What was the Edict of Milan? In his panegyrical Life of Constantine I.28, Eusebius describes how prior to the battle at the Milvian Bridge, Constantine received a vision from God: “He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, bearing the inscription, conquer/prevail (νικάω, nikaō) by this. Arch of Constantine. A Christian soldier is imprisoned because he refuses to wear the laurel crown, The contradiction between Roman military service and God’s laws, The hidden symbolism in Rome’s displays of power, The Colossus of ConstantineAuthor(s) of this publication: Kimberley FowlerPublishing date: Wed, 04/11/2018 - 22:59URL: https://www.judaism-and-rome.org/colossus-constantineVisited: Thu, 01/21/2021 - 00:24, Copyright ©2014-2019, All rights reserved About the project - ERC Team - Conditions of Use, Re-thinking Judaism’s Encounter with the Roman Empire. Palatine Hill; Domus Flavia; Lupercal; DOMUS AUGUSTANA; Palace of Septimus Severus; Interesting Facts; Discover Rome . Indeed, as Bardill observes, the fact that the statue seems to have once held something supports this theory. Arch of Constantine. The head in 2.97 metres high in total, and 1.74 metres from chin to crown. 35 meters) versus the 70 cubits of the Colossus of Rhodes (32 meters). Marble was used to portray the exposed flesh, while the mantle might have been bronze. The large, otherworldly eyes of the colossus have been the subject of much discussion, with many seeing them as intended to represent the emperor’s spirituality and connection to God. Colossus of Constantine Head Bust Sculpture Roman Emperor, Replica of early 4th century AD made of cast stone and hand-finished in antique finish. The head bust of the Colossus of Constantine, a huge acrolithic statue that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius near the Forum Romanum in Rome. [37] If the bronze was a part of Maxentius’ plan, it would have been easy to remove the beard, and leave the hairstyle as it had been at the time of Nero and Commodus. 3). What is relevant for our discussion, is the debate as to what the remains of the statue might tell us about the relationship between Constantine’s apparent Christianity and his role as Roman emperor. Moreover, in words attributed to Constantine himself (although some have questioned their authenticity over the years), “the only power in man which can be elevated to a comparison with that of God, is sincere and guileless service and devotion of heart to himself, with the contemplation and study of whatever pleases him, the raising our affections above the things of earth, and directing our thoughts, as far as we may, to high and heavenly objects: for from such endeavours, it is said, a victory accrues to us more valuable than many blessings” (Oration to the Assembly of the Saints XIV) (see Bardill, Constantine, p. 22-23). The emerging abstraction that is present in the Colossus of Constantine came to be associated with _____. In the Life of Constantine I.30-31 Eusebius describes how after his vision of Christ prior to the battle with Maxentius, he instructed a standard to be made which was gilded with gold and jewels, and bore Christ’s initials, the Greek letters Chi and Rho. As Jaś Elsner explains, the colossus differs from earlier representations of emperors in that Constantine is not depicted with a beard, despite earlier portraits of the emperor where he does indeed have one (e.g. The Colossus of Constantine. Arch of Constantine, Roman Empire, Rome, Italy, 312-315 CE Answer these questions:-What is the story of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity?Why was this so significant? Rather than being something present in the background, using the Roman military to work towards a greater purpose, yet not properly acknowledged, the support of the Christian God was now visible, accepted, and promoted. In addition to the head, there was also a closed right hand found at the basilica, which has a break at the thumb. Art Appreciation: Colossus of Constantine After a few weeks of traveling, it’s so good to be back! The Colossus of Constantine, c. 312-15, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Musei Capitolini, Rome A conversation between Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker in front of the Colossus of Constantine. Portions of the Colossus now reside in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini, on the Capitoline Hill, above the west end of the Forum. Moreover, Eusebius argues that when Constantine entered Rome after his victory, the people and senate of Rome hailed him as a saviour (σωτήρ, sōtēr) and benefactor (εὐεργέτης, euergetēs) (I.39). Constantine the Great was the first Christian emperor of Rome, and his reign had a profound effect on the subsequent development of the Roman, later Byzantine, world. Constantinople. has, however, demonstrated that the marble colossus originally showed Hadrian, and was recut into Constantine in Late Antiquity, when almost all marble sculptures were reused or It cannot be argued with any certainty, then, that Constantine intended his expression on the colossus to show his reverence for, or affiliation with, the Christian God specifically. The striking head bears very distinctive features—a square jaw, with a dimpled chin, and a distinctive aquiline nose that is pointed at the tip, which was characteristic of the style introduced by Constantine’s father. False. TRUE or FALSE: Portraits of Roman emperors were entirely realistic. For Justin, the fact that the symbolism of the cross permeates Roman displays of power and dominion without them even realising it shows that through Roman power, God’s greater plan is at work, regardless of whether the Romans acknowledge Him or not. How to increase brand awareness through consistency; Dec. 11, 2020 The marble indicates that it was reworked, as Parian marble was not imported to Rome beyond the Hadrianic era (see Linda Safran, “What Constantine Saw,” p. 43 n. 2). The head, arms and legs of the Colossus were carved from white marble, with the rest of the body constructed from a brick core and wooden framework, possibly covered with gilded bronze. Saved by Sarah Bogue. It is also interesting to note in connection with Eusebius’s claims that Constantine’s statue was furnished with a “trophy” of the cross, that Justin Martyr in his First Apology LV.4-8 viewed Roman vexilla and trophies as unwittingly representing Christ’s cross due to their T-Bar shape. It is an elliptical structure made of stone, concrete, and tuff, and it stands four stories tall at its highest point. Colossus of Constantine Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker provide a description, historical perspective, and analysis of The Colossus of Constantine . The west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius, near to the Forum Romanum in Rome. Millennium: Jahrbuch zu Kultur und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends n. Chr. But the dimensions of the colossus of Nero were larger: it was 119-foot-high (ca. “Under this singular sign (singularius signum), which is the mark (insigne) of true excellence, I restored (restituo) the city of Rome, the senate, and the Roman people, torn away by the yoke (iugo) of tyrannical rule (tyrannicus dominatio), to their former freedom (libertas) and nobility (nobilitas).”, (The translation from the Latin is my own). Only small parts of it are left intact, including the head and a hand (fig. Portions of the Colossus, from the New Basilica on the Velia, now reside in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini, on the Capitoline Hill. According to Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History IX.9.11 (see also Life of Constantine I.40): Taken from Kirsopp Lake, Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History, volume II (Loeb Classical Library 265; London: Heinemann, 1932), p. 363-364. τῷ σωτηριώδει σημείῳ, τῷ ἀληθεῖ ἐλέγχῳ τῆς ἀνδρείας τὴν πόλιν ὑμῶν ἀπὸ ζυγοῦ τοῦ τυράννου διασωθεῖσαν ἠλευθέρωσα, ἔτι μὴν καὶ τὴν σύγκλητον καὶ τὸν δῆμον Ῥωμαίων τῇ ἀρχαίᾳ ἐπιφανείᾳ καὶ λαμπρότητι ἐλευθερώσας ἀποκατέστησα. The great head, arms and legs of the Colossus were carved from white marble, while the rest of the body consisted of a brick core and wooden framework, possibly covered with gilded bronze. It is likely that Constantine’s expression on the colossus was understood within this framework, in which the emperor was filled with divine power. Moreover, as Bardill argues, the upward gaze was also adopted in late antiquity for philosophers, who were understood to be possessing of divine qualities. Another large right hand of 1.66 metres high was found in 1744 during building work near the Capitol, and so it is possible that this was the original hand of the Colossus, discarded when the statue was reworked to include a trophy of the cross in the form of a military standard (see commentary for further details, and Bardill, Constantine, p. 209). Remove Ads Once located in the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius, fragments of the Colossus of Constantine are now located in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini on the Capitoline Hill, Rome. The iconography of the portrait, with this upward gaze, possibly in the pose of Jupiter, suggests that Constantine as a rule appointed by God, Constantine as victor or even Constantine … It measures 620 by 513 feet (189 by 156 metres) and could hold as many as 50,000 spectators. He returned to the tradition of the eternally young emperor. Dating from 312-330 CE, after Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge near Rome, which saw him go on to become sole ruler of the empire, the Colossus has attracted a lot of attention over the years and been the source of much discussion. The Colossus is no longer intact, but portions of it are now kept in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, above the west end of the Forum. The head is 2.97 metres high, the feet are 2 metres long, and the right hand 1.61 metres high (another right hand, discovered in 1744, which was possibly discarded when the statue was reworked, measures 1.66 metres high). https://www.khanacademy.org/.../roman/late-empire/v/colossus-of-constantine However, the emperor, knowing that his help had come from God, did not indulge in these acclamations, but rather at once ordered a trophy of Christ’s passion to be set up in the hand of a statue of himself. Dec. 30, 2020. Another candidate of the statue mentioned by Eusebius is the Statue of Constantine at the Lateran, Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age by Jonathan Bardill, Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor by Paul Stephenson, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine edited by Noel Emmanuel Lenski, Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century edited by Kurt Weitzmann, The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea, Capitoline Museums Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr), Colossal statue of Constantine (Musei Capitolini), The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age, Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. Further arguments for the colossus’s potential connection to the relationship between Constantine and the Christian deity have been inspired by what are commonly believed to be references to the statue in the writings of Eusebius. 1622. For instance, the second century author Tertullian in his On Idolatry XIX objects to Christians in the Roman army on the grounds that military service necessarily involved idolatry, such as the swearing of an oath of allegiance to the emperor, and in some roles the performing of sacrifices (see also Tertullian, On the Military Garland I.1-4; On the Military Garland XI.1-4; Tertullian is not opposed to the Roman army and its role in the empire’s expansion per se, as is made clear elsewhere in his writings where he asserts Christianity’s support for and prayers for the emperor and his army). For some scholars, as we shall see, the colossus is particularly revealing in this regard, especially when considered in conjunction with the words of Constantine’s contemporary, the church historian Eusebius. Constantine's features merge realism with the abstracted style of the tetrarchs. Linda Safran has argued that the colossus declared Constantine’s divinity by mimicking the temple images of Jupiter and Zeus. The Colossus of Constantine. However, others are more cautious about drawing such conclusions, and prefer to understand the statue’s features as more in line with earlier Roman and Hellenistic tradition. Two small holes in the centre of the head, just above the fringe, and an incision along the right side of the head, indicate that there was at one point something adorning Constantine’s head. I have also set at liberty the Roman senate and people, and restored them to their ancient distinction and splendor”. These marble fragments are all that remain from a colossal statue (around 40 feet tall). The body was made out of wood and mud brick and then the exterior was covered in gilded bronze to represent golden robes. There is also a small dowel hole at the top of the fist, suggesting that it once gripped something. It has been argued that the statue, like the Basilica Nova, was originally made by Maxentius. However, the colossus was ultimately a visual piece of propaganda, and so Eusebius’s account, while illuminating to us now, must be taken with caution. The hair itself is very Constantinian on the forehead, yet that on the top of the head is more in the style of earlier statues, more voluminous in its curls. The statue was discovered in pieces in 1486, in the ruins of the great basilica northeast of the Roman Forum. After his victory over Maxentius, Constantine’s official portraits adopted a new style. no. The face is cleanly shaven, with a contemplative expression and extremely prominent, large eyes, deeply carved, which look upwards. The placing of the trophy in the hand of Constantine’s statue is also described in the Ecclesiastical History IX.9.10, and Eusebius in both instances seems to make clear that it is an existing statue which the trophy is added to. Holding on to pagan traditions in the early Christian era: The Symmachi Panel. Originally the Colossus of Constantine was probably 40 feet high and stood . The statue is no longer intact, but various parts remain of the acrolith (i.e. Practice: Arch of Constantine . The dowel holes on the temples suggest that a diadem was attached to the brow, while the right hand originally grasped an imperial standard or staff. The back of the forearm, as well as the head, are flat, which suggests the statue was in direct contact with a wall. Constantine moved the administrative center of the empire from Rome to _____, which contributed to the decline of Rome as a city. The striking head bears very distinctive features—a square jaw, with a dimpled chin, and a distinctive aquiline nose that is pointed at the tip, which was characteristic of the style introduced by Constantine’s father. The Colossus of Constantine Arch of Constantine, Rome The Symmachi Panel Palmyra Browse this content Palmyra: the modern destruction of an ancient city Temple of Bel Palmyrene Funerary Portraiture Temple of Baalshamin. The model for this sculpture was the Colossus of Rhodes, simulacrum of the sun-god Helios executed by Chares of Lindos around 280 BC. It is possible that it was an imperial standard with Christian insignia that was used at the Milvian Bridge. It shows a portrait of an individual with clearly defined features: a hooked nose, prominent jaw, and large eyes that look upwards. It is possible that Eusebius referred to the statue in his works, the Life of Constantine and the Ecclesiastical History, which also records its inscription. ... but also in the style of carving, which recalls through its naturalism Ancient Greece and Rome. In the second and early-third centuries, flowing beards came to represent the notion of the ‘philosopher emperor,’ for instance in portraits of Marcus Aurelius and Caracalla, then changing to show shorter, more military style facial hair on ‘soldier emperors.’ Elsner argues, therefore, that the presentation of Constantine here intends to portray him as “the archetypal Roman general of the distant imperial past, a new Augustus, a new Trajan”; indeed, the famous arch of Constantine also presents him as a new Trajan (Imperial Rome, p. 61). ROMAN FORUM; Arch Of Titus; Temple of Venus and Rome; Cloaca Maxima; Temple of Vesta; INTERESTING FACTS; Palatine Hill. Colossus of Constantine Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker provide a description, historical perspective, and analysis of The Colossus of Constantine . Practice: Colossus of Constantine. Eusebius claims that the emperor “ordered a lofty spear in the figure of a cross to be placed beneath the hand of a statue representing himself, in the most frequented part of Rome, and the following inscription to be engraved on it in the Latin language: “Through this sign (σημεῖον, sēmeion) of salvation, which is the true symbol of goodness, I rescued your city and freed it from the tyrant’s yoke, and through my act of liberation I restored the senate and people of Rome to their ancient renown and splendor.”. The fragments, which are made of Parian and Carrara marble, include the head and neck, the right leg from the knee to the foot, the left leg below the knee and the left foot, part of the right arm and the right hand. in a niche in the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. The discussion above shows that the artistic portrayal of Constantine still retained features linking the emperor to Rome’s past and established pagan imagery, such as his image as a new Augustus, and his Hellenistic style heavenward gaze. about Solidus depicting the head of Constantine celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of his rule (335 CE), about Tertullian, On the Military Garland I.1-4, about Tertullian, On the Military Garland XI.1-4, about Justin Martyr, First Apology LV.4-8, about Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine I.26, 28-29, head_right_knee_cap_right_hand_left_lower_leg_right_foot_left_knee_cap.jpg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Venice_%E2%80%93_The_Tetrarchs_03.jpg, Solidus depicting the head of Constantine celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of his rule, 335 CE, Solidus depicting the head of Constantine celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of his rule (335 CE). I just spent two weeks in Italy and another in Morocco and though the backup of work and jetlag has been much harder to get over than I expected, it was completely worth it to get away from the daily grind and explore. For instance, Lysippus’s statue of Alexander the Great was reportedly designed like this, and there are many other examples (Bardill, Constantine, p. 19). At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also, which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle.” His victory over Maxentius therefore proved that God supported him, and Eusebius tells us that this partnership between the Christian God and the Roman emperor was subsequently proclaimed far and wide by Constantine both through inscriptions, and through the setting up of this “trophy of victory” prominently in Rome, so that all would know the true source of protection of the Roman government and the wider empire (I.40). This was a huge statue of the late Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. [JWO: the image here actually shows fragments of the colossal bronze statue of Constantius II (ruled 337-61 AD)] The great head is carved in a typical, abstract, Constantinian style (“hieratic emperor style”) of late Roman portrait statues, whereas … The Arch of Constantine borrowed elements from other monuments to show that Constantine was a good emperor just like ____ _____ ____ who represented a golden age. Marble, 312 CE. For Bardill, the statue was likely recut from a previous colossus after 312 CE, when Constantine defeated Maxentius, and then restyled again after the defeat of Licinius to feature the deep, ethereal eyes that it now has (Constantine, p. 204). Possibly, this was added after he adopted the diadem after 324 CE, following his defeat of Licinius. Reconstruction of the Colossus in the Basilica Nova by the University of Virginia, From The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea. Portions of the Colossus now reside in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini, on the Capitoline Hill, above the west end of the Forum. The right hand of the Constantine Colossus, mistakenly restored to the pointing formation (it should have been positioned to hold a scepter or spear). Other sources connected with this document: Constantine’s vision of Christ prior to the battle at the Milvian Bridge, Historisk-filosofiske meddelelser/Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab 58, “I colossi di bronzo a Roma in età tardoantica: dal Colosso di Nerone al Colosso di Costantino. Additional fragments of the statue (the left breast and the right arm) were discovered in 1951. Prezi’s Big Ideas 2021: Expert advice for the new year; Dec. 15, 2020. 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