Friday, May 19, 2017

Theme: The Roman Tropaeum.

Two-beam crosses like the kind you see in every church everywhere probably were not used to hang people with in Ancient Rome: how is it even possible to attach the crossbeam to the post when the prisoner is wearing it?

But crosses of this sort were known all throughout the Roman Empire as symbols of victory; because they were used as the frames of tropaea (trophies).

1) Here is the Roman Goddess Victoria next to a bound slave, kneeling under a tropaeum; its shields give away the shape of the frame--the shape of a cross.

2) Here on Trajan's Column is a relief representing a tropaeum decorated with enemy armor. Note again, the typical form of the tropaeum is in the shape of a cross.

3) Here in the lower left-hand corner of the Gemma Augustea is a victory party of Roman Soldiers exalting aloft a cruciform tropaeum.  Note the bound slaves by its foot.

5) And here are the reenactors of the 8th Legion Augustus with a vexilla; its frame's shape is that of a tropaeum.

6) Here is a Roman Eagle perched on top of its standard, which is shaped like a T. This unusual for a tropaeum.

8) Here is a coin of Augustus Caesar, on the reverse he is being anointed by the Roman goddess Victory with the star of Julius Caesar while holding a Nike (angel), portrayed roughly in the form of a tropaeum.

9) Here is a coin of Vespasian Caesar, minted by his son the Imperator Titus, showing on the reverse a tropaeum. Note that captives were always bound at the foot of the tropaeum.

10) And here is another coin of Vespasian, again minted by Titus, with an image of a tropeum, a bound captive kneeling at its foot.

11) And here on view at the Charlottenberg Museum in Berlin is a mini-tropaeum depicted wearing the body armor of a Roman Imperator or a Caesar, perhaps even Julius Caesar.

12) And finally here is a reenactment of the Funeral of Julius Caesar, with his likeness showing all twenty-three stab wounds mounted on a cross, or tropaeum.

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