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The cornu-copia in her hand is a type of her fruitfulness, as in the speech she makes to Jupiter.

Hosne mihi fructus, hunc fertilitatis honorem,
Officiique refers? quod adunci vulnera aratri
Rastrorumque fero, totoque exerceor anno?
Quod pecori frondes, alimentaque mitia fruges
Humano generi, vobis quoque thura ministro? Ov. Met. lib. 2.
And does the plough for this my body tear?
This the reward for all the fruits I bear,
Tortur'd with rakes and harrass'd all the year?
That herbs for cattle daily I renew,
And food for man, and frankincense for you?

So much for the designing part of the medal; as for the thought of it, the antiquaries are divided upon it. For my part I cannot doubt but it was made as a compliment to Commodus on his skill in the chariot race. It is supposed that the same occasion furnished Lucan with the same thought in his address to Nero.

Seu te flammigeros Phæbi conscendere currus,
Telluremque nihil, mutato sole, timentem
Igne vago lustrare juvet.

Luc. lib. 1. ad Neronem.
Or if thou chuse the empire of the day,
And make the sun's unwilling steeds obey;
Auspicious if thou drive the flaming team,
While earth rejoices in thy gentler beam.

Mr. Rowe.

This is so natural an allusion, that we find the course of the sun described in the poets by metaphors borrowed from the Circus.

Quum suspensus eat Phæbus, currumque reflectat
Huc illuc, agiles et servet in æthere metas.

MANIL, lib. 1.
Hesperio positas in littore metas. Oy, Met. lib. 2.
Et sol ex æquo metå distabat utraque.

Idem, However it be, we are sure in general it is a comparing of Commodus to the sun, which is a siinile of as long standing as poetry, I had almost said, as the sun itself. Vol. V.


I believe, says Cynthio, there is scarce a great man he ever shone upon that has not been compared to him. I look on similes as a part of his productions. I do not know whether he raises fruits or flowers in greater number. Horace has turned this comparison into ridicule seventeen hundred years ago.

Laudat Brutum, laudatque cohortem,
Solem Asia Brutum appellat

Hor. Sat. 7. lib. 1.
He praiseth Brutus much and all his train;
He calls him Asia's sun


You have now shown us persons under the disguise of stars, moons, and suns. I suppose we have at last done with the celestial bodies.

The next figure you see*, says Philander, had once a place in the heavens, if you will believe ecclesiastical story. It is the sign that is said to have appeared to Constantine before the battle with Maxentius. We are told by a Christian poet, that he caused it to be wrought on the military ensign that the Romans call their Labarum. And it is on this ensign that we find it in the present medal.

Christus purpureum gemmanti textus in auro
Signabat Labarum. - Prudent. contra Symm. lib.l.
A Christ was on th' imperial standard borne,

That gold embroiders, and that gems adorn. By the word Christus he means, without doubt, the present figure, which is composed out of the two initial letters of the name.

He bore the same sign in his standards, as you may see in the following medal and versest.

Agnoscus, regina, libens mea signa necesse est:
In quibus effigics crucis aut gemmata refulget,
Aut longis solido ex auro præfertur in hastis.

Constantinus Romam alloquitur. Ibid.
My ensign let the queen of nations praise,
That rich in gems the Christian cross displays:
* Fig. 18.

+ Fig. 14.

There rich in gems; but on my quiy'ring spears
In solid gold the sacred mark appears.
Vexillumque crucis summus dominator adorat. Id. in Apotheosi.
See there the cross he wav'd on hostile shores,

The emperor of all the world adores. But to return to our Labarum*; if you have a mind to see it in a state of paganism, you have iton a coin of Tiberius. It stands between two other ensigns, and is the mark of a Roman colony where the medal was stamped. By the way, you must observe, that wherever the Romans fixed their standards, they looked on that place as their country, and thought themselves obliged to defend it with their lives. For this reason their standards were always carried before them when they went to settle themselves in a colony. This gives the meaning of a couple of verses in Silius Italicus, that make a very far-fetched compliment to Fabius.

It may

Ocyus huc Aquilas servataque signa referte,
Hic patria est, murique urbis stunt pectore in uno.

Sil. It. lib. 7. The following medal was stamped on Trajan's victory over the Dacit. You see on it the figure of Trajan presenting a little Victory to Rome. Between them lies the conquered province of Dacia. be worth while to observe the particularities in each figure. We see abundance of persons on old coins that hold a little Victory in one hand, like this of Trajan, which is always the sign of a conquest. I have sometimes fancied Virgil alludes to this custom in a verse that Turnus speaks.

Non adeo has exosa manus victoria fugit. VIRG. Æn. lib. 11.
If you consent, he shall not be refus'd.
Nor find a hand to victory unus'd.

Mr. DRYDEN. The emperor's standing in a gown, and making a present of his Dacian victory to the city of Romé, agrees very well with Claudian's character of him.

* Fig. 15.

+ Fig. 16.

Victura feretur
Gloria Trajani ; non tam quod, Tigride victo,
Nostra triumphati fuerint provincia Parthi,
Alta quod invectus stratis capitolia Dacis :
Quan patriæ quod mitis erat:

CLAUD, de 410. Cons. Honor.
Thy glory, Trajan, shall for ever live :
Not that thy arms the Tigris mourn'd, o'ercome,
And tributary Parthia bow'd to Rome,
Not that the Capitol receiv'd thy train
With shouts of triumph for the Daci slain :

But for thy mildness to thy country shown, The city of Rome carries the wand in her hand that is the symbol of her divinity.

Delubrum Romãe (colitur nam sanguine et ipsa
More Deæ,

Prudent. cont. Sym. lib. 1.
For Rome, a goddess too, can boast her shrine,

With victims stain'd, and sought with rights divine. As the globe under her feet betokens her dominion over all the nations of the earth.

Terrarum dea, gentiumque Roma;
Cui par est nihil, et nihil secundum. MART, lib. 12. epig. 8.

Rome, thou goddess of the earth!
To whom no rival e'er had birth;

Nor second e'er shall rise, The heap of arms she sits on signifies the peace that the emperor had procure

had procured her. On old coins we often see an emperor, a victory, the city of Rome, or a slave, sitting on a heap of arms, which always marks out the peace that arose from such an action as gave occasion to the medal. I think we cannot doubt but Virgil copied out this circumstance from the ancient sculptors, in that inimitable description he has given us of Military Fury shut up in the temple of Janus, and loaden with chains.

Claudentur belli portæ: Furor impius intus
Sæva sedens super arma, et centum vinctus ahenis
Post tergum nodis, freniet horridus ore cruento.

VIRG, Æn, lib. 1.

Janus himself before his fane shall wait,
And keep the dreadful issues of his gate,
With bolts and iron bars : within remains
Imprison'd Fury, bound in brazen chains :
High on a trophy rais’d of useless arms
He sits, and threats the world with dire alarms. Mr.DRYDEN.

We are told by the old scholiast, says Eugenius, that there was actually such a statue in the temple of Janus as that Virgil has here described, which I am almost apt to believe, since you assure us that this part of the design is so often met with on ancient medals. But have you nothing to remark on the figure of the province? Her posture, says Philander, is what we often meet with in the slaves and captives of old coins: among the poets too, sitting on the ground is a mark of misery or captivity.

Multos illa dies incomtis mæsta cupillis

PROPERT. lib. 1.

O utinam ante tuos sedeam captiva penates.

Id. lib. 4. O might I sit a captive at thy gate! You have the same posture in an old coin* that ce-, lebrates a victory of Lucius Verus over the Parthians. The captive's hands are here bound behind him, as a farther instance of his slavery.

Ecce manus juvenem interea post terga revinctum,
Pastores magno ad regem clamore ferebant. VIRG. Æn. lib. 2.
Mean while, with shouts, the Trojan shepherds bring
A captive Greek in bands before the king. Mr. DRYDEN,
Cui dedit invitas victa noverca nanus.

Ov. de Fast. Cum rudis urgenti brachia victa dedi. PROPERT, lib. 4, We may learn from Ovid that it was sometimes the

* Fig. 17.

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