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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Roman Art : Marble funerary stele of the Flavian era
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Marble funerary stele of the Flavian era - CB.3183
Origin: Central Europe
Circa: 1 st Century AD
Dimensions: 12.5" (31.8cm) high x 11.5" (29.2cm) wide x 2.8" (7.1cm) depth
Collection: Classical Antiquities
Style: Flavian period (69-96 AD)
Medium: Marble


Location: Great Britain
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Description
The reigns of the emperors Vespasian (69–79 A.D.), Titus (79–81 A.D.), and Domitian (81–96 A.D.) comprised the Flavian dynasty. The Flavians, unlike the Julio-Claudians before them, were Italian gentry, not Roman aristocracy. They restored stability to Rome following the reign of Nero (54–68 A.D.) and the civil wars that had wreaked havoc on the empire, and particularly on the peninsula of Italy itself. Vespasian showed great moderation and common sense in his dealings as emperor, Vespasian recruited equestrian officers, who brought personal wealth, and Italian and provincial members, who brought local knowledge, to the imperial administration and civil service. Furthermore, he guaranteed a stable succession with his sons Titus and Domitian, both able administrators. Titus is remembered principally for his destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D., but during his reign as emperor, Rome also witnessed a great natural disaster—the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. He was responsible for completing the Amphitheatrum Flavium in 80 A.D., which became known as the Colosseum because it was situated near the site of a colossal statue of Nero. Domitian was responsible for signing a peace treaty with Decebalus, the Dacian king, in 89 A.D. Although popular with his troops, Domitian incurred the Senate’s displeasure with his absolutist tendencies and by elevating equestrian officers to positions of power formerly reserved for the Senate. He eventually succumbed to paranoia and engaged in a vicious round of executions that led to his own assassination in 96 A.D. The inscription in two lines immediately under the female figure within a frame, is of a date posterior to the monument and reads : Lord of Tyre, here is Tyre. Tyre is a district capital in the South Governorate of Lebanon. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Tyre was founded around 2750 BC. and was originally built as a walled city upon the mainland. Tyre's name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC.  Phoenicians from Tyre settled in houses around Memphis in Egypt, south of the temple of Hephaestus in a district called the Tyrian Camp. Tyre was often attacked by Egypt and was besieged by Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years. From 586 until 573 BC, the city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon until it agreed to pay a tribute. The Achaemenid Empire conquered the city in 539 BC and kept it under its rule until 332 BC. Alexander the Great laid siege to the city, conquered and razed it to the ground in 332 BC. In 315 BC, Alexander's former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre, taking the city a year later. In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence from the Seleucid Empire. Tyre was allowed to keep much of its independence, as a "civitas foederata",when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC. Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Common Era. The Tyrians, or "people of Tyre" during the Roman period, extended their areas of influence over the adjoining regions, such as in northern Palestine. In 395 Tyre became part of the Byzantine Empire. The city remained under Byzantine control until 638 AD, when it was occupied by the Arabs. In the Revolt of Tyre (996–998), the populace of the city rose against Fatimid rule, led by an ordinary sailor named 'Allaqa - but were brutally suppressed in May 998. In 1086 it fell into the hands of the Seljuks who lost it in 1089 to the Fatimids. After the first failed siege in 1111, Tyre was captured during the aftermath of the First Crusade on July 7, 1124 and became one of the most important cities of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It was part of the royal domain, but there were also autonomous trading colonies there for the Italian merchant cities. The city was the site of the See of Tyre, whose archbishop was a suffragan of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; its archbishops often acceded to the Patriarchate. In the 13th century, Tyre was separated from the royal domain as the Lordship of Tyre. The Ottoman Empire conquered the region in 1516-17 and held it until World War I. The modern state of Lebanon was declared in 1920. The city of Tyre was particularly known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive sort of purple dye, produced from the murex shellfish, known as Tyrian purple. The colour was, in ancient cultures, reserved for the use of royalty. The inscription in Latin may refer to Jean de Montfort, lord of Tyre from 1270 until his death in 1283, possibly as part of his crest. - (CB.3183)

 

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