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YouTube Video, Roman Emperors


Al Kowsky
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I spotted this video yesterday & found it entertaining, informative & superbly crafted ☺️. With the help of A.I. (artificial intelligence), emperors Constantine the Great, Maxentius, Maximinus Daza, & Licinius come alive 😲.

 

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2 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

emperors Constantine the Great, Maxentius, Maximinus Daza, & Licinius come alive

So Constantine was basically (FaceBook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg? That's a bit disturbing! 😃

image.png.a75d7746d20600b6902a9cf3da0f2c51.png

Is anyone familiar with the bust (shown in the video) they are basing the Maxinumus Daza face on?  Is it generally accepted as him? From @Al Kowsky video screenshot I immediately recognized Constantine, Maxentius and Licinius, but the "Daza" one doesn't immediately jump out as being him based on his coin portraits.

 

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5 hours ago, Heliodromus said:

So Constantine was basically (FaceBook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg? That's a bit disturbing! 😃

image.png.a75d7746d20600b6902a9cf3da0f2c51.png

Is anyone familiar with the bust (shown in the video) they are basing the Maxinumus Daza face on?  Is it generally accepted as him? From @Al Kowsky video screenshot I immediately recognized Constantine, Maxentius and Licinius, but the "Daza" one doesn't immediately jump out as being him based on his coin portraits.

 

Helio., You're right, he doesn't look like his coin images because the engravers wanted to soften his ugly appearance. Their is a famous bust of Maximinus Daza in an Egyptian museum carved from red porphyry that reveals his true appearance. He had bulging eyes from a thyroid disorder.

1183845550_Max.Dazabustcoin.jpg.34a60f1215e36a2ef40d83d4d2f4cf78.jpg

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Hmm... so I wasn't paying attention to the video... I thought the recreated face based on that porphyry bust was Licinius, not Daza, and the one I meant didn't look like Daza is the bust they are identifying as Licinius, which looks like neither of them to me!

The porphyry bust (from Cairo museum) looks like an eastern style bug-eyed Licinius to me. Compare also to the Rome (who did decent portraiture) busts of Licinius.

image.png.c079e73d302662d2c7c115851605c9b0.png

The veiled head at bottom left is from the arch of Constantine, recut from a Hadrianic scene, and is normally identified as being intended as either Licinius or Constantine's father Constantius I. It also looks like Licinius to me, in the Rome style.

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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18 minutes ago, Heliodromus said:

Hmm... so I wasn't paying attention to the video... I thought the recreated face based on that porphyry bust was Licinius, not Daza, and the one I meant didn't look like Daza is the bust they are identifying as Licinius, which looks like neither of them to me!

The porphyry bust (from Cairo museum) looks like an eastern style bug-eyed Licinius to me. Compare also to the Rome (who did decent portraiture) busts of Licinius.

image.png.c079e73d302662d2c7c115851605c9b0.png

The veiled head at bottom right is from the arch of Constantine, recut from a Hadrianic scene, and is normally identified as being intended as either Licinius or Constantine's father Constantius I. It also looks like Licinius to me, in the Rome style.

 

@Al Kowsky & @HeliodromusWow, haha, I'm glad you shared that. I've never seen that life size porphyry Licinius(?) before, but it's wonderful! (It's also on Oxford's "Last Statues of Antiquity" database, LSA-836.)

I just shared my Googly-Eyed Baby Licinius Jr. earlier today, and I'm amazed by how much the porphyry Licinius reminds me of it (especially because the coloration is similar). Like father, like son... like Baby Yoda?

image.jpeg.215e570f19fe0eca0fb7e3328877c002.jpeg

Image_6_Large-1208._fmi_xml_cnt_grimmpl59.jpg.11b781e837ae239cf15a132e8b3bc216.jpg

 

See also Baby Yoda! Any relation??
images.jpg.d6a032d8a75de5493523f40863847995.jpg

http://laststatues.classics.ox.ac.uk/database/detail.php?image=Image_4_Large&recid=1208

Edited by Curtis JJ
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9 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

@Al Kowsky & @HeliodromusWow, haha, I'm glad you shared that. I've never seen that life size porphyry Licinius(?) before, but it's wonderful! (It's also on Oxford's "Last Statues of Antiquity" database, LSA-836.)

I just shared my Googly-Eyed Baby Licinius Jr. earlier today, and I'm amazed by how much the porphyry Licinius reminds me of it (especially because the coloration is similar). Like father, like son... like Baby Yoda?

image.jpeg.215e570f19fe0eca0fb7e3328877c002.jpeg

Image_6_Large-1208._fmi_xml_cnt_grimmpl59.jpg.11b781e837ae239cf15a132e8b3bc216.jpg

 

See also Baby Yoda! Any relation??
images.jpg.d6a032d8a75de5493523f40863847995.jpg

http://laststatues.classics.ox.ac.uk/database/detail.php?image=Image_4_Large&recid=1208

Curtis, Your LRB of Licinius Jr. is the spitting image of the porphyry bust of Maximinus Daza 😲! Was there some hanky-panky going on between Maximinus & the wife of Licinius I 🤔?

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12 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

Helio., You're right, he doesn't look like his coin images because the engravers wanted to soften his ugly appearance. Their is a famous bust of Maximinus Daza in an Egyptian museum carved from red porphyry that reveals his true appearance. He had bulging eyes from a thyroid disorder.

 

I think its highly unlikely that we can make a medical diagnosis about the man by reading the damning stories about him from christian historians and look at highly stylized busts.

Here one of my Licinius coins having quite the same "ugly appearance with bulging eyes"

171983890_Licinius.png.973703fc1f217c16a7a1496d4d393f8d.png

 

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22 minutes ago, wittwolff said:

I think its highly unlikely that we can make a medical diagnosis about the man by reading the damning stories about him from christian historians and look at highly stylized busts.

Here one of my Licinius coins having quite the same "ugly appearance with bulging eyes"

171983890_Licinius.png.973703fc1f217c16a7a1496d4d393f8d.png

 

Quite the contrary, there is strong evidence that Maximinus Daza had bilateral Graves' ophthalmopathy& may well have been overtly thyrotoxic. His contemporaries were well aware of his abnormal physical condition. Enlighten yourself by reading the essay from the link below 😉.

http://www.hormones.gr/854/article/maximinus-daia-a-roman-emperor-who….html

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Well its an interesting read but doesn't convince me. Both christian authors tried to make the death of Maximinus look horrible and like a divine punishment for prosecuting the Christians. But especially the text of Lactantius clearly states that his "symptoms"  arose after he consumed poison. Taking this bust as example looks highly unprofessional to me. I mean look at those four guys they all look strangely alike and got quite an unhealthy looking gaze 😮

905784984_Portrait_of_the_Four_Tetrarchs_a_porphyry_sculpture_sacked_from_the_Byzantine_Philadelphion_palace_in_1204_Treasury_of_St._Marks_Venice_(19896369591).jpg.90a7722c82862ed7c06590fd15ace31d.jpg

The imagery of the emperors during the time of the tetrarchy was highly stylized and uniform to show that the emperors are equal and work for one goal. You see huge bulging eyes everywhere. There are also more realistic looking busts for many of the tetrachs but this one is definetly not one of them. Here a comparison:

Highly stylized bust of Emperor Galerius:

Romuliana_Galerius_head.jpg.e1c34dd23209f8053acb520815681548.jpg

Less stylized or maybe even realistic bust of Galerius:

Galerius.jpeg.2087df0a299f1a3e57bfdf554b40d2cb.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

Curtis, Your LRB of Licinius Jr. is the spitting image of the porphyry bust of Maximinus Daza

It seems the identification of that bust as  Daza is far from secure.

From the Oxford classics department:

Quote

The names of nearly all of the tetrarchs have been proposed for the bust from Athribis, but there seems no argument which helps to decide between them.

http://laststatues.classics.ox.ac.uk/database/discussion.php?id=1208

I'd rather disagree with the "no argument which helps to decide between them" part though, given what images of the various tetrarchs look like on coins.

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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1 hour ago, wittwolff said:

Highly stylized bust of Emperor Galerius

Apparently found in the grounds of his palace at Gamzigrad in modern Serbia (about halfway between Serdica and Sirmium).

https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1253/

It's a bit odd to see him with what looks a bit like a diadem there, but it's really just a decorated laurel wreath.

image.png.42f7df4d9b160e2ad2d44e866b61e8d6.png

image.png.f5e276e89b2b283b62168833be132bc7.png

Although stylized, the rounded jawline is very recognizable. The bust seems very close to that used for him at Antioch.

image.png.660c8d5f139a932305db72a5f99a8351.png

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It's an easy matter to dismiss the identity of all the well known carved stone busts from the late Roman period because they don't have a name chiseled on them, but it is foolhardy to ignore the observations & writings of their contemporaries. No doubt the accepted identity of most of these busts is conjecture because of the changing artistic style from the East, but let's not get carried-away by uncertainty 😏...

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19 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

but it is foolhardy to ignore the observations & writings of their contemporaries

More writings than observations ... I doubt either Eusebius or Lactantius ever met Daza, and I'm sure neither was there at the end when Lactantius claims he banged his head on the wall and his eyes fell out ! 🙄

Here's the more sober endings recorded by Aurelius Victor in "Lives of the caesars" :

Quote

Severus Caesar was killed by Herculius Maximian in Rome at Tres Tabernae and his ashes were interred in the sepulchre of Gallienus, which is nine miles from the city on the Appian Way. 4. Galerius Maximianus, when his genitals were consumed, died. 5. Maximian Herculius, besieged by Constantine at Massilia, then captured, was executed in a fashion most base, with his neck snapped by a noose. 6. Alexander was slaughtered by Constantine's army. 7. Maxentius, while engaged against Constantine, hastening to enter from the side a bridge of boats constructed a little above the Milvian Bridge, was plunged into the depth when his horse slipped; his body, swallowed up by the weight of his armor, [165] was barely recovered. 8. Maximinus died a simple death at Tarsus. 9. Valens was punished with death by Licinius.

Daza was evidentially full of vigor when he chose to invade Licinius territory in 313 AD, and it seems more likely that when he died a few months later at Tarsus, fleeing from Licinius, that his end was related to circumstances - either killed or took his own life - rather than him becoming skeletally starved which was the worst Lactantius could suggest for him.

At the end of the day we don't need to guess how these emperors looked, or liked to be portrayed, since we have their coins.

 

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