Featured Lego Fun, Vol. XII: The Mausoleum of Theoderic

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Julius Germanicus, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    During my school days I read Felix Dahn´s awesome classic 1876 historical novel "Struggle for Rome" and it was not until a couple of weeks ago that I discovered the 1968 movie featuring Orson Welles as Justinian.


    I have never been to Ravenna, but here is my little recreation (in 1:75 scale) of the Mausoleum that Theoderic the Great, founder and ruler (493-526 AD) of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy, created for himself during his lifetime.
    The building is not only of unique architectural design, but also the most important surviving structure from the migration period.


    The decagonal monument (not easy to recreate in Lego) was built in the opus quadratum technique that had been abandoned by the Romans four centuries ago, with stones brought to Ravenna from Istria in Dalmatia by ship including the round roof which consists of a single monolith weighting 230 tons (how did they put it up there?).


    The Mausoleum, which had been partially submerged, is shown here as it appeared in the 19th Century when the excarvation had reached the ground level, double stairs had been added (again removed in 1918), and the building was still surrounded by trees instead of the open field you would see now.


    In the upper level a Porphyry tub is shown as the "Tomb of Theoderic" today, but this was likely taken from an imperial bath.


    Here is my only Ostrogothic coin, an imitation of a roman Aureus struck in the Ukraine and predating Theoderic´s Mausoleum by some 200 years:

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-09-05 um 14.25.18.png

    IIII-IT — IIIIII - laureate and cuirassed bust of Diocletian or Maximian left.
    II — IISIII (the S reversed) - helmeted Roma seated left on throne with X beneath seat, holding Victory on extended right hand and resting on sceptre held in left.
    Aureus (gold plated over base metal core), irregular mint in western Ukraine, Chernvyakhov culture, ca. 300-310 aD
    19,83 mm / 2,56 gr. / pierced in antiquity
    Oleg Anohin "Counterfeiting among barbarian tribes in the territory of modern Ukraine and Moldova. Catalog of barbaric imitations" (2015), Nr.87 (this coin illustrated)
    found in the Ternopil region, Ukraine, ex Savoca Numismatik 17th Blue auction (01.03.2019), lot 1894

    Have a nice weekend whereever you are, and please show your Gothic coins!
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  3. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Theodahad as King of Ostrogothic Italy, AE4 15mm 2.71g copper decanummia of Ravenna, ca. 536:

    INVICT - A ROMA; helmeted, draped cuirassed bust of Roma right.
    DN / THEODA / HATHVS / REX inside wreath
    MIB 82, MEC 1, 144, BMC 16.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  4. Restitutor

    Restitutor Well-Known Member

    If you ever decide to put together instructions for your sets, count me in as a buyer! Fantastic work!!
    Julius Germanicus likes this.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice build! You are a magician with Lego.
    Julius Germanicus likes this.
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice build! You are a magician with Lego.
  7. Brian Bucklan

    Brian Bucklan Well-Known Member

    Incredible how you can build those with so much detail.

    Here's a little Theoderic AR Quarter Siliqua (10mm, 0.6gms) in the name of Anastasius:

    Obv: DN ANASTASI AVG; Bust of Anastasius
    Rev: Monogram of Theoderic within wreath
    Anstasius Siliqua Theoderic.jpg
  8. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Very well done I took a double take on your post it is that good. Thanks for posting it.
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  9. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

  10. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    20151011_115526.jpg Another great accomplishment, and a great monument I visited in 2015 but didn't have enough time to go inside unfortunately.
  11. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    What a nice touch is that bat on top of the rotonda. It's like a silent guardian. A watchful protector.
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  12. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    J.G., I spotted this thread late but glad I didn't miss it entirely :). That's a great Lego creation along with interesting facts about the structure :D. If we ever get past the Covid-19 pandemic I'd like to see the actual mausoleum. Below are a couple of Ostrogothic coins from my collection.

    2101304-003, AK Collection.jpg
    Athalaric, 4883814-005.jpg
  13. Dima

    Dima Member Supporter

    Awesome Lego model - kudos!
  14. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Your Lego creations are awe-inspiring.

    No Theoderic, but I have one coin of his grandson, Athalaric ZomboDroid 24012020164930.jpg
  15. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Thank you all!

    The National Museum in Rome is home to what must be the most spectacular surviving numismatic object of the migration period, the only gold coin depicting Theoderic the Great, probably struck on the occasion of his triumphal Adventus in Rome in the year 500 AD, in the style of the Roman Emperor that he was in all but his title:

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-09-11 um 09.49.31.png
    REX THEODERICVS PIVS PRINCIS - Frontal bust of Theodoric, cuirassed, holding Victory on globe and with other hand in gesture of address /
    REX THEODERICVS VICTOR GENTIVM COMOB - Victory advancing right, shouldering palm and holding up wreath
    Gold Medallion of 3 Solidi
    33 mm / 15,32 g
    Rome, 500 A.D.
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