« ForrigeFortsæt »
before Adrian in the same posture. She has a bundle of corn in her hand, and a garland of it on her head, as she abounds in wheat, and was consecrated to Ceres.
Utraque frugiferis est insula nobilis arvis:
DE SICILIA ET SARDINIA. Luc. lib. ü.
Trinacris, a positu nomen adepta loci,
In quibus est culto fertilis Henna solo. Ov. DE FAST. lib. iv.
The fairest champion of the fairest isle. We find Judea on several coins of Vespasian and Titus, in a posture that denotes sorrow and captivity.The first figure of her is drawn to the life in a picture that Seneca has given us of the Trojan matrons bewailing their captivity.
-cadat ex humeris
HECUBA AD TROJANARUM CHORUM. Sen. Troas, act. i.
SIR EDW. SHERBOURN.
Ov. Met. lib. xiii. * Fig. 12.
Who bared their breasts, and gave their hair to flow:
The signs of grief, and mark of public woe. The head is veiled in both figures, as another expression of grief.
-ipsa tristi vestis obtentu caput
Luc. lib. ix. DE CORNELIA.
And fondly loves it in her husband's stead. Mr. Rowe. I need not mention her sitting on the ground, because we have already spoken of the aptness of such a posture to represent an extreme affliction. I fancy, says Eugenius, the Romans might have an eye on the customs of the Jewish nation, as well as of those of their country, in the several marks of sorrow they have set on this figure. The Psalmist describes the Jews lamenting their captivity in the same pensive posture. “By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered thee, O Sion!” But what is more remarkable, we find Judea represented as a woman in sorrow sitting on the ground, in a passage of the prophet that foretells the very captivity recorded on this medal. The covering of the head, and the rending of garments, we find very often in Holy Scripture, as the expressions of raging grief. But what is the tree we see on both these medals ? We find, says Philander, not only on these, but on several other coins that relate to Judea, the figure of a palm tree, to show us that palms are the growth of the country. Thus Silius Italicus, speaking of Vespasian's conquest, that is the subject of this medal,
Palmiferamque senex bello domitabit Idumen. Sil. Ir. lib. iii. Martial seems to have hinted at the many pieces of painting and sculpture that were occasioned by this conquest of Judea, and had generally something of palm tree in them. It begins an epigram on the death of Scorpus, a chariot driver, which in those degenerate times of the empire was looked upon as a public calamity.
Tristis Idumæas frangat Victoria palmas;
Mart. lib. x. Epig. 50. The man by the palm tree in the first of these medals is supposed to be a Jew with his hands bound behind him.
I need not tell you that the winged figure on the other medal is a Victory. She is represented here, as on many other coins, writing something on a shield. We find this way of registering a Victory touched upon in Virgil, and Silius Italicus.
Ære cavo clypeum, magni gestamen Abantis,
Pyrenes tumulo clypeum cum carmine figunt;
The fate of Asdrubal, and Scipio's fame." Parthia has on one side of her the bow and quiver which are so much talked of by the poets. Lucan's account of the Parthians is very pretty and poetical.
CATUL. The crown she holds in her hand refers to the crown of gold that Parthia, as well as other provinces, presented to the Em* Fig. 14.
? Fig. 15.
peror Antonine. The presenting a crown, was the giving up the sovereignty into his hands.
Ipse oratores ad me, regnique coronam,
VIRG. Æn. lib. viii.
Their crown, and every regal ornament. MR. DRYDEN. Antioch has an anchor by her, in memory of her founder, Seleucus, whose race was all born with this mark
them, if you'll believe historians. Ausonius has taken notice of it in his verses on this city.
Aus. ORDO. NOBIL. URBIUM.
From thigh to thigh transmissive through the race. Smyrna is always represented by an Amazon, that is said to have been her first foundress. You see her here entering into a league with Thyatira. Each of them holds her tutelar deity in her hand.
Jus ille, et icti fæderis testes Deos
Sen. PHENISSÆ, act. i. On the left arm of Smyrna, is the Pelta or buckler of the Amazons, as the long weapon by her is the bipennis or securis.
Non tibi Amazonia est pro me sumenda securis,
Ov. lib. iii. Epist. 1, Ex Pont.
Tempus Amazonia securi
Such Drusus did in arms appear,