Sunday, 10 December 2006

Imperial insignia?

The papers are full of a new find on the Palatine hill at Rome: the imperial insignia of the Emperor Maxentius.

For example, USA Today reports that "Clementina Panella, the archaeologist who made the discovery, said the insignia were likely hidden by Maxentius' people in an attempt to preserve the emperor's memory after he was defeated by Constantine I in the 321 A.D. battle of the Milvian Bridge — a turning point for the history of the Roman empire which saw Constantine become the unchallenged ruler of the West."

The link with a known historical personage seems a little far fetched. Associated Press claimed that "The depth of the burial allows experts to date them to the early 4th century A.D.", and quoted Ms. Panella as having explained that "These artifacts clearly belonged to the emperor, especially the scepter, which is very elaborated, it's not an item you would let someone else have."

I remain sceptical.


  1. It seems that UKTV History have just caught up with this item: (Dated 31/01/07)

  2. So battle of Milvian bridge was in 321?What a "great" source of journalism this Americans are...