Maximinus I Thrax - Roman Emperor : 235-238 A. / IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped bust right. / FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing left, a standard in each hand.
Coin is in good condition and very rare and nice inclusion to the finest collection!! Ruling dynasties often exploit pomp and ceremony with the use of regalia : crowns , robes, orb (globe) and sceptres , some of which are reflections of formerly practical objects. The use of language mechanisms also support this differentiation with subjects talking of "the crown" and/or of "the throne " rather than referring directly to personal names and items. Monarchies provide the most explicit demonstration of tools to strengthen the elevation of leaders. Thrones sit high on daises leading to subjects lifting their gaze (if they have permission) to contemplate the ruler.
Architecture in general can set leaders apart: note the symbolism inherent in the very name of the Chinese imperial Forbidden City. The standards with discs, or signa (first three on left) belong to centuriae of the legion (the image does not show the heads of the standards - whether spear-head or wreathed-palm). Note (second from right) the legion's aquila. The standard on the extreme right probably portrays the She-wolf (lupa) which fed Romulus , the legendary founder of Rome. (This was the emblem of Legio VI Ferrata , a legion then based in Judaea , a detachment of which is known to have fought in Dacia).Detail from Trajan's Column, Rome. Modern reenactors parade with replicas of various legionary standards. From left to right: signum (spear-head type), with four discs; signum (wreathed-palm type), with six discs; imago of ruling emperor; legionary aquila ; vexillum of commander (legatus) of Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix , with embroidered name and emblem (Capricorn) of legion.
Each tactical unit in the imperial army, from centuria upwards, had its own standard. This consisted of a pole with a variety of adornments that was borne by dedicated standard-bearers who normally held the rank of duplicarius. Military standards had the practical use of communicating to unit members where the main body of the unit was situated, so that they would not be separated, in the same way that modern tour-group guides use umbrellas or flags.
But military standards were also invested with a mystical quality, representing the divine spirit (genius) of the unit and were revered as such (soldiers frequently prayed before their standards). The loss of a unit's standard to the enemy was considered a terrible stain on the unit's honour, which could only be fully expunged by its recovery. The standard of a centuria was known as a signum, which was borne by the unit's signifer.
It consisted of a pole topped by either an open palm of a human hand or by a spear-head. The open palm, it has been suggested, originated as a symbol of the maniple (manipulus = "handful"), the smallest tactical unit in the Roman army of the mid-Republic.
The poles were adorned with two to six silver discs (the significance of which is uncertain). In addition, the pole would be adorned by a variety of cross-pieces (including, at bottom, a crescent-moon symbol and a tassel). The standard would also normally sport a cross-bar with tassels.The standard of a Praetorian cohort or an auxiliary cohort or ala was known as a vexillum or banner. This was a square flag, normally red in colour, hanging from a crossbar on the top of the pole. Stitched on the flag would be the name of the unit and/or an image of a god. An exemplar found in Egypt bears an image of the goddess Victory on a red background.
The vexillum was borne by a vexillarius. A legionary detachment (vexillatio) would also have its own vexillum. Finally, a vexillum traditionally marked the commander's position on the battlefield. The exception to the red colour appears to have been the Praetorian Guard, whose vexilla, similar to their clothing, favoured a blue background. From the time of Marius (consul 107 BC), the standard of all legions was the aquila ("eagle").
The pole was surmounted by a sculpted eagle of solid gold, or at least gold-plated silver, carrying thunderbolts in its claws representing Jupiter , the highest Roman god. Otherwise the pole was unadorned.No exemplar of a legionary eagle has ever been found (doubtless because any found in later centuries were melted down for their gold content). The eagle was borne by the aquilifer, the legion's most senior standard-bearer. So important were legionary eagles as symbols of Roman military prestige and power, that the imperial government would go to extraordinary lengths to recover those captured by the enemy. This would include launching full-scale invasions of the enemy's territory, sometimes decades after the eagles had been lost e. The expedition in 28 BC by Marcus Licinius Crassus against Genucla Isaccea, near modern Tulcea , Rom. In the Danube delta region, a fortress of the Getae , to recover standards lost 33 years earlier by Gaius Antonius , an earlier proconsul of Macedonia. Or the campaigns of AD 14-17 to recover the three eagles lost by Varus in AD 6 in the Teutoburg Forest. Under Augustus, it became the practice for legions to carry portraits (imagines) of the ruling emperor and his immediate family members. An imago was usually a bronze bust carried on top of a pole like a standard by an imaginifer.
From around the time of Hadrian r. 117-38, some auxiliary alae adopted the dragon-standard (draco) commonly carried by Sarmatian cavalry squadrons.
This was a long cloth wind-sock attached to an ornate sculpture of an open dragon's mouth. When the bearer (draconarius) was galloping, it would make a strong hissing-sound. The Roman army awarded a variety of individual decorations (dona) for valour to its legionaries.Hasta pura was a miniature spear; phalerae were large medal-like bronze or silver discs worn on the cuirass; armillae were bracelets worn on the wrist; and torques were worn round the neck, or on the cuirass. The highest awards were the coronae ("crowns"), of which the most prestigious was the corona civica, a crown made oak-leaves awarded for saving the life of a fellow Roman citizen in battle. The most valuable award was the corona muralis, a crown made of gold awarded to the first man to scale an enemy rampart. This was awarded rarely, as such a man hardly ever survived.
There is no evidence that auxiliary common soldiers received individual decorations like legionaries, although auxiliary officers did. Instead, the whole regiment was honoured by a title reflecting the type of award e.Torquata ("awarded a torque") or armillata ("awarded bracelets"). Some regiments would, in the course of time, accumulate a long list of titles and decorations e. Cohors I Brittonum Ulpia torquata pia fidelis c.
In Roman mythology , Fides ("trust") was the goddess of trust. Her Greek equivalent was Pistis.Her temple on the Capitol was where the Roman Senate kept state treaties with foreign countries, where Fides protected them. She was also worshipped under the name Fides Publica Populi Romani ("trust towards the Roman state"). She is represented by a young woman crowned with an olive branch, with a cup or turtle , or a military ensign in hand.
She wears a white veil or stola; her priests wear white. Rome's second king, Numa Pompilius instituted a yearly festival to Fides, and directed the priests to be borne to Her temple in an arched chariot drawn by two horses and should conduct Her services with their hands wrapped up to indicate protection. Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus c. 173 - 238 , also known as Maximinus Thrax i.
Maximinus the Thracian and Maximinus I, was Roman Emperor from 235 to 238. Maximinus is described by several ancient sources (none of which, except for Herodian's Roman History, was actually contemporary with Maximinus) as the first barbarian who wore the imperial purple and the first emperor never to set foot in Rome. He was the first of the so-called barracks emperors of the 3rd century ; his rule is often considered to mark the beginning of the Crisis of the Third Century. According to the notoriously unreliable Historia Augusta (Augustan History), Maximinus was born in Thrace or Moesia to a Gothic father and an Alanic mother; however, the supposed parentage is highly unlikely, as the presence of the Goths in the Danubian area is first attested after the beginning of the Crisis of the Third Century.
Sir Ronald Syme , writing that "the word'Gothia' should have sufficed for condemnation" of the passage in the Augustan History, felt that the burden of evidence from Herodian, Syncellus and elsewhere pointed to Maximinus having been born in Moesia. Most likely he was of Thraco-Roman origin (believed so by Herodian in his writings), and the references to his "Gothic" ancestry might refer to a Thracian Getae origin (the two populations were often confused by later writers, most notably by Jordanes in his Getica), as suggested by the paragraphs describing how "he was singularly beloved by the Getae, moreover, as if he were one of themselves" and how he spoke "almost pure Thracian".
His background was, in any case, that of a provincial of low birth, and Maximinus, similarly to later Thraco-Roman Roman emperors of the 3rd - 5th century Licinius, Galerius , Aureolus , Leo the Thracian , etc. , would elevate himself, via a military career, from the condition of a common soldier in one of the Roman legions to the foremost positions of political power. He joined the army during the reign of Septimius Severus , but did not rise to a powerful position until promoted by Alexander Severus.
Maximinus was in command of the recruits from Pannonia , who were angered by Alexander's payments to the Alemanni and his avoidance of war. The troops, among whom included the Primigenia Legio XXII , elected the stern Maximinus, killing young Alexander and his mother at Moguntiacum, also a site where many Christians were martyred (Mainz) in 235. The Praetorian Guard acclaimed him emperor, and their choice was grudgingly confirmed by the Senate , who were displeased to have a peasant as emperor. His son Maximus became caesar.
According to British historian Edward Gibbon. [H]e was conscious that his mean and barbarian origin, his savage appearance, and his total ignorance of the arts and institutions of civil life, formed a very unfavourable contrast with the amiable manners of the unhappy Alexander. He remembered that, in his humbler fortune, he had often waited before the doors of the haughty nobles of Rome, and had been denied admittance by the insolence of their slaves.He recollected too the friendship of a few who had relieved his poverty, and assisted his rising hopes. But those who had spurned, and those who had protected, the Thracian, were guilty of the same crime, the knowledge of his original obscurity. For this crime many were put to death; and by the execution of several of his benefactors Maximin published, in characters of blood, the indelible history of his baseness and ingratitude. Maximinus hated the nobility and was ruthless towards those he suspected of plotting against him. He began by eliminating the close advisors of Alexander. His suspicions may have been justified; two plots against Maximinus were foiled. The first was during a campaign across the Rhine , during which a group of officers, supported by influential senators, plotted the destruction of a bridge across the river, then leave Maximinus stranded on the other side.
Afterwards they planned to elect senator Magnus emperor; however the plot was discovered and the conspirators executed. The second plot involved Mesopotamian archers who were loyal to Alexander. They planned to elevate Quartinus, but their leader Macedo changed sides and murdered Quartinus instead, although this was not enough to save his own life. The Crisis of the Third Century (also known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis") is a commonly applied name for the crumbling and near collapse of the Roman Empire between 235 and 284 caused by three simultaneous crises: external invasion, internal civil war, and economic collapse.
Maximinus' first campaign was against the Alamanni , whom Maximinus defeated despite heavy Roman casualties in a swamp near what is today Baden-Württemberg. After the victory, Maximinus took the title Germanicus Maximus, raised his son Maximus to the rank of Caesar and Prince of Youths, and deified his late wife Paulina. Securing the German frontier, at least for a while, Maximinus then set up a winter encampment at Sirmium in Pannonia , and from that supply base fought the Dacians and the Sarmatians during the winter of 235 - 236. Gordian I and Gordian II. Early in 238 , in the province of Africa , a treasury official's extortions through false judgments in corrupt courts against some local landowners ignited a full-scale revolt in the province.The landowners armed their clients and their agricultural workers and entered Thysdrus (modern El Djem), where they murdered the offending official and his bodyguards and proclaimed the aged governor of the province, Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus (Gordian I), and his son, Gordian II , as co-emperors. The senate in Rome switched allegiance, gave both Gordian and Gordian II the title of Augustus , and set about rousing the provinces in support of the pair. Maximinus immediately assembled his army and advanced on Rome, the Pannonian legions leading the way. Meanwhile, in Africa, the revolt had not gone as planned. The province of Africa was bordered on the west by the province of Numidia , whose governor, Capellianus , nursed a long-standing grudge against the Gordians and controlled the only legionary unit (Augusta III) in the area. He marched on Carthage and easily overwhelmed the local militias defending the city. Gordian II was killed in the fighting and, on hearing this, Gordian I hanged himself with his belt. Pupienus, Balbinus, and Gordian III. When the African revolt collapsed, the senate found itself in great jeopardy.
Having shown clear support for the Gordians, they could expect no clemency from Maximinus when he reached Rome. In this predicament, they determined to defy Maximinus and elected two of their number, Pupienus and Balbinus , as co-emperors. When the Roman mob heard that the Senate had selected two men from the Patrician class, men whom the ordinary people held in no great regard, they protested, showering the imperial cortège with sticks and stones. A faction in Rome preferred Gordian's grandson (Gordian III), and there was severe street fighting. The co-emperors had no option but to compromise, and, sending for the grandson of the elder Gordian they appointed him Caesar.
Maximinus marched on Rome, but at Aquileia Maximinus's troops, suffering from famine and disease, bogged down in an unexpected siege of the city, which had closed its gates when they approached, became disaffected. In April 238 the Praetorian guards in his camp assassinated him, his son and his chief ministers.Their heads were cut off, placed on poles, and carried to Rome by cavalrymen. Pupienus and Balbinus then became undisputed co-emperors. Maximinus reversed Alexander's policy of clemency towards the Christians , who were viewed as unsupportive enemies of the state. He persecuted Christians ruthlessly, and the bishop of Rome, Pontian , as well as his successor, Anterus , are said to have been martyred.
Ancient sources, ranging from the notoriously unreliable Historia Augusta to Herodian , speak of Maximinus as a man of significantly greater size than his contemporaries. He is, moreover, depicted in ancient imagery as man with a prominent brow, nose, and jaw; symptoms of one form of overgrowth.
While the exact size of Maximinus will probably never be known, he was nonetheless likely a man of great size. According to Historia Augusta, "he was of such size, so Cordus reports, that men said he was eight foot, six inches in height". It is likely however that this is one of the many'tall tales' in the Historia Augusta, and is immediately suspect due to its citation of'Cordus', one of the several fictitious authorities the work cites. Although not going into the supposedly detailed portions of Historia Augusta, chronicler Herodian, a contemporary of Maximinus, mentions him as a man of greater size, noting that: He was in any case a man of such frightening appearance and colossal size that there is no obvious comparison to be drawn with any of the best-trained Greek athletes or warrior elite of the barbarians.
Some historians interpret the stories on Maximinus' unusual height (as well as other information on his appearance, like excessive sweating and superhuman strength) as popular stereotyped attributes which do no more than intentionally turn him into a stylized embodiment of the barbarian bandit or emphasize the admiration and aversion that the image of the soldier invoked to the civilian population. His consistent portrayal as a man with a prominent brow, nose, and jaw, made some researchers to suspect that he may have suffered from overgrowth to some extent in form of acromegaly. Original ancient Roman coin as pictured and described above. All items will be sent out in protected envelope and boxed if necessary.
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