Cook, Arthur B.
Zeus: a study in ancient religion (Band 1): Zeus god of the bright sky — Cambridge, 1914

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The Blue Globe

same motif (fig. 28)1: Zeus as a child sits on the globe with a
goat at his side and seven stars above his head. The idea was
popularised by coins of Antoninus Pius (fig. 2Cj)2 and Commodus,
on which occurs the fine figure of Italia enthroned on a starry
globe as mistress of the world.

The symbol of the globe was still further Christianised, when
Valentinianus I added a cross on the top of it3. In this form it
occurs on the coins of many of the later Roman emperors4. An
obvious exception is afforded by Julian the Apostate, who sub-

Fig. 27. Fig. 28. Fig. 29.

stituted a small figure of Victory for the cross5. The globus
crticiger, or globe and cross, is again a constant emblem of
Christian sovereignty on Byzantine coins6. As the 'orb' of
mediaeval and modern regalia it has survived to our own times7.

We have now passed in review the different conditions under
which the globe is associated with Zeus. It remains to ask what
was the origin of the symbol, and what was its significance.

Its origin appears to have been twofold. On the one hand, the

1 Overbeck Gr. Kunstmyth. Zeus p. 330 Mvinztaf. 5, 2, J. N. Svoronos Numismatique
de la Crete ancienne Macon 1890 i. 348 pi. 35, 1.

2 Rasche Lex. Num. iv. 1002 f., Stevenson-Smith-Madden Diet. Rom. Coins p. 488
tig. The illustration is from a first brass of Antoninus Pius in my collection.

3 Sittl op. cit. p. 49 f. states that Constantine had already placed the Christian mono-
gram upon the globe (but Cohen Monn. emp. rom.2 vii. 231 no. 14 was struck after his
death). On coins of Nepotianus (350 a.d.) etc. we see Roma enthroned holding a globe
surmounted by the monogram (Cohen op. cit.2 viii. 2 no. 2 fig., W. Lowrie Christian Art
and Archaeology New York 1901 p. 241 fig. 82, a, Roscher Lex. Myth. iv. 153). .

4 A list is given by Rasche Lex. Num. iii. 1464. Cp. Souid. s.v. 'lovariviavbs- .../cat
earrjae tt]p eavrov eiKoua ivl klopos £<pnrirov nai rrj /jlcv apLcrTepb) X€LPL <P^P^ (Ttpaipau,
ifiTreTrrjyoTos aravpov iv avrrj, virovriixaLvovTos <hs 81a rrjs eis rbv aravpbv iriarews tt}s yys
iyKpariis yeyove. acpdipa fxev yap 7/ yrj 5ia to acpaipoeides tou avTrjs crxVILLaTOs> tticttls
8e 6 aravpos 5ta rbv eu aury aapKi -jvpoarfKoodevTa debv.

5 Rasche loc. cit.

6 Brit. Mus. Cat. Byz. Coins ii. 654 s.v. ' Globus.'

7 Ducange Gloss, med. et inf. Lat. ed. 1886 vi. in s.v. ' palla ' cites from Gotefridus
Viterbiensis the couplet—Aureus ille Globus Pomum vel Palla vocatur, | Quando coro-
natur, Palla ferenda datur.
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