Friday, 7 June 2013

Coins Of The Roman Empire - ( 1 - 19 )

 1.                     ( reference: The New York Sale Auction XIV Catalogue )

Antoninus Pius was one of the so-called " 5 Good Emperors  Of  Rome" .   His legacy was compared with another pious Roman Emperor, the second Emperor of Rome ( Numa Pompilius ). Antoninus was praised for qualities of clemency, dutifulness, intelligence and purity.  He was the adoptive father of Emperor Marcus Aulelies and the adopted son of Emperor Hadrian. . As an emperor, he fought against the offending Britons, tribes of Germans and also the Dacians. During his tenure as an emperor, he couldn't escape to deal severely with the rebellious Jews, Achaeans, Egyptians and the Alanis. He would not allow Senators to be executed even it was an order from Emperor Hadrian himself.  He was reputed to have built the Temple of Hadrian, repaired the Amphitheater,  Baths at Ostia, and the Aqueduct at Antium. He died of fewer after eating Alpine Cheese at dinner in March 161 AD

 2.    Lucius Verus was the first adopted son of Emperor Hadrian.  When Emperor Hadrian died,  Antoninus Pius had to accept Lucius Verus as his adopted son and the next emperor as wished by Emperor Hadrian.  He was an excellent student of Marcus Cornelius Fronte and was good at writing and delivering speeches.  In 169 as Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius were returning to Rome after a great battle, Lucius Verus fell ill and died a few days later.  Scholars believed he may have been the victim of smallpox, died during a widespread  epidemic known as the Antonine Plague.
He was Roman Emperor for 3 months in 253 AD.  As a Commander of Moesian troops, he obtained an important victory against the invading Goths, and for this reason, acclaimed Emperor by his army.  He then moved quickly to Italy, where he defeated Emperor Trebonianus Gallus, only to be killed later by his own men, when another General Valerian proclaimed himself the new Emperor and moved against Aemilianus with a larger army.  
Vaballathus was the son of Septimius Odaenathus.  This lieutenant served Emperor Gallienus well and ruled Palmyra, until he was murdered which left power in the hands of his widow  Zenobia and his 10-year-old son Vaballathus.  The Emperor Gallienus refused to grant Vaballathus the title his father had earned.  When Aurelian became Emperor, he didn't have the resources to confront Vaballathus, so he granted him the title.  Two years later, Aurelian had the means to destroy Palmyrene power and captured both Zenobia and Vaballathus.  Zenobia was allowed to live her life in honourable  retirement  but the fate of Vaballathus is unknown.
He was the 51st. Emperor of the Roman Empire and ruled from 284 - 305 AD.  Born from a poor family, Diocletianus, rose through the ranks of the military to become a cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus.  After the death of Carus and his son during  a Persian campaign,   Diocletianus was proclaimed Emperor.  The title was also claimed by Carus's other surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletianus defeated him in a Battle of the Margus.  His reign stablised  the empire and marks the end of the " Crises of the Third Century " .
Constantius 1 Chlorus Caesar was a Roman Emperor from 293 - 305 AD.  He was the father of  "Constantine The Great " and founder of Constantinian Dynasty.   As Caesar he defeated Allectus in Britain and also the Alamanni and the Franks in France  Upon becoming Emperor  in 305 AD, he launched punitive campaigns against the Picts beyond the Authonine Wall. However he died suddenly in Eburacum ( York ) the following year.  His death sparked the collapse of the tetrarchic system of government inaugurated by the Emperor Diolectian himself.
Galerius was made Ceasar on 1st. March  293 by Emperor Diocletian whose daughter Valeri,  Galerius  had married. As a devouted henchman of Diocletian, Galerius was given Danube ( Germany ) to rule.  From 293 till 295 he conducted campaigns against the Germans on the lower Danube.  He was defeated at Carrhae by the Persians under King Narses.  It was during his rule, that the Christians in the eastern region were degraded to the condition of the pariahs and the struggle between Paganism and Christianity was fought out.  One part of the Empire after another rebelled and became autonomous.  Finally he ceased the prosecution of the Christians.  He issued an edict  on April 30rd. 311, allowing the Christians to practice their religion. A few days later, Galerius died at Danube. 
( date stated above is not correct )
Constantius II was a Roman Emperor from 337 to 361 AD.  The second  son of  " Constantine I  or Constantine The Great " .  He ascended to the throne with his brothers Constantine II and Constans upon his father's death.  In 340 AD, Constantius's brothers clashed over the western provinces of the empire. The resulting conflict left Constantine II dead and Constans as the ruler of the west until he was overthrown and assassinated by General Magnentius in 350 AD.  Unwilling to accept Magnentius as a co-ruler, Constantius II defeated him at a the Battle of Mursa Major and Mons Seleucus.  General Magnentius committed suicide later and this left Constantius II as the sole ruler of the wide Roman empire.
Maximinus II Gaza was born in Illyricum about 270 AD  to a sister of Galerius.  When Diocletian abdicated on May 1st. 305 , in favour of Galerius, Maximinus became a Ceasar.  In early 310 AD, his troops hailed him as an Emperor.  Galerius died in 311 AD and Licinius and Maximinus became rivals for his territory.  Maximinus gained Asia Minor but war was inevitable.  They fought at Tzirallum in Trace in 313 AD and Maximinus was badly defeated. He escaped but committed suicide a few months later
Crispus was the eldest son of Emperor Constantine I.  His career began early when he was appointed Ceasar.  While in charge of Gaul ( France ) he successfully undertook military operations against the Franks and Alamanni in 320 and 323 AD.   In 324, he managed to defeat his rival Licinius in a sea battle at Hellespont.  His career was praised by many contemporary historians and was even described as " The Emperor Most Dear To God " but Crispus's end was as tragic as his career had been brilliant when he was put to death by his own father when secret spread that he had an illicit affair with his stepmother Fausta.
Constans was a Roman Emperor from 337 to 350 AD . He was the youngest son of  "Constantine The Great " and was elevated to the rank of Caesar in 333 AD at Constantinople. With his father's death, he divided the Roman world between his two brothers, Constantine II and Constantius II.  He defeated his brother Constantine II in 340 AD, but anger in the army over his personal life and his preference for his barbarians bodyguards, led the General Magnentius to rebel, resulting in  assassination of Constans in 350 AD.
Jovianus was a Roman Emperor from 363 to 364 AD.  Upon the defeat of Emperor Julian the Apostate during his campaigns against the Sassahid Empire, Jovianus was hastily declared Emperor by his soldiers.  He sought peace with the Persians on humiliating terms and re-established Christianity as the state religion after a period of Paganism during his predecessor's tenure. His reign only lasted for eight months as he was found dead in his tent after coming back from a campaign  at Dadastana and his death has been attributed to either  a surfeit of mushrooms or accidentally sniffing poisonous carbon dioxide fumes of a burning charcoal  warming fire.
He is the son of Valentinian  I and Justina. In the western empire, Emperor Valentinian I  had been succeeded by his sons Gratian and Valentinian II.  After fighting the Goths, Gratian was defeated and put to death in 383 AD by a usurper Maximus who also deprived Valentinian II of his province of Italy.  Theodosius who had been appointed earlier by Gratian defeated the usurper in 388 AD and restored the young Valentinian II to his throne.  Valentinian II was later murdered by a rebel led by a Frank named Arbogastes, who strangled his to death on May 15th. 392 AD at the age of twenty-one. The murder was denied by Arbogastes who claimed the death was a suicide ,  but Theodosius who did not believe his claim marched against him and defeated and also destroyed Arbogastes and his accomplice named Eugenius in 394 AD.
Constantine III who died on 18 Sep. 411 AD was a Roman General who declared himself as Emperor of Western Roman Empire in Britannia in 407 AD and established himself in Gaul ( France ) .  Recognized by Emperor Honorius in 409 AD, collapsing support and military setbacks saw him abdicated in 411 AD. He was captured and executed shortly afterwards.
Following the defeat of Emperor Constantine III,  Jovinus was proclaimed as puppet Emperor by Kings of Gundahar and Burgundians at Mainz in 411 AD.  Jovinus kept his position for two years as he was supported by fellow Roman nobles who had survived Constantine's defeat. Jovinus's end came after Visogoths allied with Honorius  defeated Jovinus's troops.  Jovinus fled and was later captured and had him executed in 413 AD.
In 424 AD, the Eastern Emperor Theodosius II elected as Emperor his cousin Valentinian II, the son of Constantius III, restoring the legitimate dynasty.  The Vendals another tribe of the Teutons pairing with the Genseric who are much like the Goths were preparing to attack the Roman Empire.  Valentinian III surrendered all his rights to the Roman province of Africa to them in a treaty.  During that time much of the Roman provinces were attacked and plundered by enemies. Britain by Saxons and Caledonians, Gaul by Goths in the south, Burgundians in the middle and Franks in the north. Eastern half was tormented by the Persians, on the north border by the Eastern Goths or Ostrogoths and to the south by the Vandals from Africa.  During Valentinian III 's rule, most Roman provinces could no longer hold together.  The next terrible enemy faced by Valentinian III were the Huns, same stock as the Tartars, whose leader was Attila. Attila demanded Valentinian III's sister Justa and since he refused, led him to destroy many Roman cities in the north. Instead of marrying Justa, he married a young prisoner. The next morning Attila was found dead and the bride was gone. The date was 453 AD. It was said that the Roman Empire during Valentinian III 's  rule was on the brink of collapse

                                      ( A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE )
(  The ancient city of Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC by Romulus.  The history of the Roman Empire began after the 500 year old  Roman Republic weakened due to civil wars.  Many events turned the Republic into Imperialism.  Rome became the largest empire in the world during the reign of Emperor Trajan.  Roman Empire influenced the world in many spheres like  religion, architecture, philosophy, laws and the administration of nations.  Political   upheaval and uncertainties undermined the empire in the 3rd. century with frequent attacks from the barbarians.  When the 3rd. century came to an end,  Rome was no longer the official city of the Empire.  In 130 AD, Constantinople was declared the new one.  Since then, the great empire was divided between the Western and Eastern axis.  The Western part came to an end in 476 AD while the Eastern enclave tumbled in 1453 when Constantinople was seized by the expanding Ottomans. Roman Kingdom or Empire existed for more than two centuries ie. 2 206 years. )
19.  Philip the Arab was a Roman Emperor from 244 till 249 AD.  Born in present-day Syria to a Syrian father, and went on to become a major figure in the Roman Empire.  He achieved power after the death of Gordian III and quickly negotiating peace with the Sassanid Empire.  It was claimed that he converted to Christianity and celebrated Easter with Christians in Antioch, Syria.  Philip was overthrown and killed following a rebellion led by his  successor, Decius in 249 AD

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