The Second Triumvirate is the name historians have given to the official political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, Marcus Antonius, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, formed on 27 November 43 BC with the enactment of the Lex Titia, the adoption of which some view as marking the end of the Roman Republic, whilst others argue the Battle of Actium or Octavian becoming Caesar Augustus in 27 BC. The Triumvirate existed for two five-year terms, covering the period 43 BC to 33 BC. Unlike the earlier First Triumvirate, the Second Triumvirate was an official established institution, whose overwhelming power in the Roman state was given full legal sanction and whose imperium maius outranked that of all other magistrates, including the consuls. Octavian, despite his youth, extorted from the Senate the post of suffect consul for 43 BC, he had been warring with Antony and Lepidus in upper Italia, but in October 43 BC the three agreed to unite and seize power and so met near Bononia. This triumvirate of new leaders was established in 43 BC as the Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae Consulari Potestate.
Where the first triumvirate was a private agreement, the second was embedded in the constitution formally joining Octavian and Lepidus in shared rule over Rome. The only other office, qualified "for confirming the Republic" was the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. A historical oddity of the Triumvirate is that it was, in effect, a three-man directorate with dictatorial powers; as had been the case with both Sulla and Julius Caesar during their dictatorships, the members of the Triumvirate saw no contradiction between holding a supraconsular office and the consulate itself simultaneously. In 44 BC, Lepidus' possession of the provinces of Hispania and Narbonese Gaul was confirmed, he agreed to hand over 7 legions to Octavian and Antony to continue the struggle against Brutus and Cassius for eastern Roman territory. Antony retained Cisalpine Gaul and hegemony over Gaul itself, Octavian held Africa and was given nominal authority over Sicily and Sardinia. According to historian Richard Weigel, Octavian's share at this stage was "practically humiliating".
In order to refill the treasury, the Triumvirs decided to resort to proscription. As all three had been partisans of Caesar, their main targets were opponents of the Caesarian faction; the most notable victims were Marcus Tullius Cicero, who had opposed Caesar and excoriated Antony in his Philippicae, Marcus Favonius, a follower of Cato and an opponent of both triumvirates. The proscription of Caesar's legate Quintus Tullius Cicero seems to have been motivated by the perceived need to destroy Cicero's family. For ancient writers, the most shocking proscriptions were those of Caesar's legate Lucius Julius Caesar, Lepidus' brother Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, they were added to the list because they had been the first to condemn Antony and Lepidus after the two allied. In fact they both survived. Octavian's colleague in the consulate that year, his cousin, Quintus Pedius, died before the proscriptions got underway. Octavian himself resigned shortly after, allowing the appointment of a second pair of suffect consuls.
This became a broad pattern of the Triumvirate's two terms. The Caesarean background of the Triumvirs made it no surprise that after the conclusion of the first civil war of the post-Caesar period, they set about prosecuting a second: Caesar's murderers Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus had usurped control of most of the Eastern provinces, including Macedonia, Asia Minor, Syria. In 42 BC, Octavian and Antony set out to war, defeating Brutus and Cassius in two battles fought at Philippi. After the victory and Octavian agreed to divide the provinces of the Republic into spheres of influence. Octavian — who had begun calling himself "Divi filius" after Caesar's deification as Divus Julius and now styled himself "Imperator Caesar" — took control of the West, Antony of the East; as a result, the province of Cisalpine Gaul was absorbed into Italy. Narbonese Gaul was absorbed into Gallia Comata, creating a unified Gaul, was thus taken over by Antony. Octavian took over Spain from Lepidus.
Lepidus himself was offered the prospect of control over Africa. The excuse given for this was a report that Lepidus had been traitorously negotiating with Sextus Pompey. If he were proved innocent he would have Africa. Octavian returned to Rome to administer the distribution of land to his veterans. Antony remained in the east to bring Brutus and Cassius' former territories under triumvirate control; the reduced role of Lepidus is evident in the fact that far fewer coins depict him from
Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He wrote Latin prose. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years, their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a number of his accomplishments, notably his victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to past Gaul; these achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.
With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars; as a result, Caesar found himself with no other options but to cross the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. This began Caesar's civil war, his victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence. After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar, he gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire. He initiated land support for veterans, he centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was proclaimed "dictator for life", giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who stabbed him to death.
A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, the era of the Roman Empire began. Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust; the biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, his cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor". He has appeared in literary and artistic works, his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era. Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas the son of the goddess Venus.
The Julii were of Alban origin, mentioned as one of the leading Alban houses, which settled in Rome around the mid-7th century BC, after the destruction of Alba Longa. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families; the Julii existed at an early period at Bovillae, evidenced by a ancient inscription on an altar in the theatre of that town, which speaks of their offering sacrifices according to the lege Albana, or Alban rites. The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor, born by Caesarean section; the Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name. Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesar's father called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic.
His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died so Caesar was the head of the family at 16, his coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new Flamen Dialis, he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia. Following Sulla's final victory, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one, he was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against hi
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient Greek city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Its ruins lie near the modern city of Antakya and lends the modern city its name. Antioch was founded near the end of the fourth century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals; the city's geographical and economic location benefited its occupants such features as the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Royal Road. It rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East; the city was the capital of the Seleucid Empire until 63 B. C. when the Romans took control. From the early 4th century the city was the seat of the Count of the Orient, head of the regional administration of sixteen provinces, it was the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch was one of the most important cities in the eastern Mediterranean of Rome's dominions, it covered 1,100 acres within the walls of which one quarter was mountain, leaving 750 acres about one-fifth the area of Rome within the Aurelian Walls.
Antioch was called "the cradle of Christianity" as a result of its longevity and the pivotal role that it played in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. The Christian New Testament asserts, it was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis, its residents were known as Antiochenes. The city was a metropolis of a quarter million people during Augustan times, but it declined to relative insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes, a change in trade routes, which no longer passed through Antioch from the far east following the Mongol invasions and conquests. Two routes from the Mediterranean, lying through the Orontes gorge and the Beilan Pass, converge in the plain of the Antioch Lake and are met there by the road from the Amanian Gate and western Commagene, which descends the valley of the Karasu River to the Afrin River, the roads from eastern Commagene and the Euphratean crossings at Samosata and Apamea Zeugma, which descend the valleys of the Afrin and the Quweiq rivers, the road from the Euphratean ford at Thapsacus, which skirts the fringe of the Syrian steppe.
A single route proceeds south in the Orontes valley. The settlement called Meroe pre-dated Antioch. A shrine of the Semitic goddess Anat, called by Herodotus the "Persian Artemis", was located here; this site was included in the eastern suburbs of Antioch. There was a village on the spur of Mount Silpius named Iopolis; this name was always adduced as evidence by Antiochenes anxious to affiliate themselves to the Attic Ionians—an eagerness, illustrated by the Athenian types used on the city's coins. Io may have been a small early colony of trading Greeks. John Malalas mentions an archaic village, Bottia, in the plain by the river. Alexander the Great is said to have camped on the site of Antioch, dedicated an altar to Zeus Bottiaeus; this account is found only in the writings of Libanius, a 4th-century orator from Antioch, may be legend intended to enhance Antioch's status. But the story is not unlikely in itself. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, his generals divided up the territory. After the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, Seleucus I Nicator won the territory of Syria, he proceeded to found four "sister cities" in northwestern Syria, one of, Antioch, a city named in honor of his father Antiochus.
He is reputed to have built sixteen Antiochs. Seleucus founded Antioch on a site chosen through ritual means. An eagle, the bird of Zeus, had been given a piece of sacrificial meat and the city was founded on the site to which the eagle carried the offering. Seleucus did this on the 22nd day of the month of Artemisios in the twelfth year of his reign. Antioch soon rose above Seleucia Pieria to become the Syrian capital; the original city of Seleucus was laid out in imitation of the grid plan of Alexandria by the architect Xenarius. Libanius describes the first arrangement of this city; the citadel was on Mt. Silpius and the city lay on the low ground to the north, fringing the river. Two great colonnaded streets intersected in the centre. Shortly afterwards a second quarter was laid out on the east and by Antiochus I, from an expression of Strabo, appears to have been the native, as contrasted with the Greek, town, it was enclosed by a wall of its own. In the Orontes, north of the city, lay a large island, on this Seleucus II Callinicus began a third walled "city", finished by Antiochus III.
A fourth and last quarter was added by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. From west to east the whole was about 6 kilometres in diameter and a little less from north to south; this area included many large gardens. The new city was populated by a mix of local settlers that Athenians brought from the nearby city of Antigonia and Jews; the total free population of Antioch at its foundation has been estimated at between 17,000 and 25,000, not including slaves and native settlers. During the late Hellenistic period and Early Roman period, Antioch's population reached its peak of over 500,000 inhabitants and was the third largest city in the Empire after Rome and Alexandria. In the second half o
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history; when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title used was imperator a military honorific. Early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus and pontifex maximus; the legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate. The first emperors reigned alone; the Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, could not convincingly make the same claim. Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the republican institutional framework were preserved after the end of the Western Empire; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century after multiple invasions of imperial territory by Germanic barbarian tribes. Romulus Augustulus is considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos' death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire.
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453; the "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had meant king in Greek but became a title reserved for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire. Other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their pontifical office, some emperors were given divine status after death. With the eventual hegemony of Christianity, the emperor came to be seen as God's chosen ruler, as well as a special protector and leader of the Christian Church on Earth, although in practice an emperor's authority on Church matters was subject to challenge. Due to the cultural rupture of the Turkish conquest, most western historians treat Constantine XI as the last meaningful claimant to the title Roman Emperor. From 1453, one of the titles used by the Ottoman Sultans was "Caesar of Rome", part of their titles until the Ottoman Empire ended in 1922.
A Byzantine group of claimant Roman emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461, though they had used a modified title since 1282. Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797. Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806; these Emperors were never recognized as Roman emperors by the court in Constantinople. Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch and Cassius Dio.
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor. At the end of the Roman Republic no new, no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power. Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator Julius Caesar had been an emperor, like several Roman generals before him. Instead, by the end of the civil wars in which Julius Caesar had led his armies, it became clear that there was no consensus to return to the old-style monarchy, but that the period when several officials, bestowed with equal power by the senate, would fight one another had come to an end. Julius Caesar, Augustus after him, accumulated offices and titles of the highest importance in the Republic, making the power attached to those offices permanent, preventing anyone with similar aspirations from accumulating or maintaining power for themselves. However, Julius Caesar, unlike those after
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history; the reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession. Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia, his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.
The Triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, those of tribune and censor, it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, instead called himself Princeps Civitatis; the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. Augustus enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75 from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors, he was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son Tiberius. As a consequence of Roman customs and personal preference, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life: Gaius Octavius Thurinus: He received his birth name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his praenomen, "Octavius" was his nomen, "Thurinus" was his cognomen. His rival Mark Antony used the name "Thurinus" as an insult, to which Augustus replied, surprised that "using his old name was thought to be an insult".
Gaius Julius Caesar: After he was adopted by Julius Caesar, he adopted Caesar's name in accordance with Roman naming conventions. While he dropped all references to the gens Octavia, people colloquially added the epithet Octavianus to his legal name, either to differentiate him from his adoptive father or to highlight his more modest origins. Modern historians refer to him using the anglicized form "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius: Two years after his adoption, he founded the Temple of Caesar additionally adding the title Divi Filius to his name in attempt to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following the deification of Caesar. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, his name is translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine". Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 31 BC defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on his own insistence, the Roman Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", which he added to his previous names thereafter.
Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri 40 kilometres from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on 23 September 63 BC, he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves. Suetonius wrote: "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; this man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town..." Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius mentions his father's equestrian family only in his memoirs, his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several lo
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor and existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia during the late Byzantine Empire. Extending inland from the southeastern coast of modern Turkey, Cilicia is due north and northeast of the island of Cyprus and corresponds to the modern region of Çukurova in Turkey. Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia, to the Nur Mountains, which separated it from Syria. North and east of Cilicia lie the rugged Taurus Mountains that separate it from the high central plateau of Anatolia, which are pierced by a narrow gorge, called in antiquity the Cilician Gates. Ancient Cilicia was divided into Cilicia Trachaea and Cilicia Pedias by the Limonlu River. Salamis, the city on the east coast of Cyprus, was included in its administrative jurisdiction; the Greeks invented for Cilicia an eponymous Hellene founder in the purely mythical Cilix, but the historic founder of the dynasty that ruled Cilicia Pedias was Mopsus, identifiable in Phoenician sources as Mpš, the founder of Mopsuestia who gave his name to an oracle nearby.
Homer mentions the people of Mopsus, identified as Cilices, as from the Troad in the northernwesternmost part of Anatolia. The English spelling Cilicia is the same as the Latin, as it was transliterated directly from the Greek form Κιλικία; the palatalization of c occurring in the west in Vulgar Latin accounts for its modern pronunciation in English. Cilicia Trachea is a rugged mountain district formed by the spurs of Taurus, which terminate in rocky headlands with small sheltered harbors, a feature which, in classical times, made the coast a string of havens for pirates and, in the Middle Ages, outposts for Genoese and Venetian traders; the district is watered by the Calycadnus and was covered in ancient times by forests that supplied timber to Phoenicia and Egypt. Cilicia lacked large cities. Cilicia Pedias, to the east, included the rugged spurs of Taurus and a large coastal plain, with rich loamy soil, known to the Greeks such as Xenophon, who passed through with his mercenary group of the Ten Thousand, for its abundance, filled with sesame and millet and olives and pasturage for the horses imported by Solomon.
Many of its high places were fortified. The plain is watered by the three great rivers, the Cydnus, the Sarus and the Pyramus, each of which brings down much silt from the deforested interior and which fed extensive wetlands; the Sarus now enters the sea due south of Tarsus, but there are clear indications that at one period it joined the Pyramus, that the united rivers ran to the sea west of Kara-tash. Through the rich plain of Issus ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsus on the Cydnus, Adana on the Sarus, Mopsuestia on the Pyramus. Cilicia was settled from the Neolithic period onwards. Dating of the ancient settlements of the region from Neolithic to Bronze Age is as follows: Aceramic/Neolithic: 8th and 7th millennia BC. 5400–4500 BC. 3400 BC. The area had been known as Kizzuwatna in the earlier Hittite era; the region was divided into two parts, Uru Adaniya, a well-watered plain, "rough" Cilicia, in the mountainous west. The Cilicians appear as Hilikku in Assyrian inscriptions, in the early part of the first millennium BC were one of the four chief powers of Western Asia.
Homer mentions the plain as the "Aleian plain" in which Bellerophon wandered, but he transferred the Cilicians far to the west and north and made them allies of Troy. The Cilician cities unknown to Homer bore their pre-Greek names: Tarzu, Danuna-Adana, which retains its ancient name, Pahri and Azatiwataya. There exists evidence that circa 1650 BC both Hittite kings Hattusili I and Mursili I enjoyed freedom of movement along the Pyramus River, proving they exerted strong control over Cilicia in their battles with Syria. After the death of Murshili around 1595 BC, Hurrians wrested control from the Hitties, Cilicia was free for two centuries; the first king of free Cilicia, Išputahšu, son of Pariyawatri, was recorded as a "great king" in both cuneiform and Hittite hieroglyphs. Another record of Hittite origins, a treaty between Išputahšu and Telipinu, king of the Hittites, is recorded in both Hittite and Akkadian. In the next century, Cilician king Pilliya finalized treaties with both King Zidanta II of the Hittites and Idrimi of Alalakh, in which Idrimi mentions that he had assaulted several military targets throughout Eastern Cilicia.
Niqmepa, who succeeded Idrimi as king of Alalakh, went so far as to ask for help from a Hurrian rival, Shaushtatar of Mitanni, to try and reduce Cilicia's power in the region. It was soon apparent, that increased Hittite power would soon prove Niqmepa's efforts to be futile, as the city of Kizzuwatna soon fell to the Hittites, threatening all of Cilicia. Soon after, King Sunassura II was forced to accept vassalization under the Hittites, becoming the last king of ancient Cilicia. In the 13th century BC a major population shift occurred as the Sea Peoples overran Cilicia; the Hurrians that resided there deserted the area and moved northeast towards the Taurus Mountains, where
An aquila was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome as the standard of a Roman legion. A legionary known as an aquilifer, or eagle-bearer, carried this standard; each legion carried one eagle. The eagle was important to the Roman military, beyond being a symbol of a legion. A lost standard was considered an grave occurrence, the Roman military went to great lengths to both protect a standard and to recover it if lost. No legionary eagles are known to have survived. However, a number of other Roman eagles, either symbolizing imperial rule or used as funeral emblems, have been discovered; the signa militaria were the Roman military standards. The most ancient standard employed by the Romans is said to have been a handful of straw fixed to the top of a spear or pole. Hence the company of soldiers belonging to it was called a maniple; the bundle of hay or fern was soon succeeded by the figures of animals, of which Pliny the Elder enumerates five: the eagle, the wolf, the ox with the man's head, the horse, the boar.
After the devastating Roman defeat at the battle of Arausio against the Cimbri and Teutons the consul Gaius Marius undertook an extensive military reform in 104 BC in which the four quadrupeds were laid aside as standards, the eagle alone being retained. It was made of silver, or bronze, with outstretched wings, but was of a small size, since a standard-bearer under Julius Caesar is said in circumstances of danger to have wrenched the eagle from its staff and concealed it in the folds of his girdle. Under the emperors the eagle was carried, as it had been for many centuries, with the legion, a legion being on that account sometimes called aquila; each cohort had for its own ensign the serpent or dragon, woven on a square piece of cloth textilis anguis, elevated on a gilt staff, to which a cross-bar was adapted for the purpose, carried by the draconarius. Another figure used in the standards was a ball, supposed to have been emblematic of the dominion of Rome over the world. Under the eagle or other emblem was placed a head of the reigning emperor, to the army an object of worship or veneration.
The name of the emperor, or of him, acknowledged as emperor, was sometimes inscribed in the same situation. The pole used to carry the eagle had at its lower extremity an iron point to fix it in the ground, to enable the aquilifer in case of need to repel an attack; the minor divisions of a cohort, called centuries each had an ensign, inscribed with the number both of the cohort and of the century. This, together with the diversities of the crests worn by the centurions, enabled each soldier to take his place with ease. In the Arch of Constantine at Rome there are four sculptured panels near the top which exhibit a great number of standards and illustrate some of the forms here described; the first panel represents Trajan giving a king to the Parthians: seven standards are held by the soldiers. The second, containing five standards, represents the performance of the sacrifice called suovetaurilia; when Constantine embraced Christianity, a figure or emblem of Christ, woven in gold upon purple cloth, was substituted for the head of the emperor.
This richly ornamented. The labarum is still used today by the Orthodox Church in the Sunday service; the entry procession of the chalice whose contents will soon become holy communion is modeled after the procession of the standards of the Roman army. After the adoption of Christianity as the Roman Empire's religion, the Aquila eagle continued to be used as a symbol. During the reign of Eastern Roman Emperor Isaac I Komnenos, the single-headed eagle was modified to double-headed to symbolise the Empire's dominance over East and West. Since the movements of a body of troops and of every portion of it were regulated by the standards, all the evolutions and incidents of the Roman army were expressed by phrases derived from this circumstance, thus signa inferre meant to advance, referre to retreat, convertere to face about. Notwithstanding some obscurity in the use of terms, it appears that, whilst the standard of the legion was properly called aquila, those of the cohorts were in a special sense of the term called signa, their bearers being signiferi, that those of the manipuli or smaller divisions of the cohort were denominated vexilla, their bearers being vexillarii.
Those who fought in the first ranks of the legion, in front of the standards of the legion and cohorts, were called antesignani. In military stratagems it was sometimes necessary to conceal the standards. Although the Romans considered it a point of honour to preserve their standards, in some cases of extreme danger the leader himself threw them among the ranks of the enemy in order to divert their attention or to animate his own soldiers. A wounded or dying standard-bearer delivered it, if possible, into the hands of his general, from whom he had received it signis acceptis. Battles where the Aquilae were lost, units that lost the Aquilae and the fate of the Aquilae: 53 BC - defeat of Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae by the Parthians. Several Legions. 49-45 BC - loss of Aquilae from legions of Aulus Gabinius