Julian ‘the Apostate’ Comes to Power

As part of the Nottingham Anniversaries through Coins project, Robert Stone describes how on this day, 11th December, in 361, the last pagan emperor Julian II (also known as Julian the Apostate) entered Constantinople as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Following the death of Constantine I (337), the Empire was divided between his …

The Lex Titia…

As part of the Nottingham Anniversaries through Coins project, Mike Welbourn describes how, on this day, 26th November, in 43 BC, the lex Titia was passed at Rome. By this law a board of three men was given complete control over the Roman state. The lex Titia turned Rome into a de facto dictatorship, and …

On this day, 20 November, in AD 284, Diocletian became Roman emperor.

As part of the Nottingham ‘Anniversaries through Coins’ project, Lois Howorth, a first-year Classics student describes the rise to power of Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (usually known simply as Diocletian). Diocletian began life very humbly. The future emperor was originally named Diocles and came into the world in 240 or 244 on the Dalmatian coast. …

We have two blog entries today, both from doctoral students in Classics: in the first, Peter Davies, reflects on the legacy of the poet Simonides’ words in commemorating the fallen…

After the battle of Thermopylae – immortalised by Herodotus and, in our own time, given new fame by Snyder’s epic 300 – the Lyric poet Simonides wrote an encomium for the Greek dead. In 1838 John Sterling would translate some of his words thus: Of those who at Thermopylae were slain, Glorious the doom, and …

On this day, November 8th, in AD 30, Marcus Cocceius Nerva was born.

As part of the Nottingham Anniversaries through Coins project, Mike Welbourne offers some thoughts on Nerva, Rome’s twelfth emperor, on the anniversary of his birth. According to Aurelius Victor (Epitome de Caesaribus, 12.1) Nerva was born in the Italian town of Narnia. On his father’s side he came from a family that had been intimately …

Greek for the Globe

Requests for translation into ancient Greek are understandably rare. But one was passed on to Oliver Thomas recently from a friend-of-a-friend at the Globe Theatre. For their production of Julius Caesar the Globe’s creative team wanted to mark the three main deaths (those of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius) by adding a small female chorus of …

The emperors resign!

Today’s anniversary by Will Leveritt. 1709 years ago today, on the first of May A.D. 305, the joint emperors Diocletian and Maximian took the incredible decision to resign the imperial power, the former at Nicomedia, the latter at Milan. This coin is an antoninianus, and on the obverse shows Maximian wearing the radiate crown. The legend …

Happy birthday Marcus Aurelius!

In a new occasional series, Nottingham PhD student Will Leveritt posts his own photos of coins to reflect on significant anniversaries. 1893 years ago today, on the 26th of April A.D. 121,  the Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was born in Rome. On the obverse of the coin we see the laureate head …