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The Arch of Constantine (by Harrison)

Who built it and Why

  • Erected by Senate in 312
  • Dedicated to Emperor Constantine after his victory against Emperor Maxentius at the Battle of
  • Milvian Bridge in 312
  • Repaired in 18th C.
  • Restored for final time in 1990

Purpose and How it was made

  • The Arch spans the Via Triumphalis – the road from Palestine Hill to the Coliseum
  • Emperors would travel this route after a military victory
  • The arch is 21 m high, 25.9 m wide and 7.4 m deep.
  • three archways:
  • central one being 11.5 m high and 6.5 m wide
  • smaller lateral archways 7.4 m by 3.4 m each
  • Made with brick, and riveted in marble
  • Senate built it to commemorate Emperor Constantine
  • Original brickwork and marble was constructed, then other architectural, and sculptural features
  • were taken from existing monuments and placed on the Arch

Imporant features:

  • Features depictions of war and Roman legends – including Hadrian hunting Lions
  • Features Hellenistic aspects
  • Corinthian Columns
  • Intricate & complex designs
  • Great detail
  • Primarily focuses on glorifying Roman military victories

Main Section

  • The spandrels of the main archway are decorated with reliefs depicting victory figures with
  • trophies
  • Separated by Corinthian style columns, with statues of Emperor Corinthius on top of them
  • Smaller archways depicts scenes of gods
  • Circular-framed scenes depicting hunting and sacrifice
  • Main piece is under the circular freezes, and depicts Emperor Constantine’s campaign against
  • Maxentius

Inscription:

IMP · CAES · FL · CONSTANTINO · MAXIMO · P · F · AVGUSTO · S · P · Q · R · QVOD · INSTINCTV ·
DIVINITATIS · MENTIS · MAGNITVDINE · CVM · EXERCITV · SVO · TAM · DE · TYRANNO · QVAM · DE ·
OMNI · EIVS · FACTIONE · VNO · TEMPORE · IVSTIS · REM-PVBLICAM · VLTVS · EST · ARMIS · ARCVM ·
TRIVMPHIS · INSIGNEM · DICAVIT

To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the greatest, pious, and blessed Augustus: because he,
inspired by the divine, and by the greatness of his mind, has delivered the state from the tyrant and all of
his followers at the same time, with his army and just force of arms, the Senate and People of Rome have
dedicated this arch, decorated with triumphs.

Significance:

  • Considered to be one of Rome’s great architectural pieces
  • Gives knowledge of time period
  • Wide array of images, scenes depicted
  • Shows Empire propaganda in the glorification of Costantinus in his military victory
  • Uses various styles
  • Design has been the inspiration for many similar arch’s
  • Used in 1960 Olympics as the marathon finish line
  • Considered one of Rome’s most illustrious buildings

 

Works Cited

“Arch of Constantine.” – Smarthistory. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. <http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/arch-of-constantine.html&gt;.

“Triumphal Arches of Titus, Septimius Severus, and Constantine.” Arch of Constantine. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. <http://web.mit.edu/course/21/21h.405/www/ArchesOfTitus/constantine-art.html&gt;.

“Arch of Constantine.” Arch of Constantine. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. <http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/romanurbs/archconstantine.html&gt;.

Brommer, Gerald F. Discovering Art History 3rd Ed. Worcester Davis Publicant Inc. 1997

Thompson, Nanny L. “Roman Art“ New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007

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The Stoic Philosophy: Treat others the way you want to be treated (By Harrison)

Stoic philosophy, also known as Stoicism, was founded in early 3rd C. BC by Zeno of Citium. It is the Hellenic philosophy, by which negative emotions come from an error of judgment. They additionally believed people who were morally and/or intellectually superior would not succumb to such emotion. Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between fate and human freedom. According to them, an individual’s philosophy was presented through the way that they acted. From its beginning, Stoicism was popular throughout Greece and the Roman Empire.

Stoics believed that knowledge is attained through the use of reason, and that truth can be distinguished from fallacy.  Additionally, their theory concluded that the mind can approve or reject an impression, in turn enabling the mind to distinguish truth from fallacy.

Some prominent Stoics include Seneca and Epictetus, who emphasized that a sage was immune to misfortune. Moreover, an Emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, was a follower of Stoicism.

Today, to call someone ‘Stoic’ means that the individual represses their feelings.

 

Tips on how to be Stoic:

  1. Treat every individual with love and compassion.
  2. Embrace all, regardless of social status.
  3. Show kindness to slaves.
  4. Gain knowledge and understanding through reasoning.
  5. Emphasize ethics

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Hercules is Home… Again! (By Harrison)

The famed hero Hercules has once again returned home after completing his twelfth task of capturing the malevolent hellhound Cerberus from Hades, the kingdom of the dead itself.

The seemingly impossible task was made possible simply through Hercules’ unrivalled strength and bravery. The modest hero pointed out in an interview with Pierce Morgan “without the impenetrable skin that I cut from the Nemean lion”, which he acquired during his first labor, “I would not have been able to capture Cerberus”. Whether true or not, it speaks to the character of Hercules. After twelve of the most epic of tasks King Eurystheus orchestrated, the man somehow remains modest.

 

As the son of the supreme deity Zeus, Hercules seemed destined for greatness. Hera, who many people speculate as being simply jealous of him (and let`s face it who isn’t), has endlessly tried to foil his destiny. These attempts include sending snakes to kill him as a baby, starting rumors suggesting the Greeks had captured the Amazonian queen, and entrusting a multi-headed dragon and a group of nymphs called Hesperides with guarding apples. These apples were later retrieved by Hercules in his eleventh labor.

 

Because of the troubles Hera caused, many people were not surprised when Hercules seemed to go mad and murdered his own children. When Peirce Morgan asked him about his trouble past, Hercules responded by saying, “what happened in the past is the past. I cannot change it. But I regret my decisions, and have since learned from it, and am now better equipped to handle Hera`s tyranny“. The murder of his children is what forced him to complete the twelve impossible quests for Eurystheus.

 

When asked what he plans to do now that his labors are completed, the hero simply replied, “I plan to continue embarking on adventures, travel, and spend time with my wife Deianara“. I`m sure he`ll be spending a lot of time healing his battle wounds (or lack thereof!), in his new home on Mount Olympus.

 

Hercules is set to be accepted as a god by virtue of his spectacular adventures, unmanageable for any mortal man

 

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