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Article

Agrippa  

Luca Leoncini and Gordon Campbell

Roman military leader and patron. He was a faithful friend and supporter of Octavian (later Augustus, reg 27 bcad 14), whose daughter Julia he married in 21 bc. As admiral of Octavian’s navy he won the decisive sea battle of Actium against Mark Antony and Cleopatra in ...

Article

L. James

(b ?Constantinople, c. ad 461–3; d Constantinople, c. 527–9). Byzantine patron. As the great-granddaughter of Galla Placidia and daughter of Flavius Anicius Olybrius (Emperor of the West, reg 472) she was the last major figure of the Theodosian house. In 512, during a popular uprising against Emperor Anastasius I (...

Article

Susan Walker

Reviser Gordon Campbell

Teacher, writer, politician and patron. He was born into a family long distinguished for its services to Athens. A sophist, Herodes also followed a Roman career, serving in ad 134–5 as financial officer for the province of Asia. He overspent the budget for a new aqueduct for the city of Alexandria Troas, displeasing the Emperor Hadrian (...

Article

Jeremy J. Tanner

Roman emperor and patron. When Gaius Octavius was named the heir of Julius Caesar (assassinated 44 bc), he was a politically unknown 18 year old. Early portrait types presented him bearded, as a sign of mourning for his adoptive father, thereby reinforcing his claim to be Caesar’s rightful successor. Octavian’s most important programme of artistic patronage, however, followed his assumption in ...

Article

Luca Leoncini

Roman emperor and patron who, in contrast to the long and pacific reign of his predecessor Antoninus Pius, had to deal with natural disasters, rebellions and attacks by the subject peoples of the Empire. One of the few surviving monuments from his reign is the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius near the Ustrinum in the Campus Martius, which was discovered in ...

Article

A number of Hellenistic kingships that ruled portions of Afghanistan, Central Asia and India in the last three centuries bc. In ancient times the region of Bactria was bounded on the north by the Oxus and on the south-east by the Hindu Kush mountains. The western frontier remained ill-defined and in constant flux. Following the death of Alexander the Great in ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ...

Article

Luca Leoncini

Roman dictator, general and patron. After defeating Pompey and his followers in the Civil War he was named dictator (reg 49–44 bc), but was assassinated by conspirators. Caesar renovated the centre of Rome with important works in the Forum Romanum, for example the ...

Article

Cicero  

Valerie Hutchinson Pennanen

Roman orator, statesman, philosopher and patron. His reverence for the past was reflected in both his public and private life. Having studied in Greece and apparently read at least one treatise on Greek art (see Brutus xviii.70), he was familiar with the work of the greatest Greek artists and alluded to Myron, Polykleitos, Pheidias, Lysippos, Apelles and to Greek art in general throughout his writings. That he was an avid collector is revealed by his ...

Article

Luca Leoncini

(b Lyon, 10 bc; reg ad 41–54; d Rome, ad 54). Roman emperor and patron, whose life until he succeeded Caligula at the age of 50 had been dedicated to historical studies, being excluded from all public duties by Augustus and Tiberius. Claudius brought the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus aqueducts to Rome, two mighty works that had been initiated by Caligula. Their channels were carried across the Via Labicana and Via Praenestina by the Porta Maggiore (completed ...

Article

T. P. Wiseman

Roman aristocrat, politician and patron. Active during the late Republic, he was consul in 54 bc, when he was involved in a notorious bribery scandal, and censor in 50 bc. Arrogant and overbearing, he was a byword for shameless effrontery (Cicero: ad Fam. V.x.2). As censor he took a strict line on luxury, provoking the irony of Cicero’s correspondent Caelius: ‘Get here as soon as you can to laugh at our frolics…Appius taking official action about works of art!’ (Cicero: ...

Article

Charles Murray

Roman emperor and patron. He was the son of Constantius Chlorus (reg 293–306) and Helena (c. 248/9–328/9) and succeeded his father as Co-Emperor in ad 306. Six years later he defeated his rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge outside Rome and became sole ruler in the West. In 313, with Licinius (...

Article

Kim Richardson

(b Dalmatia, 22 Dec ad ?244; reg ad 284–305; d ?3 Dec ad 311). Roman emperor and patron. In order to strengthen Imperial control at a time of extreme danger to the Roman world, Diocletian created the Tetrarchy in ad 293, a four-man system under which two Caesars were appointed: one served under Diocletian, the Augustus in the East, the other under Maximian, the Augustus in the West. The whole was held together only by the personality and authority of Diocletian himself, so that by the time of his death the Empire was once again beset by civil wars; his division of the Empire, however, and many of his administrative reforms lasted for much longer. The impersonal cult image of the emperors, in which one Augustus is indistinguishable from the other, symbolized the solidarity of Tetrarchic rule and laid the foundation for the Imperial style of the 4th century ...

Article

Luca Leoncini

Roman emperor and patron, the second son of Vespasian and the brother of Titus, his predecessor. He began the Romanization of Britain and improved the organization of the border provinces. He tried to establish an absolute monarchy but was killed in a plot organized by members of his own family. A great movement for urban renewal took place in his reign. The monumental area of the Campus Martius, badly damaged by a fire in ...

Article

Gupta  

Michael D. Willis

Dynasty that ruled most of northern India from the mid-4th century to the late 5th century ad. The Gupta dynasty had its origin in eastern India and first appeared as a significant power under Chandragupta I (reg c. 319–35). He probably established the Gupta era, a calendar that began in ...

Article

Roman emperor and patron. After the death in Spain of his father, he was taken to Rome to be brought up by his grandfather’s cousin, the future emperor Trajan, under whose patronage his career prospered. He gained his first military experience in ad 95 under Domitian, and during Trajan’s second Dacian campaign (...

Article

Carol Michaelson

Chinese dynasty dating to 206 bcad 220. Following the fall of the Qin dynasty in 221 bc, there was civil war until Liu Bang, posthumously known as Gaodi (reg 206–195 bc), became the first Han emperor. The Han was one of the golden ages in China’s cultural history, during which the basic framework of Chinese civilization was established....

Article

Margaret Lyttleton

(b c. 79 bc; reg 37–4 bc; d 4 bc). King of Judaea and patron. By a series of successful intrigues and pro-Roman policy, he established himself as the heir of the Maccabean kings and considerably extended their territory. He more or less re-established the ancient kingdom of Judah and achieved virtual independence. With the arrival in the East of the Roman general Pompey (...

Article

E. Errington

Dynasty that replaced Shaka or Indo-Scythian rule in south-east Afghanistan and the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent in the 1st century ad. The origins of the dynasty are uncertain, and the suggestion that the Indo-Parthians came from the eastern borders of the Parthian empire remains unsubstantiated. Iranian influence is already evident in Afghanistan during the Shaka period. Vonones (...

Article

Carol Michaelson

Chinese dynasty that succeeded the Wei (ad 220–65) at the end of the Three Kingdoms period. The Western Jin had a capital at Luoyang, Henan Province, while the Eastern Jin capital was at Jiankang (modern Nanjing), Jiangsu Province.

Sima Yan, later known as the emperor Wudi (...