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Quadriga



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Quadriga. - A chariot drawn by four horses, by four elephants, or indeed by four animals of any other kind.  The quadriga on coins does not always signify a triumph, for it was also employed in the consular procession, and in the conveyance of him who was victor at the public games.  In like manner it was used at the funeral ceremony of an Emperor's consecration. (Froelich, Num. Reg. p. 79, 80.) - The right of using quadrigae in the processus consularis, or at the assuming of the tribunitian power, was bestowed by the Senate. - See Car.

Quadriga. - On a medal of M. Aurelius, in memory of Faustina jun., is a quadriga of elephants drawing a thensa, with a statue of the deceased empress; and on a coin of Constantine the Great, who veiled, is carried upwards in a quadriga, a hand from above being extended to receive him.  We see a quadriga placed on the summit of the funeral pile (rogus) on the CONSECRATION medals of M. Aurelius, Sept. Severus and Constantius Chlorus. - See CONSECRATIO.

The Quadrigae (and the same remark applies to the Biga and Trigae), which so frequently occur on the coins of Roman families, do not relate to the honours of the triumph, as we learn from a historical dissertation published by the French Academy of Inscriptions. - On some coins, both consular and imperial, we see a quadriga, without a driver, and without any figure standing or sitting in it, but only a flower, or some ornamental object, as in Aquilia, and coins of Augustus and in Titus.  On others a legionary eagle appears in the quadriga, as on coins of Augustus.

Quadrigae of horses and elephants are seen placed on the summit of triumphal arches in coins of Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Galba, Domitian, Trajan. - A car with four horses, on which is a species of cone, or stone, with four small vexillae, or standards, appears on gold and silver of Elagabalus, with the epigraph of SANCT. DEO SOLI ELAGABAL. (See the Inscription) - A quadriga of centaurs carrying Hercules, appears on a medallion of M. Aurelius. - See TEMPORVM FELICITAS.

Quadrigae, in which the Emperor himself is the charioteer, is a type of very frequent occurence, and extends through the Imperial series from Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Vespasian, Domitian, and so on down to Placidius Valentinianus. - Some Roman Emperors are represented on coins standing in quadrigae, who took no triumphal honours; and in these cases we must suppose the medals to refer to their having participated in the pompous solemnity of the consular procession, as those coins indicate, on which the imperial functionary waggons his own team of four, with the inscription FEL. PROCES.

Quadrigae, in which the Emperor is crowned by Victory, whilst a praetorian soldier leads the horses, and another or more praetorians follow the car appears on coins of Gordianus Pius, Alex. Severus, Probus.

Quadrigae, in which are the figures of two Emperors, occur on the coins of Titus, M. Aurelius and L. Verus; of M. Aurelius and Commodus; the two Philips, Treb. Gallus and Volusianus; Carus and Numerians; Diocletian and Val. Maximian.  In all these the Emperors are crowned by standing or flying Victories and preceded and followed by soldiers bearing trophies.  On a medal of Valerianus senior, with legend of FELICITAS TEMPORVM, the Emperor and his two sons appear in a quadriga - and there is a medallion selected by Vaillant from teh collection of De Camps (p. 109), wherin Victory crowns Valerian, standing between his two sons - all in the same quadriga, the four horses of which are led by the two soldiers, one on each side.

Jupiter standing on a quadriga is the distinguishing mark of those quinarii and denarii called quadrigati (that is to say having the stamp of a chariot on them), which belong to the class of Roman Republic coins. - In Waillant's selection from the De Camps cabinet. (p 31), we see a bronze medallion of M. Aurelius, in which Jupiter, driving furiously in a quadriga shakes his thunderbolt at the King of the Quadi, who is falling prostrate on the ground at the horses feet.

Mars, Neptune, Pallas, Pluto, Sol, and other deities of pagan worship appear on a variety of coins and the favourite Genius of Victory guided the four horses of the Roman car on numerous denarii both consular and imperial.


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