Posted by: ken98 | June 23, 2011

Mutilated Fauns, Repurposed Tombs, Floating Factories, and Papal Mutinies

Day 650 – Ken here (Th)(6-23-2011)
(DEF II, v.4 Ch.41 pp.660-670)(pages read: 1720)

Wow! I thought this would be quick – how wrong I was.

Check out the faun pic below – and read about its strange history from the tomb of a grief-wracked gay emperor to a weapon to trash to coveted Baroque Papal Antiquarian Discovery – anyway, it was interesting finding the note in Gibbon’s footnote and then stumbling across the very sculpture in a Google Search.

Onwards and upwards! We start the 1st Roman Siege (Siege of Rome that is) – Romans inside this time, Ostrogoths outside – Belisarius’s famous floating flour mills (say that 3 times very fast), and the strange success of the Romans against German armies 5 times their size (strange because for the last 100 years the Romans had had NO LUCK in attacking German successor states who were squatting on their former provinces – now, one General, Belisarius, is knocking them down like bowling pins, one after another).

It’s almost all too good to be true. Well, we’ll see…

The Story
 
Belisarius in Rome, 1st time, Entrance, Prepares for Siege (early 537)
 
  • Romans amazed Bel. is subjecting them to siege, Bel. and his soldiers (only 5000 men) perform the defense, Romans let them do the work
  • Aurelian Walls of Rome – 12 miles in circumference, repaired
  • Hadrian’s Tomb converted to a fortress for the 1st time – the future Castel Sant’Angelo – 1st used by Belisarius, many the Pope (in the centuries to come) used it as a convenient escape hole to hide from invading armies
  • Essentially taking apart the civil framework left of Rome, using it for all out war against a superior foe
  •  

    Ostrogothic King Witigis – Prepares 1st Seige of Rome (Bel Inside, Wit Outside) (3-537 -> 3-538)
     
  • Witigis rounds up entire nation of Goths (100,000+ men) to OVERWHELM the tiny Roman force of Belisarius (5000+ men)
  • Still, Witigis army not big enough to SURROUND Rome, he blocks only 7 of the 12 gates
  • Witigis takes 18 days to get siege machines/engines of war ready, battering rams, attacking towers, etc – doesnt look good for Bel.
  • Bel. repulses attacks on walls, repulses, destroys siege engines, kill 30,000 of Ostrogoths
  •  

    Siege of Rome, Mutiny of Pope, Senators, Reinforcements from Justinian
     
  • Roman civilians begin to feel affect of siege, aqueducts are cut, still have river Tiber to drink from, but their grain mills are stopped
  • Belisarius FAMOUS ENGINEERING feat – use of boats floating mills in the Tiber to make a floating set of mills to grind grain to make bread
  • (11-17-537) Pope Sylverius, some Senators found guilty of plotting to open the city gates to the Ostrogoths, Bel. (well supp. his WIFE ANTONINA) deposes the Pope and causes a new one (Vigilius) to be elected whom Gibbon says purchased the papacy for 200 lbs gold (about 7 million dollars – see Currency Conv page) – supposedly – per Procopius and Gibbon – it was all a plot by Empress Theodora (Just’s wife), working through her BFF Antonina (Bel.’s wife) to get someone at the head of the church more amenable to her Monophysite/Anti-Chalcedon Christian leanings – the FAMOUS Justinian-Catholic vs Theodora-Monophysite working both factions to maintain their power ploy – per Procopius
  • Gibbon HATES the fact that a woman (Antonina – Bel wife) would have been a decision maker – she is “imperious”
  •  

    Roman Bloody John and Ostrogoth King Witigis think of RAISING of Siege and Retreat
     
  • Justinian, answering a letter req help sends reinforcements – per Proc. late and few – but Proc. ALWAYS DISPARAGES Just. as a penny-pincher
  • 1600 Huns/Sclavonians under Martin and Valerian, 3000 Isaurians at Naples, 2000 cavalry at Tarentum, Antonina crosses enemy lines to get more men/supplies, Euthalius lands with $$$ (well solidi) for the troops
  • THIS ALL HAPPENED SO QUICKLY – its hard to believe that Just. was just sitting there waiting for Bel. to ASK for more HELP – I have to think he was planning/sending it all along – he wasn’t COMPLETELY DIM after all…
  • SIDE NOTE: one of the “Lines” (fortified German positions) covering Northern Italy in the Allied Invasion – Italian Campaigns of WWII was called the Gothic Line – approx the place where the Ostrogoths held N. Italy against the 1st attacks of Bel.
  • All the troops (still only a fraction of the Ostrogothic army) convince the Goths that they are in the presence of a HUGE imperial invasion – and GOths propose a 3 month cease-fire
  • Belisarius unleashes JOHN THE BLOODY (Johannes Sanguinarius) – like the Yankee General Sherman and his March to the Sea, Bloody John marches on the Eastern shores of Italy where all the Goths families and goods are – where the Goths thought they’d be safe – brings the war HOME TO THE GOTHS – more on him later
  •  

     

    The Emperor Hadrian's Mausoleum - originally in the Etruscan form of cylinder covered with a mound of earth planted with trees - Belisarius converts a work of art into a fortress - beginning the transformation into its present state - the Castel Sant'Angelo - famous bolt-hole of Popes

    The Emperor Hadrian's Mausoleum - originally in the Etruscan form of cylinder covered with a mound of earth planted with trees - Belisarius converts a work of art into a fortress - beginning the transformation into its present state - the Castel Sant'Angelo - famous bolt-hole of Popes


     

    The End of Hadrian’s Tomb, the Beginnings of the Castel SantAngelo
     

    Desperate for any means of defending the city of Rome, Belisarius saw the strategic advantage of having a strong fort outside its walls and took over the art-strewn, priceless-statue-covered Mausoleum of Hadrian to quickly fortify in a few weeks and provide a continual harassing presence for the besieging Ostrogothic army which was approaching Rome.

    If you remember, Hadrian was the emperor known for incessant travel, a love of art and a fixation on a beautiful boy Antinous. His tomb was intended to be a thing of beauty and was covered with Greek statues and art, but unfortunately having survived for centuries relatively unscathed, the carefully collected masterpieces of Hadrian were to be broken into pieces and (hopefully) break Gothic heads into pieces as the Ostrogoths besieged Belisarius’s troops in the now-fortified tomb.

    Pieces of the ancient Greek statues looted and brought to Rome to decorate an emperor’s grave were found in the middle 1600’s by clean up crews just where they’d been thrown at attacking German Ostrogothic troops by the defending army of Belisarius.

    And here's the faun found in the ditch - taken from Greece by Hadrian and put on his tomb, broken into pieces by Belisarius 400 years later and found 1100 years after that by workmen in the ditch/moat of the Castel Sant'Angelo - Hadrian's Tomb - The Barberini Faun, restored (now in the Glyptothek in Munich)

    And here's the faun found in the ditch - taken from Greece by Hadrian and put on his tomb, broken into pieces by Belisarius 400 years later (for convenient throwing as weapons) and found 1100 years after that by workmen in the ditch/moat of the Castel Sant'Angelo - Hadrian's Tomb - The Barberini Faun, restored (now in the Glyptothek in Munich) - WHAT A STORY! WHAT A JOURNEY - and now BACK IN THE HANDS of Germans, but this time not after breaking their heads in the process


     
    (A tiny aside from Gibbon):

    A chain was drawn across the Tyber; the arches of the aqueducts were made impervious, and the mole or sepulchre of Hadrian (82) was converted, for the first time, to the uses of a citadel. That venerable structure, which contained the ashes of the Antonines, was a circular turret rising from a quadrangular basis; it was covered with the white marble of Paros, and decorated by the statues of gods and heroes; and the lover of the arts must read with a sigh, that the works of Praxiteles or Lysippus were torn from their lofty pedestals, and hurled into the ditch on the heads of the besiegers. (83)

    Footnote 83
    Note 083
    Praxiteles excelled in Fauns, and that of Athens was his own masterpiece. Rome now contains about thirty of the same character. When the ditch of St. Angelo was cleansed under Urban VIII., the workmen found the sleeping Faun of the Barberini palace; but a leg, a thigh, and the right arm, had been broken from that beautiful statue, (Winkelman, Hist. de l’Art, tom. ii. p. 52, 53, tom iii. p. 265.)]

    (DEF ii, vol.4, ch.41, p.
     

    A model of Hadrian's Mausoleum - showing the original tumulus (mound of earth, planted with trees) and the miniature temple on top - to a Christian Roman General 4 centuries later, it looked like the perfect place to put a fortress (castellum - castle) to defend against rowdy Goths - and that's just what Belisarius did

    A model of Hadrian's Mausoleum - showing the original tumulus (mound of earth, planted with trees) and the miniature temple on top - to a Christian Roman General 4 centuries later, it looked like the perfect place to put a fortress (castellum - castle) to defend against rowdy Goths - and that's just what Belisarius did


     
    What a floating Ship-Mill - or Current Mill - looks like - it floats in mid stream, tied to the bank, and the current propels paddles which operate grinding stones to turn grain into flour - this (or a much-more-improvised version of same) was used by Belisarius to produce flour for the Romans after their aqueducts were cut and they no longer had mechanical means to grind their daily bread - I have to ask - couldnt the Romans if worse came to worse HAVE GROUND IT BY HAND or BY HORSE-POWER - but of course were referring to urbane Romans - it probably never occurred to them

    What a floating Ship-Mill - or Current Mill - looks like - it floats in mid stream, tied to the bank, and the current propels paddles which operate grinding stones to turn grain into flour - this (or a much-more-improvised version of same) was used by Belisarius to produce flour for the Romans after their aqueducts were cut and they no longer had mechanical means to grind their daily bread - I have to ask - couldnt the Romans if worse came to worse HAVE GROUND IT BY HAND or BY HORSE-POWER - but of course were referring to urbane Romans - it probably never occurred to them


     

    The Famous Mid-Stream Water Mills of Belisarius, and the END OF BATHING
     

    Any book/article on Medieval/Ancient engineering (how many slashes can I insert into one sentence? /////?) always includes a reference to mills (as the one of the first uses of mechanical power to accomplish work), and usually starts with Roman engineering – mills on hills (steep watercourses), and the Famous Belisarius Ship Mills – which were floating on the river Tiber and ground grain by moving paddles attached to millstones floating on barges.

    The Ostrogoths had thought that by turning off the artificial water supply (cutting the aqueducts) would really, really inconvenience the Romans by causing dissent through the lack of automatic grinding of bread (the aqueducts, before they dispelled their water into fountains, did some work 1st: i.e. they turned millstones and ground out flour for free). The water also supplied the baths – so, no aqueducts, no flour, no baths. But Roman engineering came to the rescue and the mills continued to grind, even though the Ostrogoths threw dead bodies and logs etc. into the river to 1) poison it, but 2) foul the blades of the water-mills. The weren’t very successful. The baths, however, did close down. And I don’t think they ever really re-opened. Of course the city was at war for the next 30 years and all Italy was destroyed in the process

    BRIEF ASIDE HERE – by the way, this CUTTING of ROMAN AQUEDUCTS was a serious business, by the end of the Gothic war, the city of Rome was thrown back on the Tiber as a major source of water – which continued to the 19th century or so – this is ANOTHER DATE for the end of Rome and the beginning of the MIDDLE AGES – the end of copious amounts of clean, running water flowing through mammoth engineering projects into the city of Rome.

    Water mills
    Rome was too large for the Goths to completely encircle. So they set up seven camps, overlooking the main gates and access routes to the city, in order to starve it out. Six of them were east of the river, and one on the western side, on the Campus Neronis, near the Vatican. This left the southern side of the city open. The Goths then proceeded to block the aqueducts that were supplying the city with its water, necessary both for drinking and for operating the corn mills. The mills were those situated on the Janiculum, and provided most of the bread for the city. Although Belisarius was able to counter the latter problem by building floating mills on the stream of the Tiber, the hardships for the citizenry grew daily. Perceiving this discontent, Vitiges tried to achieve the surrender of the city, by promising the Roman army free passage, but the offer was refused.
    “ …As for Rome, moreover, which we have captured, in holding it we hold nothing which belongs to others, but it was you who trespassed upon this city in former times, though it did not belong to you at all, and now you have given it back, however unwillingly, to its ancient possessors. And whoever of you has hopes of setting foot in Rome without a fight is mistaken in his judgment. For as long as Belisarius lives, it is impossible for him to relinquish this city.

    from WIKI (here)

     

    Walls of Rome - Aurelian Walls (271-275) from the end of the Crisis of the 200s just before Diocletian hit the Roman Empire - added onto in the 400's, they were 12 miles around and 5 stories tall - in a word - IMMENSE - Id hate to be a GOthic army hoping to get around these massive constructions

    Old Rome: Walls of Rome - Aurelian Walls (271-275) from the end of the Crisis of the 200s just before Diocletian hit the Roman Empire - added onto in the 400's, they were 12 miles around and 5 stories tall - in a word - IMMENSE - Id hate to be a GOthic army hoping to get around these massive constructions


     
    Walls of Constantinople - Theodosian walls, really built by Praetorian Prefect of the East Anthemius in the 430's - a double wall with a moat in the middle, about 36 feet high and a little over 4 miles long - the Famous Land Walls of Constantinople - I'd always thought they were huge (which they ARE) but the massive encircling walls of Old Rome dwarf those of New Rome (Constantinople)

    New Rome: Walls of Constantinople - Theodosian walls, really built by Praetorian Prefect of the East Anthemius in the 430's - a double wall with a moat in the middle, about 36 feet high and a little over 4 miles long - the Famous Land Walls of Constantinople - I'd always thought they were huge (which they ARE) but the massive encircling walls of Old Rome dwarf those of New Rome (Constantinople)


     
     
     
     

    Last Word…
    The Walls of Old and New Rome
     

    New Rome’s walls are magnificent, if you’ve ever seen them (I haven’t… yet… but there’s always hope I guess…) – the Theodosian walls of Constantinople, double walls, 35 and 16 feet high, 4-1/3 miles long, sandwiching a moat, these Land Walls are pretty impressive, cutting off the peninsula of Constantinople on one side of a triangle, the other two sides protected by the sea and the Sea Walls.

    Part of the (Aurelian) Walls of Rome - the 1st cent. B.C. tomb - the Pyramid of Cestius - BUILT RIGHT INTO THE WALL (its estimated that  a good percentage of the wall was actually existing buildings etc incorporated right into it) - one reason why we even HAVE Cestius's pyramid tomb is that it became a corner of the wall

    Old Rome: Part of the (Aurelian) Walls of Rome - the 1st cent. B.C. tomb - the Pyramid of Cestius - BUILT RIGHT INTO THE WALL (its estimated that a good percentage of the wall was actually existing buildings etc incorporated right into it) - one reason why we even HAVE Cestius's pyramid tomb is that it became a corner of the wall - look at the side of the pyramid - you can see the odd bit of Aurelians wall just sticking right out of it to this day


     
    Rome’s walls, the Aurelian walls of Rome which Belisarius found when he entered the city were pretty formidable – I had no idea – like a 12 mile long 5 story building – originally built in the troubled times of the late 200’s, built also in a very short time (prior to this Rome HAD NO WALLS – its LEGIONS WERE ITS WALLS – a sad testimony to the very chaotic – although improving – 270’s). Maxentius, one of the people on Constantine the Great’s people-to-be-eliminated list doubled the size of the walls in the 1st decade of the 300’s – just in time for the emperors to FORGET ABOUT ROME ENTIRELY (as they moved the capital to various places, Milan, Nicomedia, etc. then Ravenna).

    But Rome, even though it hadn’t been strategically the hottest spot in the West, esp. since it had already been sacked a couple of times already (410, 455) AND taken over AND ignored by the Ostrogoths, STILL HAD THESE INCREDIBLY MASSIVE WALLS just waiting to be used as a base for controlling Northern Italy. And, yes, to be sure, the propaganda value of holding onto the eternal city in its 1290th year was nothing to sneeze at either. On the whole quite irresistible.

    And although the Romans were all for it at first, they soon realized that being a world-class city again meant they were in for world-class hurt too, and soon wanted Belisarius (AND THE OSTROGOTHIC ARMY) to stay as far away as possible and fight it out somewhere else, like Ravenna, or the Alps or something – JUST NOT IN ROME. But, alas, that was not to be.

    Here’s a description of the wall:

    The full circuit ran for 19 kilometres (12 mi) surrounding an area of 13.7 square kilometres (5.3 sq mi). The walls were constructed in brick-faced concrete, 3.5 metres (11 ft) thick and 8 metres (26 ft) high, with a square tower every 100 Roman feet (29.6 metres (97 ft)).
    In the 5th century remodelling doubled the height of the walls to 16 metres (52 ft). By 500AD the circuit possessed 383 towers, 7,020 crenellations, 18 main gates, 5 postern gates, 116 latrines and 2,066 large external windows.[1]
    [edit]

    From Wiki (here)

    Map of the Walls of Rome - the outer pink one is the Aurelian 12-miler, the inner black one is the Republican wall - remember in between the black and pink were about 500 years of a pretty much wall-less existence - why need a wall? Rome's walls' were her legions - well, until things began to fall apart - about 200 years before Belisarius entered the city as the Goths scuttled out of it (537)

    Old Rome: Map of the Walls of Rome - the outer pink one is the Aurelian 12-miler, the inner black one is the Republican wall - remember in between the black and pink were about 500 years of a pretty much wall-less existence - why need a wall? Rome's walls' were her legions - well, until things began to fall apart - about 200 years before Belisarius entered the city as the Goths scuttled out of it (537)


     
    New Rome: Map of Constantinople - the Land Walls are that dark line at the edge of city on the right - those walls are about 4 plus miles long

    New Rome: Map of Constantinople - the Land Walls are that dark line at the edge of city on the left - those walls are about 4 plus miles long


     
    Reconstructed view of the Walls of Constantinople looking towards the Golden Gate across the 2 walls and the moat - from Neobyzantine.org

    New Rome: Reconstructed view of the Walls of Constantinople looking towards the Golden Gate across the 2 walls and the moat - from Neobyzantine.org


     

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