Diliana Angelova argues that from the time of Augustus via early Byzantium, a discourse of “sacred founders”—articulated in art, literature, imperial honors, and the equipped environment—helped legitimize the authority of the emperor and his kin. The discourse coalesced round the primary inspiration, absolute to a delusion of origins, that imperial women and men have been sacred founders of the land, replicate photographs of the empire’s divine founders. whilst Constantine and his ambitious mom Helena tested a brand new capital for the Roman Empire, they initiated the Christian transformation of this discourse by way of brilliantly reformulating the founding delusion. through the years, this variation empowered imperial ladies, reinforced the cult of the Virgin Mary, fueled contests among church and country, and provoked an arresting synthesis of imperial and Christian paintings. Sacred Founders presents a daring interpretive framework that reveals deep continuities among the traditional and medieval worlds, recovers a forgotten transformation in lady imperial strength, and provides a extraordinary reinterpretation of early Christian art.

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The pairing of Augustus as augur with Diana, alluding to either Livia and Luna, will be understood as an early, wary formula of the belief of a feminine founder and the concept of imperial immortality within the organization of Sol and Luna. this concept is totally discovered greater than twenty years afterward the Colonia Romula coin, which paired the deified Augustus, who wears a sun crown, and Livia/Luna, the genetrix orbis, proven with a moon crescent (fig. 35). The symbols of the sunlight and the Moon stood for eternity; while, Sol and Luna have been assimilated to Apollo and Diana. 205 within the Romula coin, the imperial pair, the god Augustus (assimilated to Sol) and the Luna-like Iulia Augusta represent eternity. however the iconography from thirteen B. C. E. is much less specific. The augural employees alludes to Romulus’s founding following the devoted augury. The reverses of a few cash express the princeps ploughing, and the obverse depicts Augustus with the implements of augury (see figs. 19–20). by means of pairing the Apollo-like augur Augustus with the Livia-like Diana, the picture subtly conveys the dawning of an perpetually lasting new period. determine sixty one Silver coin, Byzantium, 20–29(? ). Obv. : radiate head of Augustus. Rev. : Bust of Livia, draped. Obverse legend: SEBASTOS THEOS. opposite legend: SEBASTA THEA; BYZ in exergue. RPC 1779. BM, 1872,0709. 34. � The Trustees of the British Museum. All rights reserved. determine sixty two Sestertius of Antoninus Pius commemorating the recovery of the Temple of Augustus and Livia, 158–59. Obv. (not shown): Laureate head of Antoninus Pius. Rev. : Octastyle temple on podium of 4 steps, with statues in entrance; within the middle of the temple are seated figures. Obverse legend: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII. opposite legend: TEMPLVM DIVI AVG relaxation; SC; COS IIII in exergue. BMCRE four: no. 2063. BM, R. 13878. � The Trustees of the British Museum. All rights reserved. The gold aurei and silver denarii of the emperor Nero from the years 64–66 C. E. converse an identical message with the legend AVGVSTVS-AVGVSTA and during iconography (fig. 63). 206 The obverse depicts a head of Nero dealing with correct. The opposite represents a male togate determine with a radiate crown, with patera in his correct hand and an extended scepter in his left. different examples of Neronian coinage support determine this determine as Nero (fig. 64). The Augusta status facet by means of facet to him is both Poppaea or Messalina (fig. 63). 207 Like Nero’s crown of sunlight rays, she consists of attributes linked to deities: in her left arm, a double cornucopia, in her correct, a patera. Her iconography recollects that of Arsinoë II Philadelphos as a beneficent goddess. 208 The reverses of Arsinoë’s cash additionally uniformly featured a double cornucopia (see figs. five and 9). Nero and the Augusta—endowed with the features of gods—ensured the eternity of the world; he, just like the emerging sunlight, introduced renewal to the land; she ensured its fertility. That those principles weren't simply allegories aiming at providing the imperial couple within the absolute best method is attested by means of an inscription from Acraephia (Karditza) in Greece.

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