Thursday, March 15, 2012


Rome in Egypt and Britian

"...their son, Caesarion, created the possibility for a combined monarchy. Ceasar's assasination abruptly ended this. Cleopatra needed a new ally and Mark Anthony as Ceasar's most important general seemed his heir apparent. Ceasar`s legal heir was his grand-nephew Octavian. A new civil war emerged. Octavian was not a military man, but managed to outwit Anthony. We know little about Cleopatra's relationship with Anthony before Ceasar's asasination. She fled Rome immediately because as a foreigner she was so unpopular, taking Ceasar's son Caesarion with her. Her alliance with Anthony came later when they met at Tarsus (41 BC). She needed him and could offer support in the civil war. She again attempted to establish independence by supporting Anthony in the Roman civil war with Octavian (Augustus). Octavian defeated Cleopatra and Anthony at Actium, one of the great sea battles of history (31 BC). Cleopatra and Anthony fled to Egypt where both committed suicide (30 BC). Octavian had Caesarion, still a boy, put to death. A live Caesarion as a son of Caesar would have been a threat to Octavian and Rome. Cleopatra died the last Ptolemies.

Egypt as a Roman Province

With the death of Cleopatra abd Caesarion, Egypt became a proivince in the Roman Empire. Egypt continued to be importasnt because of its agricultural bounty. Octavian, a consumate politican, depicted his rule as to the Egyptians as the successor to the pharaohs. He proceeded to dismantle the Ptolemaic monarchy and established his control. Egypt became his personal estate, an emense source of wealth. He appointed a prefect to rule Egypt, but limited the terms. This essentially depoliticized the country. Egypt was ruled by Roman officials backed by a Roman garrisons strengthened by local auxilaries. This continued for a decade until Roman rule was firmly established. Business was conducted along the principles and procedures of Roman law. The local administration was changed to the Roman liturgic system under which the ownership of property brought an obligation for public service. The political system formalized the privileges associated with Hellenistic culture and social background. Egypt played an important role in the Roman Empire. It was an province that rivaled Gaul in value. Egypt's primary value was its agricultural richness and was a major supplier grain. Roman Egypt benefit from the stability of Roman rule and enjoyed an era of prosperity. Some trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews, Rome's incorporation of Egypt inspired a fascination for Egyptian art and culture. Obelisks appeared in the forums. A small pyramid was built in Rome. The cult of Isis, the Egyptian mother goddess, became a major force throughout the Empire. Marcus Aurelius brought oppressive taxation resulting in a revolt (139 AD). The Romans supressed the revolt, but it took several years. This Bucolic War damaged the Egyptian economy and marked the beginning of economic decline of Roman Egypt. Even so, a series of Roman generals in Egypt declared themselves emperor and attempted to use Egypt as a base to seize control of the Empire."

Hadrian`s Wall was built in 122 A.D. Julius Caesar was in both Britian and in Egypt.

Ancient Horse Ornaments

Ornamented horses from a festival in Sicily.

China - concave and convex horse harness ornaments.

"Found in 1931 a tomb of a Dacian prince not far form Histria (Dobruja). In the outher chamber were found the skeletons of horses, with the hammered silver plaques of their rich harness. The inner chamber contained the entire silver treasure of the prince himself. One of the vases is inscribed "Cotys", prince's name. The tomb and treasure are from 4th century BCE."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ancient Artifacts - Phoenicia

Ancient Phoenician coin with chariot and drivers with headdresses.

Phoenician horse blinker in their Phoenician-Egyptian style.

British chariot coin.

Ramses II of Egypt, is he depicted on the mystery coin below?

Egyptian sarcophagus used by the King of Sidon.

The Egyptians did not use coins, this gold ring was a form of their money.

Phoenician - Sidon silver double-shekel, the king of Sidon wears Egyptian-style clothing.

Ancient Coin Mystery

"We found this coin like thing in the garden and would love to know what it is, its not a coin because it has a stud on the back side where it has been attached to something, perhaps a harness or something like that. It is made of some kind of metal and looks as though it has been mangled by a plough or something on one side. We live very close to Hadrians wall and obviously finds turn up all the time but I don’t think this is roman, it has an archer on it that looks more Egyptian to me but its hard to say. I have tried to find something like it on the internet and in the library but have had no luck and our local museum hasn’t been able to come up with anything either except to say it might be celtic …..any ideas anyone?"