Giacobbe Giusti, Legio VII Gemina

Giacobbe Giusti, Legio VII Gemina

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Legio VII Gemina

Giacobbe Giusti, Legio VII Gemina

 

 

Legio VII Gemina

 Giacobbe Giusti, Legio VII Gemina

Votivaltar für den Geniusder Legio VII Gemina (Museo de León).[1]

Die Legio VII Gemina war eine Legion der römischen Armee, die im Jahr 68 von Kaiser Galba aufgestellt wurde. Ihre Geschichte ist bis in die Spätantike nachweisbar, vor allem durch inschriftliche Zeugnisse von der iberischen Halbinsel. Ihr Name existiert noch heute im Namen der Stadt León in der Autonomen Gemeinschaft Kastilien-León in Spanien, wo die Legio VII Gemina jahrhundertelang ihr wichtigstes Standlager besaß.

Geschichte der Legion

Weihestein zum „Geburtstag des Adlers“[2]

Aufstellung, Vierkaiserjahr und flavische Zeit

Anlass zur Schaffung einer neuen Legion war die Ausrufung Galbas, zum damaligen Zeitpunkt Statthalter der Provinz Hispania citerior, am 3. April 68 in Carthago Nova zum Kaiser. Schon am 10. Juni des Jahres 68 erhielt sie ihre Feldzeichen (signa) und den Legionsadler (aquila). Das Datum als natalis aquilae (Geburt des Adlers) ist belegt in einer Serie von Inschriften aus Villalís in der Nähe von Astorga. Es handelt sich um Weihinschriften, die anlässlich des Jahrestages gesetzt wurden.[3]Einen Beinamen trug sie zunächst nicht. Tacitus nennt sie wohl aus Unterscheidungsgründen Galbiana[4] oder Hispana,[5] schließlich „erst neulich von Galba ausgehobene 7. Legion“.[6] Möglicherweise erhielt sie von Galba die Nummer VII im Anschluss an die Legio VI Victrix, welche zum Zeitpunkt der Aushebung in der Provinz stand.

Die Legion unterstützte Galba im Bürgerkrieg des Vierkaiserjahres und wurde zu diesem Zweck von Spanien nach Rom entsandt, um später in der pannonischen Stadt Carnuntum die Legio X Gemina abzulösen. Nach Galbas Tod schloss sich die Legion zusammen mit den illyrischen Heeren seinem Nachfolger Otho an, kam jedoch in der entscheidenden Schlacht von Bedriacum nicht mehr zum Einsatz. Vitellius sandte sie nach Pannonien zurück. Unter ihrem LegatusMarcus Antonius Primus schlug sich die Legion auf die Seite Vespasians und marschierte bald wieder nach Italien. Tacitus erwähnt, dass sie in der Schlacht von Cremona sechs Centurionen der ersten Rangklasse verlor.[7] Unklar ist, ob die Legion daraufhin sofort nach Germanien versetzt wurde, oder ob sie nochmals für kurze Zeit nach Carnuntum oder gar nach Spanien zurückkehrte. Hinweise auf die Legion stammen aus der frühen Regierungszeit des Vespasian vordringlich vom Oberrhein, wo beispielsweise die Aktionen des Pinarius Clemens zu dieser Zeit durchgeführt wurden.[8] Einige Ziegelstempel weisen die Legion in der Gegend um Mainz nach.[9]

Im Jahr 70 wurde die Legio VII von Vespasian unter Einziehung von Soldaten der Legio I Germanica neu formiert und erhielt dadurch den Beinamen Legio VII Gemina (lat. gemina „Zwilling“). Um das Jahr 74 war die Einheit mit dem zusätzlichen Beinamen Felix (die „Glückliche“) wieder in Spanien,[10] wo sie bis zum 3. Jahrhundert im Legionslager Legio (León) bezeugt ist. Die anderen „spanischen“ Legionen (I AdiutrixVI Victrix und X Gemina) waren zu Beginn des Jahrzehnts nach Germanien verlegt worden um den Bataveraufstand zu beenden, so dass die VII Gemina neben wenigen Auxiliartruppen die Garnison der iberischen Halbinsel darstellte. Teile der Legion wurden an den Pässen nach Asturia Transmontana und in Asturica Augusta (Astorga) stationiert. Im Jahr 79 n. Chr. ist die Legio erstmals auf einer sicher datierbaren Inschrift belegt, die als Weihinschrift von 10 callaecischen Gemeinden dem Kaiser und seinen Söhnen gewidmet wurde.[11]

Hohe Kaiserzeit

Der spätere Kaiser Trajan war in den späten 80er Jahren des 1. Jahrhunderts Kommandant der Legio VII. Während des Aufstandes des Lucius Antonius Saturninus marschierte sie zum Schutze Italiens zunächst nach Aquileia, kam aber nicht mehr zum Einsatz.[12] Unter Hadrian (117-138) wurde eine je 1.000 Mann starke Vexillation der Legio VII GeminaLegio VIII Augusta und der Legio XXII Primigeniazum Bau des Hadrianswalls nach Britannien verlegt.[13]

Die Legion blieb während der mittleren Kaiserzeit fest in León stationiert, doch waren Detachements auch an zahlreichen anderen Orten, wie z. B. EmpúriesTrêsminas und Asturica Augusta (Astorga) in der Hispania citerior und Lago das Covas in Lusitania belegt. Vereinzelte Inschriften- oder Ziegelstempelfunde aus Nordafrika und Dakien könnten eine Abordnung von Vexillationen zu auswärtigen Kriegen belegen.[14] Im sonst ruhigen Hispania wurde die Legion in den Jahren 171–172/173 unter ihrem Legaten Publius Cornelius Anullinus eingesetzt um einen Maureneinfall an der Südküste zu bekämpfen.

Ziegelstempel der L(egio) VII G(emina) GORD(iana) P(ia) F(elix)[15]

Clodius Albinus wurde 195/196 zum Gegenkaiser im Westen ausgerufen. Unterstützung fand er bei den britannischen Legionen und zunächst auch bei der Legio VII Gemina. Die VII Gemina wechselte dann auf die Seite von Septimius Severus oder verhielt sich zumindest passiv.[16] Der Bürgerkrieg endete im Februar 197 mit dem Sieg des Septimius Severus bei Lugdunum (Lyon). Von 197 bis 199 war Tiberius Claudius Candiduslegatus Augustorum pro praetore provinciae Hispaniae citerioris(Statthalter der Provinz Hispania Citerior) und ging mit der Legio VII Gemina „zu Lande und zu Wasser“ (terra marique)[17] gegen den zum öffentlichen Feind erklärten Lucius Novius Rufus, Statthalter der Tarraconensis, vor, der ein Anhänger des Clodius Albinus war. Dafür erhielt die Legio VII Gemina erhielt den Beinamen pia bzw.pia felix. Von 202 bis wohl 205 war Quintus Hedius Lollianus Plautius Avitus Legat der Legion. Eine Inschrift[18] des zum Statthalter beförderten Quintus Hedius Lollianus Plautius Avitus aus den Jahren 208–211, nennt die Legion erstmals P(ia) F(elix).[19] Die Beinamen sind auch durch Ziegelstempel belegt.

Nochmals unter einem Kaiser des severischen Kaiserhauses, Severus Alexander (222–235), könnte die Legion zu einem auswärtigen Krieg zumindest teilweise abkommandiert worden sein. Ein in Aquae Mattiacorum (Wiesbaden) gefundener Altar eines Centurio der Legio VII Gemina Alexandriana kann in Verbindung mit dem geplanten Germanenkrieg des Severus Alexander gesehen werden, zu dem Einheiten und Vexillationen aus dem gesamten Reich zusammengezogen wurden.[20] Von Kaiser Gordian III. (238–244) erhielt die Legion den Beinamen Gordiana.[15] Kriegerische Aktivitäten des 3. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. liegen von der iberischen Halbinsel nur im Frankeneinfall von 260 n. Chr. vor. Die Legion spielte politisch nur noch eine untergeordnete Rolle, da die sogenannten Soldatenkaiservon den großen zusammenhängenden Verbänden des Rheins, der Donau und des Orients ausgerufen wurden.

Spätantike

Die Reformen Diokletians (284–305) und Konstantin des Großen(306–337) führten zur Ausgliederung und Verselbständigung mehrerer Vexillation. Im Laufe des 4. Jahrhunderts verminderte sich die Truppenstärke auf der iberischen Halbinsel auf etwa 2.000 bis 3.000 Legionäre.[21]

Ein Teil der Legion wurde als Septimani Gemina im Laufe des 4. Jahrhunderts in den Osten des Reiches verlegt und dienten als Comitatenses unter dem Magister Militum per Orientem.[22] Im frühen 5. Jahrhundert war die Legio septima gemina noch immer in Legio(León) stationiert.[23] Die verkleinerte Legion gehörte zur niedrigsten Heeresgattung des spätrömischen Heeres, den sogenannten Limitanei(Grenzheer) und unterstand dem magister peditum des Westreiches. Die Septimani dienten als Pseudocomitatenses unter dem Magister Peditum Praesentalis,[24] der auch den Oberbefehl über die zu Comitatenses (Feldheer) aufgestiegenen Septimani seniores und Septimani iuniores[24] hatte. Die Septimani seniores waren in Hispaniastationiert, wohingegen die Septimani iuniores auf Standorte in Italien, Gallien[25] und Mauretania Tingitana aufgeteilt waren. Die Septimani seniores und Septimani iuniores unterstanden dem Magister Equitum Galliarum.[26]

Giacobbe Giusti, Legio VII Gemina

Legionslager

Spätantike Stadtbefestigung von León

Das Lager, welches sich in der heutigen Altstadt von León befand, maß 570 × 350 m und besaß damit eine Innenfläche von etwas weniger als 20 ha. Damit befindet es sich von der Größe her in Gesellschaft mit dem großen Lager von Haltern (augusteisch, 20 ha) oder dem Legionslager von Straßburg. Es nimmt eine leichte Anhöhe über dem Zusammenfluss des Río Torío und des Río Bernesga ein. Das Lager selbst bildet mit Ausnahme der Südostecke ein gleichmäßiges, fast nach Norden ausgerichtetes Rechteck.

Das Lager war während der frühen Kaiserzeit von einer 1,80 m starken Mauer umgeben. In spätantiker Zeit, als viele Städte ihre Stadtmauern erneuerten oder neu bauten, erhielt auch León eine der mächtigsten Festungsanlagen der iberischen Halbinsel. Vor die alte Mauer, die an vielen Stellen noch nachzuweisen ist, wurde eine neue, 7 m breite Mauer gesetzt. Deren Türme, von denen noch 48 nachweisbar sind, springen ca. 5,80 m aus der Mauer hervor. Die Mauer selbst besteht im unteren Teil und an den Türmen aus wiederverwendeten Quadern, sonst aus Bruchsteinen und opus caementitium. Ihre antike Höhe ist schwer zu ergänzen, da die Mauer im Mittelalter mehrmals umgebaut wurde und der antike Mauerabschluss heute nicht mehr zu ermitteln ist. Es handelt sich um einen der größten Festungsbauten dieser Zeit auf der Halbinsel.

Von der Innenbebauung ist durch die durchgängige Besiedlung des Areals wenig bekannt. Unter der Kathedrale von León wurden 1884 Mauerreste und ein Mosaik mit Fisch- und Algendarstellungen entdeckt. 1888 fand man unter den Treppen am Hauptportal der Kathedrale die Reste dreier Hypokaustanlagen, die durch 1,20 m breite Mauern voneinander getrennt waren. Der Befund könnte für eine Thermenanlage sprechen, was aber innerhalb des Lagerareals eher ungewöhnlich erscheint.[27]

Epigraphische Quellen

Inschrift bei der Höhle Cova de l’Aigua bei Denia[28]

153 Inschriften einfacher Soldaten einschließlich von Fundorten außerhalb der iberischen Halbinsel, sind bekannt, die sich meist durch die ausdrückliche Erwähnung der VII. Legion identifizieren lassen.[29] Hinzu kommen 43 Centurionen, 22 Tribunen des ritterlichen Standes, 8 tribuni laticlavii, sowie 15 Legionslegaten. Hinzu gerechnet werden muss wohl weiterhin die große Zahl der Inschriften, welche Soldaten nennt, die zum Stab des Statthalters abkommandiert wurden, sogenannte principales, sowohl in Tarraco, als auch in Emerita Augusta.

In Tarraco sind die Militärinschriften am häufigsten, weitere wichtige Fundorte sind neben Mérida und León besonders AsturicaVillalísRosinos de Vidriales und Trêsminas. Die letztgenannten Orte dürften in Verbindung mit dem Erzabbau im Nordwesten Spaniens und Nordportugals stehen, dessen Organisation eine wesentliche Aufgabe der Legion in Friedenszeiten war.[30] Ein weiteres Beispiel für die weiträumige Stationierung stammt aus dem Bürgerkriegsjahr 238 als eine Vexillation der Legio VII Gemina Pia Felix Maximiniana unter dem princeps vexillationis Caius Iulius Urbanus bei Dianium (Dénia) ihr Lager hatte um diesen Abschnitt der spanischen Ostküste zu sichern.[28]

Literatur

  • Legio VII Gemina. Internationales Kolloquium 16- 21 Sept. 1968 (León 1970).
  • Yann Le Bohec: Die römische Armee. Steiner, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-515-06300-5.
  • Patrick Le Roux: L‘ armee romaine et l‘ organisation des provinces iberiques d‘ Auguste a l‘ invasion de 409. De Boccard, Paris 1982 (Publications du Centre Pierre Paris 8; Collection de la Maison des Pays Ibériques 9)
  • Emil RitterlingLegio (VII Gemina). In: Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft (RE). Band XII,2, Stuttgart 1925, Sp. 1629–1642.
  • Juan José Palao Vicente: Legio VII Gemina (Pia) Felix. Estudio de una legión Romana, Universidad de Salamanca, 2006, ISBN 978-84-7800-546-8

 Legio VII Gemina – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien

Einzelnachweise

  1. Hochspringen CIL 02, 05083.
  2. Hochspringen CIL 02, 2552.
  3. Hochspringen Le Roux 1982 S. 242–244; CIL 02, 02552CIL 02, 2553CIL 02, 2556.
  4. Hochspringen Tacitus, Historien II.86 (septima Galbiana).
  5. Hochspringen Tacitus, Historien I.6 (inducta Legione Hispana).
  6. Hochspringen Tacitus, Historien III, 22 (septima legio, nuper a Galba conscripta).
  7. Hochspringen Tacitus, Historien III, 22.
  8. Hochspringen Ritterling, RE 1632
  9. Hochspringen Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, Direktion Landesarchäologie: Forschungsprojekt Römische Baukeramik und Ziegelstempel
  10. Hochspringen Ritterling, RE 1601.
  11. Hochspringen CIL 02, 02477.
  12. Hochspringen PliniusPanegyricus Plinii Secundi Traiano Augusto XIV, 2- 3.
  13. Hochspringen Sheppard Sunderland Frere: Britannia: a history of Roman Britain, 3rd ed., extensively rev. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London/New York 1987, ISBN 0710212151, S. 123.
  14. Hochspringen Le Roux 1982, S. 159–160.
  15. ↑ Hochspringen nach:a b CIL 2, 2667
  16. Hochspringen Anthony R. BirleySeptimius Severus, the African Emperor, Routledge, 1999, ISBN 978-0-415-16591-4, S. 125.
  17. Hochspringen CIL 2, 4114
  18. Hochspringen CIL 02, 04121
  19. Hochspringen CIL 02, 04121.
  20. Hochspringen CIL 13, 07564.
  21. Hochspringen Karen Eva Carr: Vandals to Visigoths: rural settlement patterns in early Medieval Spain, University of Michigan Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-472-10891-6, S. 165.
  22. ↑ Hochspringen nach:a b ND Or. VII.
  23. Hochspringen ND Occ. XLII (in provincia Callaecia praefectus legionis septimae geminae, Legione)
  24. ↑ Hochspringen nach:a b c Notitia Dignitatum Occ. V.
  25. Hochspringen Die „gallischen“ Septimani iuniores könnten auch aus der Legio VII Claudia hervorgegangen sein. Luke Ueda-Sarson:Comes Hispenias
  26. Hochspringen ND Occ. VII.
  27. Hochspringen Zum Legionslager siehe: Walter Trillmich und Annette Nünnerich-Asmus (Hrsg.): Hispania Antiqua – Denkmäler der Römerzeit. von Zabern, Mainz 1993, ISBN 3-8053-1547-3, bes. S. 224–226 und 421; Antonio García y Bellido: Estudios sobre la legio VII Gemina y su campamento en León. In: Legio VII Gemina. Kolloquiumsband León 1970; A. Morillo Cerdán/ V. García Marcos: The Roman camps at Léon (Spain): state of the research and new approaches. In: Ángel Morillo/ Norbert Hanel/ Esperanza Martín (Hrsg.): Limes XX. XX Congresso international de estudios sobre la frontera romana. Madrid 2009, ISBN 978-84-00-08854-5, S. 389–406.
  28. ↑ Hochspringen nach:a b CIL 2, 3588HD004805
  29. Hochspringen Zahlen nach Le Roux 1982
  30. Hochspringen Alfred Michael Hirt: Imperial Mines and Quarries in the Roman World: Organizational Aspects 27 BC-AD 235 (Oxford Classical Monographs), Oxford University Press, Oxford 2010, ISBN 978-019957287-8, S. 76 und 120–121.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legio_VII_Gemina

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Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Vestibolo Di Polifemo room

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)
Villa romana di Piazza Armerina - Sicilia - tigre.JPG

mosaic from the Big Game Hunt
Villa Romana del Casale is located in Italy

Villa Romana del Casale
Shown within Italy
Location Piazza ArmerinaProvince of EnnaSicilyItaly
Type Roman villa
Area 8.92 ha (22.0 acres)
History
Founded First quarter of the 4th century AD
Abandoned 12th century AD
Periods Late Antiquity to High Middle Ages
Cultures Roman
Site notes
Archaeologists Paolo Orsi, Giuseppe Cultrera, Gino Vinicio GentiliAndrea Carandini
Ownership Public
Website www.villaromanadelcasale.it
Official name Villa Romana del Casale
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii
Designated 1997 (21st session)
Reference no. 832
Region Europe and North America

The Villa Romana del Casale (SicilianVilla Rumana dû Casali) is a large and elaborate Roman villa or palace located about 3 km from the town of Piazza ArmerinaSicily. Excavations have revealed one of the richest, largest and varied collections of Roman mosaics in the world,[1] for which the site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[2] The villa and artwork contained within date to the early 4th century AD.

The over 3000 sq. metres of mosaic and opus sectilepavement are also almost unique in their excellent state of preservation due to the landslide and floods which covered the remains.

Although less well-known, an extraordinary collection of frescoes covered not only the interior rooms but also the exterior walls.

History

Plan of the villa

The visible remains of the villa were constructed in the first quarter of the 4th century AD on the remains of an older villa rustica, which are the pars dominica, or master’s residence, of a large latifundium or agricultural estate.[3]

Three successive construction phases have been identified; the first phase involved the quadrangular peristyle and the facing rooms. The private bath complex was then added on a north-west axis. In a third phase the villa took on a public character: the baths were given a new entrance and a large latrine, and a grand monumental entrance was built, off-axis to the peristyle but aligned with the new baths entrance and in a formal arrangement with the elliptical (or ovoid) arcade and the grand tri-apsidal hall. This hall was used for entertainment and relaxation for special guests and replaced the two state halls of the peristyle (the “hall of the small hunt” and the “diaeta of Orpheus”). The basilica was expanded and decorated with beautiful and exotic marbles.

The complex remained inhabited for at least 150 years and a village grew around it, named Platia(derived from the word palatium (palace).

Peristyle

In the 5th and 6th centuries, the villa was fortified for defensive purposes by thickening the perimeter walls and by closing of the arcades of the aqueduct to the baths. The villa was damaged and perhaps destroyed during the domination of the Vandalsand the Visigoths. The outbuildings remained in use, at least in part, during the Byzantine and Arab periods. The settlement was destroyed in 1160-1 during the reign of William I. The site was abandoned in the 12th century AD after a landslide covered the villa. Survivors moved to the current location of Piazza Armerina.

The villa was almost entirely forgotten, although some of the tallest parts of the remains were always above ground. The area was cultivated for crops. Early in the 19th century, pieces of mosaics and some columns were found. The first official archaeological excavations were carried out later in that century.[4]

The first professional excavations were made by Paolo Orsi in 1929, followed by the work of Giuseppe Cultrera in 1935-39. Major excavations took place in the period 1950-60 led by Gino Vinicio Gentili, after which a cover was built over the mosaics. In the 1970s Andrea Carandini carried out excavations at the site and work has continued to the present day by the University of Rome, La Sapienza. In 2004 the large mediaeval settlement of the 10-12th centuries was found. Since then further sumptuous rooms of the villa have also been revealed.

The latifundium and the villa

Ambulatory of the Big Game Hunt

In late antiquity the Romans partitioned most of the Sicilian hinterland into huge agricultural estates called “latifundia”. The villa’s latifundium is cited in the Itinerarium Antonini and is known as the Filosofiana. The villa’s pars rustica, or agricultural section, has been discovered to the west of the entrance area, as shown by a room divided in three parts by pillars for storage of agricultural products. The size of the villa and the amount and quality of its artwork indicate that it was the pars dominica of such a latifundium.

The owner’s identity has long been discussed and many different hypotheses have been formulated. The owner was probably a member of senatorial class if not of the imperial family itself, i.e. the absolute upper class of the Roman Empire. The most probable owner is of the Constantinian period, Lucius Aradius Valerius Proculus, governor of Sicily between 327 and 331 and consul in 340. The games he organised in Rome in 320 as praetor were so glorious that their fame lasted for a long time, and perhaps the depictions on some mosaics (the “Great Hunt” in corridor 25 and the “Games of the circus” in the baths) recall this event.

The villa was so large as to include multiple reception and state rooms which reflects the need to satisfy a number of different functions and to include spaces for the management of the estate as well as of the villa. This transformed the villa into a city in miniature. The villa would likely have been the permanent or semi-permanent residence of the owner; it would have been where the owner, in his role as patron, received his local clients.

The villa was a single-story building, centred on the peristyle, around which almost all the main public and private rooms were organised. The monumental entrance is via the atrium from the west. Thermal baths are located to the northwest; service rooms and probably guest rooms to the north; private apartments and a huge basilica to the east; and rooms of unknown purpose to the south. Somewhat detached, and appearing almost as an afterthought, is the separate area to the south containing the elliptical peristyle, service rooms, and a huge triclinium (formal dining room).

Palaestra – Two apses room

The overall plan of the villa was dictated by several factors: older constructions on the site, the slight slope on which it was built, and the path of the sun and prevailing winds. The higher ground to the east is occupied by the Great Basilica, the private apartments, and the Corridor of the Great Hunt; the middle ground by the Peristyle, guest rooms, the entrance area, the Elliptical Peristyle, and the triclinium; while the lower ground to the west is dedicated to the thermal baths.

The whole complex is somewhat unusual, as it is organised along three major axes; the primary axis is the (slightly bent) line that passes from the atrium, tablinum, peristyle and the great basilica (coinciding with the path visitors would follow). The thermal baths and the elliptical peristyle with the triclinium are centred on separate axes.

Little is known about the earlier villa, but it appears to have been a large country residence probably built around the beginning of the second century.

Recent excavations have found a second bath complex close to the storerooms at the entrance dating to the late antique phase and showing rare wall mosaics belonging to a basin or a fountain.

Monumental Entrance

Polygonal court mosaic

Access to the villa was through a three-arched gateway, decorated with fountains and military paintings, and closely resembling a triumphal arch. This gave onto the horseshoe courtyard surrounded by marble columns with Ionic capitals with a square fountain at the centre. On the west side of the courtyard was a latrine, and also separate access was given to the baths and to the rest of the villa.

The peristyle garden and the southern rooms

Diaeta of Orpheus

The elegant peristyle garden is decorated with a three-basin fountain, in the centre of which decoration featuring fish swimming among the waves can be seen. Rooms 33 and 34 were dedicated to service functions and have mosaics with geometric motifs while room 34 also features a mosaic installed above the original floor showing female athletic competitions giving it the name “the room of the palestriti”.

Also on the south side is the so-called diaeta of Orpheus, an apsidal room adorned with a remarkable mosaic featuring Orpheus playing the lyre beneath a tree and taming every kind of animal with his music. This room was probably used as a summer dining room or, considering its floor subject, for the enjoyment of music.

Basilica with marble panels

The Basilica

This grand apsidal hall was an audience hall and the most formal room in the villa, accessed through a grand monumental entrance divided by two columns of pink Egyptian granite. An exceptionally elaborate polychrome opus sectile floor consisting of marbles coming from all over the Mediterranean lies at the entrance and is the richest decoration in the villa; it also covered the walls. This type of marble, rather than mosaic, constituted the material of greatest prestige in the Roman world.

The excavations showed that the apse vault was decorated with glass mosaics.

Opus sectile floor – Basilica

Triclinium and elliptical peristyle

On the south side of the villa is an elliptical peristyle, the Xystus, with a semi-circular nymphaeum on the west side. In the open courtyard were fountains spurting from the mosaic pavement.

The Xystus forms a spectacular introduction to the luxurious tri-apsidal triclinium, the great hall that opens to the east. This contains a magnificent set of mosaics dominated in the centre by the enemies encountered by Hercules during his twelve labours. In the north apse is his apotheosis crowned by Jupiter, while to the east are the Giants with serpentine limbs and in their death throes, having been struck by Hercules’ arrows. In the south apse is the myth of Lycurgus who tried to kill the nymph Ambrosia, but was encircled by grapevines and attacked by a crowd of Maenads.

Mosaics

Bikini girls

The “bikini girls” mosaic, showing girls playing sports. To the left, a girl in a toga offers a crown and victor’s palmfrond to “the winner”

In 1959-60, Gentili excavated a mosaic on the floor of the room dubbed the “Chamber of the Ten Maidens” (Sala delle Dieci Ragazze in Italian). Informally called “the bikini girls”, the maidens appear in a mosaic artwork which scholars named Coronation of the Winner. The young women perform sports including weight-lifting, discus throwing, running and ball-games. A girl in a toga offers a crown and victor’s palm frond to “the winner”.[5]

The Little Hunt

Another well-preserved mosaic shows a hunt, with hunters using dogs and capturing a variety of game.

The Little Hunt mosaic

Gallery

References

Sources

  • Petra C. Baum-vom Felde, Die geometrischen Mosaiken der Villa bei Piazza Armerina, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-8300-0940-2
  • Brigit Carnabuci: Sizilien – Kunstreiseführer, DuMont Buchverlag, Köln 1998, ISBN 3-7701-4385-X
  • Luciano Catullo and Gail Mitchell, 2000. The Ancient Roman Villa of Casale at Piazza Armerina: Past and Present
  • R. J. A. Wilson: Piazza Armerina, Granada Verlag: London 1983, ISBN 0-246-11396-0.
  • A. Carandini – A. Ricci – M. de Vos, Filosofiana, The villa of Piazza Armerina. The image of a Roman aristocrat at the time of Constantine, Palermo: 1982.
  • S. Settis, “Per l’interpretazione di Piazza Armerina”, in Mélanges de l’École française de Rome, Antiquité 87, 1975, 2, pp. 873–994.

Further reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Romana_del_Casale

https://giacobbegiusti9.wordpress.com/category/villa-romaine-du-casale/

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Aquileia, Basilica patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta, mosaici del pavimento

Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

Giacobbe Giusti, THE MOSAICS IN AQUILEIA’S BASILICA

Basilica di aquilieia, esterno 01.JPG

Façade of the church.
Basic information
Location Aquileia, Italy
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Province Udine
Country Italy
Year consecrated 1031
Ecclesiastical or organizational status National monument
Architectural description
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Romanesque

The nave.

Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta (ItalianBasilica Patriarcale di Santa Maria Assunta is the principal church in the town of Aquileia, in the Province of Udine and the region of Friuli-Venezia GiuliaItaly.

The original church dated back to the fourth century. The current basilica was built in the eleventh century and rebuilt again in the thirteenth century. It is located on Via Sacra, overlooking the Piazza del Capitolo, along with the bell tower and baptistery.

 

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_di_Santa_Maria_Assunta_(Aquileia)#Mosaici

https://giacobbegiusti9.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/giacobbe-giusti-basilique-patriarcale-daquilee/

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Gesù risorto e gli apostoli sul lago di Tiberiade, affresco della Basilica di Sant’Angelo in Formis, Capua (Caserta)

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Sant'Angelo in Formis -Il drammatico bacio di Giuda

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Risultati immagini per sant angelo in formis affreschi

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Risultati immagini per sant angelo in formis affreschi

Giacobbe Giusti, Sant’Angelo in Formis, abbey

Façade of the abbey.

Sant’Angelo in Formis is an abbey in the municipality of Capua, southern Italy. The church, dedicated to St Michael Archangel, lies on the western slopes of Monte Tifata.

It was once referred to as ad arcum Dianae (“near the Arch of Diana“), as it lies on the remains of a Roman temple to that goddess.

The church was built in the eleventh century by Desiderius, the abbot of Monte Cassino, who also rebuilt that abbey. At Monte Cassino the decoration was carried out by Byzantine (Greek) artists hired from Constantinople and the decoration of Sant’Angelo displays a mingling of the Byzantine (Eastern) and Latin (Western) traditions.[1] The frescos were painted by Greek artists and by Italian pupils trained in their methods. Examples of the mingling of styles cited in Hall include:

1. The “lunette over the entrance with a half-length figure of St. Michael and above him an orant Virgin in a medallion supported by flying angels, with an inscription in Greek on the lintel at the foot. The treatment is wholly Byzantine except for the Latin motif of a crown on the Virgin’s head”.[2]

2. The evangelists around the enthroned Christ in the Apse are in the form of the four symbolic creatures of the Latin tradition, rather than being shown as figures (often seating at writing desks) in the Greek manner.[2]

3. Subjects from the Old Testament and New Testament line the walls of the nave. The content of individual scenes and the grouping of figures is described by Hall as being “typically Byzantine”, but the whole forms an historical narrative series on the Western model, evidently just as in the basilicas of early Christian Rome.[2]

References

  1. Jump up^ Hall, James. A History of Ideas and Images in Italian Art. London, 1983. pp107 & 134
  2. Jump up to:a b c Hall, James (1983). A History of Ideas and Images in Italian Art. London: John Murray. p. 134. ISBN 0-7195-3971-4.

External links

 

Giacobbe Giusti, SANDRO BOTTICELLI and PIERO di COSIMO: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

imGiacobbe Giusti, SANDRO BOTTICELLI: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

Giacobbe Giusti, SANDRO BOTTICELLI: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

Giacobbe Giusti, SANDRO BOTTICELLI: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

Giacobbe Giusti, SANDRO BOTTICELLI: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

Giacobbe Giusti, SANDRO BOTTICELLI: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

Giacobbe Giusti, Piero di Cosimo: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

Giacobbe Giusti, Piero di Cosimo: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI

Giacobbe Giusti, SANDRO BOTTICELLI and PIERO di COSIMO: SIMONETTA VESPUCCI
 
Piero di Cosimo - Portrait de femme dit de Simonetta Vespucci - Google Art Project.jpg

Portrait of a woman, said to be of Simonetta Vespucci (c. 1490) by Piero di Cosimo
Born 1453[1]
Genoa or Portovenere, Liguria, Italy
Died 26 April 1476(1476-04-26) (aged 22–23)[1]
Florence, Italy
Spouse(s) Marco Vespucci
Parent(s) Gaspare Cattaneo Della Volta and Cattocchia Spinola

Simonetta Vespucci (née Cattaneo; 1453 – 26 April 1476[1]), nicknamed la bella Simonetta, was an Italian noblewoman from Genoa, the wife of Marco Vespucci of Florence and the cousin-in-law of Amerigo Vespucci. According to her legend, before her death at 22 she was famous as the greatest beauty of her age in North Italy, and the model for many paintings (many not showing similar features at all) by Botticelli and other Florentine painters. Many art historians are infuriated by these attributions, which the Victorian critic John Ruskin is blamed for giving some respectability.[2]

Biography

Early life and marriage

She was born as Simonetta Cattaneo circa 1453 in a part of the Republic of Genoa that is now in the Italian region of Liguria. A more precise location for her birthplace is unknown: possibly the city of Genoa,[3] or perhaps either Portovenere or Fezzano.[4] The Florentine poet Politian wrote that her home was “in that stern Ligurian district up above the seacoast, where angry Neptune beats against the rocks … There, like Venus, she was born among the waves.”[5] Her father was a Genoese nobleman named Gaspare Cattaneo della Volta (a much-older relative of a sixteenth-century Doge of Genoa named Leonardo Cattaneo della Volta) and her mother was Gaspare’s wife, Cattocchia Spinola (another source names her parents slightly differently as Gaspare Cattaneo and Chateroccia di Marco Spinola.[6]

At age fifteen or sixteen she married Marco Vespucci, son of Piero, who was a distant cousin of the explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. They met in April 1469; she was with her parents at the church of San Torpete when she met Marco; the doge Piero il Fregoso and much of the Genoese nobility were present.

Marco had been sent to Genoa by his father, Piero, to study at the Banco di San Giorgio. Marco was accepted by Simonetta’s father, and he was very much in love with her, so the marriage was logical. Her parents also knew the marriage would be advantageous because Marco’s family was well connected in Florence, especially to the Medici family.

Florence

Simonetta and Marco were married in Florence. According to her legend, Simonetta was instantly popular at the Florentine court. The Medici brothers, Lorenzo and Giuliano took an instant liking toward her. Lorenzo permitted the Vespucci wedding to be held at the palazzo in Via Larga, and held the wedding reception at their lavish Villa di Careggi. Simonetta, upon arriving in Florence, was discovered by Sandro Botticelli and other prominent painters through the Vespucci family. Before long she had supposedly attracted the brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano of the ruling Medici family. Lorenzo was occupied with affairs of state, but his younger brother was free to pursue her.

At La Giostra (a jousting tournament) in 1475, held at the Piazza Santa Croce, Giuliano entered the lists bearing a banner on which was a picture of Simonetta as a helmeted Pallas Athene painted by Botticelli, beneath which was the French inscription La Sans Pareille, meaning “The unparalleled one”.[7] It is clear that Simonetta had a reputation as an exceptional beauty in Florence,[8] but the whole display should be considered within the conventions of courtly love; Simonetta was a married woman,[9] a member of a powerful family allied to the Medici,[10] and any actual affair would have been a huge political risk.

Giuliano won the tournament,[11] and Simonetta was nominated “The Queen of Beauty” at that event. It is unknown, and unlikely, that they actually became lovers.

Death

Simonetta Vespucci died just one year later, presumably from tuberculosis,[12] on the night of 26–27 April 1476. She was twenty-two at the time of her death. She was carried through the city in an open coffin for all to admire her beauty, and there seems to have been some kind of posthumous popular cult in Florence.[13] Her husband remarried soon afterward, and Giuliano de Medici was assassinated in the Pazzi conspiracy in 1478, two years to the day after her death.

Botticelli finished painting The Birth of Venus around 1486, some ten years later. Some have claimed that Venus, in this painting, closely resembles Simonetta.[14] This claim, however, is dismissed as a “romantic myth” by Ernst Gombrich,[15] and “romantic nonsense” by historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto:

The vulgar assumption, for instance, that she was Botticelli’s model for all his famous beauties seems to be based on no better grounds than the feeling that the most beautiful woman of the day ought to have modelled for the most sensitive painter.[16]

Some, including Ruskin, suggest that Botticelli also had fallen in love with her, a view supported by his request to be buried in the Church of Ognissanti – the parish church of the Vespucci – in Florence. His wish was carried out when he died some 34 years later, in 1510. However this had been Botticelli’s parish church since he was baptized there, and he was buried with his family. The church contained works by him.

There are some connections between Simonetta and Botticelli. He painted the standard carried by Giuliano at the joust in 1475, which carried an image of Pallas Athene that was very probably modelled on her; so he does seem to have painted her once at least, though the image is now lost.[17] Botticelli’s main Medici patron, Giuliano’s younger cousin Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, married Simonetta’s niece Semiramide in 1482, and it is often thought that his Primavera was painted as a wedding gift on this occasion.[18]

Possible depictions

Regarding each Portrait of a Woman pictured above that is credited to the workshop of Sandro Botticelli, Ronald Lightbown claims they were creations of Botticelli’s workshop that were likely neither drawn nor painted exclusively by Botticelli himself. Regarding these same two paintings he also claims “[Botticell’s work]shop…executed portraits of ninfe, or fair ladies…all probably fancy portraits of ideal beauties, rather than real ladies.”[20]

She may be depicted in the painting by Piero di Cosimo titled Portrait of a woman, said to be of Simonetta Vespucci that portrays a woman as Cleopatra with an asp around her neck and is alternatively titled by some individuals Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci. Yet how closely this resembles the living woman is uncertain, partly because if this is indeed a rendering of her form and spirit it is a posthumous portrait created about fourteen years after her death. Worth noting as well is the fact that Piero di Cosimo was only fourteen years old in the year of Vespucci’s death. The museum that currently houses this painting questions the very identity of its subject by titling it “Portrait of a woman, said to be of Simonetta Vespucci”, and stating that the inscription of her name at the bottom of the painting may have been added at a later date.[21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simonetta_Vespucci

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

 

 

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

gala placida - Căutare Google

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Ceiling mosaic Garden of Eden.

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

The Good Shepherd.

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a Roman building in Ravenna, Italy. It was listed with seven other structures in Ravenna in the World Heritage List in 1996.[1] The UNESCO experts describe it as “the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect”.

History

Giacobbe Giusti, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Giacobbe Giusti, Interior view, showing the southern lunette.

Ceiling

The building was formerly the oratory of the Church of the Holy Cross and now contains three sarcophagi. The largest sarcophagus was thought to contain the remains of Galla Placidia (died 450), daughter of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. Her embalmed body was reportedly deposited there in a sitting position, clothed with the imperial mantle. In 1577, however, the contents of the sarcophagus were accidentally burned. The sarcophagus to the right is attributed to Galla’s son, Emperor Valentinian III, or to her brother, Emperor Honorius. The one on the left is attributed to her husband, Emperor Constantius III.

The building is not currently used as a mausoleum. It is unknown what the building was intended for when it was built. The most common story is that the structure was built by Galla Placidia, who was a well-known patron of the arts, to be used as a mausoleum for her and her family. There seems to be no evidence to prove or disprove Galla’s connection to the building. The mausoleum was once connected to the narthex of Santa Croce, the church for the imperial palace, built in 417 but now in ruins. Santa Croce was one of the first buildings commissioned by Galla. The floor has been raised by five feet since the fifth century in order to remain above the rising water along the upper Adriatic coast.

Giacobbe Giusti, Architecture and interior art

Ceiling mosaic Garden of Eden.

Mosaics cover the walls of the vault, the lunettes and the cupola. The iconographic themes developed in the decorations represent the victory of eternal life over death. The mausoleum is laid out in a cruciform floor plan, with a central dome on pendentives and barrel vaults over the four transepts. The exterior of the dome is enclosed in a square tower that rises above the gabled lateral wings. The brick surface is set with narrow mortar joints and decorated with blind arcades.

The interior of the mausoleum is covered with rich Byzantine mosaics, and light enters through alabaster window panels. The inside contains two famous mosaic lunettes, and the rest of the interior is filled with mosaics of Christian and Apocalyptic symbols. The central bay’s upper walls are decorated with four pairs of apostles, including St. Peter and St. Paul, acclaiming a giant gold cross in the center of the dome against a blue sky of stars. Symbols of the four evangelists float among the clouds. The other four apostles appear in the barrel vaults of the transepts.

The lunette over the north entrance shows a mosaic of Christ as the Good Shepherd tending his flocks. He holds an imperial staff joined to the Christian cross, symbolizing the combined earthly and heavenly domains. The lunette over the south wall is thought to depict St. Lawrence standing next to a flaming gridiron. On the opposite side of the gridiron a bookcase is shown with four books, each inscribed with the name of an evangelist.

The art historian Gillian Mackie argues that this panel represents the Spanish St. Vincent of Saragossa rather than the Italian St. Lawrence.[2] Mackie cites Galla’s connection to Spain; in addition, St. Vincent was martyred by drowning at sea, and Galla and her children had been delivered from shipwreck. The panel seems to be an illustration of the poem about St. Vincent in Prudentius’s fifth century Passio Sancti Vincent Martyris. In the poem St. Vincent is ordered to disclose his sacred books to be burned. This explains the cupboard containing the Gospels, which has no satisfactory explanation in the story of St. Lawrence.

Giacobbe Giusti, Good Shepherd Mosaic

The Lunette of Christ as Good Shepherd over the north entrance is representative of Christian art at this time period in late antiquity. Christ is being depicted as more regal than prior depictions of him as good shepherd. Rather than carrying a lamb over his shoulder, Jesus sits amongst his flock, haloed and robed in gold and purple. The mosaic represents a transition period between the naturalistic depictions of the classical period in art history and the stylized representations of the medieval period. The forms still have three-dimensional bulk, but the shading such as in the folds of the robes is less refined than in the past, and figures are not very grounded. Elements of realism have been sacrificed for a focus on the spiritual elements

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mausoleum_of_Galla_.com

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna: Lunetta di Abramo (mosaico VI sec.)

Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

Mosaico del Coro a San Vitale a Ravenna: Gli angeli e Abramo.

Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

Anonimo, Giustiniano e la sua corte

Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

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Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale

The “Basilica of San Vitale” is a church in Ravenna, Italy, and one of the most important examples of early Christian Byzantine art and architecture in Europe. The Roman Catholic Church has designated the building a “basilica”, the honorific title bestowed on church buildings of exceptional historic and ecclesial importance, although of course it is not of architectural basilica form. It is one of eight Ravenna structures inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

History

The church was begun by Bishop Ecclesius in 526, when Ravenna was under the rule of the Ostrogoths and completed by the 27th Bishop of Ravenna, Maximian, in 547 preceding the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna.

The construction of the church was sponsored by Julius Argentarius, a Roman banker and architect, of whom very little is known, except that he also sponsored the construction of the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe at around the same time.[1] (A donor portrait of Julius Argentarius may appear among the courtiers on the Justinian mosaic.) The final cost amounted to 26,000 solidi (gold pieces).[2]

The central vault used a western technique of hollow tubes inserted into each other, rather than bricks. The ambulatory and gallery were vaulted only later in the Middle Ages.[3]

The Baroque fresco on the dome was made between 1778 and 1782 by S. Barozzi, U. Gandolfi and E. Guarana.[4]

Architecture

Ground plan of the building
Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale
Giacobbe Giusti, mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale
Mosaics of Justinianus I and Theodora.

The church has an octagonal plan. The building combines Roman elements: the dome, shape of doorways, and stepped towers; with Byzantine elements: polygonal apse, capitals, narrow bricks, and an early example of flying buttresses. The church is most famous for its wealth of Byzantine mosaics, the largest and best preserved outside of Constantinople. The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of the Emperor Justinian I to survive virtually intact to the present day. Furthermore, it is thought to reflect the design of the Byzantine Imperial Palace Audience Chamber, of which nothing at all survives. The belltower has four bells, the tenor one dates to the 16th century. According to legends, the church was erected on the site of the martyrdom of Saint Vitalis.[5] However, there is some confusion as to whether this is the Saint Vitalis of Milan, or the Saint Vitale whose body was discovered together with that of Saint Agricola, by Saint Ambrose in Bologna in 393.

Mosaic art

The presbytery.

Triumphal arch mosaics of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

The interior of San Vitale

The central section is surrounded by two superposed ambulatories. The upper one, the matrimoneum, was reserved for married women. A series of mosaics in the lunettes above the triforia depict sacrifices from the Old Testament:[6] the story of Abraham and Melchizedek, and the Sacrifice of Isaac; the story of Moses and the Burning Bush, Jeremiah and Isaiah, representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the story of Abel and Cain. A pair of angels, holding a medallion with a cross, crowns each lunette. On the side walls the corners, next to the mullioned windows, have mosaics of the Four Evangelists, under their symbols (angel, lion, ox and eagle), and dressed in white. Especially the portrayal of the lion is remarkable in its ferocity.

The cross-ribbed vault in the presbytery is richly ornamented with mosaic festoons of leaves, fruit and flowers, converging on a crown encircling the Lamb of God. The crown is supported by four angels, and every surface is covered with a profusion of flowers, stars, birds and animals, including many peacocks. Above the arch, on both sides, two angels hold a disc and beside them a representation of the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. They symbolize the human race (Jerusalem representing the Jews, and Bethlehem the Gentiles).

All these mosaics are executed in the Hellenistic-Roman tradition: lively and imaginative, with rich colors and a certain perspective, and with a vivid depiction of the landscape, plants and birds. They were finished when Ravenna was still under Gothic rule. The apse is flanked by two chapels, the prothesis and the diaconicon, typical for Byzantine architecture.

Inside, the intrados of the great triumphal arch is decorated with fifteen mosaic medallions, depicting Jesus Christ, the twelve Apostles and Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasius, the sons of Saint Vitale. The theophany was begun in 525 under bishop Ecclesius. It has a great gold fascia with twining flowers, birds, and horns of plenty. Jesus Christ appears, seated on a blue globe in the summit of the vault, robed in purple, with his right hand offering the martyr’s crown to Saint Vitale. On the left, Bishop Ecclesius offers a model of the church.

Justinian and Theodora panels

Apse mosaic.
The mosaic of Emperor Justinian and his retinue.

Empress Theodora and attendants.

Ceiling mosaic above the presbytery.

At the foot of the apse side walls are two famous mosaic panels, executed in 547. On the right is a mosaic depicting the East Roman Emperor Justinian I, clad in Tyrian purple with a golden halo, standing next to court officials, Bishop Maximian, palatinae guards and deacons. The halo around his head gives him the same aspect as Christ in the dome of the apse. Justinian himself stands in the middle, with soldiers on his right and clergy on his left, emphasizing that Justinian is the leader of both church and state of his empire.

The gold background of the mosaic shows that Justinian and his entourage are inside the church. The figures are placed in a V shape; Justinian is placed in the front and in the middle to show his importance with Bishop Maximian on his left and lesser individuals being placed behind them. This placement can be seen through the overlapping feet of the individuals present in the mosaic.[7]

Another panel shows Empress Theodora solemn and formal, with golden halo, crown and jewels, and a train of court ladies. She is almost depicted as a goddess. As opposed to the V formation of the figures in the Justinian mosaic, the mosaic with Empress Theodora shows the figures moving from left to right into the church. Theodora is seen holding the wine.

http://www.ravennamosaici.it/musei/san-vitale/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_San_Vitale

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com