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Agrippa  

Luca Leoncini

revised by Gordon Campbell

(Marcus Vipsanius)

(b 64 or 63 bc; d Campania, March 12 bc).

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 31 bc. As aedile in 33 bc Agrippa began a programme of grandiose and sensible public works for Rome, of which little survives. It combined much-needed improvements to the urban infrastructure with architecture on a grand scale. Leaving the ancient centre intact, he built a monumental quarter in the Campus Martius, following a plan originally conceived by Julius Caesar. Reserving an area for military exercises (the Campus Agrippae), he completely reclaimed the area with an extensive network of sewers, created a vast bathing pool (the Stagnum Agrippae), and in 26 bc completed the Saepta Julia, an enclosure with marble porticos (1.6 km long) along the first part of the Via Flaminia. He also built a ...

Article

(b Pella, Macedonia, 356 bc; reg 336–323 bc; d Babylon, June 10, 323 bc).

Macedonian monarch and patron. Having inherited the kingdom from his assassinated father, Philip of Macedon (reg 359–336 bc), he invaded Asia in 334 bc and twice defeated the Persians. After invading Egypt, he founded Alexandria in 331 bc and was hailed by the oracle of Amun at Siwah as ‘Son of Zeus’. He then moved into Persia, crushed the main Persian army at Gaugamela, occupied Persepolis, Susa and Pasargadae and declared himself Great King. Advancing via Afghanistan into India, he founded en route several other Alexandrias. However, after his defeat of the Indian king Porus in 326 bc, his army mutinied, compelling his return to Babylon. Increasingly alcoholic and devastated by the death of his lover Hephaistion but still planning further conquests, he died of a fever in 323 bc. Alexander’s patronage of major artists and his conquest of the Near East were major catalysts for change in Greek art, so that within a generation of his death the parochial artistic styles of the Classical city states had given way to the cosmopolitan art of the Hellenistic world....

Article

Thorsten Opper

Source of a group of Roman and Greek works of art, in particular a group of Greek bronze sculptures and statuettes. In 1900 sponge-divers discovered the remains of an ancient shipwreck in the sea off the Greek island of Antikythera. In one of the first operations of this kind, they salvaged some its cargo. A new investigation of the wreck site took place in 1976 and succeeded in recovering many further objects, as well as (still unpublished) remains of the hull. All the finds are now in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The ship, which must have foundered in the second quarter of the 1st century bc, carried a mixed cargo of ‘antique’ and contemporary bronze and marble statuary, as well as luxury products such as bronze furniture attachments, rare and expensive types of glass, gold ingots etc. It also contained the so-called Antikythera Mechanism, an elaborate type of astrolabe....

Article

Ruth Olitsky Rubinstein

(b Staines, Oct 14, 1874; d nr Raynes Park, Surrey, May 15, 1931).

English archaeologist and collector . He began his study of Classical archaeology at Winchester; his father moved to Rome in 1890, and during holidays they explored the Campagna with the archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani. Having read Classics at Christ Church, Oxford (1898), he became the first student at the British School at Rome in 1901 and its director in 1906. His earliest articles, on the topography of the aqueducts and roads of Rome and the Campagna, were later developed into books. Tomassetti listed 323 publications (including excavation reports) by Ashby on the Campagna, many of them pioneering works. Ashby’s studies of 16th-century and later drawings of Roman monuments include his publication (1904, 1913) of the Coner Sketchbook (London, Soane Mus.), while his interest in Renaissance collections of ancient statues enabled him to identify works that had once stood in the Villa d’Este at Tivoli (1908) and led him to produce a bibliographical analysis of the engravings by Giovanni Battista de Cavalieri and his followers (...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Susan Walker

revised by Gordon Campbell

[Lucius Vibullius Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes]

(b Athens, ad 103; d Athens, ad 177).

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 (reg ad 117–38). In ad 139–40 Herodes directed the Panathenaic festival in Athens. He commissioned a mechanical ship to carry Athena’s robe to the Acropolis; the ship was later conserved above the stadium at Ardettos, rebuilt by Herodes to seat 50,000 spectators. The stadium at Delphi was replated with marble, and Herodes gave an aqueduct and fountain decorated with family and imperial portraits to the Panhellenic sanctuary at Olympia (see Olympia §1). He also gave fine statues at Isthmia and Corinth, where he is said to have rebuilt the theatre. Herodes married a member of the Roman high aristocracy, Appia Annia Regilla, and became consul ordinarius in ...

Article

Jeremy J. Tanner

[Octavian ; Gaius Octavius ; Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus]

(b Rome, Sept 23, 63 bc; reg 27 bcad 14; d Nola, 19 Aug ad 14).

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 27 bc of the title ‘Augustus’ (Lat.: ‘venerable’) and with it effective monarchic power. Artistic patronage was a vehicle by which Augustus sought to legitimate his new position in terms of traditional Roman values. He rebuilt 82 temples in order to demonstrate his piety and to restore the pax deorum (‘peace of the gods’) disrupted by the civil wars of the late Republic (see Rome, ancient, §II, 2, (i), (b)). New building in the Forum Romanum (see Rome, §V, 1) allowed him to redefine civic space in order to display his exceptional power. A temple of his deified father, Julius Caesar, dominated the eastern end of the forum. Two triumphal arches celebrating Augustus’ victories at Actium and against the Parthians flanked the temple and formed the entrance to the forum....

Article

Luca Leoncini

[before adoption, Marcus Annius Verus; as emperor, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus]

(b Rome, 26 April ad 121; reg ad 161–80; d Vienna, 17 March ad 180).

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 1703 (c. ad 161; Rome, Vatican, Cortile Pigna; see Rome, ancient, §IV, 2, (vii)). A fragment of the column containing an inscription also survives. On the base is represented the apotheosis of the emperor Antoninus Pius, transported to heaven along with his wife Faustina by a winged Genius, while the goddess Roma and the Genius of the Campus Martius look on; the opposite side depicts a decursio (military parade). A triumphal arch dedicated to Marcus Aurelius was built by the senate; this structure may originally have contained both the reliefs that were later reused in the Arch of Constantine (...

Article

[Greco-Bactrians; Indo-Greeks]

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 323 bc, Bactria and adjoining Sogdiana were controlled by the Seleucids until c. 250 bc, when the governor Diodotus asserted independence. A large body of coins, Hellenistic in style and iconography and with Greek legends, was minted by the Greco-Bactrian rulers. This style of coinage, but with bilingual Greek and Kharoshthi legends, continued into the Kushana period (1st to 3rd century ad). With the exception of Ai Khanum, a Greek-style city, few remains of the Greeks in Bactria have yet been uncovered. Control of Sogdiana was lost to the local kings in the late ...

Article

Balbus  

Thorsten Opper

(Marcus Nonius)

(fl 1st century bc).

Roman patron and statesman. A wealthy Roman benefactor, supporter of Octavian (the later emperor Augustus) and patron of the city of Herculaneum [now Ercolano; formerly Resina], Balbus was a native of Nuceria Alfaterna in Campania, and embarked on a successful senatorial career, serving as Tribune of the People (32 bc), and Praetor and Proconsul of the double province of Crete and Cyrenaica. He chose to live in Herculaneum and lavished benefactions on the town, financing a complete rebuilding of the basilica, town gates and walls. In return, Balbus was appointed the patron (official representative) of the town and received countless honours, among them numerous portrait statues (ten are currently attested in the epigraphic record; five statues have survived). Through their range of media and statuary types, and with their associated base inscriptions, these provide an exemplary insight into the Roman system of portrait honours. Two marble equestrian statues, dedicated by the People of Nuceria and Herculaneum respectively (Naples, Mus. Archeol. N., inv. 6211 and 6104), were discovered in ...