THE ROMANS - galleries

  • The Empire
  • Agrippa
    Dupondius with the head of Marcus Agrippa. COS III indicates that he had been consul three times, in 37, 28, and 27 BC. He died in 12 BC. His son, Agrippa junior, was born posthumously, and, because of his violent character, was exiled in AD 7. (VRoma: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Barbara McManus)
  • Agrippina_Elder
    Agrippina the Elder, wife of Germanicus and mother of Caligula. She had nine children, six of whom lived into their twenties. (Capitoline Museums, Rome: René Seindal)
  • Agrippina_Younger
    Agrippina the younger. (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek: René Seindal)
  • Antony_&Cleopatra
    Drawing of silver tetradrachm of Antony (36--34 BC) with heads of Antony and Cleopatra. (From J. C. Stobart, The Grandeur that was Rome 1920, plate 22:VRoma: Barbara McManus)
  • Antony_&Octavia
    Gold aureus of Mark Antony (c. 36 - 35 BC) with Antony on the obverse (top) and his wife Octavia on the reverse. (VRoma: Pergamon Museum, Berlin: Barbara McManus)
  • Arch_Titus
    The massive Arch of Titus, celebrating his triumphs over the Jews, still stands today in the Forum in Rome. (René Seindal)
  • Augustus
  • Augustus_curule_chair
    Gold aureus of Augustus sitting on a curule chair, denoting high office. The inscription is, LEGES ET IURA P. R. RESTITUIT, “He restored the laws and rights of the Roman people”. (VRoma: British Museum: Barbara McManus)
  • Caesar
    Julius Caesar
  • Caesar2
    Caesar was the first living Roman to have his own portrait on a coin. Silver denarius of Julius Caesar, 44 BC. The inscription CAESAR DICT QUART refers to his being dictator four times. The curved symbol is a lituus, the staff used by augurs which here signifies his office of pontifex maximus. (VRoma: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Barbara McManus)
  • Caligula
    Caligula: a chilling study of weakness and cruelty. (Ny Carlsberg Glypotek: René Seindal)
  • Caligula_sisters
    Bronze coin of Caligula depicting his three sisters, Agrippina (later the mother of Nero), Drusilla, and Julia. He is said to have committed incest with each of them in turn. (VRoma: National Museums, Rome: Barbara McManus)
  • Caricature_Nero
    Graffito! Caricature of Nero signed “Tullius Romanus, soldier”, found in the substructures of the imperial residence on the Palatine Hill. (From Rodolfo Lanciani, The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome 1897: VRoma: Barbara McManus)
  • Cicero
    Cicero, like Marius, was born near Arpinum. He was sent to Rome to complete his education, which was interrupted by military service in 89 BC. (Capitoline Museum, Rome: René Seindal)
  • Cicero2
    Cicero was one of the first to die in the proscriptions of 43 BC. Too ill to escape his murderers, he was bundled into a litter by his slaves. He was tracked down and killed by a swordcut to the neck. His head and hands were cut off and sent to Rome where, on the orders of Antony, they were nailed up in the forum. (Vatican Museums, Rome: René Seindal)
  • Claudius
    Claudius. A touch of weakness in the face, perhaps, but no doubt about the intelligence. (Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Naples: René Seindal)
  • Claudius_&_Britain
    Gold aureus of Claudius celebrating his British victory. The senate granted him the title of Britannicus and authorized him to celebrate a triumph. (Hunterian Museum)
  • Cleopatra
    Bronze coin of Cleopatra VII, c. 35 BC, with her infant son, Caesarion. It was minted in Cyprus, which Caesar had given to Cleopatra in 47 BC as a parting gift. (VRoma: British Museum: Barbara McManus)
  • Coin_of_Otho
  • Colosseum
    Model of the Colosseum (originally known as the Flavian amphitheatre) was begun in AD 72 in the grounds of Nero’s “Golden Palace” and finished in AD 80. Much of it still stands. Oval in shape and almost 200 metres long and over 150 metres wide, it could seat 45,000 spectators. (EUR (Rome), Museum of Roman Civilization: Barbara McManus)
  • Death_of_Caesar
    “The Death of Caesar” by Vincenzo Camuccini (1771 - 1844). (Acknowledgment Storia dell’ Arte web site)
  • Domitian
    Domitian, by all accounts, was a bad person, but a reasonably effective ruler. When he was dead, he was denied a state funeral, and his name was obliterated from all public buildings. (Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Naples: René Seindal)
  • Domitian_aureus
    Gold aureus (AD 87) of Domitian, with on the reverse Minerva, goddess of crafts and industry, and also of war.The inscription, which begins under the neck and goes clockwise, continuing on the reverse, reads in full: “The emperor Caesar Domitian Augustus Germanicus, Pontifex Maximus, with powers of a tribune for the sixth time / Imperator for the fourteenth time, Consul for the thirteenth time, perpetual Censor, Father of the Country”. ( Photo © Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow)
  • Domus_Aurea
    Reconstruction of the domed octagonal hall built for Nero’s new palace. (From Helen and Richard Leacroft, The Buildings of Ancient Rome, Brockhampton Press 1970)
  • Funerary_relief
    Funerary relief from the end of the first century BC. The central figure and the one on the left are freedmen with the term medicus (doctor) inscribed under each of their names. Doctors were almost exclusively Greek, slaves, or freedmen. The freedwoman on the right has no such descriptive term, but female doctors were not unknown. (VRoma: Louvre, Paris: Barbara McManus)
  • Galba
    Galba was the sole surviving descendant of an old republican family, several of whom had been consul. He was old, a cruel disciplinarian, and notoriously mean. (Capitoline Museums, Rome: René Seindal)
  • Gemellus
    Bronze coin of Tiberius (c. AD 22). Tiberius Gemellus had a twin brother, Germanicus, who died in infancy. They are both depicted here in cornucopiae, with between them the winged caduceus, the herald’s staff which is also the sign of the god Mercury. (VRoma: National Museums, Rome: Barbara McManus)
  • Germanicus
    Germanicus Caesar, father of Caligula, was a nephew of Tiberius and the husband of his niece Agrippina. He died in mysterious circumstances in Syria. (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek: René Seindal)
  • Gladiators
    At this time, gladiators were either convicted criminals or slaves, and had no choice in the matter. (Illustration by John Pittaway from Picture Reference Ancient Romans, Brockhampton Press 1970)
  • Ides_of_March
    The Ides of March! Silver denarius issued by Brutus in 43/42 BC to celebrate the assassination of Caesar. It carries two daggers, a cap of liberty, and the date of the murder, [E]ID. MAR. (Photo © Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow )
  • Imperial_guard
    Member of the imperial guard. (VRoma: EUR (Rome), Museum of Roman Civilization: Barbara McManus)
  • Julia
    Denarius of Augustus 13 BC. His daughter Julia flanked by her sons Gaius and Lucius, both of whom were dead by AD 4. (VRoma: National Museums, Rome: Barbara McManus)
  • Julia2
    Julia, daughter of Augustus. Of the reasons suggested for Tiberius’s departure to Rhodes, her behaviour is not the most unlikely. By the time Tiberius returned in AD 2, she had been banished by her father for adultery. (Vatican Museums, Rome: René Seindal)
  • Livia
    It is said that Livia’s first husband was forced to divorce her, and she married Augustus when six months pregnant with Drusus. (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek: René Seindal)
  • Mark_Antony
    Bust believed to be that of Mark Antony. (VRoma: Museo Montemartini: Ann Raia)
  • Marriage
    Marble sarcophagus relief AD 160 - 80, of Roman marriage ceremony. The couple are observing the solemn ceremony of clasping right hands, while the groom holds in his other hand the marriage contract. Between them is the matron-of-honour. (VRoma: British Museum: Barbara McManus)
  • Masada
    The final Jewish pocket of resistance held out until AD 74, when the rock fortress of Masada was overcome and the inmates, 960 men, women, and children, committed mass suicide. To take Masada, the Romans, who had had to carry over the desert all the materials, as well as provisions and water, constructed a ramp (seen here from the top) rising 140 metres to the summit. The only evidence is from Josephus (AD 37 - c. 100), who wrote a history of the Jewish wars at Vespasian’s behest. (Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, York University, Canada)
  • Messalina
    Head and upper body of life-sized statue of Messalina (c. AD 45), with her infant son, afterwards known as Britannicus, the title having been conferred on him by the senate at the same time as on his father. (VRoma: British Museum: Barbara McManus)
  • Nero
    Bust of Nero, with half-beard. (Capitoline Museums, Rome: René Seindal)
  • 45.nero
    Nero was artistic, sporting, brutal, weak, sensual, erratic, extravagant, sadistic, bisexual - and latterly almost certainly deranged. Digital reconstruction. (Richard Sebring)
  • Nero_&_Agrippina
    Gold aureus of AD 54, the first year of Nero’s reign, showing the new emperor and his mother. He later had her murdered. (Photo © Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow )
  • Nero_as_Apollo
    Wall painting from one of five dining rooms in a first-century AD luxury inn at Moregine, believed to have been built for Nero. This figure of Apollo with a lyre has a face which may be intended to be his. When Nero sang in public, accompanying himself on the lyre, no-one was allowed to leave the auditorium. There are tales of women giving birth during a Nero recital, and of men pretending to die and being carried out as if to burial. (VRoma: National Archaeological Museum, Naples: Barbara McManus)
  • Nerva
    Nerva was 65 when he became emperor. He was also childless. These two factors must have weighed with a senate which did not want to be ruled by another family dynasty. (Capitoline Museums, Rome: René Seindal)
  • Octavian_coin
    Caesar, in his will, named his great-nephew Gaius Octavius (later Augustus) his son by adoption and his principal heir. Gold aureus of Octavian, 43 - 31 BC, with his head on the obverse (top) and on the reverse a deified Julius Caesar. (VRoma: Pergamon Museum, Berlin: Barbara McManus)
  • Ostia
    Ostia, port of Rome. Even where apartment blocks were well appointed, the streets were narrow and houses close together. Apartment blocks in Rome were often jerry-built. (VRoma: Via di Diana, Ostia: Susan Bonvallet)
  • Passage
    Underground passage from the imperial palace to the Area Palatina, in which Caligula was killed. (VRoma: Barbara McManus)
  • Pompeii_victim
    Plaster cast of Pompeii victim, whose body, including skull and teeth, was preserved when the ash and lava cooled. (VRoma: Barbara McManus)
  • Pompey
    Life-size bust of Pompey: first-century AD copy of a contemporary likeness. (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek: René Seindal)
  • Poppaea
    Marble bust, c. AD 54 - 68, believed to be of Poppaea. She is said to have been a “god-fearer”, a Jewish worshipper who attended synagogue services without being a full proselyte, and to have intervened with Nero in favour of a deputation of priests from Jerusalem. (VRoma: National Museums, Rome: Barbara McManus)
  • Rome
    Imperial Rome. (Illustration by John Pittaway from Picture Reference Ancient Romans, Brockhampton Press 1970).
  • Ships_and_lighthouse
    Black-and-white mosaic of two merchant ships and lighthouse. (VRoma: Square of the Guilds, Ostia: Barbara McManus

  • Tiberius
    Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar: born 16 November 42 BC, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero (d. 33 BC) and Livia Drusilla (c. 58 BC - AD 29), who married Augustus in 39 BC. Became emperor in AD 14. Married [1] Vipsania (one son, Drusus 13 BC - AD 23); [2] Julia, daughter of Augustus. Died at Misenum, 16 March AD 37. (Capitoline Museums, Rome: René Seindal)
  • Titus
    Marble bust of Titus. As a young man he was dangerously like Nero in his charm, intellect, and proclivities. (VRoma: British Museum: Barbara McManus)
  • Toga_praetexta
    Domitian insisted that spectators at public games came properly dressed in togas. These men in procession in a first-century AD fresco are wearing the toga praetexta of senators. (VRoma: Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Naples: Barbara McManus)
  • Vercingetorix
    Celtic coin of Vercingetorix, late first century BC. (Acknowledgment Julius Caesar: the Last Dictator web site)
  • Vespasian
    Vespasian, a contemporary likeness: even the loss of the nose cannot detract from the impression of a tough but inherently kindly man. (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek: René Seindal)
  • Vespasian_-_Judaea
    Brass sestertius (AD 71) with the head of Vespasian. This coin was issued to celebrate the victory in the Jewish war, which was not yet, however, quite over. The reverse depicts a captive Jew and a mourning Jewish woman under a palm tree, with the legend, IVDAEA CAPTA (Judaea subjugated). The letters underneath stand for S[enatus] C[onsulto], by decree of the senate. (Photo © Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow )
  • Villa
    The ruins of Tiberius’s villa from the road, Capri. Several Roman historians suggested that it was his palace of sexual pleasures of various kinds. (VRoma: Barbara McManus)
  • Vitellius
    Vitellius, son of a former consul, had some learning but little military experience. (Capitoline Museums, Rome: René Seindal)