Archaeologists have unearthed what they say are the only existing imperial insignia belonging to Emperor Maxentius _ precious objects that were buried to preserve them and keep them from enemies when he was defeated by his rival Constantine.
Excavation under Rome's Palatine Hill near the Colosseum turned up items including three lances and four javelins that experts said are striking for their completeness _ digs usually turn up only fragments _ and the fact that they are the only known artifacts of their kind.
Clementina Panella, the archaeologist who made the discovery, said the insignia were likely hidden by Maxentius' people in an attempt to preserve the emperor's memory after he was defeated by Constantine I in the 321 A.D. battle of the Milvian Bridge _ a turning point for the history of the Roman empire which saw Constantine become the unchallenged ruler of the West.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Emperor Maxentius Insignia Found in Rome