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Roma and Earth Nero and Armenia

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Roma and Earth  Nero and Armenia
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Photo Comments

The panel on the left shows Roma holding a spear and wearing a crown in the form of a city wall (badly worn).  Earth reclines half-naked, leaning n a pile of fruit.  She holds a cornucopia full of more fruit.  A baby child, now damaged, climbs up the horn.  The relief represents Earth's fertility and abundance overseen by Rome.  the figures are identified by the inscribed base.

The panel on the right show Nero [the Roman Emperor], wearing only a cloak and a sword-strap, supports a slumped naked Armenia by her upper arms.  She wears a soft eastern hat, and her bow and quiver are on the left.  The heroic composition likens them to Achilles and the Amazon queen Penthesilea.  The inscription on the base read: "Armenia — [Neron] Klaudios Drousos Kaisar Sebastos Germanikos. (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).

The Sebasteion was a complex of structures that served as a municipal imperial cult sanctuary.  It was dedicated to Aphrodite, the main deity of Aphrodisias, and to the "gods Sebastoi"—that is to the "August Ones," namely Julius Caesar and his successors.  Local elite persons built it to solidify their ties with Rome.  Its construction began during the reign of Tiberius and continued into the reign of Nero.