A leisurely rummage through the history of Roman Victory Titles reveals some very unexpected curiosities when serendipity intervenes.
A feature highlighted by Gunnar Heinsohn’s analysis of the Gothic Wars of Late Antiquity [450s-640s AD] is the repeated use of the “Gothicus” Victory Title.
These repeated references prompted me [once again] to don my tin-foil hat and look for data artefacts that might provide some insights into how exactly the Roman Narrative was cobbled together using historical snippets that had been spliced and diced.
A victory title is an honorific title adopted by a successful military commander to commemorate his defeat of an enemy nation.
The practice was first used by Ancient Rome and is still most commonly associated with the Romans, but it was also adopted as a practice by many later empires, especially the French, British and Russian Empires.
The Wikipedia list of Roman Imperial Victory Titles didn’t disappoint.
The dataset begins with outlier events that are indicative of splicing and dicing.
Caligula and Claudius were both “born with” the “Germanicus” Victory Titles.
○ Germanicus (“Victorious in Germania”), born with it
○ Germanicus (“Victorious in Germania”), born with it
○ Britannicus (“Victorious in Britain”), 44
Without these initial “born with” Victory Titles the Roman narrative would find itself having to explain away how the Romans were “Victorious in Britain” [44 AD] without first having achieved some memorable victories in Europe.
More on that later.
The dataset also ends with outlier events that are indicative of splicing and dicing.
Justinian the Great acquires fives Victory Titles upon his accession.
Justinian I, 527–565
○ Alamannicus (“Victorious over the Alamanni”), on accession
○ Gothicus (“Victorious over the Goths”), on accession
○ Francicus (“Victorious over the Franks”), on accession
○ Anticus (“Victorious over the Antae”), on accession
○ Alanicus (“Victorious over the Alans”), on accession
○ Vandalicus (“Victorious over the Vandals”), after the Vandalic War, 534
○ Africanus (“Victorious in Africa”), after the Vandalic War, 534
The “on accession” Victory Titles acquired by Justinian the Great in 527 AD are even more remarkable because they mark the revival of Victory Titles after 190 years of dormancy.
○ Sarmaticus (“Victorious over the Sarmatians”)
Constans or Constans I was Roman Emperor from 337 to 350.
Almost immediately, Constans was required to deal with a Sarmatian invasion in late 337, in which he won a resounding victory.
The concentration of Victory Titles around 300 AD echoes the curious concentration of Short Reign Emperors.
This reinforces the view that two completely different sets of data have been merged.
The life expectancy data suggests the compilers of the mainstream Roman Chronology merged two completely different sets of data during the 3rd and 4th centuries.
There are intriguing repetitions when Diocletian and Constantine the Great return to fight old foes after [in round number] 100 or 200 years.
Conceptually, this is no surprise as Diocletian is the “most radical” of the 300 year repeaters.
Correctly dating the construction of the Amphitheatre of Serdica is difficult because Diocletian is considered the “most radical” of the 300 Year Repeaters who probably belongs in the 1st century AD.
By averting their eyes students fail to see the incongruous chronological seam that was created when Diocletian and Pompey’s Pillar were clumsily extracted from the 1st century BC.
However, if Diocletian is also a 100 year repeater then this implies Septimius Severus and Lucius Verus should be classified as [roughly] 200 year repeaters.
Similarly, if Constantine the Great is also a 200 year repeater then this implies Trajan should be classified as a [roughly] 100 year repeater.
The 100 Year Credibility Gap
A charitable interpretation of the data suggests the first 100 years of the Roman Empire narrative is creative fiction using characters and artefacts from the Roman Republic.
The 200 Year Credibility Gap
The 200 Year Credibility Gap suggests the concept of the Roman Empire was created in the 2nd millennium to validate and encapsulate the narrative of Jesus of Nazareth.
The original scope of this posting was intended to end here with an inscribed example of the “Britannicus Maximus” Victory Title.
However, serendipity intervened.
The issue of whether the Romans were “Victorious in Britain” before they were “Victorious in Germania” is underlined by the Victory Titles sequence in the above inscription which refers to “Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix Augustus” aka Caracalla.
Caracalla, formally known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 198 to 217 AD.
○ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Caesar (195 to 198)
○ Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (198 to 211)
Wikipedia fails to list Caracalla’s “Parthicus Maximus” Victory Title.
○ Britannicus Maximus (“The great victor in Britain”), 209 or 210
○ Germanicus Maximus (“The great victor in Germania”), 213
The Epigraphic Database Heidelberg appears uncertain as to whether the text is inscribed into a Milestone or a Leaguestone.
type of inscription: mile-/leaguestone
Epigraphic Database Heidelberg – HD048588
The Roman milestone is an academically neglected [aka glossed over] object.
It’s said Roman milestones were “at intervals of one mile” [no mention of leagues].
In reality: Roman miles are “infinitely longer” in mountainous terrains.
This particular inscription was found in Macedonia and [coincidently of course] Caracalla was “inordinately preoccupied” with Macedonia and he “openly” went around in “Macedonian dress”.
Epigraphic Database Heidelberg – HD048588
After Caracalla concluded his campaign against the Alamanni, it became evident that he was inordinately preoccupied with the Greek-Macedonian general and conqueror Alexander the Great.
He began openly mimicking Alexander in his personal style.
1. Caracalla, after attending to matters in the garrison camps along the Danube River, went down into Thrace at the Macedonian border, and immediately he became Alexander the Great.
To revive the memory of the Macedonian in every possible way, he ordered statues and paintings of his hero to be put on public display in all cities.
He filled the Capitol, the rest of the temples, indeed, all Rome, with statues and paintings designed to suggest that he was a second Alexander.
2. At times we saw ridiculous portraits, statues with one body which had on each side of a single head the faces of Alexander and the emperor.
Caracalla himself went about in Macedonian dress, affecting especially the broad sun hat and short boots.
History of the Roman Empire – Herodian of Antioch – Book 4 – Chapter VIII
Translated from the Greek by Edward C Echols – 1961
Paintings of Ancient Macedonian soldiers, arms, and armaments, from the tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki in Greece, 4th century BC
Caracalla deployed “obsolete” Macedonian-style phalanxes composed [coincidently of course] “entirely of Macedonians”.
In planning his invasion of the Parthian Empire, Caracalla decided to arrange 16,000 of his men in Macedonian-style phalanxes, despite the Roman army having made the phalanx an obsolete tactical formation.
He organized a phalanx, composed entirely of Macedonians, sixteen thousand strong, named it “Alexander’s phalanx,” and equipped it with the arms that warriors had used in his day; these consisted of a helmet of raw ox-hide, a three-ply linen breastplate, a bronze shield, long pike, short spear, high boots, and sword.
Not even this, however, satisfied him, but he must call his hero “the Augustus of the East”; and once he actually wrote to the senate that Alexander had come to life again in the person of the Augustus, that he might live on once more in him, having had such a short life before.
Cassius Dio – Roman History – Epitome of Book LXXVIII – Fred P Miller
Caracalla’s Macedonian-style phalanxes had been “obsolete” for at least 400 years.
The phalanx was a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, sarissas, or similar pole weapons.
The decline of the diadochi and the phalanx was inextricably linked with the rise of Rome and the Roman legion, from the 3rd century BC.
In some of the major battles between the Roman Army and Hellenistic phalanxes, Pydna (168 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC) and Magnesia (190 BC), the phalanx performed relatively well against the Roman army,
Caracalla was “stabbed to death” in 217 AD near the ancient city of Harran in southern Turkey which [coincidently of course] fell to the Macedonians in 331 BC i.e. a gap of 548 years.
At the beginning of 217, Caracalla was still based at Edessa prior to renewing hostilities against Parthia. On 8 April 217 Caracalla was travelling to visit a temple near Carrhae, now Harran in southern Turkey, where in 53 BC the Romans had suffered a defeat at the hands of the Parthians. After stopping briefly to urinate, Caracalla was approached by a soldier, Justin Martialis, and stabbed to death.
Harran was a major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia whose site is near the modern village of Altınbaşak, Turkey, 44 kilometers southeast of Şanlıurfa. …
The city remained in Persian hands until 331 BCE, when the soldiers of the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great entered the city.
It appears Caracalla and Severus Alexander both had a penchant for “obsolete” phalanxes.
On another recent thread I mentioned several units in the Roman Imperial Army – the first dating to the reign of Caracalla (211-217 AD) and the second to the reign of Severus Alexander (222-235 AD) – that were allegedly armed in imitation of the old Spartan and/or Macedonian phalanxes.
Historum – Salah – Forum Staff – Oct 2009
If the mainstream chronology and narrative are correct then the phalanx formation had a remarkably long life that spanned 2,500 years.
Sumerian phalanx formation.
Detail of a fragment of the victory stele of the king Eannatum of Lagash over Umma, called Stele of the Vultures
The Stele of the Vultures is a monument from the Early Dynastic III period (2600–2350 BC) in Mesopotamia celebrating a victory of the city-state of Lagash over its neighbour Umma.
And if the artwork hasn’t been misdated [and/or forged] then the phalanx probably endured for about 3,000 years.
On the other hand:
Perhaps the mainstream narrative have been cobbled together to create a desired result.
As always, the reader is encouraged to review the evidence before deciding whether the Historical Narrative has been spliced and diced.