Trajan Decius was Roman Emperor from 249 to 251. In the last year of his reign, he co-ruled with his son Herennius Etruscus until they were killed in the Battle of Abritus. Around 245, Philip I entrusted Decius with an important command on the Danube, after the collapse of the revolt, Decius let the troops proclaim him Emperor. Philip had to advance against him and was killed at Verona, the Senate recognized Decius as Emperor, giving him the attribute Traianus as a reference to the good emperor Trajan. According to the Byzantine historian Zosimus, Decius was clothed in purple and forced to undertake the government, despite his reluctance and unwillingness. Either as a concession to the Senate, or perhaps with the idea of improving morality, Decius endeavoured to revive the separate office. The choice was left to the Senate, who unanimously selected Valerian, but Valerian, well aware of the dangers and difficulties attached to the office at such a time, declined the responsibility. The invasion of the Goths and Decius death put an end to the abortive attempt, see Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire#Under Decius In January 250, Decius is said to have issued one of the most remarkable Roman imperial edicts.
When they sacrificed they would obtain a recording the fact that they had complied with the order. According to D. S. Potter, Decius did not try to impose the superiority of the Roman pantheon over any other gods. It is very probable that the edict was an attempt to legitimize his position, measures were first taken demanding that the bishops and officers of the church make a sacrifice for the Emperor. The sacrifice was on behalf of the Emperor, not to the Emperor, certificates were issued to those who satisfied the commissioners during the persecution of Christians under Decius. Forty-six such certificates have been published, all dating from 250, including Christian followers, who refused to offer a sacrifice for the Emperor and the Empires well-being by a specified date risked torture and execution. In reality, towards the end of the year of Decius reign, the ferocity of the persecution had eased off. The Christian church, despite no indication in the texts that the edict targeted any specific group.
At this time, there was an outbreak of the Antonine Plague. This outbreak is referred to as the Plague of Cyprian, cyprians biographer Pontius gave a vivid picture of the demoralizing effects of the plague and Cyprian moralized the event in his essay De mortalitate. In Carthage, the Decian persecution, unleashed at the onset of the plague, Decius edicts were renewed under Valerian in 253 and repealed under his son, Gallienus, in 260-1
Crisis of the Third Century
The same number of men became accepted by the Roman Senate as emperor during this period and so became legitimate emperors. Later, Aurelian reunited the empire, the crisis ended with the ascension, the situation of the Roman Empire became dire in 235 AD, when emperor Alexander Severus was murdered by his own troops. Many Roman legions had been defeated during a campaign against Germanic peoples raiding across the borders, leading his troops personally, Alexander Severus resorted to diplomacy and paying tribute in an attempt to pacify the Germanic chieftains quickly. According to Herodian this cost him the respect of his troops, in the years following the emperors death, generals of the Roman army fought each other for control of the Empire and neglected their duties of defending the empire from invasion. Climate changes and a rise in sea levels ruined the agriculture of what is now the Low Countries forcing tribes to migrate, additionally, in 251, the Plague of Cyprian broke out, causing large-scale death, possibly weakened the ability of the Empire to defend itself.
After the loss of Valerian in 260, the Roman Empire was beset by usurpers, the Roman provinces of Gaul and Hispania broke off to form the Gallic Empire. An invasion by a vast host of Goths was defeated at the Battle of Naissus in 268 or 269 and this victory was significant as the turning point of the crisis, when a series of tough, energetic soldier-emperors took power. Victories by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus over the two years drove back the Alamanni and recovered Hispania from the Gallic Empire. When Claudius died in 270 of the plague, who had commanded the cavalry at Naissus, succeeded him as the emperor and continued the restoration of the Empire. Aurelian reigned through the worst of the crisis, defeating the Vandals, the Visigoths, the Palmyrenes, the Persians, by late 274, the Roman Empire was reunited into a single entity, and the frontier troops were back in place. More than a century would pass before Rome again lost military ascendancy over its external enemies. However, dozens of formerly thriving cities, especially in the Western Empire, had ruined, their populations dispersed and, with the breakdown of the economic system.
Major cities and towns, even Rome itself, had not needed fortifications for many centuries, although Aurelian had played a significant role in restoring the Empires borders from external threat, more fundamental problems remained. Another issue was the size of the Empire, which made it difficult for a single autocratic ruler to effectively manage multiple threats at the same time. These continuing problems would be addressed by Diocletian, allowing the Empire to continue to survive in the West for over a century. Several emperors who rose to power through acclamation of their troops attempted to create stability by appointing their descendants as Caesar and these generally failed to maintain any form of coherence beyond one generation, although there were exceptions. Internally, the empire faced hyperinflation caused by years of coinage devaluation and this had started earlier under the Severan emperors who enlarged the army by one quarter and doubled the legionaries base pay. This resulted in runaway rises in prices, and by the time Diocletian came to power, some taxes were collected in kind and values were often notional in bullion or bronze coinage
Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region and was the first capital city of Italy. The city is located mainly on the bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley and surrounded by the western Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 892,649 while the population of the area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million, in 1997 a part of the historical center of Torino was inscribed in the World Heritage List under the name Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. Turin is well known for its Renaissance, Rococo, Neo-classical, many of Turins public squares, castles and elegant palazzi such as Palazzo Madama, were built between the 16th and 18th centuries. This was after the capital of the Duchy of Savoy was moved to Turin from Chambery as part of the urban expansion, the city used to be a major European political center.
Turin was Italys first capital city in 1861 and home to the House of Savoy, from 1563, it was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the Royal House of Savoy and finally the first capital of the unified Italy. Turin is sometimes called the cradle of Italian liberty for having been the birthplace and home of notable politicians and people who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour. The city currently hosts some of Italys best universities, academies and gymnasia, such as the University of Turin, founded in the 15th century, in addition, the city is home to museums such as the Museo Egizio and the Mole Antonelliana. Turins attractions make it one of the worlds top 250 tourist destinations, Turin is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for economic strength. With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the worlds 78th richest city by purchasing power, as of 2010, the city has been ranked by GaWC as a Gamma World city. Turin is home to much of the Italian automotive industry, the Taurini were an ancient Celto-Ligurian Alpine people, who occupied the upper valley of the Po River, in the center of modern Piedmont.
In 218 BC, they were attacked by Hannibal as he was allied with their long-standing enemies, the Taurini chief town was captured by Hannibals forces after a three-day siege. As a people they are mentioned in history. It is believed that a Roman colony was established in 27 BC under the name of Castra Taurinorum, both Livy and Strabo mention the Taurinis country as including one of the passes of the Alps, which points to a wider use of the name in earlier times. In the 1st century BC, the Romans created a military camp, the typical Roman street grid can still be seen in the modern city, especially in the neighborhood known as the Quadrilatero Romano. Via Garibaldi traces the path of the Roman citys decumanus which began at the Porta Decumani. The Porta Palatina, on the side of the current city centre, is still preserved in a park near the Cathedral
Mithraism, known as the Mithraic mysteries, was a mystery religion centred around the god Mithras that was practised in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to the 4th century. The mysteries were popular in the Roman military, worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation and communal ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those “united by the handshake” and they met in underground temples, called mithraea, which survive in large numbers. The cult appears to have had its centre in Rome, numerous archaeological finds, including meeting places and artifacts, have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire. The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, about 420 sites have yielded materials related to the cult. Among the items found are about 1000 inscriptions,700 examples of the bull-killing scene and it has been estimated that there would have been at least 680 mithraea in Rome. No written narratives or theology from the religion survive, limited information can be derived from the inscriptions and brief or passing references in Greek, interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested.
The Romans regarded the mysteries as having Persian or Zoroastrian sources, since the early 1970s the dominant scholarship has noted dissimilarities between Persian Mithra-worship and the Roman Mithraic mysteries. The term Mithraism is a modern convention, writers of the Roman era referred to it by phrases such as Mithraic mysteries, mysteries of Mithras or mysteries of the Persians. Modern sources sometimes refer to the Greco-Roman religion as Roman Mithraism or Western Mithraism to distinguish it from Persian worship of Mithra. The name Mithras is a form of Mithra, the name of an Old Persian god – a relationship understood by Mithraic scholars since the days of Franz Cumont. An early example of the Greek form of the name is in a 4th century BCE work by Xenophon, the Cyropaedia, the exact form of a Latin or classical Greek word varies due to the grammatical process of declension. There is archeological evidence that in Latin worshippers wrote the nominative form of the name as Mithras. Related deity-names in other languages include Sanskrit Mitra, the name of a god praised in the Rig Veda, in Sanskrit, mitra means friend or friendship.
The form mi-it-ra-, found in a peace treaty between the Hittites and the kingdom of Mitanni, from about 1400 BCE. Iranian Mithra and Sanskrit Mitra are believed to come from an Indo-Iranian word mitra meaning contract / agreement / covenant, modern historians have different conceptions about whether these names refer to the same god or not. John R. Hinnells has written of Mitra / Mithra / Mithras as a deity worshipped in several different religions. On the other hand, David Ulansey considers the bull-slaying Mithras to be a new god who began to be worshipped in the 1st Century BCE, there have been many attempts to interpret this material
Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo, to raise, to create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is actually performed when a relief is cut in from a surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field. The technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, which is a time-consuming exercise. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, and monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the form from the field. There is sunk relief, which was restricted to Ancient Egypt. However the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, and these two are generally the only used to discuss most work.
Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, works in the technique are described as in relief, especially in monumental sculpture, the work itself is a relief. Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of settings. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with figures and very active poses, such as battles. Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief. Rock reliefs are carved into solid rock in the open air. This type is found in cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a standing stone, many of these carry reliefs. The distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, and the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most high reliefs contain sections in low relief, a low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief.
Other versions distort depth much less and it is a technique which requires less work, and is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required
The Scythian languages belonged to the Eastern branch of the Iranian languages. Ancient Greek historians spoke of Scythians who lived north of the Black Sea, Persians used the term Saka, for approximately the same people who lived further east. Although the ancients did not clearly distinguish the two terms, modern scholars usually use Saka to refer to Iranian-speaking tribes who inhabited the central steppe, the Chinese used the term Sai, for Sakas who had moved into the Tarim Basin. Assyrian sources speak of Iskuzai or Askuzai south of the Caucasus who were probably Scythians, the relationships between the peoples living in these widely separated regions remains unclear. Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia, the Scythians were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. In the 8th century BC they possibly raided Zhou China, soon after they expanded westwards and dislodged the Cimmerians from power on the Pontic Steppe.
Based in what is modern-day Ukraine, Southern European Russia, and Crimea, the Scythians established and controlled a vast trade network connecting Greece, Persia and China, perhaps contributing to the contemporary flourishing of those civilizations. Settled metalworkers made portable decorative objects for the Scythians and these objects survive mainly in metal, forming a distinctive Scythian art. In the 7th century BC the Scythians crossed the Caucasus and frequently raided the Middle East along with the Cimmerians, around 650–630 BC, Scythians briefly dominated the Medes of the western Iranian Plateau, stretching their power all the way to the borders of Egypt. After losing control over Media the Scythians continued intervening in Middle Eastern affairs, the Scythians subsequently engaged in frequent conflicts with the Achaemenid Empire. The western Scythians suffered a defeat against Macedonia in the 4th century BC, and were subsequently gradually conquered by the Sarmatians. In Eastern Europe, by the early Medieval Ages, the Scythians, Scythians kept herds of horses and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons, and fought with bows and arrows on horseback.
They developed a culture characterized by opulent tombs, fine metalwork. Sulimirski views the Histories of Herodotus as the most important literary source relating to ancient Scyths, Herodotus provides a depiction that can be related to the results of archaeological research, but apparently knew little of the eastern part of Scythia. He did say that the ancient Persians called all the Scyths Σάκαι and their principal tribe, the Royal Scyths, ruled the vast lands occupied by the nation as a whole, calling themselves Σκώλοτοι. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda, which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, in which the d has been regularly replaced by an l. Saka, on the hand, Szemerényi relates to an Iranian verbal root, sak-, go, roam. The name does appear somewhat further east than the Achaemenid Empire, whether they adopted the Achaemenid name, or Saka came to be an endonym, it is not clear
Pergamon /ˈpɜːrɡəmən/ or /ˈpɜːrɡəmɒn/ or Pergamum /ˈpɜːrɡəməm/ was a rich and powerful ancient Greek city in Aeolis. It is located 26 kilometres from the coastline of the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus. Many remains of its monuments can still be seen and especially the outstanding masterpiece of the Pergamon Altar. It became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period under the Attalid dynasty in 281–133 BC, Pergamon is cited in the Book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia. Xenophon provides the earliest surviving mention of Pergamon. Captured by Xenophon in 399 BC and immediately recaptured by the Persians, in 261 BC he bequeathed his possessions to his nephew Eumenes I, who increased them greatly, leaving as heir his cousin Attalus I. The Attalids became some of the most loyal supporters of Rome in the Hellenistic world, for their support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.
As a consequence of its rise to power, the city expanded greatly, until 188 BC, it had not grown significantly since its founding by Philetaerus, and covered c.21 hectares. After this year, a new city wall was constructed,4 kilometres long and enclosing an area of approximately 90 hectares. The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity, many documents survive showing how the Attalids supported the growth of towns by sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence and they sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi and Athens. They remodeled the Acropolis of Pergamon after the Acropolis in Athens, when Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC, he bequeathed the whole of Pergamon to Rome in order to prevent a civil war. Not everyone in Pergamon accepted Romes rule, who claimed to be Attalus brother as well as the son of Eumenes II, an earlier king, led a revolt among the lower classes with the help of Blossius.
The revolt was put down in 129 BC, and Pergamon was divided among Rome, Pergamon was briefly the capital of the Roman province of Asia, before the capital was transferred to Ephesus. After a slow decline, the city was favoured by several imperial initiatives under Hadrian, in addition, at the city limits the shrine to Asclepius was expanded into a lavish spa. This sanctuary grew in fame and was considered one of the most famous therapeutic, after Hippocrates the most famous physician of antiquity, was born at Pergamon and received his early training at the Asclepeion. Pergamon reached the height of its greatness under Roman Imperial rule and was home to about 200,000 inhabitants, the city was an early seat of Christianity and was granted a bishopric by the 2nd century. The city suffered badly during the century and was badly damaged by an earthquake in 262 and was sacked by the Goths shortly after
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history, often when a given Roman is described as becoming emperor in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific, early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably Princeps Senatus, the first emperors reigned alone, emperors would sometimes rule with co-Emperors and divide administration of the Empire between them. 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, nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman Emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, a great effort was made to emphasize that the Emperors were the leaders of a Republic.
Elements of the Republican institutional framework were preserved until the end of the Western Empire. The Eastern emperors ultimately adopted the title of Basileus, which had meant king in Greek, but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor, other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their office, some emperors were given divine status after death. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, Romulus Augustulus is often considered to be the last emperor of the west after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim to the title until his death in 480. Constantine XI was the last Byzantine Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, a Byzantine group of claimant Roman Emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461. In western Europe the title of Roman Emperor was revived by Germanic rulers, the Holy Roman Emperors, in 800, at the end of the Roman Republic no new, and certainly 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, Julius Caesar, unlike those after him, did so without the Senates vote and approval. Julius Caesar held the Republican offices of four times and dictator five times, was appointed dictator in perpetuity in 45 BC and had been pontifex maximus for a long period. He gained these positions by senatorial consent, by the time of his assassination, he was the most powerful man in the Roman world. In his will, Caesar appointed his adopted son Octavian as his heir, a decade after Caesars death, Octavians victory over his erstwhile ally Mark Antony at Actium put an end to any effective opposition and confirmed Octavians supremacy. His restoration of powers to the Senate and the people of Rome was a demonstration of his auctoritas, some historians such as Tacitus would say that even at Augustus death, the true restoration of the Republic might have been possible. Instead, Augustus actively prepared his adopted son Tiberius to be his successor, the Senate disputed the issue but eventually confirmed Tiberius as princeps
Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli
Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli was an Italian archaeologist and art historian. Bianchi Bandinelli was born in Siena to Mario Bianchi Bandinelli and Margherita Ottilie Lily von Korn and his early research focused on the Etruscan centers close to his family lands and Suana. Disgusted with Italian fascism, despite being the man who showed Hitler around Rome under Mussolini, he converted to communism after World War II, as an anti-fascist, he was appointed to a number of important art-historical positions immediately after the war. For example, he was director of the new fine arts. His memoir of fascism in Italy was published in 1995, from his chairs at the universities of Florence and Rome, Bianchi Bandinelli directed a new breed of Italian archaeologists sensitive to classical history based upon dialectical materialism. He taught at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, in the 1950s and 1960s he undertook the writing of comprehensive texts on classical art intended to reach a wide and literate audience.
He founded the Enciclopedia dellarte antica in 1958, and in the year was elected as a foreign member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In the mid 1960s, Bianchi Bandinelli was commissioned to write the two volumes on Roman art for the French Arts of Mankind series and these works brought his writing to a larger audience and helped usher in social criteria for art into a larger and English-speaking audience. In 1967 he founded the Dialoghi di archeologia with his students, one of the most innovative, if controversial and he was frequently a maverick in his interpretation of art and his arguments were, if not always compelling, forcefully grounded. One such case is his interpretation of the famous Belvedere Apollo, one of his interests was the interrelation between Hellenistic and Roman art. Bianchi Bandinelli was elected a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts. Dialoghi di archeologia Hitler e Mussolini,1938, il viaggio del Führer in Italia Kleinbauer, research Guide to the History of Western Art.
Sources of Information in the Humanities, no.2, American Library Association,1982, pp. 137–8 Barzanti, Roberto. Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, archeologo curioso del futuro, ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli e il suo mondo, Edipuglia / Università degli studi di Roma La Sapienza,2000. Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, biografia ed epistolario di un grande archeologo
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