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1800-Year-Old Horse and Chariot Burial Discovered in Croatia

1800-Year-Old Horse and Chariot Burial Discovered in Croatia

Archaeologists in Croatia have unearthed an 1,800 year-old fossil of a Roman chariot and two horses.

Archaeologists from the City Museum Vinkovci and The Institute of Archaeology from Zagreb discovered the Roman carriage with its two wheels and horses at the Jankovacka Dubrava site close to the village of Stari Jankovci, near the city of Vinkovci, in eastern Croatia.

This ancient equestrian discovery was made in a large burial chamber in which the two horses and a chariot had been lain and because burials beneath such mounds were “exceptional” during the Roman period in the Pannonian Basin it is thought to be part of a burial ritual for extremely wealthy families.

Study The Horses And The Rest Will Follow

The discovery is estimated to be from the 3rd century AD and according to a Daily Mail article, city museum curator Boris Kratofil told local media that the custom of burial under tumuli (mounds) was an exceptional burial custom associated with “extremely wealthy families” who were prominent in the administrative, social, and economic life of the province of Pannonia. ​

Archaeologists in Croatia unearth incredibly well-preserved fossilised remains of a Roman chariot buried with two horses '1,700 years ago' https://t.co/IFx84E2nah

— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) October 17, 2019

The director of the Institute of Archaeology, Marko Dizdar, told press that the discovery was “sensational” and “unique” in Croatia and that a long process of restoration and conservation will now be carried out on the findings, before a complete analysis and he predicts that in “a few years” we will know a little more about the family buried in around 1,800 years ago.

But according to Dr. Dizdar his team are more interested in the “horses themselves” and whether they were bred here or elsewhere in the Roman Empire. With the answers to these questions the researchers will be better positioned to assess the importance, wealth, and status of the buried family.

Ancient Croatia Was Musical Chairs

Around 1,000 BC Croatia was populated with incoming Illyrians of Indo-European origin who were themselves displaced in the 4th century BC by invading Celtic tribes who drove the Illyrians into what is today Albania. According to an MSN News article in 168 BC the Romans conquered the last Illyrian king, Genthius, and slowly expanded the Roman province of Illyricum through wars, taking over most of the Dalmatian coast, renaming Illyricum as Dalmatia (covering most of today's Croatia), and by 11 BC they had extended their empire to the Danube River.

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The Roman provinces of Illyricum. (DIREKTOR / )

Romans ruled over Dalmatia for 500 years and built a road network linking the Aegean and Black Seas with the Danube River and made Solin their capital. In the late 3rd century AD when the Roman Empire fragmented, the region was divided into Dalmatia Salonitana and Dalmatia Praevalitana which was the precursor for the division of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. By 395 AD, Eastern and Western Empires existed with modern day Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Hercegovina in the west and Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia on the east which later became part of the Byzantine Empire .

What Was Ritual Horse Burial All About?

Returning to the horse burial , the scientists, and all of the press coverage you will read say the discovery was a “ ritual burial ”, but what does this actually mean in the context of horses? Seeking an answer as to what the practice meant one might turn to a fascinating 2017 research paper written by Dr. Pamela J. Cross and published on Cambridge.org titled Horse Burial in First Millennium AD Britain: Issues of Interpretation .

Excavation of a Roman horse burial in London in 2006. (Mididoctors~commonswiki / )

According to Dr. Cross, horse burials are prevalent across northwest Europe and represent "ritual deposition” and according to her paper both horse and human-horse burials are linked to non-Christian burial and sacrificial practices of the Iron Age and Early Medieval period.

Furthermore, Dr. Cross wrote that the Icelandic Sagas , Beowulf, and other legends and chronicles reflect archaeological findings and that the human-horse burials are linked with “high status individuals” and “ warrior graves ” just like the discovery in Croatia. And answering what complete-horse and horse-element burials may represent, she said “ritual feasting and/or sacrificial rites linked with fertility, luck, and the ancestors”.

Quite obviously, when the horses and chariot were being buried nobody closed their eyes and asked for a little luck in the special grave never being found and opened.

PHOTOS: 1,800-year-old Roman chariot with horses found buried in Croatia

17 October 2019 – An amazing discovery has been made by archaeologists in Stari Jankovci, near Vinkovci in eastern Croatia.

A two-wheeled Roman chariot with the fossilised remains of two horses has been found in a large burial chamber which was 40 meters in diameter and had a preserved height of about 1 metre, Novosti.hr reported.

(Photo credit: Franjo Sorčik/Novosti.hr)

The burial is believed to be the result of a lavish funeral ritual for extremely wealthy Roman families dating back almost 2,000 years.

“This custom is associated with extremely wealthy families who played a prominent role in the administrative, social and economic life of the province of Pannonia. By locating an earthen mound along one of the most important thoroughfares of the Roman Empire, which connected the Apennine Peninsula with Pannonia and the Balkans and Asia Minor, the aristocratic family settled near Cibalia and wanted to show to all travelers who traveled along this road their status and wealth,” said expert Boris Kratofil.

(Photo credit: Franjo Sorčik/Novosti.hr)

Although the findings have not yet been fully investigated, it is estimated from the metal parts of the chariot and numerous horse equipment which were found, that the investigated tomb dates from the 3rd century AD, which, as Kratofil pointed out, is one of the youngest examples of this funeral custom.

The discovery was made by archaeologists from the City Museum of Vinkovci and the Institute of Archeology from Zagreb who had been investigating the Stari Jankovci site since 2017. Marko Dizdar, director of the Institute of Archaeology, said the find was an amazing and sensational discovery and unique in Croatia.

(Photo credit: Franjo Sorčik/Novosti.hr)

“Now is a long process of restoration and conservation of the findings, but also a complete analysis of the findings. In a few years we will know more about the family whose members were buried in this area 1,800 years ago. We are also more interested in the horses themselves, that is, whether they were bred from here or came from other parts of the empire, and what will it tell us about the very importance and wealth of this family. We will achieve this through cooperation with domestic as well as numerous European institutions,” said Dizdar.

(Photo credit: Franjo Sorčik/Novosti.hr)

He also announced that after the restoration, the Roman chariot which was found will be part of a permanent exhibition of the City Museum in Vinkovci.

Vinkovci is also known as the oldest city in Europe which has been continuously inhabited for more than 8,000 years. It is also the birthplace of two Roman Emperors – Valentinian and Valens.

Iron Age Chariot Burial Site Found – Complete with Horse and Rider

In the second time in two years, an Iron Age chariot has been found buried in a Yorkshire community. The discovery was made in the town of Pocklington, England, at a construction site where more than 200 homes are being built.

As of early October 2018, archaeologists are working to fully excavate the find. Media reports say that not only a chariot but also horse and human remains were discovered.

Simon Usher, managing director at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “We can confirm that a significant archaeological discovery, featuring an Iron Age horse-drawn chariot, has been made at our development, The Mile in Pocklington. Careful excavation is ongoing by our archaeologists and a thorough investigation is in the process to date and detail the find.”

View from Pocklington to Burnby Lane. Photo by Andy Beecroft CC BY-SA 2.0

In a bizarre twist, 18 months ago, another Iron Age chariot was found, along with two horses, at a different construction site in Pocklington. Archaeology Arts reported in 2017: “The chariot was buried as part of a funerary practice that was not uncommon in the Iron Age. However, the horses were a rather surprising addition for archaeologists.”

The Telegraph said that “the find of the remains dating back to 500 BC is the first of its kind in the last 200 years and one of only 26 chariots ever excavated in the UK.”

Chariot burial, illustration.

Archaeologists say it is highly unusual for a horse and chariot to be buried together and with a human. In 2017, Paula Ware, managing director at MAP Archaeological Practice Ltd, told a reporter, “The chariot was located in the final square barrow to be excavated and on the periphery of the cemetery.”

She continued, “The discoveries are set to widen our understanding of the Arras (Middle Iron Age) culture and the dating of artifacts to secure contexts is exceptional.”

Bronze snaffle bit from the King’s Barrow burial in Yorkshire, now in the British Museum. Tag on exhibit reads: Bronze bridle-bit from the chariot burial known as the King’s Barrow, Arras, East Yorkshire, 200-100 BC. Presented by Sir A. W. Franks. Photo by Ealdgyth CC BY-SA 3.0

A chariot was the possession of a high-status individual. The rite of including horses as part of the burial is being puzzled over by researchers. Before finding the chariot, the dig at the Burnby Lane site revealed artifacts including a sword, shield, spears, brooches, and pots. The excavations give insight into life over 2,500 years ago. These are thought to be people of the Arras culture.

Yorkshire continues to be the place where astoundingly well-preserved remains of the Arras culture are found. In 2016, some 150 skeletons and their personal possessions were discovered in a small market town at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Illustration of a chariot burial.

Some of the 75 square barrows, or burial chambers, contained personal possessions such as jewelry and weapons, according to The Guardian. Archaeologists also discovered a skeleton with a shield.

Media reports say those remains were of a man in his late teens or twenties, who died with his sword at his side. Before his death he reportedly had six spears pressed into him “like a hedgehog.”

It is believed these sites all date to the Iron Age, which in Britain lasted from 800 BC until the time of the Roman conquest, beginning in 43 AD.

An in-depth study will focus on whether the population is indigenous or were recent arrivals from the Continent. Archaeologists also hope to reveal how those buried at the site died and whether or not they are related in anyway, as well as potential DNA analysis.

The custom of burying the deceased with their chariots within squares is unknown in the rest of the British Iron Age. Interestingly, the Arras vehicles were usually disassembled, a practice less common in the Continental chariot burials.

Roman chariot with horses was discovered in Croatia

An unbelievable discovery occurred in eastern Croatia, in Stari Jankovci, near Vinkovci. Archaeologists found the remains of a two-wheeled chariot and two horses harnessed.

An amazing discovery was in a large funeral chamber, 40 meters in diameter and one meter high. According to specialists, this extraordinary burial was certainly founded by a rich Roman family and was part of the custom of the inhabitants of ancient Pannonia. Preliminary analysis of the metal and inventory suggests that the tomb is dated to the 3rd century CE.

Scientists plan to learn more about the animals themselves buried in the grave: where they came from, how they were fed.

According to the plans of local authorities, the chariot and other objects will be on display in the museum in Vinkovci – the city where Emperor Valentinian and Valens were born.

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ASI-Excavated Sanauli Chariots Have Potential To Challenge Aryan Invasion Theory

P.M. Narayanan 2018-06-11T14:55:12+05:30 ASI-Excavated Sanauli Chariots Have Potential To Challenge Aryan Invasion Theory

A week has passed since the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) claimed to have stumbled upon three pre-Iron Age chariots that can challenge the famed Aryan invasion theory, lending sharper focus on to whether it were horses or bulls that pulled these carriers estimated to be from 2000-1800 BC.

The copper remains of the chariots, found inside burial pits in a quiet spot along the Gangetic plains in present-day Western Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district, date further back to the Bronze Age. That would mean an antiquity of 4,000 years&mdashand a possible hint at their similarities of what existed during the civilisation in faraway Mesopotamia in Western Asia, according to ASI officials.

The latest round of a three-month-long excavation in Sanauli, 75 km west of Delhi, began in March this year, and has unearthed eight burial remains as well. Out of these, three are coffins, archaeologists reveal. All the burials have pottery kept around the body: big pots near the legs and small bowls close to the head&mdashindicating their lying in northwest direction, reveals Dr Sanjay Kumar Manjul, director of the ASI&rsquos Institute of Archaeology, in charge of the excavation.

As for the discovery of the chariots, a conclusion about the animal that pulled them is important. Why? The answer lies in the cultural history of India. For, the discovery of a horse chariot, dated back to 2000 BC, would challenge some of the basic premises of the construct of the ancient Indian history. Historians who support the Aryan invasion theory claim that horses were brought in by the invading Aryan army around 1500 to 1000 BC. Chariots pulled by horses had given the Aryans the edge over the Dravidians and the power to conquer the North Indian plains by pushing them to south of the peninsula.

According to these historians, the Vedic culture was brought into India by the invading Aryans from central Asia. The Rig Veda, for instance, carries references to horses, they point out about the ancient Hindu text said to be composed during the same period (1500-1100 BC) when the Harappan civilisation was on its decline.

This argument gets empirical support: there was hardly any evidence to show the presence of horses in the Harappan civilisation. Clay seals of different shapes and sizes with figures of bulls and dancing girls had been unearthed in large numbers at the Harappan sites, but none with the figure of a horse. This is one of the prime arguments that support the Aryan invasion theory.

Of late, several Indian and foreign historians have challenged it, saying that this theory is being floated by Western historians to attribute India&rsquos ancient Vedic culture to the invaders from Central Asia. The Aryan invasion theory will face a more serious challenge if the archaeologists get scientific proof to the presence of horse-ridden chariots dating back to 2000 BC.

The swords, daggers, copper-chest shields and helmets confirm the presence of a warrior population in the Gangetic plain&mdashthese also challenge the theory of an easy invasion by Aryans from Central Asia.

The dusty pocket in UP&rsquos Sanauli was first excavated in 2004-05, leading to the discovery of 116 burial remains. Following that, authorities decided to undertake more trail excavations to understand the extent of the burial site and the habitat, points out Dr Manjul, who initiated the excavation. He is of the opinion that the latest findings will aid &ldquorecalibrate&rdquo India&rsquos position on the map of ancient global history.

Globally, excavations have unearthed chariots dating back to 2000 BC, near the burial sites of Mesopotamia and Greek civilisations, but such a discovery is pioneering for the Indian subcontinent, says Dr Manjul. These chariots have many similarities with those unearthed in Mesopotamia (which has sites tracing back to the initial period of the Neolithic Revolution of 10000 BC). &ldquoThis would give a new dimension to our history and ancient culture,&rdquo he adds.

&ldquoThe 2005 excavations helped us discover pottery of different sizes, besides beads and other materials that were similar to those of the Harappan civilisation, but a chariot near a coffin is not seen anywhere in the Harappan sites. That way, this is a &ldquopath-breaking&rdquo discovery, Dr Manjul adds.

In Sanauli, decorated copper-plated anthropomorphic figures having horns, peepal-leafed crowns and even a torso shaped armour made of copper have been found near the coffins, indicating the possibility of the site featuring a &ldquoroyal burial&rdquo, the expert says. Apart from this, researchers have discovered four copper antenna swords, two daggers, three copper bowls, combs, mirrors and beads of different shapes and sizes.

The ASI, which functions under the Union government&rsquos ministry of culture, has been surveying the area for the past two decades. The 116 Sanauli burials shed light onto the settlement pattern of Protohistoric period of this region, where they &ldquoare very much similar&rdquo to those discovered in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro (2500 BC) besides Dholavira (in today&rsquos Gujarat state), also of the Indus Valley civilisation.

Yet, coffins with copper decorations, and chariots have never been discovered anywhere in the subcontinent. &ldquoIt was during one of our visits to Western UP that some villagers informed us of their having found a few pieces of pottery and traces of copper in their fields. This prompted us to start excavations in Sanauli,&rdquo says Dr Manjul, revealing how scientists stumbled upon this discovery. On whether the chariots were run buy a bull or a horse, the expert says more research can ascertain the matter.

The swords unearthed at Sanauli have copper-covered hilts and medial ridge making it strong enough for warfare. The chariots discovered have two wheels fixed on an axle that was linked by a long pole to the yoke of a pair of animals. A super structure was attached to the axle consist of a platform protected by side-screens and a high dashboard. The wheels were found solid in nature, without any spokes, Dr Manjul says. &ldquoThis is just a trail excavation. Now we are planning to have more detailed excavations in this area.&rdquo

Local youths are also roped into the excavation activities. The villagers are excited to see their sleepy, backward village grabbing global attention now. The chosen among them have been given basic training to support the ASI&rsquos field staff camping at the site for the past three months.

Locally, many people believe that Sanauli is one of the five villages that the mythological Krishna unsuccessfully negotiated with the Kauravas to avoid the epic war of Kurukshetra. The Mahabharata carries many references of horse-ridden chariots. In fact, a popular image of Lord Krishna is of him revealing the essence of the Bhagavat Gita to the Pandava prince Arjuna, while sitting in his war chariot. That apart, Dr Manjul refuses to link the discovery of a chariot to any mythical story. &ldquoAs a scientist, I can&rsquot support any such overarching links without having valid scientific evidence,&rdquo he says.

People from the nearby areas are coming in large numbers to see the site. &ldquoThey are influenced by the Mahabharata serial aired by Indian television channels,&rdquo shrugs Dr Manjul, with a smile. &ldquoMany who had come here to see an impressive golden chariot are disappointed after seeing the shape and size of the unearthed chariot.&rdquo However, for archaeologists Sanauli is much more than a point of ephemeral historical interest.

2,000-year-old Roman discovery offers major new insight into era

A Roman chariot was discovered in a bizarre archeological discovery along with the fossilized remains of horses in Croatia.

The chariot, which was thought to be some 2000 years old, was discovered on the horses that pulled it with nearly perfect fossilized remains. The discovery gave an insight into the world of the wealthy from ancient days and the lavish manner in which the items were buried.

The find took place near Vinkovci town in eastern Croatia. The region was a small part, like England and Wales, of the vast Roman Empire covering much of Eastern Europe , the Middle East, Western Europe.

The researchers found a large burial chamber in which the two wheeled-carriage was unearthed. The remains of the skeletons of two horses were also found, one strewn across the front of the carriage, the other neatly laid out in the exact position it was laid to rest. 2,000-year-old Roman discovery offers major new insight into era The remains of a horse perfectly in order was found

Roman expert, Boris Kratofil, explained to local media that the ritual was common to those who were wealthy enough to own such luxuries in ancient Rome.

He said the custom was exceptional and particularly common during the Roman period in the province of Pannonia in which modern day eastern Croatia sits.

He said: “The custom is associated with extremely wealthy families who have played a prominent role in the administrative, social and economic life of the province of Pannonia.”

The chariot and horses are thought to be from the third century AD. The horses skulls had been fossilised in the burial chamber

However, the researchers cannot be sure, and so are working to find a more accurate time stamp for the two discoveries. Archaeologists from the City Museum Vinkovci and Croatia’s Institute of Archaeology were involved in the project.

Marko Dizdar, director of the Institute of Archaeology, labelled the “sensational” discovery unique in Croatia.He said: “After this comes a long process of restoration and conservation of the findings, but also a complete analysis of the findings.

“In a few years we will know a little more about the family whose members were buried in this area 1,800 years ago.”

Mr Dizdar added that the horses may not have been local. He continued:”We are more interested in the horses themselves, that is, whether they were bred here or came from other parts of the empire.”

“This will tell us more about the importance and wealth of this family. “We will achieve this through cooperation with domestic as well as numerous European institutions.” The find reveals the rituals wealthy people of the time carried out

The concept of the chariot is thought to have originated in mesopotamia in around 3000 BC, with monuments from Ur and Tutub from the period depicting battle parades that included heavy vehicles with solid wheels.

The chariot soon proved superior during battle, with horses being used to pull the carriage around 2000 BC, providing militaries with hitherto unprecedented mobility.

It spread across the world, being used by Egyptians, Celts and much of Europe as a means to transport goods and weaponry during battles and military expeditions. Mesopotamia was an advanced civilisation that emerged from the Neolithic revolution from around 10,000 BC.

Recently, scientists proposed what might have wiped the kingdom out in a groundbreaking study. Burial chambers were used by the wealthy in order to preserve their belongings

They proposed that the kingdom was victim to a brutal sandstorm that resulted in the inability to grow crops, famine and mass social upheaval.

Dr Tsuyoshi Watanabe of Hokkaido University, involved in the study, said in a statement: “Although the official mark of the collapse of the Akkadian Empire is the invasion of Mesopotamia by other populations our fossil samples are windows in time showing that variations in climate significantly contributed to the empire’s decline.”

The study’s abstract tells of how researchers looked at six 4,100 year-old Porites coral fossils from the Gulf of Oman that signalled “a prolonged winter shamal season with frequent shamal days.”

Dr Watanabe and his team compared the ancient coral fossils to modern coral samples, along with meteorological information and found the ancient corals to contain evidence of strong winds typically associated with severe dust storms.

Putting the horse before the cart: What the discovery of 4,000-year-old ‘chariot’ in UP signifies

Press Information Bureau, Union government

During an excavation in western Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district that has been on since March, the Archaeological Survey of India uncovered the remains of what have been called “chariots”. The find, which was announced on Monday, is said to date back to 2000 BC-1800 BC, although a final date will be available only after carbon dating. (Carbon dating determines how old a material is by measuring the rate of decay of a type of carbon known as carbon-14 within it.)

“The wheels rotated on a fixed axle linked by a draft pole to the yoke of a pair of animals,” SK Manjul, head of the excavation, told India Today. “The axle was attached with a superstructure consisting of a platform protected by side-screens and a high dashboard.” Moreover, the wheels were solid, not spoked.

The find has generated a lot of excitement, for various reasons. For one, the media has associated the vehicle with the Hindu epics. “The three chariots found in the burial pits could remind one of the familiar images of horse-drawn carriages from mythological television shows,” wrote India Today. The website of the Hindi television channel Aaj Tak was more explicit: “Baghpat is one of the five villages demanded by the Pandavas. As a result, these finds are being connected to the Mahabharat age.” This points to a trend, present even in formal Indian archaeology, of treating religious epics as literal history.

The other strand the find has dug up is the theory of Indo-European migration into the Indian subcontinent (also called the Aryan migration or Aryan invasion theory). On Tuesday, “True Indology”, a popular Right-Wing Twitter handle, suggested the “path-breaking” discovery “fundamentally changes long held perceptions about ancient India”. It explained: “The mainstream historians long held that chariots were introduced into India from central Asia. The chariot has been excavated from Sanauli which is in heartland of Kurukshetra.”

Another Right-Wing columnist called it a “decisive blow to the Aryan Invasion Theory”.

Importance of the chariot

The spoked-wheeled chariot is “fundamental to Aryan identification”, according to Edwin Bryant, an Indologist at Rutgers University in the United States. The Proto-Indo-European culture (often misnamed “Aryan” in popular culture) is closely identified with this vehicle known by the Proto-Indo-European word “rota” (from which the modern Hindi word “rath” is derived). Many academic theories identify the Proto-Indo-Europeans as branching out from a Central Asian homeland and streaming into the subcontinent around 1500 BC. Consistent with this theory is the fact that the chariot is not only prominent in Indo-European texts such as the Homeric hymns, it also plays a notable part in Vedic texts. In fact, the iconography of the chariot or rath is also present in modern Hinduism. Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani undertook his high-profile cross-country rally in 1990 to demolish the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and build a Ram temple in its place in a Toyata van decorated to look like a chariot. The rally itself was called a “rath yatra”, or chariot journey.

There is, however, a fundamental difference between the chariots of Indo-European history and the ones found in Sanauli – the type of wheel. The former is typified by a spoked wheel while the one found in Uttar Pradesh has a solid wheel with no spokes. Moreover, if carbon dating places this chariot after the accepted date of Indo-European migration, it would actually strengthen the Aryan migration theory, pointed out Vagheesh Narasimhan, a geneticist involved in Indo-European studies.

The Sanauli chariot has a solid wheel. (Credit: via Twitter)

Of chariots and horses

Even more fundamental than whether the chariot had spokes is the use of the term chariot itself. A chariot is necessarily defined as being pulled by horses and used for warfare or racing. A two-wheeled vehicle pulled by an animal (including but not limited to a horse) and used generally for carrying loads would be called a cart.

While the team that led the excavation has called the find a “chariot”, it has also expressed lack of clarity on the animal – bull or horse – that drew it. This, in turn, points to another facet of the debate around Aryan migration: is the horse indigenous to India?

In the Vedas, the horse is an incredibly important animal. Yet, the material culture – the seals, pottery and such – of the Indus Valley civilisation has simply no mention of the animal. “It has often been pointed out that the complete absence of the horse among the animals so prominently featured on the Indus seals is good evidence for the non-Aryan character of the Indus Civilisation,” writes Iravatham Mahadevan, an expert on the Indus script. As a result, the Out-of-India school – which postulates Indo-European migration from, not to, India – has often focussed on finding evidence of horses in the Indus Valley civilisation.

A desperate attempt

In 1999, NS Rajaraman, an American researcher of Indian origin, claimed to have discovered widespread evidence of horses in Harappa, even pointing to the existence of a horse seal. But Micheal Witzel, an Indologist from Harvard University in the United States, proved the seal was a hoax created with the use of digital graphics. In 2015, Rajaraman’s frequent co-author, David Frawley, was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, by the Narendra Modi government.

Apart from material culture, archaeologists have also tried to look for physical horse bones at Indus Valley civilisation sites. In 1974, an Archaeological Survey of India excavation in Surkotada, Gujarat, led by JP Joshi and AK Sharma unearthed what they claimed were horse bones dating from 2100-1700BC – which meant that they pre-dated any Indo-European migration into India. These claims were widely disbelieved with Richard Meadow, a specialist in zooarchaeology at Harvard University, arguing that “the ‘horse’ of Surkotada… is likewise almost certainly a half-ass, albeit a large one”.

Two decades after the discovery, however, Hungarian archaeologist Sandor Bokonyi claimed the bones were indeed those of a horse. Meadow challenged Bokonyi but before anything further could be said, the latter died.

High horse

Advocates of the Aryan migration theory, however, argue that Bokonyi’s opinion made little difference to the fact that there is a mismatch between the exalted status of the horse in Vedic civilisation and its absence in Harappan sites. Bokonyi himself said the horse was not native to India but “reached the Indian subcontinent in an already domesticated form coming from the Inner Asiatic horse domestication centers”.

“Even if this [the Surkotada horse] were indeed the only archaeologically and palaeontologically secure Indus horse available so far, it would not turn the Indus Civilisation into one teeming with horses [as the Rigveda indeed is, a few hundred years later]. A tiger skeleton in the Roman Colosseum does not make this Asian predator a natural inhabitant of Italy.”

There is strong academic consensus that the horse was brought to India – which, of course, challenges any theory of Indo-Europeans being indigenous to India. However, in India, modern politics around Hindutva has meant that the theory of Indo-European migration is widely contested. The director of the Sanauli excavation did not only label the vehicle a chariot but also claimed that “evidence of horses, including fossils of teeth, have been found at other Harappan sites”.


The Vittoriano is located on the hill of the Capitoline Hill, in the symbolic centre of ancient Rome, and is connected to the modern one thanks to roads that radiate from Piazza Venezia. [3]

Its design is a neoclassical interpretation of the Roman Forum. It features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel II, and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. On its summit there would have been a majestic portico characterized by a long colonnade and two imposing propylaea, one dedicated to the "unity of the homeland", and the other to the "freedom of the citizens", concepts metaphorically linked to the figure of Victor Emmanuel II. [3]

The base houses the museum of Italian Unification, [4] [5] and in 2007 a lift was added to the structure, allowing visitors to access the roof for 360-degree views of Rome. [6] This terrace, which is the highest of the monument, can also be reached via 196 steps that start from the portico. [7]

The structure is 135 m (443 ft) wide, 130 m (427 ft) deep, and 70 m (230 ft) high. [3] [8] If the quadrigae and Winged Victorys are included, the height reaches 81 m (266 ft). [4] It has a total area of 17,550 m 2 (188,907 sq ft) and possesses, due to the conspicuous development of the interior spaces, a floor area of 717,000 m 2 (7,717,724 sq ft). [3] [8]

One of the architecturally predominant elements of the Vittoriano are the external staircases, which are constituted in the complex by 243 steps, and the portico situated on the top of the monument, which is inserted between two lateral propylaea. [3] The entrance stairway is 41 m (135 ft) wide and 34 m (112 ft) long, the terrace where the Altar of the Fatherland is located is 66 m (217 ft) wide. [8] The maximum depth of the Vittoriano underground reaches 17 m (56 ft) below street level. The colonnade is formed by columns 15 m (49 ft) high and the length of the porch is 72 m (236 ft). [3]

The allegories of the monument mostly represent the virtues and feelings, very often rendered as personifications, also according to the canons of the neoclassical style, which animate the Italians during the Italian unification, or from the revolutions of 1820 to the capture of Rome (1870), through which national unity was achieved. [9] Due to the complex process of unification undertaken by Victor Emmanuel II throughout the second half of the 19th Century, the Italians gave him the epithet of Father of the Fatherland (Italian: Padre della Patria). The only non-allegorical work is the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, [3] which is the architectural centre of the Vittoriano. [8]

The monument, as a whole, appears as a sort of marble covering on the northern slope of the Capitoline Hill: [3] it was therefore thought of as a place where it is possible to make an uninterrupted patriotic walk (the path does not in fact have an architectural end, given that the entrances to the highest part are two, one for each propylaeus) among the works present, which almost all have allegorical meanings linked to the history of Italy. [8] Different are the vegetal symbols present, among which the palm, which recalls the "victory", the oak (the "strength"), the laurel (the "victorious peace"), the myrtle (the "sacrifice") and the olive tree (the "concord"). [10]

From a stylistic perspective, the architecture and works of art that embellish the Vittoriano have been conceived with the aim of creating a "national style" to be replicated in other areas. [11] It was designed to communicate the imperial splendours of ancient Rome. [12] Above all, for the realization of the Vittoriano, Giuseppe Sacconi took inspiration from the Neoclassical architecture—the reborn heir of the classical Greek and Roman architecture, on which Italic elements were grafted and eclectic influences added. [8]

The Vittoriano is regarded as a national symbol of Italy and every year it hosts important national celebrations. [2] The largest annual celebrations are Liberation Day (25 April), Republic Day (2 June), and Armed Forces Day (4 November). During these celebrations, the President of Italy and the highest government officials pay tribute to the Italian Unknown Soldier and those who died in the line of duty by laying a laurel wreath. [8]

After the death of Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy on 9 January 1878, many initiatives were destined to raise a permanent monument that celebrated the first king of a united Italy, creator of the process of unification and liberation from foreign domination, which is indicated by historiography as "Father of the Fatherland" also due to the political work of the President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Sardinia Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, and to the military contribution of Giuseppe Garibaldi. The goal was therefore to commemorate the entire Italian unification season ("Risorgimento") through one of its protagonists. [10] [9]

For this purpose, the Italian government approved the construction of a monumental complex on the Northern side of Rome's Capitoline Hill. The monument would celebrate the legacy of the first king of a united Italy and would become a symbol of national patriotism. The project was realized by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885, in an eclectic style. [8] [1]

Sacconi was inspired by the Hellenistic sanctuaries, such as the Pergamon Altar and the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia in Palestrina. [8] The Vittoriano was conceived as a vast and modern forum [9] open to citizens, situated on a sort of elevated square in the historic centre of Rome organized as an agora on three levels connected by tiers, with conspicuous spaces reserved for strolling visitors. [3] [12]

To erect the Vittoriano it was necessary, between the last months of 1884 and 1899, [3] to proceed with numerous expropriations and extensive demolitions of the buildings that were located in the construction area. [3] The place chosen was in the heart of the historic centre of Rome and was therefore occupied by ancient buildings arranged according to urban planning that dated back to the Middle Ages. [13] This was considered necessary because the Vittoriano should have been built in the heart of the historic centre of Rome, in a modern urban context, in front of a new large square (the future Piazza Venezia), which at the time was just a narrow open space in front of Palazzo Venezia. [14]

The general objective was also to make Rome a modern European capital that rivaled Berlin, Vienna, London and Paris [12] overcoming the centuries-old pontifical town planning. [12] In this context, the Vittoriano would have been the equivalent of the Brandenburg Gate of Berlin, the Admiralty Arch of London and the Opéra Garnier of Paris these buildings are all united by a monumental and classical aspect that metaphorically communicates pride and the power of the nation that erected them. [12]

It would then become one of the symbols of the new Italy, joining the monuments of ancient Rome and those of the popes' Rome. [8] [10] Having then been conceived as a large public square, the Vittoriano, in addition to representing a memorial dedicated to Victor Emmanuel II, was invested with another role—a modern forum dedicated to the new free and united Italy. [15]

Established Italian sculptors, such as Leonardo Bistolfi, Manfredo Manfredi, Giulio Monteverde, Francesco Jerace, Augusto Rivalta, Lodovico Pogliaghi, Pietro Canonica, Ettore Ximenes, Adolfo Apolloni, Mario Rutelli and Angelo Zanelli, made its sculptures nationwide. [16] The partly completed monument was inaugurated on 4 June 1911, on the occasion of the Turin International world's fair and the 50th anniversary of Italian unification. Construction continued throughout the first half of the 20th century in 1921 the body of the Italian Unknown Soldier was placed in the crypt under the statue of the goddess Roma, and in 1935 the monument was fully completed amidst the inauguration of the Museo Centrale del Risorgimento Italiano. [4]

The decision to include an altar dedicated to the homeland in the Vittoriano was taken by Giuseppe Sacconi only after the planning phase, during the construction of the monument. [8] The place and the dominant subject were immediately chosen, being a large statue of the goddess Rome that would have been placed on the first terrace after the entrance to the monument, just below the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II. [8] Thus, the Altar of the Fatherland, at least initially and before the burial of the body of the Unknown Soldier, was thought of as a chapel of the deity. [3] In this way, the greatness and majesty of Rome was celebrated, elected to the role of legitimate capital of Italy. [13] Within the Vittoriano are numerous artistic works that recall the history of ancient Rome. [12]

After the First World War the Vittoriano was chosen to house the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or the burial of an Italian soldier who died during the First World War whose identity remains unknown due to the serious injuries that made the body unrecognizable, which represents all the Italian soldiers who died during the wars. [17] The reason for his strong symbolism lies in the metaphorical transition from the figure of the soldier to that of the people and finally to that of the nation. This transition between increasingly broader and generic concepts is due to the indistinct traits of the non-identification of the soldier. [8]

The Vittoriano was thus consecrated to a wide symbolic value representing a lay temple metaphorically dedicated to a free and united Italy—celebrating by virtue the burial of the Unknown Soldier (the sacrifice for the homeland and for the connected ideals). [11] [9] [8]

With the rise of Fascism in 1922, the Vittoriano became the setting for the military parades of the authoritarian regime of Benito Mussolini. After World War II, with the institution of the Italian Republic in 1946, the monument was stripped of all its Fascist symbols and reassumed its original function as a secular temple dedicated to the Italian nation and its people. [8] Throughout the second half of the 20th century, however, its significance as a symbol of national identity started to decline as the public opinion started to perceive it as a cumbersome relic representing a nation superseded by its own history. [2] At the turn of the 21st century, Italy's President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi pushed for a revaluation of national symbols of Italy, including the Vittoriano.

The monument holds the Tomb of the Italian Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of goddess Roma after World War I following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. [17] The body of the unknown soldier was chosen on 28 October 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas, a woman from Gradisca d'Isonzo whose only child was killed during World War I. [17] Her son's body was never recovered. The selected unknown was transferred from Aquileia, where the ceremony with Bergamas had taken place, to Rome and buried in a state funeral on 4 November 1921. [17]

His tomb is a symbolic shrine that represents all the fallen and missing of the war. [10] The side of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier that gives outward at the Altar of the Fatherland is always guarded by a guard of honour and two flames that burn perpetually in braziers. [18] The guard is provided with military personnel of the various weapons of the Italian Armed Forces, which alternate every ten years. [17]

The allegorical meaning of the perpetually burning flames is linked to their symbolism, which is centuries old, since it has its origins in classical antiquity, especially in the cult of the dead. A fire that burns eternally symbolizes the memory, in this case of the sacrifice of the Unknown Soldier moved by patriotic love, and his everlasting memory of the Italians, even in those who are far from their country. The two perennial braziers next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is placed a plaque whose text reads "Italians Abroad to the Motherland" in memory of donations made by Italian emigrants between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century for the construction of the Vittoriano. [19]

The Victor Emmanuel II National Monument is indicated with two other names: "(Mole del) Vittoriano" and "Altare della Patria", which are now the most used names to call the monument. [8]

From 1921, when the Unknown Soldier was buried under the statue of the goddess Rome in the part of the Vittoriano that is called "Altare della Patria", the expression began to indicate not only the place of burial of the soldier, or the personification of all the fallen and lost in war, but the whole structure due to the strong popular sentiment for the symbolic Unknown Soldier. [8]

Colloquially, the monument is also known as "The Wedding Cake." [20]

  1. Vittoriano entrance with artistic gate by Manfredo Manfredi
  2. Sculptural group The Thought by Giulio Monteverde
  3. Sculptural group The Action by Francesco Jerace
  4. Adriatic Fountain by Emilio Quadrelli
  5. Sculptural group The Force by Augusto Rivalta
  6. Sculptural group The Concord by Lodovico Pogliaghi
  7. Tyrrhenus Fountain of Pietro Canonica
  8. Sculptural group The Sacrifice by Leonardo Bistolfi
  9. Sculptural group The Right by Ettore Ximenes
  10. A statue on the side of the sculptural group
    Winged Lion by Giuseppe Tonnini
  11. Entrance stairway
  12. Winged Victory on naval ram by Edoardo Rubino
  13. Winged Victory su naval ram by Edoardo De Albertis
  14. Statue of Goddess Rome by Angelo Zanelli
  15. Statues of fourteen Italian noble cities by Eugenio Maccagnani
  16. Equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II by Enrico Chiaradia
  17. Winged Victory on triumphal column by Nicola Cantalamessa Papotti
  18. Winged Victory on triumphal column by Adolfo Apolloni with colonnade on top of which is present
    the Quadriga of Unity by Carlo Fontana
  19. Winged Victory on triumphal column by Mario Rutelli
  20. Winged Victory on triumphal column by Cesare Zocchi
  21. Propylaeus with colonnade on top of which is present
    the Quadriga of Freedom by Paolo Bartolini with colonnade whose upper cornice is decorated
    rom the statues representing the regions of Italy. In front of
    stylobate, towards the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II ,
    there is a terrace of the cities redeemed.

The fountains of the two seas Edit

Set against the external base of the Vittoriano, on the sides of the entrance to Piazza Venezia, are the "fountains of the two seas" which are dedicated to the Adriatic sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Both are inserted in a flower bed and possess, from the beginning, a hydraulic system that recycles the water avoiding waste. Historically, a 500,000 litres (130,000 US gal) water cistern was also active, then abandoned, located in the basement of the monument. [3] The two fountains therefore represent the two major Italian seas and, therefore, in this perspective the Vittoriano is assimilated to the Italian Peninsula. This way the whole country is represented, even geographically. [11]

External staircases and terraces Edit

The exterior staircases of the Vittoriano adapt to the ascending sides of the northern slope of the Capitoline Hill and lead, starting from the entrance of Piazza Venezia, to the terrace of the Altar of the Fatherland, then to the terrace of the redeemed cities (the one immediately below the colonnade of the portico), and finally to the terraces of the two propylaea flanked by the portico constituting the two entrances. [12] [3] [8]

At the entrance, is an imposing staircase leading to the terrace of the Altar of the Fatherland and of the Italian Unknown Soldier, which represent the first raised platform of the Vittoriano, as well as its symbolic centre. [8] The path along the staircase continues even beyond the tomb of the Unknown Soldier to symbolically represent a continuous and uninterrupted procession of Italians that continues its walk up to the highest point of the construction—the portico and the propylaea. [11]

The artistic gate of access to the Vittoriano, which is the work of Manfredo Manfredi, has the particularity of being "hidden", that is, of being able to slide vertically underground due to tracks. The plant that allows the lowering of the railing, originally hydraulic, was considered at the time of its construction among the most technologically advanced in the world. The entrance gate has a length of 40 m (131 ft) and a weight of 10,500 tons. [3]

On both sides of the entrance stairway, are a series of sculptures that accompany the visitor towards the Altar of the Fatherland. [8] The first sculptures that meet are two sculptured groups in gilded bronze, [10] with subjects inspired by the thought of Giuseppe Mazzini, [11] The Thought and The Action (respectively, to the left and right of the staircase for those coming from Piazza Venezia), followed by two sculptural groups (also in this case one on each side) depicting as many Winged Lions and finally, on the top of the staircase, before the beginning of the terrace of the Altar of the Fatherland, two Winged Victorys. [8]

The Thought and The Action have been fundamental in the Italian unification process, as they are necessary to change the course of history and to transform a society. The overall shape of the two sculptural groups recalls the intrinsic characteristics of the two concepts: The Action has a triangular and angular profile, while The Thought has a circular shape. [21]

The two Winged Lions represent the initiation of the patriots who decide to join the Italian unification enterprise motivated by ardor and strength, which also control their instinctive side—otherwise the patriots would slide towards the obfuscation of their abilities if the instinct were left completely free. [21] [22] The Winged Victories, in addition to recalling the military and cultural successes of the Roman era, symbolize allegorically the good luck of national unity. [21]

At the end of the entrance stairway, immediately after the statues of the Winged Victories, opens the terrace of the Altar of the Fatherland, the first raised platform of the Vittoriano, which is dominated centrally by the statue of the goddess Rome and the shrine of the Unknown Soldier. [8] On the terrace of the Altar of the Fatherland are also the Botticino marble sculptural groups that symbolize the moral values of the Italians, or the ideal principles that make the nation firm. [10] The four groups have a height of 6 m (20 ft) and are located to the right and left of the entrance to the terrace of the Altar of the Fatherland (two on each side), sideways to the statues of The Thought and of The Action and in correspondence of the fountains of two seas, along the parapets that overlook Piazza Venezia. [8] The concepts expressed by these four sculptural groups, The Force, The Concord, The Sacrifice and The Right, are the tangible emanation of The Thought and The Action. [21]

At the sides of the Altar of the Fatherland, the staircase resumes dividing into two symmetrical ramps parallel to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. [23] Both reach a pronaos where two large doors open (one on each side, both positioned symmetrically and laterally to the Unknown Soldier, and each in correspondence with one of the two propylaea) that lead to the interior spaces of the Vittoriano. Above each door are two statues on the left door are The Politics and The Philosophy, while on the right door are two statues depicting The War and The Revolution. [8]

From the two shelves where the doors open to give access to the interior spaces, two further flights of stairs start that converge, directly behind the Altar of the Fatherland, towards the base of the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II—the latter is located on the second large elevated platform, in order of height, of the Vittoriano. [8] Behind it, the stairway resumes its ascent in the direction of the portico, reaching a small shelf, from which two staircases start laterally leading to the entrance of a propylaeum. Before reaching the entrances of the propylaea, each of the two staircases is interrupted, creating a small intermediate shelf, which allows access to the terrace of the redeemed cities—the third large and last elevated platform of the Vittoriano—directly behind the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II and immediately below the colonnade of the portico. [23]

The redeemed cities are those united to Italy following the Treaty of Rapallo (1920) and the Treaty of Rome (1924), peace agreements at the end of the First World War. These municipalities are Trieste, Trento, Gorizia, Pola, Fiume and Zara. [8] Following the Paris treaties of 1947, Pola, Fiume and Zara moved on to Yugoslavia and, after the dissolution of the latter, to Croatia. After the conflict, Gorizia was divided into two parts—one part remained in Italy while the other, which was renamed "Nova Gorica", passed first to Yugoslavia and then to Slovenia. [24] Each redeemed city is represented by an altar against the back wall, which bears the corresponding municipal coat of arms. [11] [8] The six altars were placed on the terrace between 1929 and 1930. [8]

At the centre of the row of altars of the redeemed cities, engraved on the stylobate, is a monumental inscription carved on the occasion of the solemn ceremony of the Unknown Soldier (4 November 1921) which contains the text of the Victory Bulletin, an official document written after the Armistice of Villa Giusti with which the general Armando Diaz, supreme commander of the Royal Army, announced, on 4 November 1918, the surrender of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the victory of Italy in the First World War. [8]

The Altar of the Fatherland Edit

The Altar of the Fatherland is the most famous part of the Vittoriano and is the one with which it is often identified. [8] Located on the top of the entrance stairway, it was designed by the Brescian sculptor Angelo Zanelli, who won a competition specially held in 1906. [10] [8] It is formed from the side of the Tomb of Italian Unknown Soldier that faces the outside of the building (the other side, which faces inside the Vittoriano, is located in a crypt), from the sacellum of the statue of the goddess Rome (which is exactly above the tomb of the Unknown Soldier) and two vertical marble reliefs that descend from the edges of the aedicula containing the statue of the goddess Rome and which run downwards laterally to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. [10]

The statue of the goddess Roma present at the Vittoriano interrupted a custom in vogue until the 19th century, by which the representation of this subject was with exclusively warlike traits. Angelo Zanelli, in his work, decided to further characterize the statue by also providing the reference to Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom and the arts, as well as of war. [21] The great statue of the deity emerges from a golden background. [8] The presence of the goddess Roma in the Vittoriano underlines the irremissible will of the Unification of Italy patriots to have the Rome as the capital of Italy, an essential concept, according to the common feeling, from the history of the peninsula and the islands of Italian culture. [11] [12]

The general conception of the bas-reliefs located laterally to the statue of the goddess Rome, one to his left and the other to his right, recalls Virgil's Bucolics and Georgics, which complete the triptych of the Altar of the Fatherland with the statue of the Roman divinity. [8]

The allegorical meaning of the bas-reliefs that are inspired by the works of Virgil is linked to the desire to conceptually render the Italian soul. [25] In the Georgics, the reference to the Aeneid is in fact present, and in both the works the industriousness in the work of the Italians is recalled. [11] [25]

The bas-relief on the left of the Altar of the Fatherland represents the Triumph of Labour and the one on the right symbolizes the Triumph of the Patriotic Love where both converge scenically towards the statue of the goddess Rome. [11] [10] [13]

The equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II Edit

After the Altar of the Fatherland is the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, a bronze work by Enrico Chiaradia and architectural centre of the Vittoriano. [8] The personifications of the noble Italian cities are carved on the marble base of the statue. [11] The statue is bronze, 12 m (39 ft) high, 10 m (33 ft) long, and weighs 50 tons. [8] Including the marble base, the entire sculptural group is 24.80 m (81 ft) high. [8]

The equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II is the only non-symbolic representation of the Vittoriano, given that it is the representation of the homonymous monarch. [10] In classical antiquity the equestrian statues were aimed at the exaltation of the portrayed subject, whose warlike virtues were emphasized. Furthermore, riding and controlling a steed, the character's ability to control primordial instincts was communicated—in this way, the subject was also recognized as civic virtues. [26]

Also the placement of the statue at the architectural centre of the Vittoriano, above the Altar of the Fatherland and in front of the colonnade of the portico, is not fortuitous—in classical antiquity the equestrian statues were often situated in front of colonnades, public squares, temples or along the triumphal streets in places, therefore, fundamental for their centrality. Finally, the presence of the basement on which the personifications of the noble cities are carved is linked to the same archaic traditions. [26]

Statues of noble cities Edit

On the base of the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II are sculptural depictions of 14 Italian noble cities, or rather the capitals of Italian states founded before the Savoy monarchy. [27]

They aren't the statues of the most important cities in Italy, but of those that were once capitals of ancient Italian pre-unification monarchies, all of which are precedent and therefore historically converging towards the Savoy monarchy—for this reason they are considered "mothers noble"s of Unification of Italy. [27]

The 14 sculptural representations of the noble cities are deliberately placed at the base of the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, which metaphorically symbolizes the nature of historical foundations of Italy. In a broader sense, they also represent the concept that the unity of the homeland, as a whole, rests on a basis constituted by the municipalities. [28] Unlike those dedicated to the regions of Italy, the statues depicting the 14 cities are all the work of the same sculptor, Eugenio Maccagnani. [10]

The portico and the propylaea Edit

Continuing to climb the stairway beyond the equestrian statue of Victor Emmnauel II, is the most imposing and striking architectonic element—the large portico with Corinthian-style columns, slightly curved, located on the top of the monument, and inserted between two temple propylaea called "sommoportico" due to its elevated position. [29] The propylaea are the two small porticos projecting with respect to the portico which are located at its lateral ends that constitute the entrances. [3]

The portico is 72 m (236 ft) long [8] and is centrally supported by 16 15 m (49 ft) tall columns surmounted by Corinthian capitals, embellished by the face of the Italia turrita (located in the centre) and acanthus leaves. [8] The cornice above the colonnade is instead decorated with statues representing the 16 allegorical personifications of the Italian regions where each statue corresponds to a column. [11] Giuseppe Sacconi was inspired by the Temple of Castor and Pollux located in the Roman Forum near the Vittoriano. [8]

Each propylaeum has a bronze statue depicting quadrigae, each one hosting a Winged Victory. The architectural and expressive synergies of the triumphal arches are thus re-proposed—the allegorical meaning of the "quadriga", since ancient times, is in fact that of success. [30] This concept is reinforced by the presence of the Winged Victories, messengers descended from heaven by the divinities who flank the winner of a military battle as their favourite. [31]

The concepts "freedom of citizens" and "unity of the homeland" also summarize the fundamental themes [10] that characterized the beginning and the end of the contribution given by Victor Emmanuel II to the Unification of Italy. Having ascended the throne for a few months, he published the proclamation of Moncalieri (20 November 1849) which confirmed the survival of the liberal regime even in the repressive period following the wave of revolutions of 1848. His political work had ended with the capture of Rome (20 September 1870), which became the capital, although the unification of Trentino-Alto Adige and Julian March (annexed only in 1919 after the First World War) were still missing. [8] The quadrigas, already planned in the original project, were built and positioned in 1927. [10] Inside the pediments of the two propylaea are sculptural groups that have the same theme as the respective quadrigas above. [3]

The interior spaces of the portico and the propylaea can be accessed through two triumphal entrance stairways located at each propylaeum. The two entrance staircases are located on a small shelf that can be reached via a short staircase that joins the terrace of the redeemed cities. [23] At the base of the entrance stairway of the propylaea are located four statues of Winged Victories on triumphal columns, made in 1911—two are at the entrance to the right propylea, and two at the entrance to the left propylea. [10]

Each entrance leads to a large quadrangular vestibule, in dialogue with the outside due to a colonnade, and from the vestibules one enters the interior spaces of the portico. [23] These rooms are decorated with mosaics, important works of floral Liberty and pictorial symbolism, which cover the lunettes and the two domes of the propylaea. [32] Even the mosaics have as their subject the metaphorical representation of virtues and feelings, very often rendered as allegorical personifications, which animated Italians during the unification of Italy. [9] The interiors of the portico are decorated with the allegories of the sciences, while the doors that connect the propylaea and the portico are embellished with depictions on the arts. [32]

The decoration of the ceiling of the left propylaeum was entrusted to Giulio Bargellini in these mosaics he adopted innovative technical devices, such as the use of materials of various kinds and tiles of different sizes and inclined so as to create studied reflections of light, and where the lines of the mosaic representations continue towards those of the columns below. [32] The mosaics of Bargellini, along the highest part of the walls, represent figuratively The Faith, The Force, The Work and The Wisdom. [32] The decoration of the ceiling of the right propylaeum was instead entrusted to Antonio Rizzi. Rizzi dedicated himself, along the highest part of the vertical walls, to The Law, The Value, The Peace, The Union and The Poetry. [32]

The internal doors leading from the two propylaea to the portico are decorated with allegorical sculptures representing The Architecture and The Music, which are found in the vestibule on the left and which are the work of Antonio Garella, and The Painting and The Sculpture, which are located in the vestibule on the right and which were made by Lio Gangeri. [32] The interior of the portico has a polychrome marble floor [33] and a coffered ceiling—the latter of which was designed by Gaetano Koch, is called the "ceiling of the sciences". [32]

The ceiling owes its name to the bronze sculptures of Giuseppe Tonnini placed inside the portico, collectively known as The Allegories of The Sciences. They are all made up of female personifications: [32] The Geometry, The Chemistry, The Physics, The Mineralogy, The Mechanics, The Astronomy and The Geography. The vertical wall opposite the columns is decorated at the top with mosaics at gilded backgrounds, after 1925. Other sculptures present inside the portico are the trophy of arms—a vast set of shields, cuirasses, halberds, spears, flags, arrows and quivers in a trophy the crown of Italy is shown, along with the eagle with the crusader shield and the collar of the Annunciation (emblems of the House of Savoy). [33]

The statues of the regions Edit

The staircase leading to the terrace of the redeemed cities is the best point of observation of the statues of the Italian regions, since the latter are found on the cornice of the portico, each in correspondence of a column. [34] The presence of metaphorically depicting statues of the Italian regions is inspired by the allegorical personifications of the Roman provinces, often placed on commemorative monuments during the imperial era. [35] The number of statues placed on the top of the portico is equal to 16, given that at the time of the drafting of the construction project, 16 Italian regions were identified. Each statue is 5 m (16 ft) high and was entrusted to a different sculptor who were almost always native to the region of which he would have carved the image. [10] The cornice is also embellished with friezes consisting of eagles and lion heads. [8]

The internal crypt of the Unknown Soldier Edit

The crypt of the Italian Unknown Soldier is located under the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II which can be accessed from the Shrine of the Flags museum, from where it is possible to see the side of the shrine of the Unknown Soldier that faces towards the interior spaces of the Vittoriano. [8] It is therefore located at the Altar of the Fatherland, from which the side of the tomb that faces towards the outside of the building is seen instead. [8]

The crypt of the Unknown Soldier is the work of the architect Armando Brasini. It is a room in the shape of a Greek cross with a domed vault which is accessed via two flights of stairs. A short tunnel starts from the crypt and reaches the niche of the chapel of the Unknown Soldier. The niche is inserted in an arcosolium inspired by the style of early Christian buildings, especially the catacombs. The ceiling of the crypt instead recalls the Roman architecture, alternating cross vaults and barrel vaults. [8] The room, built using bricks, is characterized by the presence of round arches and niches. [8] There is also a small altar for religious services. [8]

The walls of the crypt are decorated with a mosaic of Byzantine style, by Giulio Bargellini, of a religious nature. The crucifixion of Jesus is located above the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where, on the walls, stand the patron saints of the Italian Armed Forces: Saint Martin patron of the infantry, Saint George of the cavalry, Saint Sebastian of the local police and Saint Barbara of the Italian Navy, artillery and military engineers. Finally, in the dome, is the Madonna of Loreto, patron saint of the Italian Air Force. [8]

Parts of the crypt and sepulcher were made with stone materials from the mountains that were the scene of battles of the First World War, with the floor made of Karst marble, and the small altar made from a single block of stone from Monte Grappa. [8]

Inside the Vittoriano are some museums dedicated to the history of Italy, especially the Unification of Italy ("Risorgimento"): the Central Museum of the Risorgimento (Italian: Museo Centrale del Risorgimento) with an adjoining study institute, the Flag of Italy Memorial (Italian: Sacrario delle bandiere) and an area that hosts temporary exhibitions of artistic interest, historical, sociological and cultural called "ala Brasini". [36] [37]

Access to the Central Museum of the Risorgimento is on the left side of the monument, at the back of the Santa Maria in Ara Coeli along via di San Pietro in Carcere. [38] The period of Italian history between the end of the 18th century and the First World War is displayed by memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, documents (letters, diaries and manuscripts), drawings, engravings, weapons and prints. [39] [40] [41]

On the entrance stairway of the Central Museum of the Risorgimento are visible engravings related to some significant episodes for the birth of the Risorgimento movement, from the seed thrown by the French Revolution to the Napoleonic Wars, in order to better frame and remember the national history included between the reform of the ancient Italian states and the end of the First World War. Along the walls, other marble engravings show some pieces of texts enunciated by prominent personalities, which better testify and describe this part of Italian history. [39] [42]

The Central Museum of the Risorgimento also includes the Shrine of the Flags, a museum where the war flags of dissolved military units and decommissioned ships from the Italian Army, Italian Air Force, Italian Navy, Carabinieri, Polizia di Stato, Penitentiary Police and Guardia di Finanza are collected and temporarily stored. In case a unit is reformed, the flags are retrieved by the unit. [37] Access to the shrine is located along Via dei Fori Imperiali, where memorabilia, relating mainly to the Risorgimento wars, in which the Italian Armed Forces took part, are also kept. [43]

The "ala Brasini", reserved for temporary exhibitions, is dedicated to Armando Brasini, the main promoter of the Central Museum. The wing has three exhibition rooms: the "large exhibition hall", with a surface area of 700 m 2 (7,535 sq ft), generally hosts art exhibitions, and those that require more space, the "central hall" of 400 m 2 (4,306 sq ft) and the "jubilee hall" of 150 m 2 (1,615 sq ft), are used. [44]


Although the Iazyges were nomads before their migration to the Tisza plain, they became semi-sedentary once there, and lived in towns, [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] although they migrated between these towns to allow their cattle to graze. [9] [6] [10] Their language was a dialect of Old Iranian, which was quite different from most of the other Sarmatian dialects of Old Iranian. [11] According to the Roman writer Gaius Valerius Flaccus, when an Iazyx became too old to fight in battle, they were killed by their sons [12] [13] or, according to Roman geographer Pomponius Mela, threw themselves from a rock. [14]

Etymology Edit

The Iazyges' name was Latinized as Iazyges Metanastae ( Ἰάζυγες Μετανάσται ) or Jazyges, [15] or sometimes as Iaxamatae. [16] They were occasionally referred to as the Iazyigs, Iazygians, Iasians, Yazigs, [17] and Iazuges. [18] Several corruptions of these names, such as Jazamatae, [19] Iasidae, [20] Latiges, and Cizyges existed. [21] The root of the name may be Proto-Iranian *yaz-, "to sacrifice", perhaps indicating a caste or tribe specializing in religious sacrifices. [22]

According to Peter Edmund Laurent, a 19th-century French classical scholar, the Iazyges Metanastæ, a warlike Sarmatian race, which had migrated during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius, and therefore received the name of "Metanastæ", resided in the mountains west of the Theiss (Tisza) and east of the Gran (Hron) and Danube. [23] The Greek Metanastæ (Greek: Μετανάσται ) means "migrants". The united Scythians and Sarmatæ called themselves Iazyges, which Laurent connected with Old Church Slavonic ѩзꙑкъ (językŭ, "tongue, language, people"). [24]

Burial traditions Edit

The graves made by the Iazyges were often rectangular or circular, [26] although some were ovoid, hexagonal, or even octagonal. [25] They were flat and were grouped like burials in modern cemeteries. [27] Most of the graves' access openings face south, southeast, or southwest. The access openings are between 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in) and 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) wide. The graves themselves are between 5 m (16 ft) and 13 m (43 ft) in diameter. [25]

After their migration to the Tisza plain, the Iazyges were in serious poverty. [28] This is reflected in the poor furnishings found at burial sites, which are often filled with clay vessels, beads, and sometimes brooches. Iron daggers and swords were very rarely found in the burial site. Their brooches and arm-rings were of the La Tène type, showing the Dacians had a distinct influence on the Iazyges. [27] Later tombs showed an increase in material wealth tombs of the 2nd to early 4th century had weapons in them 86% of the time and armor in them 5% of the time. [29] Iazygian tombs along the Roman border show a strong Roman influence. [30]

Diet Edit

Before their migration into the Pannonian Basin, while still living north of Tyras, on the north-western coast of the Black Sea, the geographer Strabo states that their diet consisted largely of "honey, milk, and cheese". [32] After their migration, the Iazyges were cattle breeders they required salt to preserve their meat [33] but there were no salt mines within their territory. [34] According to Cassius Dio, the Iazyges received grain from the Romans. [35]

The Iazyges used hanging, asymmetrical, barrel-shaped pots that had uneven weight distribution. The rope used to hang the pot was wrapped around the edges of the side collar it is believed the rope was tied tightly to the pot, allowing it to spin in circles. Due to the spinning motion, there are several theories about the pot's uses. It is believed the small hanging pots were used to ferment alcohol using the seeds of touch-me-not balsam (Impatiens noli-tangere), and larger hanging pots were used to churn butter and make cheese. [31]

Military Edit

The Iazyges wore heavy armor, such as Sugarloaf helms, [b] [37] and scale armor made of iron, bronze, horn, or horse hoof, which was sewn onto a leather gown so the scales would partially overlap. [38] [39] [40] [41] They used long, two-handed lances called Contus they wielded these from horses, which they barded. [c] [43] Their military was exclusively cavalry. [44] They are believed to have used saddle blankets on their horses. [45] Although it was originally Gaulic, it is believed the Iazyges used the Carnyx, a trumpet-like wind instrument. [46]

Religion Edit

One of the Iazygian towns, Bormanon, is believed to have had hot springs because settlement names starting with "Borm" were commonly used among European tribes to denote that the location had hot springs, which held religious importance for many Celtic tribes. It is not known, however, whether the religious significance of the hot springs was passed on to the Iazyges with the concept itself. [47] The Iazyges used horse-tails in their religious rituals. [48]

When the Iazyges migrated to the plain between the Tisza and the Danube, their economy suffered severely. Many explanations have been offered for this, such as their trade with the Pontic Steppe and Black Sea being cut off and the absence of any mineable resources within their territory making their ability to trade negligible. Additionally, Rome proved more difficult to raid than the Iazyges' previous neighbors, largely due to Rome's well-organized army. [28] [49] [50] The Iazyges had no large-scale organized production of goods for most of their history. [51] As such, most of their trade goods were gained via small-scale raids upon neighboring peoples, although they did have some incidental horticulture. [52] Several pottery workshops have been found in Banat, which was within the territory of the Iazyges, close to their border with Rome. These pottery workshops were built from the late 3rd century and have been found at Vršac–Crvenka, Grădinari–Selişte, Timişoara–Freidorf, Timişoara–Dragaşina, Hodoni, Pančevo, Dolovo, and Izvin şi Jabuca. [53]

The Iazyges' trade with the Pontic Steppe and Black Sea was extremely important to their economy after the Marcomannic War, Marcus Aurelius offered them the concession of movement through Dacia to trade with the Roxolani, which reconnected them with the Pontic Steppe trade network. [54] [55] This trade route lasted until 260, when the Goths took over Tyras and Olbia, cutting off both the Roxolani's and the Iazyges' trade with the Pontic Steppe. [56] The Iazyges also traded with the Romans, although this trade was smaller in scale. While there are Roman bronze coins scattered along the entirety of the Roman Danubian Limes, the highest concentration of them appear in the Iazyges' territory. [57]

Imports Edit

Because the Iazyges had no organized production for most of their history, imported pottery finds are sparse. Some goods, such as bronze or silver vessels, amphorae, terracotta wares, and lamps are extremely rare or nonexistent. Some amphorae and lamps have been found in Iazygian territory, often near major river crossings near the border with Rome, but the location of the sites make it impossible to determine whether these goods are part of an Iazygain site, settlement, or cemetery or merely the lost possessions of Roman soldiers stationed in or near the locations. [58]

The most commonly found imported ware was Terra sigillata. At Iazygian cemeteries, a single complete terra sigillata vessel and a large number of fragments have been found in Banat. Terra sigillata finds in Iazygian settlements are confusing in some cases it can sometimes be impossible to determine the timeframe of the wares in relation to its area and thus impossible to determine whether the wares came to rest there during Roman times or after the Iazyges took control. Finds of terra sigillata of an uncertain age have been found in Deta, Kovačica–Čapaš, Kuvin, Banatska Palanka, Pančevo, Vršac, Zrenjanin–Batka, Dolovo, Delibata, Perlez, Aradac, Botoš, and Bočar. Finds of terra sigillata that have been confirmed to having been made the time of Iazygian possession but of uncertain date have been found in Timișoara–Cioreni, Hodoni, Iecea Mică, Timișoara–Freidorf, Satchinez, Criciova, Becicherecul Mic, and Foeni–Seliște. The only finds of terra sigillata whose time of origin is certain have been found in Timișoara–Freidorf, dated to the 3rd century AD. Amphorae fragments have been found in Timișoara–Cioreni, Iecea Mică, Timișoara–Freidorf, Satchinez, and Biled all of these are confirmed to be of Iazygian origin but none of them have definite chronologies. [58]

In Tibiscum, an important Roman and later Iazygian settlement, only a very low percent of pottery imports were imported during or after the 3rd century. The pottery imports consisted of terra sigillata, amphorae, glazed pottery, and stamped white pottery. Only 7% of imported pottery was from the "late period" during or after the 3rd century, while the other 93% of finds were from the "early period", the 2nd century or earlier. [59] Glazed pottery was almost nonexistent in Tibiscum the only finds from the early period are a few fragments with Barbotine decorations and stamped with "CRISPIN(us)". The only finds from the late period are a handful of glazed bowl fragments that bore relief decorations on both the inside and the outside. The most common type of amphorae is the Dressel 24 similis finds are from the time of rule of Hadrian to the late period. An amphora of type Carthage LRA 4 dated between the 3rd and 4th century AD has been found in Tibiscum-Iaz and an amphora of type Opaiţ 2 has been found in Tibiscum-Jupa. [60]

Records of eight Iazygian towns have been documented these are Uscenum, Bormanum, Abieta, Trissum, Parca, Candanum, Pessium, and Partiscum. [61] [23] There was also a settlement on Gellért Hill. [62] Their capital was at Partiscum, the site of which roughly corresponds with that of Kecskemét, a city in modern-day Hungary. [63] [64] It is believed that a Roman road may have traversed the Iazyges' territory for about 200 miles (320 km), [65] connecting Aquincum to Porolissum, and passing near the site of modern-day Albertirsa. [66] This road then went on to connect with the Black Sea city states. [67]

The area of plains between the Danube and Tisza rivers that was controlled by the Iazyges was similar in size to Italy and about 1,000 mi (1,600 km) long. [68] [69] The terrain was largely swampland dotted with a few small hills that was devoid of any mineable metals or minerals. This lack of resources and the problems the Romans would face trying to defend it may explain why the Romans never annexed it as a province but left it as a client-kingdom. [49] [50]

According to English cartographer Aaron Arrowsmith, Iazyges Metanastæ lived east (sic) of the [Roman] Dacia separating it from [Roman] Pannonia and Germania. [70] Iazyges Metanastæ drove Daci from Pannonia and Tibiscus River (today known as Timiș River). [70]

Early history Edit

In the 3rd century BC the Iazyges lived in modern-day south-eastern Ukraine along the northern shores of the Sea of Azov, which the Ancient Greeks and Romans called the Lake of Maeotis. From there, the Iazyges —or at least some of them —moved west along the shores of the Black Sea into modern-day Moldova and south-western Ukraine. [72] [73] [74] It is possible the entirety of the Iazyges did not move west and that some of them stayed along the Sea of Azov, which would explain the occasional occurrence of the surname Metanastae the Iazyges that possibly remained along the Sea of Azov, however, are never mentioned again. [75]

Migration Edit

In the 2nd century BC, sometime before 179 BC, the Iazyges began to migrate westward to the steppe near the Lower Dniester. This may have occurred because the Roxolani, who were the Iazyges' eastern neighbors, were also migrating westward due to pressure from the Aorsi, which put pressure on the Iazyges and forced them to migrate westward as well. [19] [77] [78]

The views of modern scholars as to how and when the Iazyges entered the Pannonian plain are divided. The main source of division is over the issue of if the Romans approved, or even ordered, the Iazyges to migrate, with both sides being subdivided into groups debating the timing of such a migration. Andreas Alföldi states that the Iazyges could not have been present to the north-east and east of the Pannonian Danube unless they had Roman approval. This viewpoint is supported by János Harmatta, who claims that the Iazyges were settled with both the approval and support of the Romans, so as to act as a buffer state against the Dacians. András Mócsy suggests that Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Augur, who was Roman consul in 26 BC, may have been responsible for the settlement of the Iazyges as a buffer between Pannonia and Dacia. However, Mócsy also suggests that the Iazyges may have arrived gradually, such that they initially were not noticed by the Romans. John Wilkes believes that the Iazyges reached the Pannonian plain either by the end of Augustus's rule (14 AD) or some time between 17 and 20 AD. Constantin Daicoviciu suggests that the Iazyges entered the area around 20 AD, after the Romans called upon them to be a buffer state. Coriolan Opreanu supports the theory of the Iazyges being invited, or ordered, to occupy the Pannonian plain, also around 20 AD. [79] Gheorghe Bichir and Ion Horațiu Crișan support the theory that the Iazyges first began to enter the Pannonian plain in large numbers under Tiberius, around 20 AD. [80] The most prominent scholars that state the Iazyges were not brought in by the Romans, or later approved, are Doina Benea, Mark Ščukin, and Jenő Fitz. Doina Benea states that the Iazyges slowly infiltrated the Pannonian plain sometime in the first half of the 1st century AD, without Roman involvement. Jenő Fitz promotes the theory that the Iazyges arrived en masse around 50 AD, although a gradual infiltration preceded it. Mark Ščukin states only that the Iazyges arrived by themselves sometime around 50 AD. Andrea Vaday argued against the theory of a Roman approved or ordered migration, citing the lack of strategic reasoning, as the Dacians were not actively providing a threat to Rome during the 20–50 AD period. [81]

The occupation of the lands between the Danube and Tisza by the Iazyges was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia (77–79 AD), in which he says that the Iazyges inhabited the basins and plains of the lands, while the forested and mountainous area largely retained a Dacian population, which was later pushed back to the Tisza by the Iazyges. Pliny's statements are corroborated by the earlier accounts of Seneca the Younger in his Quaestiones Naturales (61–64 AD), where he uses the Iazyges to discuss the borders that separate the various peoples. [79]

From 78 to 76 BC, the Romans led an expedition to an area north of the Danube —then the Iazyges' territory —–because the Iazyges had allied with Mithridates VI of Pontus, with whom the Romans were at war. [82] [83] In 44 BC King Burebista of Dacia died and his kingdom began to collapse. After this, the Iazyges began to take possession of the Pannonian Basin, the land between the Danube and Tisa rivers in modern-day south-central Hungary. [84] Historians have posited this was done at the behest of the Romans, who sought to form a buffer state between their provinces and the Dacians to protect the Roman province of Pannonia. [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] [90] The Iazyges encountered the Basternae and Getae along their migration path sometime around 20 AD and turned southward to follow the coast of the Black Sea until they settled in the Danube Delta. [77] This move is attested by the large discrepancy in the location reported by Tacitus relative to that which was earlier given by Ovid. [91] Archeological finds suggest that while the Iazyges took hold of the northern plain between the Danube and the Tisa by around 50 AD, they did not take control of the land south of the Partiscum-Lugio line until the late 1st or early 2nd century. [92]

The effects of this migration have been observed in the ruins of burial sites left behind by the Iazyges the standard grave goods made of gold being buried alongside a person were absent, as was the equipment of a warrior this may have been because the Iazyges were no longer in contact with the Pontic Steppe and were cut off from all trade with them, which had previously been a vital part of their economy. Another problem with the Iazyges' new location was that it lacked both precious minerals and metals, such as iron, which could be turned into weapons. They found it was much more difficult to raid the Romans, who had organized armies around the area, as opposed to the disorganized armies of their previous neighbors. The cutting-off of trade with the Pontic Steppe meant they could no longer trade for gold for burial sites, assuming any of them could afford it. The only such goods they could find were the pottery and metals of the adjacent Dacian and Celtic peoples. Iron weapons would have been exceedingly rare, if the Iazyges even had them, and would likely have been passed down from father to son rather than buried because they could not have been replaced. [28]

Post-migration Edit

After the conquest of the Pannonian Basin, the Iazyges appear to have ruled over some measure of the remaining Germanic, Celtic, and Dacian populations, with the hilly areas north of modern-day Budapest retaining strong Germanic traditions, with a significant presence of Germanic burial traditions. [93] Items of Celtic manufacturing appear up until the late 2nd century AD, in the northern area of the Carpathian Basin. [94]

During the time of Augustus, the Iazyges sent an embassy to Rome to request friendly relations. [41] In a modern context, these "friendly relations" would be similar to a non-aggression pact. [95] Around this time, some of the western parts of the land of the Iazyges were occupied, apparently without conflict, by the Quadi, which scholar Nicholas Higham states "suggests long-term collaboration between [them]". [93]

Later, during the reign of Tiberius, the Iazyges became one of many new client-tribes of Rome. Roman client states were treated according to the Roman tradition of patronage, exchanging rewards for service. [96] [97] The client king was called socius et amicus Romani Populi (ally and friend of the Roman People) the exact obligations and rewards of this relationship, however, are vague. [98] Even after being made into a client state, the Iazyges conducted raids across their border with Rome, for example in 6 AD and again in 16 AD. In 20 AD the Iazyges moved westward along the Carpathians into the Pannonian Steppe, and settled in the steppes between the Danube and the Tisza river, taking absolute control of the territory from the Dacians. [77] In 50 AD, an Iazyges cavalry detachment assisted King Vannius, a Roman client-king of the Quadi, in his fight against the Suevi. [99] [100]

In the Year of Four Emperors, 69 AD, the Iazyges gave their support to Vespasian, who went on to become the sole emperor of Rome. [101] The Iazyges also offered to guard the Roman border with the Dacians to free up troops for Vespasian's invasion of Italy Vespasian refused, however, fearing they would attempt a takeover or defect. Vespasian required the chiefs of the Iazyges to serve in his army so they could not organize an attack on the undefended area around the Danube. [102] [103] [104] [105] [106] Vespasian enjoyed support from the majority of the Germanic and Dacian tribes. [101]

Domitian's campaign against Dacia was mostly unsuccessful the Romans, however, won a minor skirmish that allowed him to claim it as a victory, even though he paid the King of Dacia, Decebalus, an annual tribute of eight million sesterces in tribute to end the war. [101] [107] Domitian returned to Rome and received an ovation, but not a full triumph. Considering that Domitian had been given the title of Imperator for military victories 22 times, this was markedly restrained, suggesting the populace —–or at least the senate —was aware it had been a less-than-successful war, despite Domitian's claims otherwise. [108] [d] In 89 AD, however, Domitian invaded the Iazyges along with the Quadi and Marcomanni. Few details of this war are known but it is recorded that the Romans were defeated, [110] it is however known that Roman troops acted to repel simultaneous incursion by the Iazyges into Dacian lands. [111]

In early 92 AD the Iazyges, Roxolani, Dacians, and Suebi invaded the Roman province of Pannonia —modern-day Croatia, northern Serbia, and western Hungary. [112] [108] [113] Emperor Domitian called upon the Quadi and the Marcomanni to supply troops to the war. Both client-tribes refused to supply troops so Rome declared war upon them as well. In May 92 AD, the Iazyges annihilated the Roman Legio XXI Rapax in battle. [108] [113] [114] Domitian, however, is said to have secured victory in this war by January of the next year. [115] It is believed, based upon a rare Aureus coin showing an Iazyx with a Roman standard kneeling, with the caption of "Signis a Sarmatis Resitvtis", that the standard is taken from the annihilated Legio XXI Rapax was returned to Rome at the end of the war. [116] Although the accounts of the Roman-Iazyges wars of 89 and 92 AD are both muddled, it has been shown they are separate wars and not a continuation of the same war. [117] The threat presented by the Iazyges and neighbouring people to the Roman provinces was significant enough that Emperor Trajan travelled across the Mid and Lower Danube in late 98 to early 99, where he inspected existing fortification and initiated the construction of more forts and roads. [111]

Tacitus, a Roman Historian, records in his book Germania, which was written in 98 AD, that the Osi tribes paid tribute to both the Iazyges and the Quadi, although the exact date this relationship began is unknown. [118]

During the Flavian dynasty, the princes of the Iazyges were trained in the Roman army, officially as an honor but in reality serving as a hostage, because the kings held absolute power over the Iazyges. [119] There were offers from the princes of the Iazyges to supply troops but these were denied because of the fear they might revolt or desert in a war. [120]

Dacian wars Edit

An alliance between the Iazyges and the Dacians led the Romans to focus more on the Danube than the Rhine. [121] This is shown by the placement of the Roman legions during the time of Augustus's rule there were eight legions stationed along the Rhine, four stationed in Mainz, and another four in Cologne. Within a hundred years of Augustus' rule, however, Roman military resources had become centered along the Danube rather than the Rhine, [101] with nine legions stationed along the Danube and only one at the Rhine. By the time of Marcus Aurelius, however, twelve legions were stationed along the Danube. [121] The Romans also built a series of forts along the entire right bank of the Danube – from Germany to the Black Sea – and in the provinces of Rhaetia, Noricum, and Pannonia the legions constructed bridge-head forts. Later, this system was expanded to the lower Danube with the key castra of Poetovio, Brigetio, and Carnuntum. The Classis Pannonica and Classis Flavia Moesica were deployed to the right and lower Danube, respectively they, however, had to overcome the mass of whirlpools and cataracts of the Iron Gates. [121]

First Dacian War Edit

Trajan, with the assistance of the Iazyges, led his legions [e] into Dacia against King Decebalus, in the year 101. [122] [6] In order to cross the Danube with such a large army, Apollodorus of Damascus, the Romans' chief architect, created a bridge through the Iron Gates by cantilevering it from the sheer face of the Iron Gates. From this he created a great bridge with sixty piers that spanned the Danube. Trajan used this to strike deep within Dacia, forcing the king, Decebalus, to surrender and become a client king. [123]

Second Dacian War Edit

As soon as Trajan returned to Rome, however, Decebalus began to lead raids into Roman territory and also attacked the Iazyges, who were still a client-tribe of Rome. [124] [125] Trajan concluded that he had made a mistake in allowing Decebalus to remain so powerful. [123] In 106 AD, Trajan again invaded Dacia, with 11 legions, and, again with the assistance of the Iazyges – [122] [6] who were the only barbarian tribe that aided the Romans in this war – [f] [127] and the only barbarian tribe in the Danube region which did not ally with Dacia. [127] The Iazyges were the only tribe to aid Rome in both Dacian Wars, [6] [128] pushed rapidly into Dacia. Decebalus chose to commit suicide rather than be captured, knowing that he would be paraded in a triumph before being executed. In 113 AD Trajan annexed Dacia as a new Roman province, the first Roman province to the east of the Danube. Trajan, however, did not incorporate the steppe between the Tisza river and the Transylvanian mountains into the province of Dacia but left it for the Iazyges. [129] Back in Rome, Trajan was given a triumph lasting 123 days, with lavish gladiatorial games and chariot races. The wealth coming from the gold mines of Dacia funded these lavish public events and the construction of Trajan's Column, which was designed and constructed by Apollodorus of Damascus it was 100 feet (30 m) tall and had 23 spiral bands filled with 2,500 figures, giving a full depiction of the Dacian war. Ancient sources say 500,000 slaves were taken in the war but moderns sources believe it was probably closer to 100,000 slaves. [130]

After the Dacian Wars Edit

Ownership of the region of Oltenia became a source of dispute between the Iazyges and the Roman empire. The Iazyges had originally occupied the area before the Dacians seized it it was taken during the Second Dacian War by Trajan, who was determined to constitute Dacia as a province. [136] [122] [137] The land offered a more direct connection between Moesia and the new Roman lands in Dacia, which may be the reason Trajan was determined to keep it. [138] The dispute led to war in 107–108, where the future emperor Hadrian, then governor of Pannonia Inferior, defeated them. [136] [122] [139] The exact terms of the peace treaty are not known, but it is believed the Romans kept Oltenia in exchange for some form of concession, likely involving a one-time tribute payment. [122] The Iazyges also took possession of Banat around this time, which may have been part of the treaty. [140]

In 117, the Iazyges and the Roxolani invaded Lower Pannonia and Lower Moesia, respectively. The war was probably brought on by difficulties in visiting and trading with each other because Dacia lay between them. The Dacian provincial governor Gaius Julius Quadratus Bassus was killed in the invasion. The Roxolani surrendered first, so it is likely the Romans exiled and then replaced their client king with one of their choosing. The Iazyges then concluded peace with Rome. [141] The Iazyges and other Sarmatians invaded Roman Dacia in 123, likely for the same reason as the previous war they were not allowed to visit and trade with each other. Marcius Turbo stationed 1,000 legionaries in the towns Potaissa and Porolissum, which the Romans probably used as the invasion point into Rivulus Dominarum. Marcius Turbo succeeded in defeating the Iazyges the terms of the peace and the date, however, are not known. [142]

Marcomannic Wars Edit

In 169, the Iazyges, Quadi, Suebi, and Marcomanni once again invaded Roman territory. The Iazyges led an invasion into Alburnum in an attempt to seize its gold mines. [143] The exact motives for and directions of the Iazyges' war efforts are not known. [144] Marcus Claudius Fronto, who was a general during the Parthian wars and then the governor of both Dacia and Upper Moesia, held them back for some time but was killed in battle in 170. [145] The Quadi surrendered in 172, the first tribe to do so the known terms of the peace are that Marcus Aurelius installed a client-king Furtius on their throne and the Quadi were denied access to the Roman markets along the limes. The Marcomanni accepted a similar peace but the name of their client-king is not known. [146]

In 173, the Quadi rebelled and overthrew Furtius and replaced him with Ariogaesus, who wanted to enter into negotiations with Marcus. Marcus refused to negotiate because the success of the Marcomannic wars was in no danger. [146] At that point the Iazyges had not yet been defeated by Rome. having not acted, Marcus Aurelius appears to have been unconcerned, but when the Iazyges attacked across the frozen Danube in late 173 and early 174, Marcus redirected his attention to them. Trade restrictions on the Marcomanni were also partially lifted at that time they were allowed to visit the Roman markets at certain times of certain days. In an attempt to force Marcus to negotiate, Ariogaesus began to support the Iazyges. [147] Marcus Aurelius put out a bounty on him, offering 1,000 aurei for his capture and delivery to Rome or 500 aurei for his severed head. [148] [h] After this, the Romans captured Ariogaesus but rather than executing him, Marcus Aurelius sent him into exile. [150]

In the winter of 173, the Iazyges launched a raid across the frozen Danube but the Romans were ready for pursuit and followed them back to the Danube. Knowing the Roman legionaries were not trained to fight on ice, and that their own horses had been trained to do so without slipping, the Iazyges prepared an ambush, planning to attack and scatter the Romans as they tried to cross the frozen river. The Roman army, however, formed a solid square and dug into the ice with their shields so they would not slip. When the Iazyges could not break the Roman lines, the Romans counter-attacked, pulling the Iazyges off of their horses by grabbing their spears, clothing, and shields. Soon both armies were in disarray after slipping on the ice and the battle was reduced to many brawls between the two sides, which the Romans won. After this battle the Iazyges – and presumably the Sarmatians in general – were declared the primary enemy of Rome. [151]

The Iazyges surrendered to the Romans in March or early April of 175. [152] [153] [154] Their prince Banadaspus had attempted peace in early 174 but the offer was refused and Banadaspus was deposed by the Iazyges and replaced with Zanticus. [i] [147] The terms of the peace treaty were harsh the Iazyges were required to provide 8,000 men as auxiliaries and release 100,000 Romans they had taken hostage, [j] and were forbidden from living within ten Roman miles (roughly 9 miles (14 km) of the Danube. Marcus had intended to impose even harsher terms it is said by Cassius Dio that he wanted to entirely exterminate the Iazyges [157] but was distracted by the rebellion of Avidius Cassius. [147] During this peace deal, Marcus Aurelius broke from the Roman custom of Emperors sending details of peace treaties to the Roman Senate this is the only instance in which Marcus Aurelius is recorded to have broken this tradition. [158] Of the 8,000 auxiliaries, 5,500 of them were sent to Britannia [159] to serve with the Legio VI Victrix, [160] suggesting that the situation there was serious it is likely the British tribes, seeing the Romans being preoccupied with war in Germania and Dacia, had decided to rebel. All of the evidence suggests the Iazyges' horsemen were an impressive success. [159] The 5,500 troops sent to Britain were not allowed to return home, even after their 20-year term of service had ended. [161] After Marcus Aurelius had beaten the Iazyges he took the title of Sarmaticus in accordance with the Roman practice of victory titles. [162]

After the Marcomannic Wars Edit

In 177, the Iazyges, the Buri, and other Germanic tribes [k] invaded Roman territory again. [55] It is said that in 178, Marcus Aurelius took the bloody spear from the Temple of Bellona and hurled it into the land of the Iazyges. [164] In 179, the Iazyges and the Buri were defeated, and the Iazyges accepted peace with Rome. The peace treaty placed additional restrictions on the Iazyges but also included some concessions. They could not settle on any of the islands of the Danube and could not keep boats on the Danube. They were, however, permitted to visit and trade with the Roxolani throughout the Dacian Province with the knowledge and approval of its governor, and they could trade in the Roman markets at certain times on certain days. [55] [165] In 179, the Iazyges and the Buri joined Rome in their war against the Quadi and the Marcomanni after they secured assurances that Rome would prosecute the war to the end and not quickly make a peace deal. [166]

As part of a treaty made in 183, Commodus forbade the Quadi and the Marcomanni from waging war against the Iazyges, the Buri, or the Vandals, suggesting that at this time all three tribes were loyal client-tribes of Rome. [167] [168] In 214, however, Caracalla led an invasion into the Iazyges' territory. [169] In 236, the Iazyges invaded Rome but were defeated by Emperor Maximinus Thrax, who took the title Sarmaticus Maximus following his victory. [170] The Iazyges, Marcomanni, and Quadi raided Pannonia together in 248, [171] [172] and again in 254. [173] It is suggested the reason for the large increase in the amount of Iazyx raids against Rome was that the Goths led successful raids, which emboldened the Iazyges and other tribes. [174] In 260, the Goths took the cities of Tyras and Olbia, again cutting off the Iazyges' trade with the Pontic Steppe and the Black Sea. [56] From 282 to 283, Emperor Carus lead a successful campaign against the Iazyges. [173] [175]

The Iazyges and Carpi raided Roman territory in 293, and Diocletian responded by declaring war. [176] From 294 to 295, Diocletian waged war upon them and won. [177] [178] As a result of the war, some of the Carpi were transported into Roman territory so they could be controlled. [179] From 296 to 298, Galerius successfully campaigned against the Iazyges. [180] [175] In 358, the Iazyges were at war with Rome. [181] In 375, Emperor Valentinian had a stroke in Brigetio while meeting with envoys from the Iazyges. [l] [183] Around the time of the Gothic migration, which led the Iazyges to be surrounded on thee northern and eastern borders by Gothic tribes, and most intensely during the reign of Constantine I, a series of earthworks known as the Devil's Dykes (Ördögárok) was built around the Iazygian territory, [184] [185] possibly with a degree of Roman involvement. Higham suggests that the Iazyges became more heavily tied to the Romans during this period, with strong cultural influence. [185]

Late history and legacy Edit

In late antiquity, historic accounts become much more diffuse and the Iazyges generally cease to be mentioned as a tribe. [186] [187] Beginning in the 4th century, most Roman authors cease to distinguish between the different Sarmatian tribes, and instead refer to all as Sarmatians. [188] In the late 4th century, two Sarmatian peoples were mentioned ––the Argaragantes and the Limigantes, who lived on opposite sides of the Tisza river. One theory is that these two tribes were formed when the Roxolani conquered the Iazyges, after which the Iazyges became the Limigantes and the Roxolani became the Argaragantes. [186] [187] Another theory is that a group of Slavic tribesmen who gradually migrated into the area were subservient to the Iazyges the Iazyges became known as the Argaragantes and the Slavs were the Limigantes. [189] Yet another theory holds that the Roxolani were integrated into the Iazyges. [190] Regardless of which is true, in the 5th century both tribes were conquered by the Goths [191] [192] [193] [194] and, by the time of Attila, they were absorbed into the Huns. [195]

The Roman Empire Edit

The Iazyges often harassed the Roman Empire after their arrival in the Pannonian Basin, however, they never rose to become a true threat. [196] During the 1st century, Rome used diplomacy to secure their northern borders, especially on the Danube, by way of befriending the tribes, and by sowing distrust amongst the tribes against each other. [197] Rome defended their Danubian border not just by way of repelling raids, but also by levying diplomatic influence against the tribes and launching punitive expeditions. [198] [199] [200] The combination of diplomatic influence and swift punitive expeditions allowed the Romans to force the various tribes, including the Iazyges, into becoming client states of the Roman Empire. [200] Even after the Romans abandoned Dacia, they consistently projected their power north of the Danube against the Sarmatian tribes, especially during the reigns of Constantine, Constantius II, and Valentinian. [201] To this end, Constantine constructed a permanent bridge across the middle Danube in order to improve logistics for campaigns against the Goths and Sarmatians. [200] [202]

Another key part of the relationship between the Roman Empire and the Sarmatian tribes was the settling of tribes in Roman lands, with emperors often accepting refugees from the Sarmatian tribes into nearby Roman territory. [203] When the Huns arrived in the Russian steppes and conquered the tribes that were there, they often lacked the martial ability to force the newly conquered tribes to stay, leading to tribes like the Greuthungi, Vandals, Alans, and Goths migrating and settling within the Roman Empire rather than remaining subjects of the Huns. [204] The Roman Empire benefited from accepting these refugee tribes, and thus continued to allow them to settle, even after treaties were made with Hunnic leaders such as Rugila and Attila that stipulated that the Roman Empire would reject all refugee tribes, with rival or subject tribes of the Huns being warmly received by Roman leaders in the Balkans. [205]

Archeology Edit

Around the time of Trajan, the Romans established routes between Dacia and Pannonia, with evidence of Roman goods appearing in Iazygian land occurring around 100 AD, largely centered near important river crossings. Additionally, a small number of Roman inscriptions and buildings were made during this period, which scholar Nicholas Higham states suggests either a high degree of Romanization or the presence of diplomatic or military posts within Iazygian territory. Roman goods were widespread in the second and early third century AD, especially near Aquincum, the capital of Roman Pannonia Inferior, and the area east to the Tizsa valley. [206]

Roxolani Edit

The Iazyges also had a strong relationship with the Roxolani, another Sarmatian tribe, both economically and diplomatically. [55] [165] [200] [139] During the second Dacian War, where the Iazyges supported the Romans, while the Roxolani supported the Dacians, the Iazyges and Roxolani remained neutral to each other. [207] After the Roman annexation of Dacia, the two tribes were effectively isolated from each other, until the 179 peace concession from Emperor Marcus Aurelius which permitted the Iazyges and Roxolani to travel through Dacia, subject to the approval of the governor. [55] [165] [200] Because of the new concession allowing them to trade with the Roxolani they could, for the first time in several centuries, trade indirectly with the Pontic Steppe and the Black Sea. [54] It is believed the Iazyges traveled through Small Wallachia until they reached the Wallachian Plain, but there is little archeological evidence to prove this. [208] Cypraea shells began to appear in this area in the last quarter of the 2nd century. [209]

Quadi Edit

The scholar Higham suggests that there was some degree of "long-term collaboration" between the Iazyges and the Quadi, noting that they were allied in the late 2nd century AD, and that the Iazyges ceded the western portions of their land to them shortly after arriving in the Pannonian Basin, apparently without conflict. [93]

1800-Year-Old Horse and Chariot Burial Discovered in Croatia - History

I found this in Reddit. But it was just the pic.

It's not likely that anyone doubts the Croatian find. But of course 1,800 years ago is prime time for Nephites v. Lamanites, The Rumble that Shook a Continent!!

Man oh man, mormon ghawd is one tricky-ass son-of-a-beehive! Eight or nine versions of the most important vision EVER, but he's hiding every bit of physical evidence about the most correct book ever written!

What would really be hilarious is an ancient ruin in the Old World where a team of tapirs was found buried in-harness to a chariot!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2019 07:14PM by elderolddog.

I already knew the church is true, but I'm not sure which church, where, when, or anything else

I learned it during a dream after I ate some questionable meat, so I was probably breaking the WoW, serves me Right.

The right approach is to wonder how a Nephite chariot found its way to Croatia.

Is it possible that the Nephites were very frugal and sold all of their used chariots to some Phoenician merchants in Croatia?

Is it possible that Jaredite barge technology was revived and used to transport used chariots across the Atlantic?

Come spend a special evening with us at the Maxsmell Institute next Saturday as Daniel Feederson hosts a special panel of faithful scholars exploring an exciting new development in Book of Mormon scholarship based on evidence indicating that ancient Nephite traders sold virtually all of the New World artifacts, along with other assets and antiquities to the ancient Phoenicians in order to finance their final battles with the Lamanites.