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"Linothoraxes" in the army of Aetius?
#16
(03-31-2016, 07:33 PM)Lupianus Wrote: The Nave mosaics represent scenes from the Old Testament indeed, and here's a key.

Thanks! That's very helpful.

Strange that the battle scenes show both armies similarly equipped, but different scenes show different types of soldiers... different artists, maybe?

The Crossing of the Red Sea features more of those funny Phrygian helmets.

The Defeat of the Amorite Kings has a very dynamic battle scene that I've never seen before (except perhaps at very long range, in the basilica itself!) More curious armour. I'm reminded of the famous painting of the Hellenistic soldier...

The Execution of the Amorite Kings shows what could be a close-up of those 'linothorax' things from the other picture.
Nathan Ross
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#17
(03-31-2016, 08:07 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(03-31-2016, 07:33 PM)Lupianus Wrote: The Nave mosaics represent scenes from the Old Testament indeed, and here's a key.

Thanks! That's very helpful.

Strange that the battle scenes show both armies similarly equipped, but different scenes show different types of soldiers... different artists, maybe?

The Crossing of the Red Sea features more of those funny Phrygian helmets.

The Defeat of the Amorite Kings has a very dynamic battle scene that I've never seen before (except perhaps at very long range, in the basilica itself!) More curious armour. I'm reminded of the famous painting of the Hellenistic soldier...

The Execution of the Amorite Kings shows what could be a close-up of those 'linothorax' things from the other picture.

http://www.christianiconography.info/sta...rites.html

That one above reminds me of the Alexander Mosaic.

http://www.christianiconography.info/sta...edSea.html

I'm looking at this one and very clearly seeing Intercisa-style and/or Berkasova-style helmets alongside the Phrygian Caps and those domed helmets. One of the Phrygian helmets looks like it has a nasal.

I'm wondering if it's a mix of Classicization and contemporary equipment? Spangenhelms mixed with Phrygian helmets, etc.

I might have to do drawings of interpretations of this equipment.

I had a long discussion with Raffaelle D'Amato who agrees that the Nave Mosaics might represent the Eastern Roman Campaign to restore Valentinian III on the Throne in 425 AD. After all, half the army sunk in the Adriatic (the "Crossing of the Red Sea") and we know the force under Aspar that went overland engaged and besieged Ioannes and Castinus' forces at Aquileia and other cities.

I should send an email to Dr. Meaghan McEvoy about this. She knows a ton about Valentinian III's ascent to the throne, and about the Imperial Family's funding of art/etc. including the Santa Maria Maggiore.
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#18
(04-01-2016, 12:40 AM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: I'm looking at this one and very clearly seeing Intercisa-style and/or Berkasova-style helmets alongside the Phrygian Caps and those domed helmets. One of the Phrygian helmets looks like it has a nasal. I'm wondering if it's a mix of Classicization and contemporary equipment? Spangenhelms mixed with Phrygian helmets, etc.

"Phrygian" helmets aren't unknown in 2nd/3rd Roman art; take for example the Arch of Severus:

[Image: 1034_01_04_16_8_30_02_1.JPG]

Or a certain style of 'parade' armour:

[Image: 1034_01_04_16_8_30_01_0.jpg]

Despite its actual usage, it's clearly an allusion to a distant, quasi-mythological, Hellenistic past (Severus had conquered Persia, and judging by other helmet designs Roman cavalrymen fought in mock battles as "Greeks" vs "Amazons"). As such it was very likely still visible and understood in 5th century Rome.

(04-01-2016, 12:40 AM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: I had a long discussion with Raffaelle D'Amato who agrees that the Nave Mosaics might represent the Eastern Roman Campaign to restore Valentinian III on the Throne in 425 AD. After all, half the army sunk in the Adriatic (the "Crossing of the Red Sea") and we know the force under Aspar that went overland engaged and besieged Ioannes and Castinus' forces at Aquileia and other cities.

The mosaics represent biblical scenes first and foremost. That's their purpose in the given context. Drawing parallels to contemporary events – on a fairly general level even – seems rather artificial, to be honest.
Tilman
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#19
'The mosaics represent biblical scenes first and foremost. That's their purpose in the given context. Drawing parallels to contemporary events – on a fairly general level even – seems rather artificial, to be honest.'

Lupianus- However, we know of several Late Roman authors who composed their historical works in a highly classising way, Claudian and Heliodorus immediately spring to mind.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#20
All of them compose their works in a highly classicizing manner. Priscus and Jordanes both model theirs on Herodotus, except Jordanes goes so far as to butcher actual history in order to do so.

But art is a different matter. However, it would not be the first case where biblical events are being used to depict contemporary ones in Roman art. After all, in the Arch mosaics the figures are modelled after the Imperial Family (Theodosius II is certainly shown, and Jesus and Mary are probably the child-emperor Valentinian III and Galla Placidia).
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#21
The difference between say Ammianus and Claudian is that Ammianus wrote a history which you could easily identify the characters portrayed, whilst Claudian composed his works as a story which you had to use clues to identify who and what was being discussed.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#22
(04-01-2016, 08:00 AM)ValentinianVictrix Wrote: Lupianus- However, we know of several Late Roman authors who composed their historical works in a highly classising way, Claudian and Heliodorus immediately spring to mind.

No argument there. However, it's a different context.
Those mosaics were there to illustrate a given story (which may be lost on many people nowadays) in a recognisable way. Because of that educational purpose they might well resemble contemporary people and fashion or at least include markers for "very old" and "more recent", "us" and "the others" etc. Some visitors might even have recognised a vague similarity to current events, but that's certainly not their primary meaning at first sight, and we shouldn't turn things upside down.
Tilman
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#23
I think the point being made was that although they may be biblical scenes the figures portrayed appear to be wearing contemporary clothing and armour, with the odd quirk here and there. This does not resolve the issue around the strange, two-coloured armour with the shoulder piece question however.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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