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Portraits, Roman Emperors, Set of 6 Antique Prints Finely Framed with Wax Seals, Rome,1696
Henrich Hamelow (editor) D. N. Arcadius. P. F. Aug. [Flavius Arcadius]
Imp. C. M. Ant. Gordianus. Afr. Aug. [Gordian I: Marcus Antonius Gordianus Africanis]
D. N. Glycerius. P. F. Aug. [Glycerius]
Imp. C. C. Val. Diocletianus. P. F. Aug. [Diocletian:
Caius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus]
Fl. Constantius. Nobilissimus. Caesar. [Constantius III: Flavius Constantius]
Imp. C. M. Aur. Cl. Quintillus. Aug. [Quintillus: Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus]
from Imperatores Romani a Julio Cesare, usque ad sacratissimum Imperatorem qui nunc rerum potitur, carmine perpetuo descripti
[Roman Emperors, from Julius Caesar to the most honored Emperors who are now reigning, recorded in eternal praise]
Trier, Rome: 1696
Custom frames, the mats mounted with wax seals and ribbon
5.5 x 5.5 inches, image
13 x 13.25 inches, framed overall
$4,800, set of 6
Set of six engraved portraits of Roman emperors in coin medallion style. Each print is labeled in Latin with the name of the emperor in the upper portion of the medallion, and brief biographical information in a cartouche below the portrait. For example, the portrait of Flavius Arcadius, D. N. Arcadius. P. F. Avg., has the following information: “ARCADIUS, Constantinopoli natus. Imper. An. XIII. Mens III di XV. Seden. tib9. Siricio. Anastasio, et Innocentio. Decessit an. Chr. CCCCVIII,” which tells us, among other things, that he was born in Constantinople, served as emperor for 13 years, and died in 408 A.D.
The emperors depicted are from different periods of Roman history from the second to fifth centuries. Gordian I (157-238) served as proconsul in Africa prior to being named co-emperor, at age 81, with his son, Gordian II. Their reign lasted only 22 days in the year 238, when Gordian I committed suicide upon learning that his son had been killed in battle. Quintillus also had a brief reign that ended with his death; he is variously reported to have served 17 days or several months in the year 270. Diocletian (245-313), who reigned from 284 to 305, divided the empire into east and west in order to rule more effectively. He also initiated the last major persecution of the Christians in an attempt to revive the Roman religion. Constantius III was a successful general who was the unofficial ruler of the West from 411 before officially being named emperor in 421; he died a few months later. Flavius Arcadius (c. 377-408) reigned over the eastern half of the Roman Empire from 395 until his death. Glycerius (c. 420-after 480) was one of the last Western Roman emperors, serving only from 473 to 474. He later served as a bishop in the early Catholic Church.
The prints are now attractively framed in the French Empire taste, in ebonized frames with gilt block corners enclosing roundels. The cream-colored mats are each decorated with an antique red wax seal over a green ribbon.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning and wear.