Monuments in the Middle Republic

Since Meadows and Williams 2000, we’re in the habit of talking about coinage as monuments in miniature.  Given how much Augustus (and later generations) changed the face of Rome, it is hard to recover the physical culture of commemoration in the city and even harder is to ascertain early attitudes towards such monuments.   All of which means we have less to frame our understanding of the coins.  BUT, nicely we have this self aware fragment (reliquia really) of Ennius, preserved in the Historia Augustae 25.7.6-8:

These barbarians, then, Claudius overcame by his own inborn valour and crushed in a brief space of time, suffering scarcely any to return to their native soil. What reward for such a victory, I ask you, is a shield in the Senate-house? What reward is one golden statue? Of Scipio Ennius wrote: “What manner of statue, what manner of column shall the Roman people make, to tell of your deeds?” We can say with truth that Flavius Claudius, an emperor without peer upon earth, is raised to eminence not by any columns or statues but by the power of fame.

Here is Courtney 1993:


Horace Ode 4.8 does remain VERY disputed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s