On 9th August 117 AD (or it might have been the 7th or 8th), the Emperor Trajan died suddenly from a stroke at Selinus in Cilicia on his way from Syria to Rome. This event prompted the renaming of the city as Trajanopolis and the building of a cenotaph to Trajan. Trajan lived 63 years and… Continue reading The death of Trajan and accession of Hadrian
Ahead of tonight's programme about Caligula (BBC Two 21:00) presented by Mary Beard, here is a picture of a bronze fitting head of Medusa that decorated one of the Nemi Ships. The vessels were built on the orders of the emperor Caligula around 37-41 A.D. The bronze fittings are the most important set of objects… Continue reading Picture of the week: Head of Medusa, bronze fitting of the Nemi Ships built by Caligula at Lake Nemi
In February 98 AD, Hadrian travelled from Moguntiacum (Mainz) to Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne) to inform Trajan, the then governor of Germania Inferior, of the death of his adoptive father Nerva (who had died on 27 January) and to congratulate him on his accession to the imperial throne. Hadrian's first visit to the German provinces as… Continue reading Marble head of Hadrian, Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne
"O Appian way, which Caesar consecrates under the form of Hercules, and renders the most celebrated of Italian roads..." Martial, Spectacula 9.101 Via Appia Antica, ancient Rome's "Queen of Roads", was once one of the world's most important roads. It was originally built in 312 BC by Appius Claudius Caecus, the then-censor of Rome, who began… Continue reading Wandering along the Appian Way – images from milestone I to VI
The Temple of Venus and Roma (Latin: Templum Veneris et Romae) was the largest temple in Ancient Rome. It was located at the far east side of the Forum Romanum, near the Colosseum. It was dedicated to the goddesses Venus Felix (Venus the Bringer of Good Fortune) and Roma Aeterna (Eternal Rome). The designer was… Continue reading The Temple of Venus and Roma, Upper Via Sacra, Rome
Column of Trajan, Carrara marble, completed in 113 AD, Trajan's Forum, Rome On this day (26th May) 107 AD, Trajan celebrates a triumph for his victories over the Dacians. The celebrations lasted 123 days and entertained the populace with a vast display of gladiators and animals. In Rome, Apollodorus of Damascus designed and built in the huge… Continue reading The Column of Trajan, Rome
In Roman times, toilets used to be a public and convivial place. An epigram from Martial reveals just how public privies were among the most frequented places in the city for socializing: "In omnibus Vacerra quod conclavibus consumit horas et die toto sedet, cenaturit Vacerra, non cacaturit." which translates to "In privies Vacerra consumes the hours; the whole… Continue reading How the Romans did their business: images of Latrines throughout the Roman world
The Los Milagros Aqueduct (Acueducto de Los Milagros) is an incredibly well-preserved Roman water supply system in Mérida in Spain. Augusta Emerita was a Roman city in western Spain, modern Mérida, capital of the province of Lusitania. It was a very large city, which needed three aqueducts. The most impressive of these is the Los Milagros aqueduct "Miraculous Aqueduct".… Continue reading Picture of the day: Los Milagros Aqueduct, Augusta Emerita (Mérida, Spain)
Inv. no. 3861-3863 Baiae portrait sculptural type. The emperor is depicted here as a nude hero. A paludamentum is draped over his left shoulder and arm. In his left hand is the sheath and sword and he wears a laurel wreath on his head.
Marcus Aurelius was born Marcus Annius Verus on April 26, 121 AD of an aristocratic family of Spanish origin (from Ucubi, a small town southeast of Cordoba in Baetica). He was the last of the five "good" emperors of Rome and a major Stoic philosopher. When Marcus Aurelius was a young child he gained the attention… Continue reading Felix dies natalis, Marce Aureli!