Gibbon famously described the period of the so-called adoptive emperors as the happiest for the human race. He ascribed this bliss to a number of just rulers, whom he assumed had cometo power through a conscious system of adoption, with childless emperors being free tochoose anyone they deemed worthy as their successors.
When Emperor Marcus Aurelius died on the banks of the Danube in 180 CE at Vindobona, or Vienna, the Roman Empire he left behind was the largest transcontinental, transcultural, singular political entity in history before the rise of the European nation state some fifteen centuries later.
After a brief episode under Augustus , mass export of coins from the Empire to the North resumed during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and continued — with varying intensity and many interruptions — until the late 5th, in some regions, even into A.D. 6th century
The explicit purpose of Galen’s anatomical dissections was to map the world of knowledge normally hidden within the body and then, by showing how form followed function, to reveal the perfection of Nature’s design. This essay, however, does not focus on the scientific and teleological dimensions of his anatomical enterprise, but aims instead to explore its performance dimension.
Herodes and Regilla built a number of installations during their marriage, some of which represented their union in spatial terms. After Regilla died, Herodes reconfigured two of these structures, altering their meanings with inscriptions to represent the marriage retrospectively. This paper considers the implications of these commemorative installations for Herodes’ sense of cultural identity.