar, on March 1,293, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus established the Tetrarchy, a system of rule by two senior Emperors and two junior sub-Emperors. The two coequal senior emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors, as Imperator Caesar NN, pius Felix Invictus Augustus, and were called the Augusti, while the two junior sub-Emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors-designate, as Nobilissimus Caesar.
Likewise, the junior sub-Emperors retained the title Caesar upon accession to the senior position, an exceptional case was the conferment of the dignity and its insignia to the Bulgarian khan Tervel by Justinian II who had helped him regain his throne in 705. The title was awarded to the brother of Empress Maria of Alania, according to the Klētorologion of 899, the Byzantine Caesars insignia were a crown without a cross, and the ceremony of a Caesars creation, is included in De Ceremoniis I.43. The title remained the highest in the hierarchy until the introduction of the sebastokratōr by Alexios I Komnenos. The title remained in existence through the last centuries of the Empire, in the late Byzantine hierarchy, as recorded in the mid-14th century Book of Offices of pseudo-Kodinos, the rank continued to come after the sebastokratōr. Pseudo-Kodinos writes that the forms of another form of hat, the domed skaranikon, and of the mantle. In the Middle East, the Persians and the Arabs continued to refer to the Roman and Byzantine emperors as Caesar
Herennius Etruscus, was Roman emperor in 251, in a joint rule with his father Decius. Emperor Hostilian was his younger brother, Herennius was born in or near Sirmium in Pannonia, during one of his fathers military postings. His mother was Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla, a Roman lady of an important senatorial family. Herennius was very close to his father and accompanied him in 248, as a military tribune, Decius was successful in defeating this usurper and felt confident to begin a rebellion of his own in the following year. Acclaimed emperor by his own troops, Decius marched into Italy, in Rome, Herennius was declared heir to the throne and received the title of princeps iuventutis. From the beginning of Herennius accession, Gothic tribes raided across the Danube frontier, at the beginning of 251, Decius elevated Herennius to the title of Augustus making him his co-emperor. Moreover, Herennius was chosen to be one of the years consuls, the father and son, now joint rulers, embarked in an expedition against king Cniva of the Goths to punish the invaders for the raids.
Hostilian remained in Rome and the empress Herennia Etruscilla was named regent and his men were returning to their lands with the booty, when the Roman army encountered them. Showing a very sophisticated military tactic, Cniva divided his army in smaller, more manageable groups, sometime during the first two weeks of June, both armies engaged in the battle of Abrittus. Herennius died in battle, struck by an enemy arrow, Decius survived the initial confrontation, only to be slain with the rest of the army before the end of the day. Herennius and Decius were the first two emperors to be killed by an army in battle. With the news of the death of the emperors, the army proclaimed Trebonianus Gallus emperor, but in Rome they were succeeded by Hostilian, media related to Herennius Etruscus at Wikimedia Commons
Volusianus, known as Volusian, was a Roman Emperor from 251 to 253. He was son to Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus by his wife Afinia Gemina Baebiana and he is known to have had a sister, Vibia Galla. The death of Decius in early June 251 led to Trebonianus Gallus elevation to the throne, Gallus adopted Decius son Hostilian and made him co-ruler. Volusianus was named Caesar and Princeps Juventutis, in 251 Hostilian died of the plague and Volusianus replaced him as Augustus and co-ruler. Father and son were killed in 253 by mutinous troops in Interamna. Media related to Volusianus at Wikimedia Commons