Roman Cameos With Female Busts from the Limes Region: Their Meaning and Role in the Political Propaganda
In the Limes region about 40 cameos with the representation of the female bust in profile were founded. In contrast to the summarily treated faces, the female hairstyle on the cameos is represented in detail, authentically reflecting the fashion dictated by the empresses. Judging the depicted hairstyle the datation of the cameos were possible: 1) Late Antoninian Period, between 160 and 180; 2) Severan Period, between 200 and 230; 3) Late Severan – Period of Military Emperors, between 230 and 250; 4) second half of the 3rd – beginning of the 4th century. From Viminacium come 10 cameos of this type, but the specimens from Intercisa, Ratiaria, Novae and Durostorum are also known. The stylistic analysis of cameos with the representation of the female bust in profile, observed together with the place where they were found, shows that they were produced in the workshops located in the civilian settlements next to the military camps on Danube Limes which, mostly, originate from the late Antoninian and Severan Period. The answer to the question why this happened at this time could be found in the fact that at first Marcus Aurelius and after him Septimius Severus have transgressed the earlier established rule that the emperors through the principle of adoption do not appoint their successor from the group of their descendants. These two emperors by proclaiming their sons their successors tried to establish their dynasties based on consanguinity. Because of that the wives, the mothers of the future emperors, had a special role. The representations on the cameos are probably the models of these empresses, whose characteristic feature was the specific hairstyle. As the features of the face of the represented women mainly lack any individual characteristics, we believe that they were made on the basis of the models-cardboards with the representations of the empresses, which were in circulation in the workshops along the Danube-Rhine Limes. In the time of Marcus Aurelius the provinces on Danube became very important for the defence of the Empire, and because of their strategic position they came into the focus of the imperial propaganda politics. The military troops from the Danube regions proclaimed Septimius Severus the emperor. He had, as also did his son and heir Caracalla, visited the cities on Danube, appropriating large sums of money for their reconstruction. The number and quality of cameos of this type is declining rapidly at the end and after the rule of the emperors from the dynasty of Severi.
Roman engraved gems from Burgenae in the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb
Within the Roman-period glyptic collection in the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, which contains more than 400 pieces, there is a small group of mainly unpublished engraved gems from Novi Banovci (Burgenae). It consists of 4 intaglios and 3 glass gems, all of which were stray finds acquired for the Museum collection at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. At the site of Novi Banovci, situated on the Danube river in Vojvodina, Serbia, in 1st century AD a Roman military fort Burgenae was built, with many auxilliary units garrisoned there during the four centuries of its existance. The site is well-know for numerous archaeological finds. Engraved gems from Burgenae in the Archaeological museum in Zagreb, although stray finds, can be connected with the presence of military units on the site. They can also provide a contribution to the corpus of Roman finds from that important military site in Pannonia Inferior.
The Sirmium sarcophagus production on the Danube Limes and the Titel sarcophagus in Timişoara
The sepulchral monuments in the towns and other settlements along the Danube Limes, in the section stretching from Aquincum to Viminacium, are predominantly made of Budakalász travertine. Competing with it in some parts are local or regional workshops using different rocks, one of which is the Sirmium production of formally and materially distinct sarcophagi largely dated to the 3rd century CE. This production supplied the territory of Sirmium, that of the neighbouring Bassianae and wider; one such sarcophagus was found at Singidunum and reveals the production’s regional importance. These sarcophagi were made of green pyroclastic rock extracted in the area of the Rajići village, south of Zvornik in the Drina Valley, and transported to Sirmium along the River Drina together with the roughed-out products of Badenian limestone from the Dardagani Quarry near Zvornik. Probably the most enigmatic sarcophagus in Pannonia is that found some time ago in Titel, Serbia, at the confluence of the Rivers Tisa and Danube, opposite the Roman fort and civil settlement of Acumincum. Lavishly decorated, it was long regarded as a unique piece with no clear links to any of the known Pannonian productions. The stone type, however, coupled with a specific formal structure and decorative elements clearly tie the sarcophagus to the Sirmium production.
Entertaining the Empire – Rome´s frontiers and the arena industry
Boris Alexander Burandt
The people of the Roman Empire craved entertainment, both in the heart of the Empire as on its frontiers. To visit gladiator fights, or – rarer – chariot races or theatre performances was an integral and frequent part of the life of a Roman soldier. Accordingly, wherever the troops went, an arena was soon built resulting in the fact that there is hardly a single legionary garrison without an amphitheatre or something comparable. The agency of the Roman army in building these is clear – but what about the running of the arena? How did the army purchase the necessary wild animals for a chase in the arena, how were they involved in the training of gladiators? What was the role played by the production and trade of memorabilia in the context of gladiator fights for the legions and auxiliaries? These and other questions will be addressed in the paper proposed here, which seeks to shed more light on the connection between the Roman state and the entertainment industry on the borders of the Empire.
The Entry Gate of Luxuries in the Province of Dacia; Roman Engraved gems from Micia (Veţel, Hunedoara County, Romania)
Mihaela Simion, Decebal Vleja, Ionuț Bocan, Catalina Mihaela Neagu
Micia (Mintia, Veţel, Hunedoara county) represents one of the most complex archaeological sites on the northern Limes of the Empire. This important historical ensemble, composed of the auxiliary camp, the civilian settlement and their specific necropolis is, beyond its military importance, an important production and commercial centre of the province. An important statio of publicum portorium Illyrici, the place where the luxury goods enter the province, Micia is rightfully considered the entrance gate of luxuries for the entire Dacia and not only. Surprisingly, the archaeological material from this site, in terms of what can be considered luxury products, includes the largest number of engraved gems (in archaeological context) discovered across Dacia. They are now distributed in numerous museum collections from Romania, Hungary and Austria. The present paper proposes to present some parts of this rich material, both published and unpublished, but more importantly, considerations referring to a series of stylistically related features, including the materials they are made of, which may indicate the existence of an engraving workshop at Micia.
Roman Jewellery from South-West of Dacia
Ana Cristina Hamat, Georgescu Ștefan Viorel
The present paper brings into discussion several pieces of jewellery discovered during the systematic research carried out in the south- west of the roman province Dacia- present day Romania, in archaeological sites like Tibiscum– Jupa, Tibiscum- Iaz, Dierna- Orșova, Praetorium- Mehadia, Berzobis- Berzovia and also along the Danube river line. Most of them are discovered in archaeological context, originating both from civilian and military, in the territory of the roman forts and civilian settlements. For example, one ring with the dextrarum iunctio scene comes from the military environment, as it was discovered in the roman fort from Tibiscum or in its environs, and we believe that it can be related to the military presence at Tibiscum and cannot be regarded as an engagement ring, like the older bibliography mentioned. More likely it belonged to a military man or to someone who had a certain connection with the army.
An illustration of luxury in the ancient world, jewellery represents one of the elements that provide help in outlining a more complex image of a long gone world. Manufactured from expensive, or, on the contrary, from common materials, a piece discloses its true value only on a closer look. The intrinsic value of the object can therefore be dictated by the context of discovery or even by its former owner, the actual cost being accompanied sometimes by a much greater symbolic price, and even by a moral price, mentioned several times by literary sources. A good example for the at least dual value of jewellery is illustrated by signet ring discovered in Tibiscum or Dierna or by the bulla discovered in Praetorium.
Over time, along with the jewellery discovered in the entire area, a number of workshops producing metal or glass jewellery, including some that worked with precious metals, had been researched as well All the artefacts are dated to the 2nd – 4th century period, with the help of the discovery contexts, and analogies. Therefore, they all are an important clue regarding the economic life and continuity of the roman civilian centres even after the abandonment of the province by the army and the imperial administration.
Military virtue as depicted on official and personal monuments from the Danubian provinces
Compared to Upper Italy and the Rhine area in the Danubian provinces there are extremely
few roman stone monuments depicting the victory of a roman emperor/general or individual.
Based on the large amount of stone monuments to be called up in lupa.at the author presents
some outstanding monuments and tries to explain the changes of the habit in setting them.
The Tomb With Paleochristian Wall Paintings From Sirmium
Biljana Lučić, Miroslav B. Vujović, Jasmina Davidović
Sirmium as a significant political, administrative and religious center of Pannonia from the end of the third and during the 4th century, plays a unique role in the study of the Late Roman period. Although archaeological research of the ancient city has provided important data on numerous Early Christian cult buildings from this period, larger scale research on necropolises, which could shed more light on this topic, was rarely done.
In the framework of protective archaeological excavations on the sihgt for the new petrol station construction, conducted during September and October 2016, there was an opportunity to explore a part of one of the numerous necropolises of Sirmium. The Eastern necropolis, where the research was carried out, was situated around the basilica dedicated to Saint Irenaeus, the first mentioned bishop and martyr of Sirmium. During the archaeological research in 2016, some 70 m southwest of the Saint Irenaeus basilica, a small Late Roman memorial shrine was discovered as well as 12 late Roman tombs. All of them were disturbed and pillaged. The tombs were built of horizontally layered bricks bound with mortar with a hipped- roof. The most luxurously decorated tomb has been discovered within the memorial shrine. The interior walls of the tomb were plastered and completely adorned with frescoes bearing an exceptional selection of Paleochristian scenes. A scene of a man standing in frontal position between two trees is depicted on the western wall. The man is painted carrying a lamb on his shoulders, clearly indicating the Good Shepherd scene. On the opposite, eastern wall, the representation of four male figures is painted. Three young men are depicted burning in red flames in a front row and one bigger figure behind, presented with arms extended in an embrace gesture. Although partly damaged in the upper zone, it is certain that the scene is a representation of an Old Testament story – the Three Young Men in a Fiery Furnace. At the side north and south interior walls the railing of Paradise is represented. The whole composition is characterized by the simplicity of scenes which clearly emphasize the message of salvation.
The exceptional scenes of the Good Shepherd and the Three Young Men in a Fiery Furnace, respectively, reflect the religious program and official artistic influences streaming from the Rome itself via Aquileia and Thessalonika.