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Ancient Roman Eagle


Did Eagles Carry Emperors Into Heaven?

This painting represents a Roman Eagle also called the 'Aquila". The eagle (aquila) was the bird of Jupiter. In ancient times the eagle was a symbol of strength and courage, and immortality. The eagle was believed to be the king of the birds that could ascend above the storm, and become the messenger of the gods. According to ancient mythology the eagle would carry the soul into the presence of the gods, Zeus to the Greeks, Jupiter to the Roman, and Odin to the tribes of Germania.

The silver eagle was the ensign of the Roman Legion and the symbol of its power. The legatus was the officer in charge, and he would assign an aquilifer who was the soldier that would carry the aquila (eagle) into battle. If the eagle was captured the legion would disband. It is interesting that Julius Caesar personally sanctified the eagle when the legion was brought forth.

On one of the legion standards the powerful talons of the eagle are gripping golden thunderbolts, as the eagle stands ready for flight against all enemies of Rome. At the very top of the standard above the eagle is a gold bar with the inscription SPQR (Senatus Populus Romanus) honoring the Senate and the People. The ancient Roman eagle is important in the study of Biblical archaeology.

As with the ancient Hebrews the eagle symbolizes divinity, the bird that comes from above.

Deuteronomy 28:49 - The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;


The silver eagle was the ensign of the Roman Legion and the symbol of its power.

AQUILA. The eagle, the principal ensign of the Roman legion (Plin. H. N. X. 5.), made of silver or bronze, and with expanded wings, as shown above.

The Aquila was the eagle standard of a Roman legion, carried by a special grade legionary known as an Aquilifer. One eagle standard was carried by each legion. Pliny the Elder (H.N. x.16) enumerates five animals displayed on Roman military ensigns: the eagle, the wolf, the minotaur, the horse, and the boar. In the second consulship of Gaius Marius (104 BC) the four quadrupeds were laid aside as standards, the eagle being alone retained. It was made of silver, or bronze, with outstretched wings, but was probably of a relatively small size, since a standard-bearer (signifer) under Julius Caesar is said in circumstances of danger to have wrenched the eagle from its staff and concealed it in the folds of his girdle. Under the later emperors the eagle was carried with the legion, a legion being on that account sometimes called aquila (Hirt. Bell. Hisp. 30). Each cohort had for its own ensign the serpent or dragon, which was woven on a square piece of cloth textilis anguis, elevated on a gilt staff, to which a cross-bar was adapted for the purpose, and carried by the draconarius. [Wikipedia]

The centurio also chose the standard bearer, or ensign of his century {signifer or vexillarius). Each century was also divided into bodies often, each of which was commanded by a decurio or decanus. The first centurion of the triarii was called primipilus ; he had charge of the eagle, and he commanded the whole legion under the tribunes. The light-armed troops were also formed into bands or centuries, each of which was commanded by a centurion. [Rome]

"The centurion rode in front of the eagle."


The Eagle (Aquila) was a military ensign usually carried by an aquilifer


The Eagle was the principal ensign of the legions of Rome

The eagle symbolized strength, courage, farsightedness and immortality. It is considered to be the king of the air and the messenger of the highest Gods. Mythologically, it is connected by the Greeks with the God Zeus, by the Romans with Jupiter, by the Germanic tribes with Odin [Wikipedia]


Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.

The Roman Legion. The first of the cohorts, which bore the name of cohors millitaria, was superior to the others, both with respect to the number and quality of the soldiers; it had also the charge of the eagle and the standard of the emperor. Its strength was 1105 foot-soldiers, and 132 cuirassiers on horseback, and its post was on the right of the first line. The remaining four cohorts of the first line contained each 555 infantry and 66 cavalry, and the five cohorts of the second line contained each the same number of infantry and cavalry. Thus the whole legion was composed of 6100 foot-soldiers and 726 horsemen, not including either the triarii or the light troops. [Rome]
 


The apotheosis of Titus (Divus) on the upper portion of the Arch of Titus (Arous Titi). He is being carried up to heaven.

APOTHEOSIS, the enrolment of a mortal among the gods...When all this is done, the others set fire to it on every side, which easily catches hold of the faggots and aromatics and from the highest and smallest story, as from a pinnacle, an eagle is let loose to mount into the sky as the fire ascends, which is believed by the Romans to carry the soul of the emperor from earth to heaven ; and from that time he is worshipped with the other gods. [Rome]


The apotheosis of Augustus on an onyx stone in the Royal Museum of Paris


Coin bearing the eagle (aquila) symbol for ancient Rome

COINS. In ancient Rome it was common to see on medals struck in honour of an apotheosis an altar with fire on it, and an eagle, the bird of Jupiter, with thunderbolt taking flight into the air. The number of medals of this description is very numerous. Certain coins trace the names of sixty individuals, who received the honours of an apotheosis, from the time of Julius Caesar to that of Constantine the Great. [Rome]


Eagle in the pediment of the Temple dedicated to Jupiter with outstretched wings

Guard; Sentinels. Out of the twenty maniples of Principes and Triarii in each legion, two were appointed to take charge of the broad passage or street called Prindpia, extending right across the camp in front of the tents of the tribunes. This being the place of general resort during the day, and, as we know from various sources, the part of the camp in which the altars and the eagles stood, great pains were taken that it should be kept perfectly clean and regularly watered, a labour which would rail very light when portioned out among four maniples.


Aquilifer bearing standard with eagle

AQUILIFER. ensign of a Roman legion, who carried the eagle. (Goes. B. G. v. 37. Suet. Aug. 10.). There was but one aquilifer to each legion, though there were many signiferi, or standard bearers. (Veget. Mil. ii. 13. Compare Tac. Ann. i. 39. and 61.) The example is taken from the Column of Trajan, on which an ensign carrying the eagle is several times represented, with the skin of a wild beast over his head and back, in the same manner as here shown. [Rome]


Roman Legion bearing eagle ensign

Signa militaria. Military standards or ensigns, including, in reality, the eagle (aquila), which was the general ensign of the entire legion; but more commonly used with reference to the different standards belonging to each separate maniple and cohort, as distinct from the eagle. Cat. ii. 6. Tac. Hist. 11. 29. Tac. Ann. i. 18.) The illustration, a medal, shows the eagle between two standards of cohorts ; the name of each ensign is enumerated in the Classed Index, and an example given under its own denomination. [Rich]


Roman coin of Vespasian (76 AD) bearing eagle


The eagle and the lion above the column capital

A bronze eagle and dolphin were at the center of the chariot races of ancient Rome.

 


The Bible also mentions he 'Eagle"

Ezekiel 1:10 - As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:14 - And every one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a cherub, and the second face [was] the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Jeremiah 49:16 - Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, [and] the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.

Revelation 4:7 - And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle.

Micah 1:16 - Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.

Ezekiel 17:3 - And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:

Ezekiel 17:7 - There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.

Deuteronomy 28:49 - The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

Revelation 12:14 - And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Leviticus 11:13 - And these [are they which] ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they [are] an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,

Deuteronomy 32:11 - As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

Jeremiah 49:22 - Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

Obediah 1:4 - Though thou exalt [thyself] as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

Habakkuk 1:8 - Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle [that] hasteth to eat.

Proverbs 23:5 - Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for [riches] certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Hosea 8:1 - [Set] the trumpet to thy mouth. [He shall come] as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.

Job 39:27 - Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?

Jeremiah 48:40 - For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.

Job 9:26 - They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle [that] hasteth to the prey.

Proverbs 30:19 - The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

Leviticus 11:18 - And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,

Deuteronomy 14:17 - And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,

Deuteronomy 14:12 - But these [are they] of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,

 

The Word "Caesar" is Mentioned many Times in the Bible
(Note: It was not always Tiberius because he died in 37 A.D.)

Luke 3:1 - Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene.

Matthew 22:21 - They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

Luke 3:1 - Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

John 19:15 - But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

John 19:12 - And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

Luke 20:25 - And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.

Mark 12:14 - And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Mark 12:17 - And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

Acts 27:24 - Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Luke 23:2 - And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this [fellow] perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

Acts 11:28 - And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 25:11 - For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Acts 25:21 - But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.

Acts 17:7 - Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus.

Luke 2:1 - And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Acts 28:19 - But when the Jews spake against [it], I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.

Matthew 22:17 - Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Acts 25:8 - While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Acts 26:32 - Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Luke 20:22 - Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?

Acts 25:12 - Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

 

Some Scriptures mentioning the word "Rome"

 

Acts 23:11 - And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

2 Timothy 4:22 - The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[The second [epistle] unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.]>

Acts 18:2 - And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

Colossians 4:18 - The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.]>

Ephesians 6:24 - Grace [be] with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. <[To [the] Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.]>

Philemon 1:25 - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus a servant.]>

Acts 2:10 - Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

Acts 19:21 - After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Acts 28:16 - And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Romans 1:7 - To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 6:18 - Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[To [the] Galatians written from Rome.]>

Philippians 4:23 - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen. <[To [the] Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.]>

Acts 28:14 - Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

Romans 1:15 - So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

2 Timothy 1:17 - But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me].

 

Daniel 2:40 - "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all [things]: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise."

Acts 23:11 - And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

 


Related Pages:

EAGLE in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (Bible History Online) - The Hebrew nesher, meaning "to tear with the beak," is almost invariably translated "eagle," throughout the Bible; yet many of the most importa nt references ...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/E/EAGLE/

Eagle - Biblical Meaning of Eagle in Eastons Bible Dictionary (Bible ... - Eagle - Biblical Meaning for Eagle in Eastons Bible Dictionary (Bible History Online)
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/ E/Eagle/

Eagle - Biblical Definition of Eagle in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ... - Eagle in Fausset's Bible Dictionary (Bible History Online)
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/E/Eagle/

Eagle - Meaning of Eagle in Smiths Bible Dictionary (Bible History ... - Eagle: Biblical Meaning of Eagle in Smiths Bible Dictionary (Bible History Online)
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/E/Eagle/

Bible History Online - Ancient Roman Eagle (Biblical Archaeology) - The silver eagle was the ensign of the Roman Legion and the symbol of its power . The legatus was the officer in charge, and he would a ssign an aquilifer who ...
http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/rome/2-roman-eagle-bb.html

GIER-EAGLE in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (Bible History Online) - jer'-e-g'-l (racham; kuknos, in Leviticus, porphurion, in Deuteronomy): The name applied to one of the commonest of the vultures, and not an eagle at all. ...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/G/GIER-EAGLE/

Gier eagle - Biblical Meaning of Gier eagle in Eastons Bible ... - Gier eagle - Biblical Meaning for Gier eagle in Eastons Bible Dictionary (Bible History Online)
http://www.bible-history.com/e astons/G/Gier+eagle/

Bible History Online - Judaea and Roman Eagle Coin - Judaea and Roman Eagle Coin. Roman Coin Depicting Judaea Defeated and the Eagle. Return to Ancient Sketches ╖ Return to Bible History On line.
http://www.bible-history.com/sketches/israel/judaea-roman-eagle-coin.html

EAGLE in Naves Topical Bible (Bible History Online) - EAGLE -Forbidden as food. Le 11:13; De 14:12 -The swift flight of. De 28:49; Job 9:26; Pr 30:19; Jer 4:13; 49:22; La 4:19 -The nest of. De 32:11; Job 39:27-30; ...http://www.bible-history.com/naves/E/EAGLE/

Arch of Titus Reliefs - Ancient Roman Stone Reliefs - Images - Ancient Arch of Titus Reliefs in Roman Stone Reliefs - Bible History Online.
http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/Rom an+Stone+Reliefs/Arch+of+Titus+Reliefs/

Arch of Titus - Meaning of Arch of Titus in Smiths Bible Dictionary - Arch of Titus: Biblical Meaning of Arch of Titus in Smiths Bible Dictionary (Bible History Online)
http://www.bible-h istory.com/smiths/A/Arch+of+Titus/

Bible History Online Images and Resources for Biblical History - ... The Tax Collector, The Pool of Bethesda, Flavian Amphitheatre, Arch of Titus, Tomb of Cyrus, Pilate Inscription, Fall of Babylon, Winemaking, Tiberius Caesar, ...http://www.bible-history.com/

Art & Images: Ancient Rome - Bible History Links (Ancient Biblical - Ancient and Modern Inscriptions on the Arch of Titus First, the ancient ... Arch of< /b> Titus, Rome Roman Empire: Arch of Titus, Rome: view from W. [through the ...
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=1&sub=10&cat_name=Ancient+Rome&subcat_name=Art+%26+Images

Arch of Titus Reliefs - Ancient Roman Stone Reliefs - Images and - Ancient Arch of Titus Reliefs in Roman Stone Reliefs - Bible History Online.
http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/Rom an+Stone+Reliefs/Arch+of+Titus+Reliefs/

Bible History Online - What's New - For example the Ishtar Gate, the Entrance to Sargon's Palace, the Arch of Titus, the Pyramid of Gizeh, the Parthenon, Solomon's Temple, and more. Important ...http://www.bible-history.com/biblehistoryonline_whatsnew.php

Arches - Ancient Roman Monuments - Images and Illustrations - Illustration of the Arch of Titus at Rome. Candlesticks, Trumpet, And Table. The candlestick, trumpets and table for shewbread, as represent ed on the Arch of ...
http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/Roman+Monuments/Arches/

Rome: Biblical Archaeology - Bible History Links (Ancient Biblical - Arch of Titus Chariot Relief Was Titus an instrument of God in destroying Jerusalem in 70 ... This second scene on the Arch of Titus reveals the actual triumphal ...
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=36&sub=347&cat_name=Biblical+Archaeology&subcat_name=Rome

Bible History Online Images and Resources for Biblical History - ... The Tax Collector, The Pool of Bethesda, Flavian Amphitheatre, Arch of Titus, Tomb of Cyrus, Pilate Inscription, Fall of Babylon, Winemaking, Tiberius Caesar, ...http://www.bible-history.com/

Art & Images: Ancient Rome - Bible History Links - Ancient and Modern Inscriptions on the Arch of Titus First, the ancient ... Arch of< /b> Titus, Rome Roman Empire: Arch of Titus, Rome: view from W. [through the ...
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=1&sub=10&cat_name=Ancient+Rome&subcat_name=Art+%26+Images

Arch of Titus Reliefs - Ancient Roman Stone ... - Bible History Online - Ancient Arch of Titus Reliefs in Roman Stone Reliefs - Bible History Online.
http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/R oman+Stone+Reliefs/Arch+of+Titus+Reliefs/

Bible History Online - What's New - For example the Ishtar Gate, the Entrance to Sargon's Palace, the Arch of Titus, the Pyramid of Gizeh, the Parthenon, Solomon's Temple, and more. Important ...http://www.bible-history.com/biblehistoryonline_whatsnew.php

Arches - Ancient Roman Monuments - Images and Illustrations - Illustration of the Arch of Titus at Rome. Candlesticks, Trumpet, And Table. The candlestick, trumpets and table for shewbread, as represent ed on the Arch of ...
http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/Roman+Monuments/Arches/

Arch of Titus Reliefs - Ancient Roman Stone ... - Bible History Online - Triumphal Procession. Relief from the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum. Portion Of Bas Relief O n Arch Of Titus Showing The Golden Candlestick. Illustration of a ...
http://www.bible-history.com/sublinks.php?cat=66&subcatid=279&subcatname=Arch+of+Titus+Reliefs

 



The History of Rome - Part One 743 - 136 B.C.

More Images of Rome's Emperors

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