The Death of Saint Valentine at Milvian Bridge

The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her.

He reportedly died on February 14th (year uncertain) on the Via Flaminia near the Milvian Bridge (aka Ponte Milvio) which spans the Tiber River in northern Rome, Italy. According to the official biography of the Diocese of Terni, the year of his death is 273 AD.

The feast of St. Valentine of February 14th was first established in 496 AD by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among all those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God”. As Gelasius implies, nothing was yet known to him about Valentine’s life.

On another note, there was a big, important battle fought at the bridge in 312 by the Emperor Constantine and you can read about it here.

The locks of the Milvian Bridge in Italy.

Located north of Rome, is one of the most important bridges crossing the Tiber. But what makes this site one of the most popular attractions in the region is that, over the bridge, we can find hundreds of thousands of padlocks.

This fact is linked to the ancient idea of love and lovers: by locking the padlock and throw the key into the river, the lovers would become forever linked. This habit also exists in several other regions of Europe.

In July 2007, after breaking a pole, caused by the excessive weight of the huge amount of locks, the city of Rome pillars installed near each of the light poles, which are hung on chains where the locks can be hung, thereby preserving the integrity of the site.

At another point in a similar tradition, the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, thanks to this tradition and tourism rampant, thousands of locks had to be removed frequently, spoiling the structure of the bridge. Because of this, the council stipulated a fine of 50 euros for those caught in the act, putting padlocks on site.


By Martina Bollini

Neoclassical architect Giuseppe Valadier died on 1st February 1839 in Rome. His career was launched in 1786, when he was appointed architetto camerale by Pope Pius VI. Valadier also worked as archaeologist and urban designer. Between his archeological contributions, there are the rediscovery of the path of the ancient via Flaminia and the restoration works at the Milvian Bridge and at the Arch of Titus. Under Napoleon, Valadier was responsible for the excavations and the reorganization of the Imperial Forums area.

The most significant work by Valadier was the design of the Piazza del Popolo (1793-1822). At the center of its elliptical plan, the pre-existing Egyptian obelisk was relocated to a point on axis with three radiating streets. The square was then linked via stairs and terraces with the Pincio gardens, where the architect renovated the ancient Caffè del Pincio (now called Casina Valadier).

Other remarkable works of Giuseppe Valadier include the façade of the church of San Pantaleo, the reorganization of Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, a new design for the Valle Theater, the construction of Villa Torlonia. One of the last great villas built in Rome prior to the modern era, this building was later used by Benito Mussolini as his state residence.

Pietro Labruzzi, Portrait of the Architect Giuseppe Valadier, c. 1795, oil on canvas, Chicago, Art Institute.  

Canaletto, The Arch of Titus in Rome, 1742, oil on canvas, Windsor Caste, Royal Collection. The painting shows the monument’s condition prior to Valadier’s restoration.

Arch of Titus, Rome.

Giuseppe Valadier, Final project for Piazza del Popolo, 1813, Rome, Biblioteca dell’Istituto di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte, Fondo Lanciani.

Piazza del Popolo, Aerial view.

Giuseppe Valadier, Casina Valadier, 1816-1817, Rome.

Giuseppe Valadier, Villa Torlonia, 1802-1806, Rome. 

Ovidia’s Thoughts on the Coterie

Rex: The others are far too hard on Rex. I see a lot of myself in him, really. Not me as I am now, but the me I remember from the later nights of the Camarilla. Not the final years, the years of fatal crisis. No time for self-reflection when Rome’s getting sacked! Rather, the creeping sense of dread from, say, the reign of Constantine on. Still a vampire of influence, but the signs and portents already pointing to a world that will soon have little use for the likes of you. I, too, sunk a considerable portion of my resources into propping up an Emperor. In my case, he was named Maxentius and he was slain at the Milvian Bridge, which is probably not something a night-club owner has to worry about. But the central dilemma is the same– as a Kindred, you’ve got to keep moving, or you’re History.

Juliet: I get the sense that she’s the most capital-I Important among us. Not quite a Corbulo or a Comitor, but in a domain limited to a single city, who could be? She seems nice enough, but she’s far above my present station, which makes me extremely wary of her. I remember the sorts of things we do to become Important. And yet, if I can make a favorable impression on her– well, I need political allies who aren’t Minerva or I’ll never get anywhere in life. Unlife. You know.

Chuck: Don’t tell the others, but I feel bad about all the times I’ve made fun of Chuck, or gotten his name wrong, or “forgotten” that as a Hollow Mekhet I cannot be photographed. He’s a very reassuring presence, because he is literally exactly like the Worms I remember. That photography would not be invented for some 1,400 years is immaterial. That’s all surface details. And the Worms have little use for the surface. He even still lives in a sewer! Most modern Vampires have moved above ground, without the benefit of a well-planned and civil engineered Necropolis beneath their feet. The Worms endure.

Vivian: Kindred like Vivian, I feel, are those most let down by the demise of the Camarilla and the failure of the propinqui to replace it. The Masquerade has always existed, or always existed in the world I knew (the first Mekhets living openly in Egypt, and so on). Vampires like Vivian are forever outsiders in the world of the Kine, only belonging in the world of the Kindred. But when the Camarilla stood, there was a lot more world for the Kindred to call their own. A Gangrel could always find honorable career in the Legio Mortuum, perhaps. In these fallen nights, there’s little left but the shadows, and great strength with no clear direction or application.

JR: I initially admired her independence, a quality I find I sorely lack after awakening. But I am starting to feel that her instability is a liability. She lives by her own code, but there is a reason why things like “the social contract” and “the common good” exist. Iconoclasm can easily give way to selfishness can give way to the Beast. She struck Rex when he was trying to apprehend a diablerist (the situation is more complicated but none of us knew that yet). If you’re a Kindred who lives by your own code and “AMARANTH IS BAD” is not at the top of that code, there are some problems.

Edison: At first, I thought I took a liking to him because we’re both newcomers (in different ways, of course) to the Kindred society of Los Angeles. Now I’m afraid I’m feeling a bit flattered because the very things Edison lacks knowledge of the most– the nature of the Kindred, our properties and ways, the secrets of the Blood, etc.– are exactly those things I still retain full and non-obsolete knowledge of. With him, I can be the wise old fixer the old me was. There’s a roughness to him, though? Something uncivilized? Perhaps just the result of a short life and a violent end still fresh in his memory. Perhaps I’ll be a good influence.

Ovidia’s Reflection: I’ve not seen her in a while. In Roman nights this was ordinary, but there are so many places she can swim in now in this sunny world of screens and mirrors. Her absence is suspicious.


Arch of Constantine: North Side by Roger Ulrich
Via Flickr:
General view of the north side of the Arch of Constantine, Rome. Dedicated in 315 CE to the emperor in honor of Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge (Saxa Rubra). RBU2015.5524

Declarations of love or urban blight? The phenomenon of “love locks” (lucchetti) took off following the publication of Federico Moccia’s “Ho Voglia Di Te” (I Want You) in 2006. The book and subsequent film was set in Rome, with the Milvian Bridge as the site where the protagonists declared their love by placing a lock on the bridge and tossing the key in the Tiber below. The love lock frenzy has died down in past years but there’s always a fresh crop of locks, just as there’s a continuous crop of new lovers searching for a concrete way to express abstract emotions. #italy366 #italogram (at Ponte Milvio)

Declarations of love or urban blight? The phenomenon of “love locks” (lucchetti) took off following the publication of Federico Moccia’s “Ho Voglia Di Te” (I Want You) in 2006. The book and subsequent film was set in Rome, with the Milvian Bridge as the site where the protagonists declared their love by placing a lock on the bridge and tossing the key in the Tiber below. The love lock frenzy has died down in past years but there’s always a fresh crop of locks, just as there’s a continuous crop of new lovers searching for a concrete way to express abstract emotions. #italy366 #italogram

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Battle of Milvian Bridge Ancient Roman Coin i52767

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Ancient Greek and Roman MILITARY on COINS The Weapons, Battles & Symbols

This guide explores the various types of ancient military symbolism depicted on various coins of ancient Greece and Rome

Feel the ancient military come alive on the coins of the Greeks and the Romans explored in this video. It goes from the personification of valor as Virtus to the Roman god of war, Mars the counterpart of the Greek Ares. However fighting battles takes wisdom so coins with Greek Athena and the Roman counterpart Minerva with spear and shield is depicted.

The Roman emperor would go into battle to vanquish his enemies on horseback. He did have the backing of military foot soldiers, or legions behind him carrying the legionary standards and eagles in the Roman military. One symbol the labarum actually was used in the Roman military after Constantine with the name of Jesus Christ as a monogram symbol . Constantine the Great saw this symbol in the sky before a great battle at the Milvian bridge against Maxentius, which he had painted on the shields of his army and wound up winning a great victory.

The Roman military camps were depicted with the symbolism of the camp gates on their coins. These camp gates were also used as a quick way of communication on the frontiers where they would use them as fire signal beacons to muster their military forces to defend their frontiers.

A coin with the Roman soldiers vanquishing their foes in battle driving spears through them as they lay prostrate on the floor, even the Roman emperor not being above such a military endeavor. Some ways to get around the battle field was to use chariots, including the four horse military chariot called the quadriga or the two horse type as the biga. There is also a rarely seen type of chariot which is the triga, a more widely used Greek type of war chariot.

Elephants with their huge size, magnificence and sheer strength were the ancient equivalent of the tank in ancient times. A rare large silver Greek coin of Seleukos I Nikator of the Seleukid kingdom is show here also, with a chariot drawn by elephants. This made his military a formidable force to deal with. Then a silver coin with an elephant of Julius Caesar, the most famous ancient Roman is shown. It also brings back the story of the Romans facing elephant for the first time when Hannibal Barca, the general from Carthage who crossed the Alps with these elephants. The Romans just like many others who had to face them showed a respect for these formidable foes. Even Alexander the Great had to face elephants in his campaign that went into India.

Galleys were used in ancient Greek and Roman times to get around and to move military forces along with supplies to their destinations. Several coins are shown here, one with a full sail and the other one of Mark Antony from the battle of Actium, which had a great naval battle that shaped history to what it is today. This coin of Mark Antony shows what could be described as trireme military row ships which were used in this battle. The other side had the legionary eagle (aquila) between two standards and named the legion the coin was minted for by it\’s number.

Weapons were important for any battle. A coin of the kingdom of Bosporus is shown which shown all the important militaristic symbols such as the shield, the spear, the helmet, a sword in a scabbard and even a military axe. The weapons used in the legendary tales of Hercules were the bow and the club. On a coin of Alexander the Great he is even depicted as Hercules. Hercules used the skin of the Nemean lion as a helmet and armor which was impermeable to weapons according to legend. A shield of Macedonia is shown along with the helmet they used. An important mention of the Aegis, which is the severed head of Medusa used on shields and the breast plate of armor to scare or almost turn your enemies to stone. This was used on the armor of the ancient Greeks, such as in a depiction of Alexander the Great and even the Roman emperors including Augustus.

Celebrating their victories, the Romans employed the goddess Victory whose Greek counterpart was Nike. Nike was originally a goddess of athletic Olympic style contests and she, along with her Roman counterpart is shown holding a wreath and a palm branch. The wreath would be placed on the head of the victories general, emperor or athletic contest winner and the palm branch was a symbol of victory.

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Ancient Greek and Roman MILITARY on COINS The Weapons, Battles & Symbols

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