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On his head you see the rays that seem to grow out of it. Claudian-in-the description of his-infant Titan descants on this glory about his head, but has run his description into moft wretched fuftian.
Invalidum dextro portat Titang lacerto,
Claud: de rapt. Prof. Lib. I.
The Sun rises, on, a Medal of FIG. 12. Gommades, as: Ovid.describes him in the story of Phaetona Ardua prima via est, et quà vix manè recentes Enituntur equi
v. Meti. Lib. 2.
You have here too the four horses breaking through the clouds in their morning passage.
Pyroëis et Edus, et Ætben, Solis equi, quartusque Phlegon
Corripuere viam, pedibusque per cëra motis
Ibid The waman, underneath represents the Earth, as Ovid'has drawn her fitting in the same figure.
Suftulit omniferos collo tenus arida vultus;
The earth at length-
The Cornu-copie in her hand is a type of her fruitfulness, as in the speech the makes to fupiter.
Hofne mibi fructus, bunc fertilitatis bonorem.
And does the plough for this my body tear?
So much for the designing part of the Medal; as for the thought of it, thc Antiquaries are divided upon it. For my part I cannot doubt but it was made as a compliment to Commodus
on his skill in the chariot-race. It is supposed that the fame occafion furnithed Lucan with the fame thought in his address to Nero.
Seu te flammigeros Pbæbi confcendere currus,
Luc. Lib. I. ad Neronem,
Or if thou choose the empire of the day,
This is so natural an allusion, that we find the course of the Sun described in the Poets by metaphors borrowed from the Circus.
Quum suspensus eat Phoebus, currumque reflectat Huc illuc, agiles et servet in æthere metas.
Manil. Lib. I. -Hesperio pofitas in littore metas.
Ov. Met. Lib. 2.
Et Sol ex æquo metâ diftabat utrâque. Idem. However it be, we are sure in general it is a comparing of Commodus to the Sun, which is a simile of as long standing as poetry, I had almost said, as the Sun itself.
I believe, says Cynthio, there is scarce a great ever shone
that has not been compared to him. I look on fimiles as a part of his productions. I do not know whether he raises fruits or flowers in greater number. Horace has turn'd this comparison into ridicule seventeen
hundred years ago.
- Laudat Brutum, laudatque cobortem, Solem Afiæ Brutum appellat- Hor. Sat. 7. Lib. 1. He praiseth Brutus much and all his train; He calls him Afia's Sun
Mr. Creech. You have now shown us persons under the disguise of Stars, Moons and Suns. I suppose we have at last done with the celestial bodies.
The next figure you see, says Philander, had once a place in the Heavens, if you will believe ecclefiaftical story. It is the sign that is said to have appeared to Conflantine before the battle with Maxentius. We are told by a Christian Poety that he caus’d it to be wrought on the military Ensigns that the Romans call their Labarum. And it is on this Ensign that we find it in the present Medal. Cbriftus purpureum gemmanti textus in auro Signabat Labarum. --
Prudent. contra Symm. Lib. I. A Christ was on th' Imperial standard borne, That Gold embroiders, and that Gems adorn. By the word Cbrisius, he mcans without doubt the present figure, which is composed out of the two initial letters of the name,
He bore the same sign in his standards, as you may see in the following Medals and verses. Agnoscas, Rrgina, libens mea figna necesse est: In quibus Effigies Crucis aut gemmata refulget, Aui longis folido ex auro præfertur in kaffis. Constantinus Romam alloquitur. Ibid.
My Ensign let the Queen of nations praise,
· Id. in Apotheofi. See there the Cross he wav'd on hoftile fhores, The Emperor of all the world adores.
Bat to return to our Labarum; if Fig. 15.
you have a mind to see it in a ftate of Paganism, you have it on a Coin of Tiberius. It tands between two other Enligns, and is the mark of’a Roman Colony where the Medal was ftamped. By the way you must obferve, that where-ever the Romans fixed their standards they looked on that place as their country, and thought themselves obliged to defend it with their lives. For this reason their standards were always carried before them when they went to settle themselves in a Colony. This gives - the meaning of a couple of verses in Silius iftalicus that make a very far-fetcht compliment to Fabius. Ocyus bue Aquilos, fer ataque figna referte, Hic patria efl, murique urbis.flant-pectore in uno.
Sil. It. Lib. 7. FIG. 16.
The following Medal waseftamped
on Trajan's victory over the Daci, you see on it the figure of Trajan presenting a little Victory 'to Rome. Between them lies the conquered province of Dacia. It may be worth while to observe the particularities in each figure. "We fee abundance of persons on old