Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Woods, D.
Numismatic Chronicle
The Late Roman ‘Camp Gate’ Reverse Type and the Sidus Salutare
Optional Fields
Diocletian Constantine Star Light Sidus Adventus
The so-called camp gate reverse type proved popular on late Roman coinage from the reign of Diocletian (284-305) until that of Valentinian III (425-55). It is argued here that the traditional description of the structure on these coins as a camp gate is incorrect, and that in the vast majority of cases it is a city gate. The type celebrates the providentia ‘provision’ of the emperor for the salus ‘safety’ of the empire using the imagery of the adventus ‘arrival’ ceremony. Hence the star depicted above the city gate on most examples is the sidus salutare symbolising the saving presence of the emperor who has arrived through the open gates of the city. Contrary to the traditional interpretation, there is no connection with the limes or any programme of fortification.
London, UK
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