By Alexis Belis
Maximus of Tyre, in his 2nd-century-AD commentary on cult images of the gods (Oration 2), wrote of a mountain that the Cappadocians regarded as a deity (theos), an oath (horkos), and a statue (agalma). The excerpt doubtless refers to Argaios, the region’s most numinous peak (Strabo 12.2.7). In fact, the most prominent image on late Hellenistic and Roman coins of Eusebeia (Roman Caesarea), the capital city located at the foot of Argaios, is that of the mountain itself.
By Alexandria Yen
In 9 CE, the colonia Fanum Fortunae (modern day Fano, Italy) received a triple-arched gateway with an inscription denoting it as a gift from Augustus Caesar. Built of gleaming white Istrian stone, the entryway marked where the Via Flaminia, a prominent road connecting Rome with Northern Italy, intersected with the main east-west road of Fano. This structure however was not unique; during his forty-five year reign, Augustus built numerous city gates, known as portae, and used them to demarcate his rule over the Roman empire.
A Mountain, its Temples and Cultural Identity: Mt Gerizim and the Self-Identification of the Inhabitants of Neapolis
By Jane Evans
In a conversation between a Samaritan woman and Jesus, they touch upon tensions between Jew and Samaritan, a tension that focusses on the different mountains that hold their sacred temples (Jhn 4:4-28). The Samaritans built a large sanctuary on Mt. Gerizim by the early Hellenistic period, cementing their religious and ethnic identity as separate from the Jews (e.g. Joseph. JW 1.62-65).
By Nathan Elkins
In the period from Augustus to Trajan, there is an observable shift in the types of buildings represented on imperial coinage. Honorific monuments, such as arches and altars, tend to be the most common architectural representations through the reign of Claudius; from the reign of Nero to Trajan, buildings for popular use and public works are also featured on the coinage.
By Britta Ager
Pliny the Elder describes a temple of Athena at Elis whose plaster had been made with milk and saffron (NH 36.177). When the building was rubbed with a wet finger, it still emitted the smell and flavor of the spice. Why would the Eleans build a perfumed temple? And were visitors actually in the habit of sniffing and tasting the building?