An oddity - an entertaining one. A short story at Daily Science Fiction called "Addendum to the Confessions of St Augustine of Hippo" by Edorado Albert. Worth a look. Thanks to Mike Aquilina for the hat tip.
After last week's post on the third century Roman emperor Maximinus Thrax, inevitably he has come up again several times.
Morton and Eden auctioned a wonderful aureus last week, picked up in Coinlink. It sold considerably over the estimate:
Lot 272 *Maximinus I, Thrax (235-238), aureus, Rome, April-December 235, IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, rev., PAX AVGVSTI, Pax standing left holding branch and transverse spear, 5.37g (RIC 12; BMC 4; C. 30; Calico 3159; Alram 10/1B), well struck on a broad flan, a few minor marks but about extremely fine and extremely rare.
Ex Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection, Part 2, Sotheby’s New York, 21-22 June 1990, lot 789 and Rauch auction 46, Vienna, 14 May 1991, lot 597.
While the silver coinage of Maximinus is plentiful, in contrast, his gold is extremely rare. Of lowly birth in Thrace, Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus, known for his enormous stature (the Historia Augusta claimed he was over 8 feet tall) came to the notice of Septimius Severus and rose through the ranks of the army. When there was rebellion against the policies of Severus Alexander and his mother Julia Mamaea during the German campaign, the emperor was murdered at Moguntiacum (Mainz) and Maximinus was proclaimed emperor, bringing an end to the Severan dynasty. Maximinus’s reign marked the beginning of the so-called Crisis of the Third Century. He never set foot in Rome itself, and his harsh rule was resented by the Senate. On his way to Rome to deal with the insurrection there, he and his son Maximus were assassinated at Aquileia by disaffected soldiers.
Estimate: £40,000-60,000 SOLD FOR £195,500 Purchased by private European collector.
Futher to my post last week, came across several other posts. First up History Books Review by coincidence also had a post last week, and then Judith Weingarten reminded me of her comprehensive note on the emperor a couple of years ago. It bears rereading.
I remember enjoying Afred Duggan's Family Favourites. An entertaining account of how he has been seen in modern literature is Mark Nugent's "From 'filthy catamite' to 'queer icon': Elagabalus and the politics of sexuality (1960-1975)" (Helios, Volume 35, Number 2, Fall 2008, pp. 171-196) - you can read it online here.
Maximinus Thrax is the emperor most commonly associated with the third century battlefield found at Kalefeld in Germany. Comparatively little is known about him. I collected the main sources in a post a while ago, but here is a (garbled) version fron the Suda that confuses Maximinus Thrax and the fourth century emperor Maximinus Daia:
[Maximinus], emperor of the Romans. This man, after taking over the imperial rule, made quite a change by employing his power very quickly and with much terror, and he tried to turn everything from a tame empire into the savageness of a tyranny. He was by nature a barbarian in character as well as in race, for his murderous behavior was hereditary. And so without delay he did away with all of Alexander’s friends who accompanied him, and the council had been selected by the senate, since he wanted to be the only one with the army and to have no one with him out of consciousness of nobility. He killed the majority of them through suspicion of plots against him. Ruling the East, he made excessive displays of his foul and unnatural acts and particularly a cruel and inhuman persecution against the Christians in all the East. In this persecution very many of the glorious were martyred. And he suffered things that were worthy of his impiety and preambles to the coming punishment he would receive — he contracted the most awful sickness, and severe pains racked his whole body. His internal organs wasted away under the most penetrating and powerful burning, and his flesh all melted away like wax. As he was being violently roasted and melted, his very bones were roasted too so that even the very image of his human form disappeared. As he was pitifully rotting away, he exuded such a stench that it was no different from the smell of decayed bodies in tombs. Then, after taking a short breath and letting out a groan, he died.
This is the start of a new small series of photographs of Roman emperors. The NY Carlsberg Glyptoteket in Copenhagen has a spectacular imperial Roman sculpture gallery and is especially strong in late antiquity. First up (and I confess that I had never seen this before) Constantius Chlorus, the father of Constantine. He died in York on July 25, AD306:
A cheery, or at least cheerier piece in today's Courier. Fiona Hyslop, Scotland's culture minister (I blogged about her here), appears to be softening her stance towards a Roman centre in Perthshire.
Speaking in the Parliament, culture minister Fiona Hyslop said bringing together Scotland's Roman heritage was "an interesting idea."
She said that "much work was being done" around the Antonine Wall — which spanned the country between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde — but agreed that many "would want such a centre to be located in Perthshire."
Late last month, the case for the creation of a new world heritage site capable of attracting thousands of new visitors to Scotland was set out by Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser.
It is not a U-turn, but at least it is a step in the right direction. Full story here.