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3— The Peoples of Empire
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The Peoples of Empire

I know no sustained analysis of groups of personifications in Republican and Julio-Claudian art, nor any typological critique of the conceptual and formal contexts of ethnic personification iconography.[1] Most scholars have been interested only in identifying individual personifications, especially on coins and on the Hadrianeum reliefs (fig. 70; see chapter 2). Toynbee's pioneering analysis of these reliefs (basically a catalogue of attributes) is still useful as an iconographic lexicon. However, its typological analysis was limited to the observation—somewhat banal to a historian—that Hadrian's numismatic province series (twenty-five types) and the relief decoration of his temple reflect his attention to the subject peoples and administrative structures of the Empire. She saw this as a brand-new attitude, and the Hadrianeum series as a brand-new sort of depiction; her single paragraph on Julio-Claudian monuments lists rather than describes.[2] In 1934, as an introduction to a Hadrianic work of art, this was acceptable; over fifty years later, this point of view still holds sway. Now, spurred it seems by the discoveries at Aphrodisias, and in delayed reaction to historians' interest in the ideologies of the Republic and early Empire, brief lists of art-historical testimonia for the period have begun to accumulate. C. Nicolet recently supplied a full critique of Roman conceptions of their geographic and political universe, from a historian's point of view;[3] I see my efforts as parallel and supportive to that project.


The province group (pls. 2–3, 18) consists of seven females: a front rank of three and a back rank of four in a loose line behind them (see p. 215 n.


16 for damage after 1899). This forms a mass like a rough half-cylinder, tilted to present its flat face/front rank at a three-quarter angle. Formally, this is a typical Roman transformation of a linear Hellenistic composition into a three-dimensional construct possessing spatial logic; contrast the pack of personifications (virtues) who salute an enthroned person (Homer) on the Ptolemaic Archelaos relief (fig. 58), with varied gestures and costume very similar to the BR group, but arranged in two flat, overlapping ranks.[4]

The outermost figure of the front row is in very high relief. She wears the costume of the non-Romans on the other side of this cup (BR I:2): leggings/trousers, soft boots, a cloak with tufted fringe pinned on the right shoulder, a short tunic (the break in the reflected light on her leg represents the hemline). Her Greek-style chignon designates her as female in spite of the male costume. She stands with feet planted slightly apart, her right arm bent with the forearm raised, the hand held out flat with all four fingers together and the thumb apart.

Next in, the central figure is visible from the chest up, standing with head slightly bowed. Her gown has a distinctive neckline, a wide, shallow curve underlined by catenaries; some kind of mantle falls over the right shoulder (cf. the lower end of the swag, flattened, visible by Mars' cloak). Her thick tresses are bound by a fillet; on it there appears to be mounted a small crescent over the brow. Her right hand is raised before the face and curled around something: the mark just over the hand is the collar of the innermost figure, but there seems to be a little arc marked between hand and profile, probably part of the mantle (no sign of a veil).

The innermost figure in this row is visible as a head wearing an elephant exuvia (the stripped skin of the head)—tusks, raised trunk, and flared, wrinkled ear. She gazes over Mars' shoulder directly at the emperor.

In the back row only the outermost figure is depicted in any detail, but all have long, thick hair, bound and dressed in various ways. The outermost stands with her back partly toward the viewer, her head turned toward Augustus in profile; the face is slightly flattened by wear. Her long mantle (hem visible below) fits closely over an ankle-length gown. In her loose hair is a (crushed) wreath of narrow, pointed leaves.


Only four figures are given enough detail that one can see and name their attributes. The artist must have been concerned primarily to represent


these four peoples, adding several others to suggest a much larger group represented in essence by the four.[5]


The outermost province of the front row, the figure Gaul (now missing) wears generic Celtic dress; its "attribute" is its identification with the people doing homage to Augustus on the other side of the cup. The artist reinforces this natural visual association, indeed makes it possible, by singling out this figure for male dress. As chapter 4 shows, the aliens of BR I:2 belong to a complex of images that have to do with Augustus' return from Gaul and Spain in 13 B.C. (the Ara Pacis) and with Drusus' activities in the north (coins); as Drusus did no work in Spain, the common denominator of the complex of images is Gaul.


Immediately behind Gaul, Spain is the outermost figure in the back row. This identification would be natural, given the figure's general Celtic appearance, because the two provinces are so consistently paired in Augustan rhetoric and art—see the Primaporta Augustus (original, ca. 19 B.C.; fig. 64), the monument at Lugdunum Convenarum (25 B.C.),[6] the occasion of the Ara Pacis (13 B.C.), and the standard pairing of the two in Augustus' Res gestae (12.2: "Hispania Galliaque"; 25.2: "Galliae, Hispaniae"; 26.2: "Gallias et Hispanias provincias"; 29.1: "Hispania et Gallia"). Besides her dress and her placement next to Gaul (compare how Roma and the Genius help to identify each other by being next to each other), there is her wreath of leaves. The only province personification on record defined by a wreath of leaves is Hispania; she sometimes has an olive-leaf crown to denote the crop for which the peninsula was as famous as Egypt for grain. The parallel closest in time is a mid-first-century mosaic in the Square of the Guilds at Ostia,[7] a mediocre piece commissioned by relatively humble patrons (to portray their own sphere of trading activity), who are highly unlikely to have invented the iconography and should be understood as following an already established prototype formulated somewhat earlier in the century. Spain's loose hair, in contrast to Gallia's chignon, recalls the coiffure of Hispan[ia] on L. Postumius Albinus' coinage of 81 B.C. (RRC 372/2); compare the inscribed Hispania (25 B.C.) at Lugdunum Convenarum.[8]

The iconography of Spain varies in the Republic and Empire. She is


often an Amazon figure with distinctively Spanish weapons (especially the round Celtiberian shield);[9] examples on Republican coinage have military connotations, of conquest or recruitment (Pompeians) (figs. 55–57). In a similar context on the Primaporta Augustus (figs. 64a, d), namely, conquest, she also has distinctive weaponry (an eagle-headed sword) as her attribute, as does Gallia (boar standard) (fig. 64d).[10] The olive wreath refers rather to the fruits Spain could give Rome. This iconography prevails later when the emphasis is on Spain's peaceful existence and contribution to the Empire (the negotiatores mosaic, which represents their spheres of trade, Spain and Africa/Egypt; the coin image of Hadrian, sponsored, it should be noted, by a Spanish emperor). The choice of a "peaceful" symbol of fecundity for the BR cup has the same connotations, especially as it stands in distinct contrast to a Republican option of a warlike Spain.


The innermost figure, with the elephant headdress, is Africa. This headdress first occurs in Ptolemaic royal iconography, on Alexander the Great or the Ptolemies themselves; it then passes to Sicilian coinage, which first uses it for personifications; from there it passes to Roman coinage.[11] During the Republic this type appears as Africa, starting in 71 B.C. (RRC 402); thus Africa should be the bust trodden by a heroized Augustus on a Vienna gem.[12] This headdress can later denote Egypt, and many so name the spectacular emblema dish in the BR hoard,[13] but a contemporary, similar bust definitely has Africa's attributes.[14] As Africa, the BR cup figure is (unlike Egypt) a Roman possession of longer standing, like Gaul or Spain; the Republican evidence and the nature of the other two personifications mandate the figure's identification as Africa.


The middle figure in the front row, a crescent moon possibly on its brow, could be Asia. As two peoples of northern and western Europe are clearly delineated, the middle figure ought to be an Eastern figure matching Africa to make up south and east, or to make up the three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa.[15] Certainly, it is not represented as Celtic. The distinctive arrangement of the drapery at the neck, in wide catenary curves from the shoulders, does resemble the draping of the mantle given Arabia in the Trajanic period,[16] and although this does not mean the figure can be identified as Arabia, it shows that perhaps the drapery is itself to be read


as some kind of Eastern attribute. The small crescent that the figure may wear on its brow could suggest to a Roman viewer Asian cults (e.g., Men, or Diana of Ephesos). Perhaps this figure represents Commagene, by extension from the Ara Pacis, where the Gallic baby of BR I:2 is paired with a child representing Agrippa's activities there in Asia (figs. 71, 78–80). As the continents Europe and Africa are clearly represented, a reference to Asia seems desirable.

The Peoples of Empire

In order to say what the BR personifications stand for as a group, one must know how they resemble or differ from contemporary Augustan and earlier ethnic personifications. In particular one ought to discuss the tradition of groups of such personifications. How and why were ethnic personifications used in the arts that would have been the heritage of the audience of the BR group? The only comprehensive study published on ethnic personifications is Toynbee's, on the Hadrianic province reliefs, but she only reviewed the Republican and early imperial evidence to find parallels for the attributes of individual Hadrianic personifications. Therefore I seek to explain Greek and Roman traditions up through Augustus, to show how groups of personifications—corporate images or assemblages—were used in the late Republic and early Empire to express a newly self-conscious Roman imperialism. The BR group and the Ara Pacis personification group mark a further development, which I treat in the section, entitled "Benevolent Imperium, " on the tone and message of Augustan corporate assemblages.

The presence of ethnic/national personifications is not a particularly surprising feature of this scene. Romans had already learned the mode of ethnic personification from the Greeks, including the convention of making such personifications female, as here. Consider, after all, the experience of Roman soldiers, generals, diplomats, and tourists visiting the hot tourist spots of Greece. At Delphi, for instance, they could see the following monuments: a group put up by the Cyrenaians of their "founder," Battos, standing in a chariot being crowned by Cyrene, his horses led by Libya (Paus. 10.15.6); an Aitolian trophy for victory over the Gauls, showing Aitolia decking a trophy with arms (Paus. 10.18.7); a trophy put up by the Phliasians portraying a defeated Aegina (Paus. 10.13.6); a Tarentine trophy (commemorating the defeat of the Messapians), which included chained captive women (Paus. 10.10.6); and one might compare


the Tarentine trophy showing the heroes Taros and Phalanthos standing on the body of Opis, king of the Iapygi (Paus. 10.13.10).[17] These Tarentine pieces, in turn, would have had echoes in Tarentum itself—that is, well within the Roman sphere after the conquest of Italy.

In the long and continuous record of Roman coinage such personifications start to be used in the first century B.C., although Romans would have met with such images already in the previous century in their expansion into the Eastern Mediterranean. Good testimony to this process of assimilation is the fresco cycle of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, a replica of the mid-first century B.C. of paintings in a Hellenistic palace of the third century B.C. (fig. 61):[18] in one panel an armed Macedonia lords it over a personification of Asia/Persia, probably read by the Roman patron as Parthia.[19] Hellenistic royal dominion is also evoked in the Neo-Attic Chigi relief (fig. 59),[20] produced for a Roman client in the late Republic or early Empire;[21] here, Europe and Asia (labeled korai in mural crowns)[22] hold up a shield that depicts Alexander's battle with Darios at Arbela (he epi pasi mache ).[23] Compare a relief from the same workshop in the Villa Albani (fig. 60): Hercules drinks with satyrs and maenads named after the continents and lands traversed during the Labors (labels extant: "Europe," "Italos");[24] they toast this Stoic victor omnium terrarum . There may have been Roman depictions of this kind in the second century B.C. (especially paintings and models made for triumphal processions), but the evidence of the coins may not be so misleading: ethnic personifications on personal signets do not arise much before the coins.

Greek ethnic/national personifications were of various kinds, falling into two basic categories—the celebratory or friendly and the domineering or hostile. As in the Hellenistic paintings reproduced at Boscoreale, one might commemorate victory by personifying the people beaten, shown in a submissive posture, with the intent to celebrate that submission; in a satiric painting of the fourth century B.C. of Timotheos, son of Konon, Fortune cast a net about a number of personified cities to symbolize their conquest (Plut. Sull. 6). Greek cities and states might also personify themselves, in various ways. Besides celebrating the Tyche, the living spirit of one's own city, a Greek people would often make an image of its friendly relations with another Greek political entity by showing itself personified in some friendly attitude toward its ally: thus the panels crowning the stelai of Athenian treaty inscriptions from the fifth and fourth centuries[25] or the tableau of Corinth and Ptolemy in the procession staged by Ptolemy II Philadelphos ca. 276 B.C. (Ath. 201C).[26] Finally, a


corporate entity made up of a number of distinct city-states might be visualized as an assembly of personifications: the same Ptolemaic procession of 276 celebrated Alexander's liberation of the Greek states of Asia Minor with such an assembla e (Ath. 201C). Compare Ptolemy IV Philopator's Homereion, where he ringed Homer's statue with personifications of the cities that claimed Homer as a native son.[27]

The best-known "corporate assemblage" in the late Hellenistic Greek world is at Lagina. In the 120s, the symmachia of the autonomous cities of the League of Asia, which funded the Temple of Hekate there, had itself represented on the temple frieze by a series of personifications grouped with Roma.[28] This sanctuary had close ties to Rome—in return for benefactions by Sulla it instituted a cult of Roma with games in her honor, and the site will have been visited by Roman travelers thereafter.[29] That Romans picked up on this kind of "list" offered by a politico-religious organization is shown by two Augustan projects, the Altar of Rome and Augustus at Lugdunum and the Augustan arch at Susa in the Cottian Alps. The altar's inscription named all the Gallic tribes enrolled in 10 B.C. in the cult of Augustus;[30] the arch, set up to mark the passage of the Cottian Alps into Roman suzerainty under the client-king Cottos, was inscribed with the names of all the relevant Alpine tribes.[31] The inscriptions, as well as the architectural forms of the monuments themselves, must have been suggested to the native patrons by Roman military / diplomatic agents in place.

The kind of image seen at Lagina was also transmitted by the Greeks, through Greek placement of monuments in Rome honoring Roman patrons. Augustus' governor of Hispania Ulterior in 22–24 B.C., P. Aelius Lamia, was honored by a monument set up among the temples of the Largo Argentina, a long basis with personifications of the cities of Hispania Ulterior standing over their inscribed titles; the model for this will have included the early Augustan dedication for a Rufus, proconsul of Bithynia, honored as patron and euergetes by eight cities of Bithynia. At some time between A.D. 17 and 22, fourteen cities of Asia Minor put up a similar monument to Tiberius in the Forum Julium for aid received after an earthquake (fig. 47). A decade later a copy was made of Tiberius' monument in Puteoli (extant today), where the personified cities were transferred to a frieze running around the base of a statue of Tiberius (fig. 62).[32] A similar Italian commission is documented by the "Throne of Claudius," fragments of an Augustan statue basis from the imperial honorific series at Caere (fig. 63).[33]


This monument used to be assigned to the emperor Claudius, who we know to have been to the Etruscans a devoted benefactor knowledgeable about (not to say enamored of) their culture; this "Throne of Claudius" has now been convincingly redated to ca. 10 B.C., one of several menuments put up in the theater at Caere by the local magistrate Manlius.[34] The exact occasion is not specifically commemorated on coinage, but the monument can, like Tiberius', be reconstructed from a reduced version erected by an interested community, in this case one of the twelve cities itself, Cerveteri/Caere, funded by the head of the chief local clan (gens Manlia ). Its reliefs do not seem to have actually ornamented a "throne," or for that matter an altar;[35] they seem rather to have decorated some kind of elaborate ornamental base[36] for an honorific imperial statue of Augustus.[37] Statues of the twelve cities were carved each upon a pedestal,[38] under garlands. There can be no doubt, given the wealth of comparable material, that they quote like the later Puteoli basis (fig. 62) from a full-scale group that was arranged about a monumental emperor portrait in Rome,[39] and perhaps in one or more of the cities represented.[40] (The Augustan Lares cult altar of Manlius draws similarly on official prototypes established at the capital.)[41]

The same tradition, in which a favored foreign group put up a personification to honor its Roman patron, was probably embodied in the monument set up in Augustus' Forum by Hispania Ulterior Baetica (ILS 103 = Ehrenberg and Jones 1976, 42), a gold statue of Augustus probably accompanied by personifications, like the coins showing Pompey or his son between personifications of Tarraco and Baetica (fig. 57; CRR 1037a, 1038a). The monument given Aelius by his province would have been for general patronage similar to that attributed to Augustus by the Spanish, "quod beneficio eius et perpetua cura provincia pacata est"; the two monuments were probably contemporary.[42] The Boscoreale cup is not the only Julio-Claudian relief to translate such groups into narrative two-dimensional tableaux; on a Julio-Claudian monument on the Via Appia, a relief showed the cities of Italy in procession with laurel in a supplicatio to the emperor,[43] conceived (as later on the Arch of Beneventum; see fig. 91) as a group of gracious, classically draped females with mural crowns.[44]

To go back in time, the Romans of the Republic reacted to Greek formulations in various ways. Most obviously honors received from Greek cities taught them to personify their own state, "Roma," as a goddess. They also took up the Greek formula for visualizing friendly relations between political/national entities to commemorate amicitia and fides: an


issue of 70 B.C. shows Italia and Roma clasping hands (fig. 51; RRC 403) to demonstrate the reconciliation following the Social Wars; the aid rendered to the Pompeians in the 40s by Spain is suggested by coins showing Hispania welcoming representatives of the Pompeian forces (fig. 55; RRC 469).

Basically friendly also are coins on which personifications designate the sphere of authority held by a given official—"my province"[45] —into which category the Pompeian Spanish coinage falls (see also p. 79). Personifications here, as it were, delimit a career.[46] Cn. Plancius' coin of 55 B.C. paired Macedonia, a jeweled female bust in a kausia, with a reverse whose symbols (goat and weaponry) referred to Crete, the other locus of his activities (fig. 54; RRC 432/1). Aurei and denarii of Q. Cornuficius in 42 B.C. have a bust of Africa backed by two spears (a variant has the goddess Tanit; obverse, appropriately, Jupiter Ammon; RRC 509/1); C. Antonius made similar reference to Macedon on an issue of 43 B.C. (RRC 484). Another Pompeian issue, ca. 46 B.C., showed Pompey or his son between personifications of Tarraco and Baetica (fig. 57; CRR 1037a, 1038a). Early imperial texts describe how Romans could visualize in personified form an area bound up with an individual career: Drusus the Elder was said to have been visited by Germania, personified as a giant woman in native dress, who addressed him in Latin to tell him how far his conquest of Germany could extend (Suet. Claud. 1.2; Dio 55.1.3); Curtius Rufus claimed to have been visited as a young man (early first century A.D.) by "Africa," who prophesied his future proconsulship over her province (Tac. Ann. 11.21).

The earliest "career coin" is L. Postumius Albinus' denarius of 81 B.C. (RRC 372/2), which celebrates A. Postumius Albinus' praetorian imperium in Spain (pr. 180); a dignified veiled bust of Hispan [ia ] localizes the reverse tableau of the togate Albinus standing between a legionary eagle and a magistrate's fasces with axe.[47] Next is Mn. Aquillius' denarius of 71 B.C. (fig. 52; RRC 401/1); it depicts the consul of 101 B.C. extremely dramatically as a warrior succoring a wounded Sicilia. The composition is strongly reminiscent of Hellenistic sculpture groups narrating epic themes (e.g., the "Pasquino" type); this coin has a very good chance of referring to an actual sculptural monument erected in Rome.[48] The concept of succoring one's province is probably expressed also on L. Staius Murcus' issues of 42-41 B.C., where a heroic male figure with a sword raises up a female personification before a trophy (MURCUS IMP.; RRC 510; fig. 56). These "succoring" compositions are repeated under Augustus


when L. Aquillius (18/14 B.C.) to honor his ancestry[49] reissues Mn. Aquillius' type (fig. 53).[50] Such imagery is passed back in turn to the Greek cities,[51] a process paralleled elsewhere:[52] on an aes from Sardis,[53] Tiberius reaches out to the kneeling city.[54]

In all of these Roman formulations, of course, Rome and its representatives are dominant, although friendly, in the historical situation commemorated. For a real treaty between equals,[55] one must look to a denarius minted ca. 90/88 B.C. by the Marsian Confederation, which shows itself as a male personification with its ally Mithridates VI. There is also the curious phenomenon of Romans extending one of their own religious concepts, that of the genius of a people or place: a coin of Q. Metellus Scipio of 47-46 B.C. depicts the Genius terrae Africae (RRC 460/4; lionheaded female with disk headdress and ankh scepter), and another coin of C. Antonius represents the Genius of Macedon (CRR 1286). This mode of personification seems not to develop further, but it is an interesting formulation in its own time. Akin to Greek ideas of the Tyche of a city-state, it ties in with the "personal" use of personifications described above.

By and large, though, most Republican references to other peoples and places in art commissioned by Romans are not only personal but triumphal in nature. Such references include depictions of trophies, captives, submissive kings, and so on, and personifications are but one aspect of the genre of references to foreigners. This is not particularly surprising, nor is it in itself evidence of a particularly brutal imperialistic mind-set. In the Republic, the state itself did not commission works of art, and this goes for the images on coins as well. Individuals enjoying or seeking public prominence commissioned those works, and they wanted to celebrate themselves or their ancestors or to compliment a fellow member of the elite. Contacts with foreigners that were of propaganda value in seeking public power consisted of victories over those foreigners. Even the images of friendship or support cited above describe the support of lesser entities, not of equals.

This is where Roman formulations of corporate entities differ from the Greek. The Romans were not, or at least never thought of themselves as, members of a body of equals: they dominated a corporate body of clients and possessions. They belonged to a corporate body as heads of empire, not as one of a number of states equal in a symmachia . And the occasion where Roman audiences of the Republic were most accustomed to seeing a collection of images depicting a number of peoples and places was the triumph: the procession celebrating one individual's victories, explaining and praising them by means of paintings of cities taken, images of cities


and rivers, strings of actual captives led to symbolize the defeat of their entire peoples.[56]

It is also to the ceremony of the triumph, with its documentary displays, that we generally attribute the characteristically Roman interest in precise variations in barbarian or foreign costume, jewelry, armor, coiffure, and physiognomy, which is observable in Roman panegyric literature and art as well as in the detailed records kept of so many triumphs. Such ethnographic precision, as seen in depictions of "typical" or historic foreign warriors and leaders (cf. the Parthian on the Primaporta cuirass), fuses with the Greek tradition of feminizing exemplary abstractions and thus produces a distinctively Roman type of individual ethnic personification: the female personification in male ethnic dress. This was a standard option by the Augustan period, as we know from cuirass statues (the Primaporta Augustus (fig. 64) and Turin statue), Arretine ware (the Puteoli cup; cf. figs. 65–66), and the BR group. It occurs earliest on Pompeian coinage by Minatius Sabinus; there an imperator receives a shield from a kneeling personification (right) in female dress and is saluted (left) by a female personification in male ethnic dress (fig. 57; RRC 470/1b). As other aspects of this coin composition are familiar from early imperial commemorative reliefs, it is likely that all aspects of the composition correspond to contemporary norms for (lost) monumental paintings and reliefs.[57] The coin and a companion type[58] also show what we see in the BR group, the combination of "male" and "female" personification types. The reasons for such combination seem to vary. In these examples of the first century B.C. it seems to be made for the sake of emphasis and variatio or to "couple" two personifications (e.g., the BR Gallia and Hispania); in the Hadrianeum province series, "male" dress has sometimes been seen as distinguishing provinces with embattled frontiers or those under imperial control, but in the early groups at any rate no automatic warlike/peaceful dichotomy can be meant.

All this is the background for the monuments of Pompey, and later those of Augustus, featuring long inscriptions naming as precisely as possible every tribe and nation beaten by that general. After defeating Sertorius in Spain, Pompey set up a great tropaeum in the Pyrenees inscribed with the names of the 876 (!) oppida that he had reduced in Hispania Ulterior (Pliny HN 7.96, 3.18; Sall. H. 3.89M); this seems now to have been a tower monument,[59] like the "stone towers decorated above with enemy arms" (Florus 1.37) set up already in 121 B.C. by Domitius Ahenobarbus and Fabius Maximus in Gaul.[60] For his third, Eastern triumph, he enumerated his deeds and conquests in a Latin inscription in Rome in the


Temple of Minerva (transcribed in Pliny HN 7.97); he also set up a longer inscription of the same sort in Greek in multiple copies at cult sites throughout the Greek East (Diod. 40.4.1). These are the Republican precedents evoked by Augustus' tropaea in the Alps that bore the names of conquered Alpine tribes—one of ca. 25 or 29 B.C. (Dio 43.26) and one of 14 B.C. for the campaigns of Drusus and Tiberius, the great tower monument at La Turbie (Pliny HN 3.136)[61] crowned with his portrait as Pompey's had been with Pompey's portrait (HN 37.15). Such inscribed lists depended directly on the paraphernalia of triumph—compare Pompey's inscriptions with the praefatio, or explanatory placard, borne before the procession in his third triumph (transcribed in Pliny HN 7.98). Pompey's inscriptions in the East parallel Augustus' Res gestae, also promulgated throughout the Greek East at cult sites: note that the early Augustan Diodoros calls Pompey's inscriptions tas idias praxeis, which is conceptually cognate with the Latin res gestae: hoti ho Pompeios tas idias praxeis has sunetelesen epi tes Asias anagraphas anetheken, hon estin antigraphon tode (40.4.1).[62]

Such triumphal texts have numerous visual analogues, in figured monuments like Pompey's images of the fourteen peoples over whom he triumphed,[63] placed in his theater complex, or Augustus' Porticus ad Nationes,[64] itself obviously meant to trump Pompey's monument. Compare on the contemporary tomb reliefs discussed in chapter 2 the defeated personification at an imperator's feet (fig. 3) or the shuffling captives led to his spear. I explore the Augustan evidence, citing Republican precedents where they exist.

A valid document of Augustus' own thinking is provided by the instructions left in his will for his funeral, formulated early in his reign and duly carried out in A.D. 14. He specified a parade of images of the peoples he had conquered, very like the images carried in a traditional triumph; if faithfully copied by Severus for Pertinax's funeral, then they were bronze statues of different peoples in ethnic dress.[65] Compare the funeral of the great Aemilius Paullus, whom Augustus may have had in mind as an example (Plut. Aem. 39.4.5); his bier was carried by representative clients from the peoples he had conquered—Iberians,[66] Macedonians, and Ligurians—while others followed in the funeral procession calling him euergetes and soter . Augustus' funeral procession may or may not have had a more domineering tone than Aemilius' procession; the triumphal mode dominates other Augustan funerary monuments, like the Campus Martius tomb that celebrates the deceased's "worldwide" triumph with Celtic and Oriental captives.[67] The spectacle of Augustus' funeral may have been previewed decades earlier in 12 B.C., at the funeral of Agrippa, which Dio


tells us was carried out in the same way in which Augustus' was later held: kai ten ekphoran autou [Agrippa] en to tropo en ho kai autos [Augustus] meta tauta exenechthe epoiesato (54.28.5). There is also good evidence, supplied by Velleius and by comparison with the Sebasteion at Aphrodisias, that when Augustus' Forum (plan 123) was dedicated in 2 B.C. it was decorated with a similar assemblage of visual references to the peoples conquered by Augustus.

Velleius tells us that the Forum was resplendent with the tituli of the peoples Augustus conquered: "Divus Augustus praeter Hispanias aliasque gentis, quarum titulis forum eius praenitet, paene idem facta Aegypto stipendiaria . . ." (2.39.2). The wording implies a sequence of discrete references rather than, say, the inscription under Augustus' quadriga in the middle of the Forum; and it is likely that Velleius is referring to a sequence of images and not just to a sequence of inscribed tablets. First of all, it is difficult to imagine inscriptions attached to no image; second, such shorthand, titulus for image plus inscription (titulus ), is common usage in the Republic and Empire for assemblages of images whose titles were of key importance, namely, the assembly of portraits to form a family stemma in the atria of Roman aristocrats.[68]

This hypothesis seems to be confirmed by the decorative program of the Sebasteion at Aphrodisias, a closed portico extending from the Temple of Aphrodite Prometor (i.e., Caesar's Venus Genetrix). The second story of the north portico carried in its intercolumniations depictions of peoples conquered by Augustus, each with the prominent title ethnous—on, a direct cognate with Velleius' gens—ae/i . The extant sequence is notable for its meticulous citation of individual tribal groups to refer to tribally organized peoples, reminiscent of the trophy inscriptions described above, and for its inclusion of territories that were conquered by Augustus only in the sense that they were taken away from his Roman rivals in the civil wars (Sicily, Crete, Cyprus),[69] as well as client kingdoms not administered directly as provinces by Augustus (the Bosphoros, Judaea). Even though the decoration as such seems to have been executed under Tiberius, it obviously replicates a series formulated for and by Augustus himself, some derive the series from (a description of) Augustus' funeral assemblage of personifications.[70]

The Sebasteion complex as a whole is very obviously based directly on the precedent of the new kind of forum built in Rome by Caesar and by Augustus,[71] noted patrons of Aphrodisias; both the Forum Julium and the Forum Augustum took the form of an extended closed portico stretching away from a large cult temple (plan 122). A cult epithet translating the


Latin Venus Genetrix is known from only one other Greek dedication, a Julio-Claudian imperial portrait statue;[72] it is a direct translation of the Latin Venus Genetrix, and the temple at Aphrodisias is obviously meant to quote the Temple of Venus Genetrix that dominated Caesar's Forum and that introduced a new cult aspect of Venus to the Romans themselves. This is confirmed by the extant inscription for the goddess's statue, which greeted visitors atop the propylon to the Sebasteion, calling her Aphrodite Prometor Theon Sebaston,[73] that is, genetrix of the Augustan house. As the Sebasteion itself, then, is so evidently inspired directly by the imperial fora in Rome, I think that in conjunction with the Velleius passage it confirms a sequence of images decorating the Forum of Augustus that enumerated the peoples and places Augustus had conquered up to 2 B.C.[74]

Vergil's proem to Georgic 3 hints at such a program—lines 13–70 consist of a fantastic ekphrasis clearly inspired by the early stages of Augustus' Forum (which had been planned since before Actium). Vergil says he is going to build a portico complex centered on a temple to Augustus himself; the portico will be decorated with statues of Augustus' Trojan ancestors, and its temple doors will be decorated with scenes of Augustus' triumphs—compare Ovid's ekphrasis on the completed Forum and the Temple of Mars Ultor (Fast. 5.550ff.); it will have a theater (like Pompey's theater plus Temple of Venus Victrix plus porticoes), whose curtain will be woven with figures of British captives posed so that when the curtain is up they will seem like caryatids.[75] The extant Jupiter clipei of the Forum arcades preserve at least two distinct types (Jupiter Ammon and a Celtic torqued Jupiter; figs. 68–69)[76] that at present supply at least an East-West metaphor for empire; perhaps the series included more, which could have been labeled.[77] The architrave over the clipeus and caryatid zone in fact carried a row of standing decorative elements in alternating projection (over the caryatids) and recessions,[78] and this is the most logical place to hypothesize a series of statues and/or symbolic (trophy) elements. A series of images in this location would constitute an excellent formal parallel for the siting of the Aphrodisias "forum" series, as well as for the trophies lining Trajan's Forum.[79]

Vergil's formulations are closely linked to Augustus' own thinking, whether dependent on it or reinforcing it. Thus we should look also at the well-known fanfare to Augustus that ends the ekphrasis on the Shield of Aeneas in the Aeneid at 8.722f.: after the battle of Actium, Augustus in triumphal epiphany is attended by a string of captives from all over the known world, sitting to receive their submissio on a sella curulis before


the Temple of Apollo (and in front of his own house!) on the Palatine.[80] (The "Sheath of Tiberius" is an actual piece of armor decorated with an allegory of world rule and an ethnic personification; figs. 117–18). It is in reference to this very passage that Servius describes Augustus' Porticus ad Nationes, which leads to the conclusion that the peoples portrayed on that monument were representative in sum of Augustus' world rule.

This Portico of the Nations must have incorporated statues of various gentes, like the assemblage that Pompey placed in his theater complex. There is a good chance that one should visualize it as some kind of caryatid porch.[81] Augustus is known to have employed such a conceit in his restoration of 14 B.C. of the Basilica Aemilia fronting the Forum (plan 122), lining its interior with a series of Parthian captives in colored marbles as' caryatids; these figures, which look forward to the Erechtheion caryatids of Augustus' Forum, whose clipei echo the Basilica Aemilia's facade, were given a particular Augustan twist by being stood on bases carved with luxuriant garlands, equating the new Golden Age of pax with the humiliation of the ancient foreign enemy.[82] The deployment of Parthians as caryatids was a recognizable quotation of the "Persian Porch" at Sparta, which commemorated Sparta's part in the fifth-century Persian Wars with a caryatid porch carried by emblematic Persians.[83] Brutus may already have copied the Classical monument for one of his country villas, as Hadrian was to copy the Erechtheion caryatids for his Tibur villa (Cic. Att. 15.91; cf. 13.40: "Parthenon"); a cinerary urn from Volterra shows that the Greek concept of ethnic caryatids had certainly passed to Italy by the first half of the first century B.C.[84] Vergil's highly decorative caryatid Britons, a motif partly frivolous, partly serious, are well matched by the Augustan decoration of Room E at the Villa Farnesina; its central aedicula incorporates dancing Persian caryatids into a fantastic structure about Apolline rule and Dionysiac conquest of the East.[85] Compare a Greco-Roman grave stele (Munich inv. 509) of the early first century B.C. from Erythrai, an "illusionistisch und phantasievoll" heröon whose pediment is supported by winged Persian caryatids kneeling in the frieze zone.[86]

Thus it is probable that what Augustus built was a kind of caryatid porch borne by diverse ethnic personifications representing the peoples of the Empire, as defeated subjects. This is the kind of Augustan assemblage behind such later Julio-Claudian monuments as the imperial cuirass statue from Tusculum (now Turin, Castello d'Aglie),[87] whose front pteryges (cuirass lappets) are decorated with individual ethnic personifications crouched in dejection—the emperor portrayed is literally girdled in his


victories.[88] The contemporary impact of Augustus' commissions is documented[89] by the decoration that the citizens of Pisa planned for their arch to honor the recently dead Gaius and Lucius:[90] the attic was to bear statues of Gaius, Lucius, and probably Augustus, flanked by images referring to all the peoples conquered[91] or received into fides by Gaius/Augustus.[92]

All these Augustan assemblages of personifications glorify the act and attitude of dominance, in the triumphal mode typical of so many inscriptions and texts. The same tone governs the use of personifications in many other media. Court luxury objects include the Berlin cameo vase, on which Venus Genetrix sits by a slumped Parthian captive at the birth of an Augustan prince (fig. 7); compare the "real" captives in the exergue of the Gemma Augustea (fig. 16). There are the victory monuments in the provinces, which reflect the iconography of the capital[93] —the trophy group at Lugdunum Convenarum with captives and personifications of Gaul and Spain,[94] the trophies and captives on the arch at Glanum,[95] Armenia and Germania on the arch at Carpentras,[96] the male and female captives flanking the inscription at La Turbie,[97] and the arch at Pisidian Antioch, whose central spandrels show emblematic bound Pisidians.[98] The same taste is shown by a series of Campana plaques made for the private homes of central Italy, beginning in the Augustan period, which excerpt that portion of a triumph where captives are paraded on wagons and litters, or else show emblematic Gallic captives on either side of a battlefield trophy.[99] These mass-produced plaques imitate for domestic installation such monuments as the Temple of Apollo Sosianus, whose interior frieze (ca. 19 B.C.) depicted Octavian/Augustus' great triple triumph.[100]

Imperial portraits showing the emperor as a general in a cuirass are obviously about military domination, and several early imperial examples incorporate personifications as well as emblematic captives. Best known are the personifications on the cuirass front of the Primaporta Augustus (fig. 64).[101] There Gallia (fig. 64d) and Hispania (fig. 64c),[102] slumped in dejection, flank (a group with) an emblematic Parthian, to celebrate Augustus' recovery of standards from Parthia, Spain, and Gaul—a visual paraphrase of the boast in Res gestae 28–29.[103] This assemblage, of course, delineates the East-West worldwide reach of Augustus' vengeance and hegemony.[104] With this can be compared a fragmentary, but superb, early imperial cuirass statue from Amphipolis, whose central device is a captive paired with a seated personification.[105] The Julio-Claudian figure in Turin, whose pteryges have each a dejected personification, has already been mentioned; the pteryges of a fragmentary Augustan cuirass statue from Gaul have emblematic Gallic captives (fig. 82).[106] Comparable is an Augustan


relief in Rome (Pal. Beletti), where a cuirassed Augustus brandishes an aplustre at a seated, dejected Egypt/Africa.[107]

Last, there is the testimony of some Arretine pottery. This fine molded ware was manufactured primarily in the Augustan period in central Italy, for use there and for export especially to the north. Its devices often copy fine silver and/or famous monuments from the capital.[108] As in silverwork, most of the surviving corpus has mythological, Dionysiac, erotic, idyllic, or other nonpolitical iconography; with three other fragments,[109] the types discussed here seem the only examples of explicitly political iconography. They are certainly Augustan. The scheme of a cup from Puteoli (now lost)[110] paired a seated mourning figure identified by the inscription GERMANIA, who, like the Primaporta provinces or the BR Gaul, was a female in male Celtic dress, with a chained pair of male captives labeled ARSACIDAE (the Armenian dynasty) and PARTHI; this fondness for inscribed labels also marks the Dresden handle, on which an armed female is labeled GERMANIAS (fig. 67).[111] A scheme known best on a cup from Orbetello has, like the BR Augustus cup, an identical composition on each side (fig. 65).[112] A naked imperial hero with mantle, scabbard, and downturned spear stands by a tropaeum, which is decorated with the arms appropriate to the grieving ethnic personification who approaches the hero; on one side this is Germania, on the other Armenia, both in female dress. The same workshop (L. Avillius Sura) adapted from these stamps a different scheme, where the nude imperator twice faced Armenia across a backdrop of garlands and bucrania (fig. 66).[113]

The prominently deployed inscriptions and figure types of the first cup scheme recall official triumphal commemorative. The second cup scheme has been viewed as copying a freestanding statuary group in the capital, especially as the imperial figure type strongly resembles that used for Octavian on a columna rostrata in Rome erected for Actium;[114] reliefs from the Aphrodisias Sebasteion now show that the entire group, nude imperator -trophy-personification, draws on a formula established for imperial statuary and/or monumental relief.[115] The trophy group set up ca. 25 B.C. at Lugdunum Convenarum by a team from Rome, to celebrate Augustus' triple triumph of 27 B.C., offers parallels for both schemes—twin figure groups of personification, trophy, and captive.[116] Both cup schemes allude to worldwide conquest by pairing the north and west and south and east frontiers of Augustan expansion, typical of Augustan monuments and programs;[117] the choice of Germany/Armenia to produce this antithesis recalls the Augustan city gate at Carpentras in Gaul, among other examples.


The imagery of these cups might have been formulated at almost any time after the events they allude to, Drusus' campaigns in Germany from ca. 10 B.C. on and the first Armenian settlement and the "humiliation" of Parthia in 19 B.C., when Tiberius won his spurs. The hero on each side of the Orbetello cup (fig. 65) might be Augustus, or perhaps brother princes are meant, such as Drusus the Elder (who conquered Germany) and Tiberius (who oversaw the "submission" of Armenia at the time of the return of the Parthian standards). H. P. Laubscher and others adduce events of A.D. 1 and 3—that is, Gaius in Armenia and M. Vinicius in Germany; this is possible, but I think it far more likely that all these western Germany/Armenia pairs refer to the activities of the Claudii Nerones, either Drusus and Tiberius or simply Tiberius.

Whatever their specific reference to events of Augustus' reign, both cup schemes are very important to our discussion. Simply because they are items of mass-produced pottery,[118] they show how the iconography of ethnic personifications could be disseminated at large.[119] As fine-quality Arretine ware, they reinforce and expand our knowledge of the imagery formulated for official, public statuary and relief. Finally, in the character of Arretine ware, they may reproduce models in silver that would be directly comparable to the BR cups. In this sense, they make the BR cups less unique, as examples of silverware alluding directly to Augustan conquests; on the other hand, their extremely limited compositions highlight by contrast the distinctive nature of the BR cups' decoration and its ties to the most sophisticated monumental narrative relief

Benevolent Imperium

Are the Boscoreale personifications to be classed with the images of pure dominance described above? There is an element of such a tone in their depiction, but it is not the only way in which one should interpret them. Key here is the fact that the peoples shown are all provinces already incorporated in the Empire, as far as one can tell from the three that can be named—Africa, Gaul, and Spain. The works of Augustan art, major and minor, that celebrate Augustus' personal victories almost always include or emphasize his victories in the East over Parthia and Armenia; the signal omission here of any figure in mitra, or Persian cap, means that this figure group is not an emblematic catalogue of major Augustan victories. Instead, they are an emblematic catalogue of peoples now administered by Rome under Augustus, which by including East and West and North and


South sum up the oikoumene governed by the emperor as symbolized by the globe in his hand. Also, there is a fairly standard iconography for full-length figures who symbolize domination itself as their primary function, used in the absence of an inscription: a provincia capta acknowledges its humiliation by sitting or standing head in hand, slumped in dejection. These provinces stand, showing some deference, but they do not make any of the standard signs of grief, compare and contrast the provinces on the Augustan cuirass statue from Primaporta and Amphipolis, or on the Arretine ware described above, all images celebrating military victories (figs. 64–67).[120]

It is also the case that this scene must be read as one of a pair of scenes on one cup—indeed, with reference also to the second cup. Within the cup group, the main visual emphasis is on the outermost province, Gaul, the one in highest relief. This is true when one focuses on the group by itself; also, when the cup is viewed head-on (pl. 2) to focus on Augustus, the scene is then framed in a peaceful confrontation between Roma and this province, who is thus the first explanatory figure visible as "comment" on the globe in Augustus' hand. This figure also wears the dress of the barbarians on the other side of the cup, where some kind of submissive audience between Augustus and a foreign people takes place; thus the personification and the entire group in which it holds pride of place have to be interpreted in light of the scene on the other side of the cup.

Second, the other cup, to which the first must somehow be appropriate, shows the triumph of Tiberius, whose triumphs were over peoples of western Europe. The linkage with the second cup fits the "dominance" view outlined above. The comparison with the other side of this cup, however, does not. There (BR I:2) the little children being handed over to Augustus are joyful, emblems of a benevolent imperialism in which those ruled are delighted at Roman guidance and are valued by their rulers. These overtones of joy accompanying rule are also present in the other half of this very scene: Roma tramples the weapons of war underfoot, fertility gushes from the Genius's cornucopia, Amor pours perfume with his bow laid aside, Venus herself brings a promise of peace and concord, and it is she rather than Mars who is given first place in the pair of processions converging on Augustus' throne. Augustus himself, finally, is not enthroned as a general but in the toga of peaceful civilian administration; he does not sit on a camp stool but on a fantastic symbolic seat that expresses the peaceful burgeoning of tamed nature, analogue and result of political harmony, for the scat is carved from tree branches as if in some rustic grove. This mode of illustrating the feats of Tiberius and Dru-


sus could hardly differ more from commemorations in the "triumphal" mode, like the city gate at Saepinum built under Tiberius' supervision from both brothers' German manubiae, that is, with the same historical reference as BR II: its great central inscription, which simply states the donation, is flanked by emblematic German captives stripped to the waist, bound, upon high pillars.[121]

What, then, is the answer? The answer is that two things at once are going on here. The submission of the oikoumene and prosperity for the oikoumene are celebrated at one and the same time. Romans can take pride in having subdued the world, as Jupiter can take pride in being mightiest of the gods, and Augustus can take pride in being the greatest of all imperatores; those parts of the world with any sense will realize that it is to their advantage to submit, and if they properly acknowledge Roman superiority in the persons of Augustus and his agents, they will be cared for as Jupiter cares for those who avoid hubris/superbia . Moreover, Roman triumphs over unregenerate foreigners actually protect those already under Rome's rule: consider, for example, Caesar's pretext for his wars against the Germans of the Rhine, that they were undertaken to protect the Gauls he had been busy subduing; and consider the Gemma Augustea, where the personification Oikoumene acknowledges Augustus' saving of lives with a corona civica at the occasion of a triumph of Tiberius, with bound captives shown in the exedra below the main scene (fig. 16).

In Roman eyes, there would be no contradiction between the two messages, no sense of schizophrenia.[122] War is wonderful because it assures pax, and pax is wonderful not only for the victors but, in the victors' eyes, for the pacati as well.[123] This is the message of the primary Augustan statement on pax, the Ara Pacis. There (as discussed below with reference to BR I:2), on the outer friezes, one of the BR infants is paired with an Oriental princeling to express at once the homage of East and West to Augustus' rule and the participation of East and West in the blessings of that rule (figs. 71, 76–80). On the inner altar of the Ara Pacis was a set of images that are the primary parallel to the BR province group, a frieze with personifications of all the peoples under Roman rule (fig. 72), the whole crowned by another frieze representing worship of pax /Pax sponsored by the emperor.[124] Exactly like the BR group, these females were variously in symbolic and in ethnically explicit dress, masculine and feminine.[125] Lined up in a long frieze, they stood frontally, turning their heads to one another, like paratactic figure series on the monumental Hellenistic altars whose form is quoted here. They even share generic figure types—the BR Gallia on the cup has an exact match in stance and costume in one


of the altar figures![126] The Ara Pacis seems to have been the model for the later Jullo-Claudian relief, also from the Campus Martius, that was reused on the Arcus Novus (fig. 12), a fragment of a similar paratactic frieze composition preserving a pair of females in male and female ethnic dress posed frontally in conversation.[127]

The altar complex and the cup both make explicit visually that the Augustan ideology of pax was physically manifest in Augustus' actual journeying to those provinces, as H. Halfmann interprets these progresses; for the BR allegory is paired with a scene of Augustus among his non-Roman subjects, and the Ara Pacis is primarily a commemoration of just such a successful trip (quite possibly the same one).[128] The peoples ruled by Rome are lesser, but without them there would be no Empire: they have their own place, and their own potential worth in the scheme of things. So Vergil coupled his paean to Augustus' world rule (Aen. 6.791–800), which was to bring the Golden Age back to Latium (792f.), with an exhortation to his own people to rule, but to rule justly and well: "tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento/—hae tibi erunt artes—pacisque inponere morem,/parcere subiectis et debellare superbos" (6.851–53).[129] Rome does a favor to her subjects in imposing the mos pacis on them.[130]

Of course, this formulation is all from the point of view of the rulers and not of the ruled. Images of submissive and grieving subject peoples are probably nearer the case as far as the feelings of the subjects themselves go. What we are interested in here, however, is the interpretation that the rulers put on their own rule. The kind of corporate image of empire that we see here and the comparanda for it are part of the evidence for the Romans' becoming self-conscious of their role as heads of an empire; one of the burning issues of modern scholarship on the Republican age of expansion revolves around this very point of whether/when the Romans deliberately set out to become an imperial power and thought of themselves not as simply fighting ad hoc individual campaigns. Whatever the original motive forces behind Roman expansion, it is certain that by the first century B.C. the Romans had learned to think of themselves as rulers of a diverse but unified world and to find images for that reality in their art. The significance of what I call corporate images can best be appreciated by contrast with the other sorts of images that Romans used to express the fact of empire, unitary or binary allegorical symbols.

To begin with, there is the personification of the oikoumene . This Hellenistic term signifies the known inhabited world; its Latin equivalent is orbis terrarum . For educated Romans the two would have been interchangeable terms, and so I also tend to use them as interchangeable. I


prefer to use oikoumene when describing a Roman perception of the Empire as a political unity of omnium gentium; orbis terrarum is a physical metaphor describing the globe of earth on which the peoples of the known world live. A personified oikoumene, like that seen on the Gemma Augustea, evolved as part of the vocabulary of Hellenistic royal panegyric and is documented already in the Diadoch period: a painting in Athens of Demetrios Poliorketes of ca. 290 B.C. showed him striding over a representation of the oikoumene (Duris, FGrH 76, frag. 14; Eust. Il. 5.449). Compare the famous "Apotheosis of Homer" panel, where the poet is crowned by Ptolemy IV Philopator as Chronos and by his wife Arsinoe as a mural-crowned Oikoumene, to symbolize their establishment of Homer's cult at a Homereion in Alexandria (fig. 58); the panel itself documents the physical transmission of imagery to Italy, for it was found near Bovillae.[131] The globe, as a symbol of the world, and so of world rule, was far more popular in Roman art than in Greek art,[132] and I think that this is partly to be explained by the fact that it is a visual translation of the Latin orbis terrarum .

Romans in the Republic would have seen such images in the Hellenistic East, and many of their artists were Greeks from that world. The educated class that commissioned works of art would also have been exposed to the kinds of panegyric poetry of which, for instance, the "Apotheosis of Homer" seems to be a visual translation (the poet who commissioned the panel figures in it at upper right as an honorific statue of himself, see fig. 58).[133] Images of the oikoumene in Rome may have already been formulated by Pompey; they are extant from the Augustan period, as on Augustan court cameos (a genre itself in the Ptolemaic court tradition) such as the Gemma Augustea (fig. 16), where Oikoumene crowns the emperor, and the Vienna cameo fragment (fig. 18), where Venus-Oikoumene in a mural crown brings a little Victoria to the emperor. The personification Oikoumene may have figured in the plan for a monument voted Caesar by the Senate on his return from Africa: Dio describes it as a statue of Caesar striding over an image of the oikoumene (43.4.6), though we do not know if he names the Hellenistic female personification or translates from the Latin terms of the commission the Latin orbis terrarum, which would have been figured as a globe. In any case, it is clear that this statue of Caesar quoted the monument of Demetrios Poliorketes, which would have been known to the educated class of Caesar's day from visual acquaintance or from literary references. Its inscription, calling Caesar hemitheos, also drew on the conventions of Hellenistic royal panegyric; thus Theocritus apostrophized Ptolemy II as world ruler in Idyll 17, a poem


that exercised much influence on later panegyric and that would have been read in Rome (especially given the fashion in the late first century B.C. for such Alexandrian works).[134] Sculptural images that show a deity or hero with one foot on the globe are extant from the early Empire; consider the Ostia cult statue of Roma (Augustan or early Tiberian) and the Mars at the center of the pediment of Augustus' Temple of Mars Ultor (2 B.C.) (fig. 9b), which is quoted in the figure of Augustus on the Claudian Ravenna relief (fig. 8).[135] The post-Social War coinage of 70 B.C. already shows Roma with her foot upon a globe (fig. 51a; RRC 403), and Mars on the Paris census (ca. 100-90 B.C.) has his foot on a globe also (fig. 27).

A globe or a personified Oikoumene differs in conception from a corporate image of empire. While such corporate images have roots in Greek descriptions of their own associations of cities, as metaphors for rule such corporate images seem to be very much a Roman device. Both Roman borrowings and creations document a rich ferment in the Roman iconographic tradition, as Romans looked for visual images to explicate their new self-consciousness of empire. A good parallel instance to the Roman transformation of corporate images is the varied visual translation of the common Latin periphrasis terra marique to denote worldwide sway: see, for example, the Gemma Augustea, where Okeanos and Ge sit behind Augustus (fig. 16); Venus on the Ara Pacis, flanked by nymphs of land and sea (fig. 74); the Augustan Cherchel cuirass decoration (fig. 5), where the Apotheosis of Caesar is set over a pair of Tritons whose attributes make them spirits of land and sea.[136]

The globe, the personification Oikoumene, and terra marique images have a simple unitary or binary allegorical structure. Corporate images take us deeper into Roman political thinking, because they try to describe a political as well as a physical reality. As documented in the description above of monuments like Pompey's and Augustus' porticoes, corporate images can be used as unambiguous symbols of domination. In this they are like the Republican and early imperial texts on the orbis terrarum, which hail Roman domination of that entity (e.g., Cic. Herenn. 4.13, Imp. Pomp. 53, Mur. 22, Cat. 4.11, Sull. 33; and Augustan poetry: Verg. Aen. 1.278–82; Hor. Carm. 4.15.13–16; and Ovid [see Bömer's commentary on Fast. 1.590–911). Even corporate images that stress domination, though, show at least some interest in the individual existence of the peoples ruled.

Images of domination bulk large in Roman political imagery, as in the arts of most imperial powers. But it is always interesting for a student of the history of ideas to find rulers trying to project an image of that rule


that describes something more than a purely exploitative link between themselves and their subjects, even if this is only an occasional theme. Hence the importance of personification groups like those on the BR cup or on the inner altar of the Ara Pacis, or the use as symbols of the ruled of "adopted" children, on BR I:2 and in the friezes of the Ara Pacis (see chapter 4). These Augustan images describe a benevolent imperium, a pax that includes non-Romans as something more than pacati in the shape of opponents forced by military defeat to make peace. The modern viewer might follow Tacitus ("They make a desolation and call it peace" Agr. 30.5) and classify such propaganda of benevolent imperium as hypocritical, but to dismiss it as such ignores the fact that an ideal does not have to be wholeheartedly espoused to influence the policies that affect conditions for an empire's subjects. For instance, we really do not know whether Cicero took the Sicilians' case against Verres out of anything more than a desire to score points in Roman political infighting, however much he professed sympathy for the exploited provincials and tried to win the jury to the same point of view; and when he did win his case, we have no idea whether or not his jury condemned Verres out of a sincere belief in such noble sentiments. The fact remains that it turned out a good thing for the Sicilians themselves that such an ideal should be espoused, and it signaled the growing political maturity of Rome as administrator of an empire.

It is in the late Republic that we begin to find extant the political formulations that are the background for the lines of book 6 of the Aeneid quoted above.[137] On pages 77–78 I described a small, but discrete, class of coin images that commemorate a Roman leader's defense and succor of peoples covered by his imperium, noting that at least one of these images (71 B.C.) undoubtedly reflects freestanding commemorative statuary (figs. 52–53, 56). Apposite texts are first supplied (as so often) by Cicero (Off. 2.26–27, Rep. 1.37), who speaks of Rome's rule as a patrocinium for the weak, an idea picked up in Livy (30.42.17), to cite one example.[138]Patrocinium, the exercise of the formal institution of patronage, implies the superiority of the patron, but it also implies that the patron has duties toward his clients, who are to be commended as good and worthy clients when they properly support their patron. Thus official art provides images like the Pompeian forces' coinage lauding their Spanish allies (figs. 55, 57); compare the parade of foreign clients for Aemillus Paullus' funeral procession, carrying his bier and hailing him as euergetes and soter (Plut. Aem. 39.4.5). Senatorial monuments in Rome, like those for Rufus and P. Aelius Lamia at the tail end of the Republic, could "freeze" such a


display of foreign clientela in stone in perpetuity; their typically bilingual inscriptions show that such monuments sought to address both the rulers and the ruled, on behalf of noble patron and loyal Greek city-state alike. The ways in which this ideal is stressed on the other side of the BR cup are discussed in chapter 4. In the allegory here it is not as strongly emphasized, but it is there: the way in which Augustan rule is formulated here is a far cry from the Primaporta Augustus (fig. 64) with its Gaul and Spain and from the depiction of Egypt/Africa on the gem that shows a heroized Octavian treading on her head—these are depictions whose sole message was domination.[139]

The BR province group gives us some hint of the lost Augustan monuments from which Hadrian must have derived inspiration for his province series (cf. chapter 2, p. 51f.), the numismatic sequence of individual personifications, and the great assemblage of personifications in monumental relief designed for his own temple (fig. 70; plan 125). In these works from the second century A.D., the intent to recognize the contribution of the constituent parts of empire is more obvious; we can now see that this intent has its roots in the propaganda of the first emperor, however we rate the strength of that connection. It was Augustus, because he was an individual triumphator on a new, worldwide scale, who was able to consummate the shift in Roman imperialistic thinking from provincia as a sphere of individual achievement to provincia as a well-administered province. The new conceptions of empire "required to be known and mentally represented";[140] Roman thinking demanded that these conceptions find a formulation in material culture as well. Under this impetus Augustus formulated from Republican visual discourse an enduring artistic rhetoric of imperialism, at once active and inclusive, aggressive and benevolent.


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