Pere P. Ripollès
The minting of coins in the Iberian Peninsula spread in from the mid-fifth century
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Under the Antonine emperors, imperial and provincial coinage largely follow the pattern of prior periods, with certain significant developments both in minting practices and iconographic representations. The major changes of Antonine coinage can be contextualized within three interlinking categories: coin production and output, changes in the presentation of the emperor and his family, and Rome's changing relationship with the provinces and the interrelationships between provincial cities. There was a trend of decline in the weight and fineness of the denarius, and a similar decline in the weight of the aureus; at the same time, smaller bronze denominations were minted with less frequency at Rome. Even more provincial mints appeared, and there was significant production of precious metal coinage at regional centers such as Caesarea in Cappadocia.
The idea of classifying archaeology as a ‘tool’ alongside prosopography, metre, and numismatics, while ‘culture change’, ‘urbanism’, and ‘fall and transitions’ are classified under ‘history’, is provocative to any archaeologist. Romanisation – a topic that has been prominent in the English-speaking literature of the last two decades – seems to involve an implicit rather than an explicit synthesis of archaeology and history. An archaeology of urbanism in the Roman Empire will highlight the hugely varied nature of what we might class as Roman cities and bring us up against problems of functional definition, and it will document the dynamism of life in these places in all its varied forms and illuminate accompanying phenomena in vivid detail. It will also give us images of living and dead city inhabitants and their lifestyles; it will tell us about both poor and rich – in an unstructured way. An archaeology of urbanism will produce a great deal of information that reflects at one remove social structures and social organisation, while yielding little statistical information which can be converted straightforwardly into sociological data.
This article discusses Armenian history in Late Antiquity. It considers the multiple and varied influences upon all aspects of Armenian society and culture, from far-reaching decisions made at the highest level with immediate implications, such as the redrawing of boundaries between the Roman and Persian sectors of Armenia, or redefining what constituted orthodox belief, to the slow development of ideas, traditions, and practices at a regional and a local level.
This article examines Roman approaches to the barbarians in terms of history writing, diplomacy, science, and law. It then describes how Christianity after Constantine influenced all of these approaches, changing the Roman understanding of their relation to barbarians. Next, it considers how historians from the eighteenth century to the present have explained the Roman-barbarian relationship in Late Antiquity. Their interpretations of barbarians were primarily influenced by the pressing issues of their own time, including Gibbons' Enlightenment concern with the social progress of humankind, the pressures of developing nationalism in nineteenth century Germany, and reactions to both of these approaches in the twentieth century, especially after the Nazi era.
Rome made its steps in the production of coined money against the background of Italy's coinage development. The Romans started to make coinage in around 300
The emperors of the Flavian dynasty had a considerable impact on imperial history. All of the denominations of imperial coinage employed had already appeared in the past; the elements most commonly used in coinage typology—imperial portraits for the obverse, a variety of designs for the reverse—were already familiar. Innovations were interesting, but relatively minor, for instance the regular revival of archaic coin types and the production of “restoration” issues commemorating earlier coinages apparently being withdrawn from circulation. However, the key contribution made by Flavian coinage was that, in both the imperial and provincial series, it selected certain features of earlier coinages, discontinued others, and applied a greater consistency, so that the different categories of coinage, Roman imperial, provincial or regional, civic, and so on, are easily classified and were to remain unchanged for a long period afterward.
This article encapsulates the main themes of the coinage of the Gallic period: debasement, problems of counterfeiting, and a rapid turnover of rulers. Traditionally, numismatic scholarship has regarded this period as one of decline. The article traces the collapse of the currency system established first by Augustus and refined by his successors such as Nero. This is characterized as: a trimetallic coinage with fixed relationships between coinages in gold, silver, and bronze; coinage in “Roman” denominations produced mainly at the mint of Rome; and an extensive series of provincial silver and civic bronze coinages produced to local standards. At the same time, there were profound changes in the iconography of the coinage: the tradition of naturalistic ruler portraiture with a varied series of reverse designs, reflecting the tastes of the individual emperor, to represent an idealized view of the ruler, and standardized reverse designs that only rarely refer to current events.
Kathleen M. Coleman
This article focuses on the public entertainments in Rome, including the games and gladiatorial displays. It notes that the key issues in determining the social relations in places of public entertainment in the Roman world were hierarchy, freedom of expression, and visibility. It describes the different entertainment facilities and notes the various symbols of the social order within these structures, including the missilia, or the hierarchical distribution of tokens of the sponsor's generosity. Public entertainment was also used as a primary tool for establishing a pecking order within the community, and that the entertainment facilities were used as venues to express the thoughts of the masses. The article also examines the social distance between the spectators and the protagonists in the arena, and the role public entertainment had in diplomatic relations.
David S. Potter
This article discusses the Roman Army. This was initially the only institution that was supported by the Roman state that included large numbers of Roman citizens. It describes the earliest armies in the Roman Empire, and then examines the eras of conquest and revolution. The article ends with a section on the changes that occurred in the Roman army during the reign of Emperor Augustus and after the death of Emperor Decius.