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20 Jan 2021

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. This unique portrait has many highly distinctive features including a square jaw, projecting dimpled chin, carefully arranged locks, and an aquiline nose. 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. 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. 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? What was the Edict of Milan? It is likely that Constantine’s expression on the colossus was understood within this framework, in which the emperor was filled with divine power. The colossus appears to have been carved from an existing statue, possibly of Hadrian (see Cécile Evers, “Remarques sur l’iconographie de Constantin,” p. 794). The remains of the right bicep, bent elbow, and forearm indicate that the right arm was raised up, and coming out from the shoulder horizontally. Constantinople. Marble, 312 CE. There is also a small dowel hole at the top of the fist, suggesting that it once gripped something. THE CONSTANTINIAN BRONZE COLOSSUS NERO’S HAIRSTYLE… 115 F IGS 2a-b – Colossal marble portrait of Constantine. Marble was used to portray the exposed flesh, while the mantle might have been bronze. English translation by Arthur Cushman McGiffert, in Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. 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. Earlier Christian writers had struggled to accept the idea of Christians within Rome’s military ranks, seeing the two as fundamentally opposed. 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). The marble friezes were re-used from earlier imperial monuments so that the overall impression is a lack of a coherent style. 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. À propos du remploi de portraits de ‘bons empereurs’”, Mélanges d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’École Française de Rome. The bronze colossus may also have been intended for reuse by Maxentius, and was inherited by Constantine, alongside the overall plan for the late-Antique reorganization of Rome. The Arch of Constantine borrowed elements from other monuments to show that Constantine was a good emperor just like ____ _____ ____ who represented a golden age. 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). 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. Constantine’s face, which is clean shaven, has a placid expression with large, deeply carved eyes directed towards heaven. Holding on to pagan traditions in the early Christian era: The Symmachi Panel. 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). This was a huge statue of the late Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. 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). Linda Safran has argued that the colossus declared Constantine’s divinity by mimicking the temple images of Jupiter and Zeus. Arch of Constantine. 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. 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. ... especially after Constantine, and especially in the Eastern zone of the Empire. Judging by the size of the remaining pieces, the seated, enthroned figure would have been about 12 meters (40 feet) high. 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). The face is cleanly shaven, with a contemplative expression and extremely prominent, large eyes, deeply carved, which look upwards. But the dimensions of the colossus of Nero were larger: it was 119-foot-high (ca. The Colossus of Constantine, c. 312-15 (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Musei Capitolini, Rome). . 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. For our purposes, the statue and the debate surrounding it is particularly significant for what it might reveal about the changing attitude towards the compatibility not only between Christianity and Roman rule more generally, but particularly Christianity and the Roman army. / Yearbook on the Culture and History of the First Millennium C.E. 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. 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. I have also set at liberty the Roman senate and people, and restored them to their ancient distinction and splendor”. He returned to the tradition of the eternally young emperor. This was likely the military standard that Constantine carried into battle, which combined with the inscription added below made clear the emperor’s debt to and connection with the divine. Arch of Constantine. Prezi’s Big Ideas 2021: Expert advice for the new year; Dec. 15, 2020. The Colosseum was famously used for gladiatorial combat. coins struck in 306 and 307 CE after his proclamation as his father’s successor). Constantine’s face, which is clean shaven, has a placid expression with large, deeply carved eyes directed towards heaven. Antiquité, “Eusebius on Constantine: Truth and Hagiography at the Milvian Bridge”, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, “What Constantine Saw: Reflections on the Capitoline Colossus, Visuality, and Early Christian Studies”. The right hand of the Constantine Colossus, mistakenly restored to the pointing formation (it should have been positioned to hold a scepter or spear). Moreover, by loud proclamation and monumental inscriptions he made known to all men the salutary symbol, setting up this great trophy of victory over his enemies in the midst of the imperial city, and expressly causing it to be engraved in indelible characters, that the salutary symbol was the safeguard of the Roman government and of the entire empire. These marble fragments are all that remain from a colossal statue (around 40 feet tall). 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