m o n u m e n ta g r a e c a e t ro m a n a

Mutilation and Transformation
da m n at io m e mor i a e a n d ro m a n i m p e r i a l p o rt r a i t u r e by

e r i c r . va r n e r






Damnatio Memoriae and Roman Imperial Portraiture



On the cover: the four illustrations represent the chronological and conceptual span of the mutilation and transformation of Roman imperial images. Portraits were routinely reconfigured from the Julio Claudian period (as evidenced by the image of Nero transformed to Vespasian in Cleveland [top left]) through the Constantinian period (as evidenced by the colossal portrait of Constantine in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, transformed from a pre-existing image of Maxentius [bottom right]). Portraits were also attacked and defaced, especially in the late seond and third centuries (as evidenced by mutilated portraits of Plautilla, in Houston [top right], and Macrinus, at Harvard [bottom left]).

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A C.I.P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

ISSN 0169-8850 ISBN 90 04 13577 4 © Copyright 2004 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Brill provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910 Danvers MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. printed in the netherlands

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D M Ann Varner


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Acknowledgments .................................................................................................................................... ix Chapter One. Developments, Implications, and Precedents ................................................................... 1 Chapter Two. Caligula, Milonia Caesonia and Julia Drusilla ............................................................... 21 Chapter Three. Nero and Poppaea ........................................................................................................ 46 Chapter Four. Other Julio-Claudians ..................................................................................................... 86 Julia Maior .......................................................................................................................................... 86 Agrippa Postumus ............................................................................................................................... 88 Julia Minor .......................................................................................................................................... 89 Agrippina Maior ................................................................................................................................. 90 Nero and Drusus Caesar .................................................................................................................... 91 Sejanus ................................................................................................................................................ 92 Livilla ................................................................................................................................................... 93 Valeria Messalina ................................................................................................................................ 95 Agrippina Minor ................................................................................................................................. 97 Claudia Octavia ................................................................................................................................ 100 Claudia Antonia ................................................................................................................................ 101 Julia Livilla, Julia Drusilla, Lollia Paulina and Domitia Lepida ...................................................... 102 Ptolemy of Mauretania .................................................................................................................... 103 Chapter Five. A.D. 69 ........................................................................................................................... 105 Galba ................................................................................................................................................. 105 Otho .................................................................................................................................................. 107 Vitellius ............................................................................................................................................. 108 Chapter Six. Domitian .......................................................................................................................... 111 Chapter Seven. Commodus, Lucilla, Crispina and Annia Fundania Faustina ................................... 136 Chapter Eight. The Severans A.D. 193-235 ........................................................................................ 156 The Rivals Of Septimius Severus: Didius Julianus, Clodius Albinus, and Pescennius Niger ........ 157 Plautilla ............................................................................................................................................. 164 Geta ................................................................................................................................................... 168 Caracalla ........................................................................................................................................... 184 Macrinus and Diadumenianus ......................................................................................................... 184 Elagabalus and Julia Soemias ........................................................................................................... 188 Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea .......................................................................................... 195


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Chapter Nine. The Later Third Century (235-285) ............................................................................ 200 Maximinus Thrax, Maximus, and Caecilia Paulina ........................................................................ 200 Pupienus and Balbinus ..................................................................................................................... 203 Gordian III ........................................................................................................................................ 204 Philip the Arab, Philip Minor and Otacilia Severa ......................................................................... 205 Trajan Decius, Herrenius Etruscus, and Hostilian .......................................................................... 207 Trebonianus Gallus ........................................................................................................................... 208 Aemilian and Cornelia Supera ...................................................................................................... 209 “Celsus” ............................................................................................................................................ 210 Gallienus, Salonina, Valerian Minor, Saloninus and Marianianus ................................................. 210 Carinus ............................................................................................................................................. 211 Carausius and Allectus .................................................................................................................... 212 Chapter Ten. The Early Fourth Century ............................................................................................. 214 Maximian .......................................................................................................................................... 214 Maxentius, Galeria Valeria Maximilla and Romulus ...................................................................... 215 Maximinus Daia ............................................................................................................................... 220 Prisca, Galeria Valeria and Candidianus ......................................................................................... 221 Crispus and Fausta ............................................................................................................................ 221 Catalogue of Mutilated and Altered Portraits 1. Caligula ....................................................................................................................................... 225 2. Nero ............................................................................................................................................ 237 3. Julio-Claudians ........................................................................................................................... 257 4. A.D. 69 ........................................................................................................................................ 259 5. Domitian ..................................................................................................................................... 260 6. Commodus, Livilla, Crispina and Annia Fundania Faustina .................................................... 270 7. The Severans. Plautilla, Geta, Macrinus, Diadumenianus, Elagabalus, Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea ................................................................................................................... 275 8. Third Century ............................................................................................................................ 283 9. Fourth Century ........................................................................................................................... 286 Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................... 289 Index of Museums and Collections ...................................................................................................... 307 General Index ....................................................................................................................................... 317 List of Illustrations and Photo Credits ................................................................................................. 335 Illustrations

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This project would not have been possible without the sustained help and encouragement of innumerable friends and colleagues. A very special debt of gratitude is owed to Diana Kleiner who, as mentor and friend, has generously shared with me her wide-ranging insights on Roman sculpture and who has nurtured the project along in its various guises. Many thanks are also due to Pat Erhart Mottahedeh who originally suggested the topic of damnatio memoriae to me and looked after it in its earliest incarnation. In addition, I would like to warmly thank the following: Paolo Arata, Musei Captiolini; Jane Biers, University of Missouri at Columbia, Museum of Art and Archaeology; John Bodel, Rutgers University; Sheramy Bundrick, University of South Florida; Maddalena Cima, Musei Capitolini; John Clarke, University of Texas at Austin; Robert Cohon, Nelson Atkins Museum; Diane Conlin, University of Colorado, Boulder; Penelope Davies, University of Texas, Austin; Stefano de Caro, Museo Archeologico di Napoli; Sandro de Maria, Università di Bologna; Jas Elsner, Oxford University; Harriet Flower, Princeton University; Jasper Gaunt, Michael C. Carlos Museum; John Herrmann, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Tony Hirschel, Indianapolis Museum of Art; Catherine Howett Smith, Michael C. Carlos Museum; Sandra Knudsen, Toledo Museum of Art; Ann Kuttner, University of Pennsylvania; Anne C. Leinster-Windham; Paolo Liverani, Musei Vaticani; Susan Matheson, Yale University Art Gallery; David Minten, Harvard University Art Museums; Mette Moltesen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek; Sarah Morris, University of California at Los Angeles; Michael Padgett, The Art Museum, Princeton University; John Pappadopoulos, University of California at Los Angeles; Carlos Picon, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Jerry Podany, J. Paul Getty Museum; J. Pollitt, Yale University; J. Pollini, University of Southern California; Gianni Ponti, Sovrintendenza Archeologica di Roma; Gay Robins, Emory University; Peter Rockwell; Brian Rose, University of Cincinnati; V. Rudich, Yale University; Marion Schröder, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Rome; Alan Shapiro, the Johns Hopkins University; Catherine Simon, Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection; Niall Slater, Emory University; Alaistair Small, University of Alberta; R.R.R. Smith, Oxford University; Renée Stein, Michael C. Carlos Museum; Katrin Stump, Deutsches Archäoligisches Institut Rome; Michiel Klein Swormink, Brill Publishers; Emilia Talamo, Museo Nazionale Romano; Marion True, J. Paul Getty Museum; Ute Wartenburg, American Numismatic Society; Bonna Wescoat, Emory University; Susan Wood, Oakland University. I would also like to thank all of my colleagues and staff in the departments of Art History and Classics at Emory University, the staff of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, the staff of the Library of the American Academy in Rome, the staff of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Rome, as well as my current and former graduate students, Katrina Dickson, Erin Black, John Stephenson and Brandon Foster for various, sundry and invaluable assistance. As always, heartfelt thanks to Brad Lapin for help on every level and for putting up with bad emperors (and the bad moods they have been known to induce) for so long. Ultimately, all omissions, errors, and translations are my own.


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developments, implications, and precedents



As vital expressions of political authority and prestige, imperial portraits permeated all aspects of Roman society. Representations of the emperor and his family were prominently displayed in civic, sacred, and domestic spaces throughout the empire and were carefully manipulated and disseminated in order to reach multiple audiences. The power of these images lay in their ability to speak to disparate members of the society, from the illiterate and slaves through the most educated members of the Roman elite. However, imperial portraits were neither immutable nor monolithic, and should an emperor be overthrown, his images were systematically mutilated or physically altered into the likenesses of other emperors. This process, popularly known as damnatio memoriae, is the first widespread example of the negation of artistic monuments for political and ideological reasons and it has inexorably altered the material record of Roman culture. Jerome aptly describes the fate of the portraits of Rome’s” bad” emperors: “When a tyrant is destroyed, his portraits and statues are also deposed. The face is exchanged or the head removed, and the likeness of he who has conquered is superimposed. Only the body remains and another head is exchanged for those that have been decapitated (si quando tyrannus obtruncatur, imagines quoque eius deponuntur et statuae, et vultu tantummodo commutato, ablatoque capite, eius qui vicerit, facies superponitur, ut manente corpore, capitibusque praecisis caput aliud commutetur).1 Although Jerome was writing in the late fourth/early fifth century, his description clearly reflects centuries of established practices regarding the public images of emperors condemned as tyrants. Beginning in the republican period, the legal sanctions which could be associated with damnatio memoriae provided the mechanisms by which an individual was simultaneously canceled and condemned. The Romans themselves realized that it was possible to alter posterity’s perception of the past especially as embodied in the visual and epigraphic record. Sanctions passed by the Senate could mandate the destruction of the monuments and inscriptions commemorating capital offenders or hostes, the official enemies of the Roman state.2 As a result, the condemned individual’s name and titles were excised from all official lists ( fasti); wax masks (imagines) representing the deceased were banned from display at aristocratic funerals;3 books written by the condemned were confiscated and burned; property rights were forfeited; wills were annulled; the birthday of the condemned was proclaimed a day evil to the Roman people (dies nefastus), while the anniversary of the death was celebrated as a time of public rejoicing; houses belonging to the deceased were razed; and prohibitions could be enacted against the continued use of the condemned’s praenomen.4 After Augustus solidified his control of the Mediterranean in 31 B.C. and subsequently established the imperial system, damnationes memoriae and the attendant mutilation and transformation of images were almost exclusively enacted against deposed principes, other condemned members of the imperial house, or private individuals who had conspired against the

In Abacuc 2.3.14-16.984-88. P. Stewart (1999) 159, 180-

81. F. Vittinghoff (1936) 13. On the imagines, see H.I. Flower (1996). Flower also discusses the term imago in its narrowest senses as a wax ancestor mask, and its later broader implications of portraiture in general, 32-52. 4 On the razing of houses, T.P. Wiseman (1987) 3934 and n. 3; J. Bodel (1997) 7-11. On the banning of praenomina, see H. Solin (1986)70-3; H. Solin (1989) 252-3; H. Flower (1998) 163-5.
3 2


chapter one accusare, abolere, or eradere.8 These verbs, to damn, condemn, accuse, abolish, or eradicate, themselves resonate with the process of historical censure which is the basis of damnatio memoriae. Overall, these sanctions were not conceived of in absolute terms, but were flexible and practical methods of destroying the condemned’s posthumous reputation and memory.9 Cancellation of a bad emperor’s identity and accomplishments from the collective consciousness was one of the fundamental ideological aims of damnatio in the imperial period. Portrait statues and busts were routinely removed from public and private display and the names and titles of overthrown rulers were ruthlessly excised from the inscriptions that had formerly extolled their virtues. This calculated obliteration of images, effectively an abolitio memoriae (abolition of memory), is starkly illustrated by representations which have been chiseled out of relief monuments, as for instance portraits of Commodus removed from the series of reliefs honoring his father, Marcus Aurelius, or the excision of Plautianus, Plautilla, and Geta from reliefs decorating Severan arches in Rome and Lepcis Magna.10 For representations of condemned emperors in the round, their removal from public display and subsequent storage in secure locations has often led, ironically, to their preservation for posterity. Indeed, damnatio contributed directly to the warehousing of great numbers of imperial images. Another important aim of post mortem sanctions could be the complete denigration of the condemned individual’s posthumous reputation as a
8 For example see, Suet. Dom. 23.1 (abolendamque omnem memoriam); HA.Com.19.1 (memoriam aboleatur), and Cod.Iust. 1.3.23; (memoriam accusare defuncti ) CodIust Dig. 31.76.9 (memoriam damanatam); Cod.Iust. 7.2.2 (memoria ... damnata); Ulp. Dig. (memoria... damnata); Ulp. Dig. (memoria...damnata); Paul. Cod.Iust 9.8.6 (memoria ...damnetur); Inst. 4.18.3 (memoria... damnatur); Inst. 3.1.5 (memoria...damnata); F. Vittinghoff, Staatsfeind 13; 66-69; T. Pekáry (1985) 135. 9 H.I. Flower (1995) 163. 10 Arch of Septimius Severus in the Forum Romanum, infra; Arch of the Argentarii, infra; and the Arch of Septimius Severus at Lepcis Magna, infra.

reigning emperor. Damaged or transfigured imperial portraits survive in vast quantities and include marble, bronze, and painted likenesses, as well as representations in relief, on coins, and gems. The term damnatio memoriae, literally the damnation or condemnation of memory, is modern, but it accurately reflects the Romans’ preoccupation with the concepts of memory and fame.5 The Latin term memoria has much broader repercussions than its English cognate, memory, and encompasses the notions of an individual’s fame and greater reputation. The belief that a deceased individual enjoyed an afterlife through the perpetuation of his memory or by being remembered is at the core of Roman cultural identity and is amply witnessed by the innumerable surviving works of funerary art and architecture created for all classes of the society, throughout the empire.6 Furthermore, Varro closely links the idea of monumental commemoration with the perpetuation of memory.7 In effect, the condemnation, damnation or abolition of an individual’s memory is a posthumous destruction of his or her very essence or being. When discussing the condemnation of a person’s memory and monuments, ancient authors usually combine the word memoria with particularly strong verbs damnare, condemnare,
5 The term damnatio memoriae covers a wide array of post mortem sanctions against a condemned individual’s memory and monuments. These penalties could be officially mandated by the Senate, emperor, or even army, or they could be unofficial, de facto sanctions; see F. Vittinghoff (1936) 13, 64-74; K. Mustakallio (1994) 9-15; J.M. Paillier and R. Sablayrolles (1994) 12-15; and H. Flower (1998) 155-6. The term first appears as the title of a dissertation completed in 1689 by Schreiter-Gerlach; see P. Stewart (1999) 184, n. 3. 6 On commemoration and perpetuation of memory, see M. Koortbojian in J. Elsner, ed. (1996) 210-34; P.J.E. Davies (1997) 41-65. For the “activity of memory in monuments” see, J. E. Young (1989) 69-106. 7 Ling. 6.49: Sic monimenta quae in sepulcris, et ideo secundum iviam, quo praetereuntis admoneat et se fuisse et illos esse mortalis. Ab eo cetera quae scripta ac facta memoriae causa monimenta dicta (...so monuments which are on tombs, and in fact along the roads, in order that they can warn anyone coming along that the deceased themselves were once mortal, just as they are now mortal. From this, other things which are written or done for the sake of memory are said to be monuments). See also J. Bodel (1997) 21.

developments, implications, and precedents stark political warning to future offenders.11 Although posthumous denigration would appear at first glance contradictory to the total eradication of a condemned individual’s memory, in practice the two prove to be neither incompatible nor mutually exclusive. In visual terms denigration was effected through the physical mutilation of portraits. As recognizable signs of an overthrown ruler’s disgrace, deliberately damaged likenesses physically expressed the abstract concepts of infamia (disrepute, disgrace) and iniuria (insult, affront, revenge), and must have remained publicly visible for some time after the emperor’s overthrow. The sensory organs comprising the eyes, nose, mouth and ears were specific targets of the attacks on sculpted portraits. The resulting damage to the face is T-shaped, but still renders the representation recognizable. The mutilation of images is often described in graphically anthropomorphic terms. Pliny recounts the destruction of bronze images of Domitian just like they were living beings, capable of feeling pain and says that the portraits were attacked as if “blood and pain would follow every single blow” (ut si singulos ictus sanguis dolorque sequeretur).12 Dio similarly portrays the destruction of Sejanus’s statues: those who assaulted his images acted as if they were attacking the man himself.13 Although probably historically spurious, the account in the Historia Augusta of the “crucifixion” of a portrait of the North African usurper Celsus is certainly indicative of fourth century attitudes and expectations concerning the treatment of representations of condemned rulers, as well as the continued Roman perception of images as effigies.14 The anthropomorphic rhetoric employed when discussing the destruction of imperial im11 H. Flower discusses the these two approaches (“the tendency to forget” vs. the “urge to remember”) in the case of Gn. Calpurnius Piso (1998) 180. 12 Pan. 52.4-5; for an interpretation of the full passage in its Domitianic context, see infra. 13 58.11.3. 14 Tyr.Trig. 19: et novo iniuriae genere imago in crucem sublata persultante vulgo, quasi patibulo ipse Celsus videretur (and in a new kind of outrage, his portrait was hoisted on a cross, with the crowd running around as if they were seeing Celsus himself on the gibbet); see infra.


ages underscores their function as literal embodiments of the imperial presence in stone or bronze. Trajan’s posthumous Parthian triumph, in which a statue of the emperor rode in the quadriga, illustrates well the positive, celebratory connotations of imperial portraits as effigies.15 Conversely, deliberate assaults on these images are directly analogous to physical attacks against the emperor’s person, a kind of mutilation or execution in effigy.16 The desecration of the vital sensory organs, the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, negates any “power” of these images to see, hear or speak. Furthermore, the disfigurement of imperial likenesses has close conceptual ties to the desecration of the corpses of capital offenders, a process known as poena post mortem.17 Lucan graphically describes the mutilation of a corpse and the attack on the ears, eyes, nose and mouth exactly parallels the disfigurement of imperial images: exsectaque lingua/ Palpitat et muto vacuum ferit aera motu./Hic aures, alius spiramina naris aduncae/ Amputat; ille cavis evolvit sedibus orbes, (And the tongue having been severed, squirms and with silent motion strikes the empty air. Someone amputates the ears, someone else the nostrils of his hooked nose, and another one gouges the eyes out of their hollow sockets).18 Although corpse abuse was not uncommon for criminals and other noxii executed in arena spectacles, the desecration of elite corpses was viewed as an extremely severe form of punishment, and as a result is fairly rare for condemned emperors or other members of the imperial house.19 Nevertheless, the bodies

As illustrated on Hadrianic aurei of 117-18, BMCRE 244, no. 47; S. Settis, ed. (1988) 78-9, fig. 33. 16 Actual effigies were important components of imperial funerals, see S.R.F. Price (1997) 64, 96-7. For the mutilation of imperial portraits as effigies, see F. Vittinghoff (1936) 13-19; J. von Schlosser (1910-11) 184; W. Brückner (1966) 192; J.P. Rollin (1979) 165-69; D. Freedberg (1989) 259. 17 On the post mortem abuse of corpses, see F. Vittinghoff (1936) 43-6; D.G. Kyle (1998) 131-3, 220-24, and 183, n. 106 where he calls the “abuse of statues” “surrogate corpse abuse;” E.R. Varner (2001a). 18 BC 2.181-4. 19 Although obviously comic in nature, Apuleius’s story of the guarding of a corpse at Larissa against mutilation



chapter one Sculpted images could also be effectively canceled and transformed through recarving. Portraits of condemned emperors were routinely recut to represent victorious successors or esteemed predecessors. Reuse constitutes a Roman practical response to the economic problems inherent in the destruction of images. Marble portrait sculptures were expensive commissions and recutting representations of condemned individuals is an efficient and cost-effective form of artistic recycling.22 Furthermore sculptural reuse has ideological implications as a kind of visual cannibalism in which the likeness of a successful ruler displaces that of his defeated predecessor. Thus the transformed image has the potential to cannibalize the power and meaning residing in the original portrait. The process of manipulating preexisting images into new more acceptable likenesses occurs throughout the imperial period. In the early empire vast numbers of the marble portraits of Caligula, Nero, and Domitian were recut and reconfigured into new likenesses and it is the most intensive period for the recycling of imperial images.23 At least 120 extant sculpted representations of these emperors have been transformed. In the second century, there is a hiatus in the process of recarving imperial portraits. No likenesses of Commodus, Lucilla, or Crispina were recut immediately after their condemnations. Their images which were refashioned were not altered until the third and fourth

of Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar, Sejanus, Lollia Paulina, Claudia Octavia, Galba, Vitellius, Pertinax, Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus, Plautianus, Macrinus, Diadumenianus, Elagabalus, Julia Soemias, Maximinus Thrax, Maximus, Pupienus, Balbinus, Gallienus, and Maxentius were all abused in some fashion. Politically, the mutilation of imperial images and corpses was intended as a visual expression of dissatisfaction with the policies and personalities of the condemned emperor, and, concomitantly, loyalty to the new regime. Dio links the concepts of image and corpse abuse in his account of the attacks on Sejanus’s portraits, which the condemned man was forced to witness, thus becoming an unwilling spectator of his own imminent death and destruction (6"\ @ÜJT 2g"JZH ô< Bg\FgF2"4 §:g88g< ¦(\(<gJ@).20 After Commodus’s overthrow, the populace mutilated his images, as artistic surrogates for his corpse.21 Deliberate defacement of images was often the result of spontaneous demonstrations against a condemned emperor’s memory and it additionally represents a very physical and violent response to the news of an emperor’s overthrow. Not coincidentally, the mutilation and destruction of imperial likenesses reaches its apogee in the middle years of the third century, c. A.D. 235-85, when the empire was engulfed in a period of military, social, political, and economic unrest, with no single emperor or dynasty able to maintain control or guarantee stability for an extended period.

of the facial features by witches illustrates the seriousness with which Romans viewed the this kind of desecration, Met. 2.21-22, 30. The mutilation of the ears and nose which is ultimately carried out on the guard, Thelyphron, rather than the dead man, resembles the disfigurement of imperial images and corpses. Significantly, Thelyphron views his own mutilation as a great disgrace which will prevent him from ever returning to his hometown. Deiphobus’s corpse has been similarly disfigured with the nose and ears severed in the Aeneid (6.494-9): Atque hic Priamiden laniantum corpore toto/Deiphobum vidit, lacerum crudeliter ora,/ora manusque ambas, populataque tempora raptis/ auribus et truncas inhonesto vulnere naris./vix adeo agnovit pavitantem ac dira tegentem/ supplicia, et notis compellat vocibus ultro. Vergil’s use of supplicia further recalls the language of criminal punishment. 20 58.11.3; D.G. Kyle (1998) 221. 21 Dio 74.2.1.

22 On the high cost of sculpture, recutting, and questions of econmy, see C.B. Rose (1997) 10. 23 Private images were also reworked throughout the imperial period, as for instance a late Flavian/early Trajanic female portrait whose coiffure was completely recut and updated in the late Trajanic period (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 1988.327; J.J. Herrmann, jr. (1991) 34-50, figs. 1a-d). I cannot agree with P. Liverani that the reworking of private images provide the impetus for the recarving of imperial portraits (1990-91) 170-71. The sheer number of reworked images beginning with Caligula would seem to argue that the relationship was exactly the opposite, with the imperial manifestations influencing the private examples. Nevertheless, Liverani is right to stress the widespread nature of the phenomenon, both private and imperial. Furthermore, Liverani is correct to point out that the private examples provide an ongoing context within which to read the recutting of imperial images.

developments, implications, and precedents centuries.24 In the third century, reuse remains relatively rare, with examples essentially limited to portraits of Elagabalus transformed into representations of his cousin and successor, Severus Alexander. Recutting at this time may have been pragmatically motived by the strong physical resemblance between the two young Severan cousins. Under Constantine, there is a renewed interest in reworking marble portraits as attested by several of his images which have been refashioned from earlier likenesses of Maxentius (as well as the recut relief portraits on the Arch of Constantine).25 Altered likeness are not limited to three dimensional marble portraits, but in a few instances also occur in relief, gem, bronze, basalt, and coin portraits. Imperial images were transformed in all parts of the empire with surviving examples from Italy, Spain, Gaul, Germany, Greece, North Africa, Egypt, and Asia Minor. Marble images were also transformed and recycled in more utilitarian fashion as building material. A relief representing Nero and Agrippina was reused face down as a paving slab in the Sebasteion complex at Aphrodisias, while a mutilated portrait of Julia Mammaea was recycled as a paving stone in one of Ostia’s thoroughfares.26 The use of images as paving stones may also have had further denigrative intent against the memory of the condemned as people literally trampled the portraits underfoot.


The physical removal of banned images from public view resulted in large numbers of portraits being warehoused, stored or hidden.27 Several likenesses were deposited in sculptural caches including portraits of Nero, Lucilla, Commodus, Geta, Macrinus, and Elagabalus.28 The storage of these images has ultimately ensured their survival, and often contributed to their fine states of preservation, as in case of the well known Commodus as Hercules from the Esquiline (fig. 141). Portraits, or other monuments, were also removed to sculptors’ workshops in order to be reworked, as may have been the case with Cancelleria Reliefs.29 The warehousing of images is further confirmed by portraits of Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Lucilla, Commodus, Plautilla, and Geta which were not recut for decades or even centuries, suggesting that they were in good states of preservation and readily accessible at the time of their reuse.30 Portraits could also be buried or hidden from public view, as presumably happened to a likeness of Domitian discovered in the Tomb of Julia Procula at Isola
27 M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 320 describe these marble depots as Steingarten (stone gardens); see also D. Kinney (1997) 118, 124-25. 28 Nero, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 1.25B, inv. 2835, infra; Lucilla, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 3.85, inv. 1781, infra; Commodus, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Arazzi, inv. 1120, infra; Geta, Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet 600, inv. 1433, infra; Macrinus, Rome, Palazzo Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 3.82, inv. 1757, infra; Elagabalus, Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. 1434 infra. For a brief discussion of sculptural caches, see E. Bartmann (1991) 72 and ns. 3 and 4. 29 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, cat. 5.17. 30 Caligula/Claudius Gothicus?, New York, White-Levy Collection, cat. 1.37; Nero/Gallienus, Columbia, University of Missouri, Museum of Art and Archaeology, 62.46, cat. 2.62; Nero/4th century emperor, Rome, Museo Nazionale delle Terme, inv. 126279, cat. 2.63; Domitian/ Constantinian emperor, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 89.6, 5.30; Lucilla/Helena, Florence, Uffizi, inv. 1914.171, cat. 6.11; Lucilla/Helena, Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 59, 496, cat. 6.12; Commodus/Pupienus?, Mantua, Palazzo Ducale, inv. G 6812/1, cat. 6.5; Commodus/Pupienus, Musei Vaticani, Galleria Chiaramonti 27.8, inv.1613, cat. 6.6; Plautilla/fourth century empress, Irvine, Robert K. Martin Collection, cat. 7.3; Geta/mid third century individual, Rome, Museo Capitolino, Salone 51, inv. 675, cat. 7.10.

24 A marked decline in the instances of reuse is already apparent in the recut images of Domitian: there are 24 recut marble representations of Domitian in the round, versus 53 for Nero and 43 for Caligula. This may reflect in part accidents of preservation, as well as the fact that so many of Domitian’s own portraits had been reworked from portraits of Nero, thus precluding a third recutting, but is also probably due to changing practices. 25 On the recut portraits on the Arch of Constantine, see J. Rohmann (1998) and J. Elsner (2000). 26 Nero and Agrippina, Aphrodisias, infra; Julia Mammaea, Ostia, Museo, inv. 26 infra; Portraits of Lucilla (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 2.91, inv. 2766) and Otacilia Severa (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 2.95, inv. 2765) were incorporated into the fabric of a post-antique wall between the Colosseum and the Basilica of Maxentius and are likely indicative of earlier practices.


chapter one Senate and people of the city of Rome to the new political realities of life under Constantine, as evidenced by the inscription on Constantine’s arch which publicly memorializes the former ruler Maxentius in highly negative terms as a tyrannus.36 Damnatio is the direct antithesis of consecratio, the process by which a deceased emperor was declared an official god of the Roman state, and his character, policies, and reign formally and eternally endorsed.37 S.R.F. Price has suggested that in the early imperial period the Senate was able to act with some degree of freedom in cases of consecratio as when they conspicuously refused to deify Tiberius, but by the second century consecrations, while still technically voted by the Senate, were largely at the discretion of the reigning emperor.38 Price cites the deification of Hadrian, which was passed by an unwilling Senate at the express instigation of Antoninus Pius as indicative of the new state of affairs and by the end of the century Septimius Severus unequivocally compels the consecratio of Commodus.39 The inverse phenomenon of condemnation appears to mirror the decline in senatorial autonomy in matters of consecration. Indeed, by the end of second century, the senate was not only forced by Septimius Severus to consecrate Commodus as a new divus but also, in a more humiliating blow, to rescind the damnatio they had pronounced against him. Caracalla appears to have bypassed the senate entirely, at least in the early stages of his condemnation of Geta, when he demanded that the army, rather than the Senate, declare his brother a hostis.40 The destruction and alteration of images was likely accomplished in much the same way as portrait dedications. In the latter case, the senate or emperor could decree portrait honors, or municipalities, groups, or individuals could petition to erect commemorative images, usually in
CIL 6.1139=ILS 694. On the inverse relationship between damnatio and consecratio see S. G. MacCormack (1981) 96, 98, 132-3, 149, 254; S. Settis, ed. (1988) 76. 38 (1987) 86-87, 91-3. 39 S.R.F.. Price (1987) 93. 40 HA. Carac. 1.1; Herod. 4.8; see infra.
37 36

Sacra.31 The numerous images of condemned individuals recovered from the Tiber, other bodies of water, sewers and wells suggest that more violent and destructive forms of disposal, can also, ironically, contribute to a portrait’s ultimate survival.32 In antiquity, the disposal of portraits in bodies of water, especially the Tiber, closely parallels the disposal of the corpses of arena victims, another aspect of poena post mortem.33 Additionally, the practice has intriguing connections with the Sacra Argeorum, an annual purification ritual of hostile spirits in which human effigies were thrown into the Tiber from the Pons Sublicius every May.34 In the imperial period, the Senate continued to formally pass sanctions in the case of official damnationes. Livilla, Sejanus, Messalina, Nero, Domitian, Commodus, Elagabalus, and Julia Soemias were all officially condemned by the Senate. Condemnations could demonstrate senatorial autonomy, as in the case of Nero, who was declared a hostis while still living, or Domitian, condemned against the express wishes of the army. Naturally, the emperor could also exert his influence in cases of damnatio. As early as the damnatio of Caligula, his successor Claudius refused to permit the senate to formally proscribe his memory, but did allow an unofficial, de facto damnatio.35 In cases of conspiracy (maiestas or perduellio), as for Livilla, Sejanus and Messalina, it seems likely that the emperor took a direct hand in promoting the senatorial sanctions. By the early fourth century, the damnatio of Maxentius appears to have been a necessary response by the
Ostia, Museo, Magazzini, inv. 19, infra. Portraits allegedly recovered from the Tiber include several bronze and marble portraits of Caligula (New York, White-Levy Collection, infra; Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, 4256, infra; Switzerland, Private Collection, infra) as well as a bronze portrait of Domitian (Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 664, inv. 768). A portrait of Otho was unearthed from Ostia’s sewer, (Ostia, Museo, inv. 446). Portraits thrown in wells include: heads of Caligula from Tharsis (Huelva, Museo Provincial), Domitian from Munigua (Munigua, Museo), and Clodius Albinus from Dougga (Tunis, Musée du Bardo). For this kind of “refuse disposal,” see also P. Stewart (1999) 166. 33 D.G. Kyle (1998) 213-28. 34 D.G. Kyle (1998) 215-6. 35 Suet. Claud. 11.3; Dio 60.4.5-6, and infra.
32 31

developments, implications, and precedents response to senatorial or imperial decrees marking important events in the life and reign of the emperor and his family.41 Similarly, municipalities, groups, or individuals were expected to respond appropriately to senatorial decrees mandating the dishonoring of an emperor’s memory and monuments. The army may also be implicated in the implementation of damnationes, as suggested by their involvement in Geta’s condemnation, as well as their presumed physical involvement in the damnationes of the soldier emperors later in the century.42 As is to be expected in Rome and its environs, compliance with senatorial sanctions against a condemned emperor’s memory is essentially universal, but elsewhere it could be more sporadic and there appears to have been a certain degree of autonomy in responding to condemnations. Several representations of Caligula, whose condemnation was for the most part unofficial, were allowed to remain on public display, as were a boyhood portraits of Nero at Velleia (and possibly Rusellae), and a statue of Domitian as prince from the theater at Aphrodisias.43 In the few instances where portraits of condemned emperors or other members of the imperial family were permitted to remain visible, their presence within group dedications as well as their importance for dynastic coherence and imperial continuum must have outweighed concerns over canceling or denigrating the individual’s memory. The physical destruction and mutilation of an emperor’s images is the direct visual equivalent of the vilification of his character and actions which occurs in literary and historical sources. Literary, historical, or biographical damnatio often relies on rhetorical tropes of invectio and
41 For a discussion of the motivations of portrait dedications in the late Republic and early Empire, see C.B. Rose (1997) 7-10. 42 P.J. Casey (1994) 34. 43 Portraits of Caligula: Iesi, Palazzo della Signoria; Genoa-Pegli, Museo Civico, inv. 614; Gortyna, Antiquarium; Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 64; see infra. Statues of Nero: from Velleia, Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, no. 3, inv. 826; see infra; from Roselle, Grosseto, Museo Archaeologico. Statue of Domitian from Aphrodisias: Aphrodisias, depot, excavation inv. nos. 6627, 67-282-85, 71-477; see infra.


vituperatio in order to defame the memory of the condemned ruler.44 Indeed, the author of the Historia Augusta acknowledges the distortions and difficulties surrounding the biographies of condemned emperors or “historical losers” in his biography of Pescennius Niger, the defeated rival of Septimius Severus:
Rarum atque difficile est ut, quos tyrannos aliorum victoria fecerit, bene mittantur in litteras, atque ideo vix omnia de his plene in monumentis atque annalibus habentur. primum enim, quae magna sunt in eorum honorem ab scriptoribus depravantur, deinde alia supprimuntur, postremo non magna diligentia in eorum genere ac vita requiritur, cum satis sit audaciam eorum et bellum, in quo victi fuerint, ac poenam proferre.45 (It is uncommon and difficult to give an unbiased written account of those men who have come to be characterized as tyrants because of the victory of others and furthermore scarcely anything about these men is accurately preserved in monuments or histories. For indeed, in the first place, great events which accrued to their honor are misrepresented by historians, and then other events are suppressed, and finally no great diligence is given to recounting their ancestry or life, since it seems enough to reveal their effrontery, the battle in which they were conquered and their punishment.)

Significantly, the author links the literary distortions and omissions with the visual distortions and omissions on monuments (in monumentis atque annalibus). Thus, the mutilation and transformation of imperial images can be viewed as a deliberate rewriting of the visual record of Roman history and society. The literary vilification of an overthrown ruler which mirrors the mutilation of images was intended as a written portrait of the emperor’s evil deeds and moral inadequacies. Like publicly mutilated likenesses, they function as potent reminders of an emperor’s posthumous disgrace and failure as leader. Literary denigration, like its visual counterpart, could also be actively and officially promoted; indeed, E. S. Ramage has

T. Barton in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 48-

45 HA, Pesc.Nig. 1.1-2; M. Cullhed points out the importance of this passage for the study of condemned emperors, or historical losers, in his monograph on Maxentius (1994) 9-11.


chapter one any image which this statue base supported was similarly transformed. Inscriptions are also liable to mutilation, as when only part of a condemned individual’s name is erased, making the inscription still readable as a kind of denigrative memorial. The erasure of an overthrown emperor’s name in inscriptions, papyri and on coins is also related to prohibitions against the continued use of a condemned individual’s praenomen. Both highlight the importance of the act of naming in Roman culture. In the realm of religious dedications, the simple naming of the dedicant comprises the great majority of Roman votive inscriptions and M. Beard has suggested that naming is a fundamental and permanent assertion of the dedicant’s membership in the larger pagan community.50 Thus the erasure of a condemned emperor’s name and the suppression of praenomina are acts of un-naming and effectively exclude the condemned individual from society at large. In addition un-naming acts to deny the physical existence of the nameless individual.51 By the fourth century A.C., there exists a well established rhetorical tradition of not explicitly naming overthrown emperors or those who were deemed usurpers of legitimate imperial authority.52 Just as imperial representations were created in order to reach multiple Roman audiences, so too were the messages encoded in their destruction and transformation intended to reach different segments of the public.53 On the most fundamental level, the negation of images or their alteration into new likenesses signal to the entire populace the political transition to a new regime.
M. Beard (1991) 46-8. P.J. Casey (1994) 46; naming is also an equivalent existence in the ancient Near East, and the excision of an inscribed name is tantamount to the suppression or removal of physical being, Z. Bahrani (1995) 377. 52 A.E. Wardman (1984) 222. 53 The widespread nature of the surviving physical evidence for damnatio in the form of mutilated, transformed, or warehoused portraits, as well as erased inscriptions certainly refutes C. W. Hedrick’s statement that the audience for damnationes is a “small percentage” of the population, namely the senatorial elite, (2000) 110-11. While the aristocracy are indeed an important audience, as well as agent for condemnations, all strata of the society are implicated in the phenomenon.
51 50

pointed out that while images could be removed or transformed, buildings destroyed or rededicated, texts favorable to a condemned ruler could never be entirely rescinded, so hostile literary traditions were actively encouraged.46 While the centrality of epigraphical texts to the understanding and interpretation of artistic and architectural monuments for the ancient viewer can be overstated, the phenomenon of damnatio memoriae certainly underscores the interdependence of image and text, at least for the literate segments of Roman society.47 Obvious parallels exist between the treatment of the monumental inscriptions and portraits of condemned emperors. Just as the emperor’s name and titles are eradicated in commemorative inscriptions or papyri, so too are his sculpted images removed from public display, and his likenesses erased from reliefs and paintings. Like portraits, inscriptions are intended as visual signifiers of the emperor’s position and achievements, and when an emperor is overthrown and damned, his portraits, like inscriptions, can be “erased” from the public consciousness. The practice of eradicating condemned emperors from the epigraphic record is remarkably long lived, as witnessed by the erasure of Phocas’s name from the inscription on his column, the last commemorative monument known to have been erected in the Forum Romanum.48 Portrait inscriptions, or inscriptions on arches, both of which identify and explain the monuments to which they belong, are places in which imperial images and texts necessarily interact. Such inscriptions can also be transformed from commemorations of a condemned ruler into celebrations of a successor or predecessor, as for instance a statue base from the Caserma dei Vigili at Ostia in which the name and titles of Commodus have been erased and replaced with those of his successor Septimius Severus.49 Presumably
46 Ramage discusses the phenomenon within the context of Pliny’s Panegyricus and Juvenal’s Satires (1989) 643, 650. 47 J. Elsner has underscored the function of epigraphical texts as monuments in their own right, in J. Elsner, ed. (1996) 32-53. For epigraphical damnatio, see H.I.Flower (2000). 48 CIL 6.1200 49 R. Lanciani, NSc 75.

developments, implications, and precedents Certainly those illiterate members of the population who could not read the written history of the failed regime could read its visual history as embodied in mutilated and transformed images.54 But alteration of the visual landscape of imperial portraits could also be read in alternative ways by different audiences. Damnationes which were avidly pursued or desired by the Senate such as those of Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Commodus or Elagabalus, served to reaffirm the Senate’s power and prestige for the senatorial aristocrats themselves and for the society at large. Similarly, for the new emperor, his family, and supporters, the mutilation and transformation of a predecessors images made tangible the authority of the new regime. For the partisans of the overthrown emperor, the destruction of portraits stand obviously as negative exempla. To a certain extent, the new emperor could also read the negation of his predecessor’s likenesses as negative exempla, visual warnings of the consequences to his own images should his regime fail. In cases where images have been altered, it may have been the intention that visually sophisticated Roman viewers recognize the transformation and appropriation of the original portrait. Reworked likenesses which to modern audiences seem less satisfactory because they retain too many traces of the original image may be symptomatic of this trend. The Nero/Domitian/Nerva statue from Velleia stands as an extreme example since it contains strong visual elements of its two earlier incarnations as representations of both Nero and Domitian (cat. 2.50/5.13). These portraits may then exhibit deliberate signs of their own transformation, readable by certain viewers as manifestations of the new emperor visually cannibalizing the power and images of his defeated predecessor. If imperial images act on certain levels as effigies, intended to embody in marble or bronze the reigning princeps, his family, and revered or
54 H. Flower discusses the importance of the visual trappings of power and prestige, such as the display of imagines or the erection of important public building and monuments in communicating to the populace at large in republican Rome (1996) 65, 69.


deified predecessors, then another potential audience for mutilation and transformation of these representations becomes the images themselves. H. Flower has raised the intriguing possibility that imagines, wax ancestor masks, assembled in the atrium of a Roman house, act as a kind of audience witnessing the actions of their living descendants. Similarly, when worn by actors at elite funerals, imagines also function as both participants in, and an audience for, the funerary rites.55 The physical alteration or mutilation of artistic objects, such as portraits, also provided an effective means of visual communication between subject and ruler. Official sanctions which mandated the destruction of images pointedly communicated the victorious emperor’s new status, while the public’s response to the damnatio could, in turn, proclaim loyalty to the new regime. Spontaneous demonstrations against an overthrown emperor’s memory and monuments, especially in instances where the ruler was never officially condemned, provided important outlets for public expression.56 Portraits of Severus Alexander, Julia Mammaea, and Gordian III have all been spontaneously attacked, despite the fact the none of them was officially condemned and Severus Alexander and Gordian III were actually deified.57 The spontaneous mutilation, transformation, or destruction of images visually repudiates the failed ruler and simultaneously professes allegiance to his successor.

H.I. Flower (1996) especially 60-127, and 185-222. T. Pekáry reviews the evidence for spontaneous demonstrations (1985) 134-42; see also C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 99 for popular demonstrations involving Gn. Calpurnius Piso’s statues during his maiestas trial under Tiberius, and infra for descriptions of spontaneous demonstrations involving the images of Poppaea and Claudia Octavia. 57 Damaged portraits of Severus Alexander: Bochum, Kunstasammlungen der Ruhr-Universität, cat. 7.20; Rome, Museo Capitolino, Magazzini, inv. 1431, cat. 7.22; Switzerland, Private Collection, cat. 7.24; Damaged portraits of Julia Mammaea: Bochum, Kunstsammlungen der RuhrUniversität, cat. 7.25; Paris, Louvre, MA 3552 (inv. MND 2137) cat. 7.27; Ostia, Museo, inv. 26, cat. 7.26; Switzerland, Private Collection, cat. 7.28; Damaged portrait of Gordian III: Sofia, Archaeological Museum, inv. 1497, cat. 8.9.


10 Iconographic Implications

chapter one Republican associations may have been intended for the members of the senatorial aristocracy who had grown disaffected with Nero, the JulioClaudians and the imperial system in general, while the classicizing images may have appealed to the middle and lower classes or inhabitants of the eastern sections of the empire, whose experience of the Julio-Claudians would have been radically different and more positive.58 Significantly the most veristic of Vespasian’s surviving portraits, as well as the most classicizing and Julio-Claudian in style are all reworked from earlier representations of Nero.59 In the former instance, the supra-verism is inspired by a desire to obliterate all trace of the initial image and its style, while in the latter instance, the reworked image attempts to co-opt and cannibalize the idealizing style of the original. Similar patterns apply for the portraits of Claudius recut from Caligula and they challenge basic notions about the development of style and stylistic trends, since in these examples the heightened verism or classicism of the likenesses is a direct result of and response to the necessity of refashioning a pre-existing work of art with its own inherent iconographical meaning.60 The divergent styles expressed in the reworked images may also reflect differing approaches on the part of artists facing the technical challenges of recarving, differing wishes expressed by the patrons overseeing the reworking, or the differing audiences for whom they were intended. Finally, a recognition of the profound stylistic influence which an origiThis interpretation runs counter to R. BianchiBandinelli’s classic Marxist reading of Vespasian’s portrait typology which sees the veristic portraits as more plebeian in style, designed to appeal to the proletariat and to present the emperor as ordinary citizen, while the classicizing portraits are more “intellectual” and stress Vespasian’s position as ruler, (1969) 211-12. 59 Arguably the most veristic of Vespasian’s likenesses is a head recut from Nero in the Terme, inv. 38795 (see cat. 2.23), while his most classicizing is another recut head from Lucus Feronia, Magazzini cat. 2.22. 60 A portrait of Claudius in the Centrale Montemartini refashioned from Caligula is often cited as his most realistic likeness, inv. 2443 (cat. 1.31). Claudius’s most classicizing image, also recut from Caligula, is the colossal head from Otricoli in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, 551, inv. 242 (cat. 1.30).

Earlier works have been intent largely on documenting the historical dimensions of damnatio or its specific physical effects on individual sculpted portraits, paintings, coins, inscriptions, or papyri. The conceptual implications of the phenomenon have not yet been fully addressed. Obviously, knowledge that a work of art has been transformed or intentionally mutilated radically alters assumptions concerning the production and cultural context of these images. Implicit in the creation of imperial portraits, then, is the notion that mechanisms and sanctions existed whereby representations could be transformed or destroyed. Thus, the imperial image is not inherently stable or static. In formal terms the mutability of imperial images has serious iconographic and stylistic ramifications. Sheer numbers alone reveal the importance of recut images. As already mentioned, well over 100 surviving early imperial images have been transformed from representations of Caligula, Nero, and Domitian. Altered representations often retain some or all of the style of the original image. At the most basic level, these trends can be reduced to classicizing or idealizing versus veristic approaches to imperial portraits. Style functions as a significant bearer of meaning in Roman portraits, especially in periods of political transition, periods also marked by damnationes memoriae and the transformation of images. Important evidence for the ideology of style is furnished by representations of Vespasian whose emphasis on verism is often viewed as a conscious visual repudiation of Nero and the Julio-Claudian past and a return to late Republican values and style. On the other hand, those portraits of Vespasian which are more classicizing can be read as attempts to project the idea of imperial continuum and visually connect the new Flavian emperor with his respected JulioClaudian predecessors, Claudius, Tiberius, and especially Augustus. These opposing approaches and intentions exist simultaneously in Vespasian’s portraiture and suggest that his images were designed for audiences with different expectations. Vespasian’s veristic likenesses with their

developments, implications, and precedents nal portrait can have on its recarved progeny can drastically alter assumptions about whole periods in Roman art, as for instance the colossal Maxentius/Constantine in the Cortile of the Palazzo dei Conservatori whose classicism and spirituality are often cited as characteristic of new directions in Constantinian art but which were, in reality, already significant artistic components of the Maxentian original, appropriated wholesale by the new image.61 Furthermore, the wide range and variation of coiffure and physiognomy among recut images, which can have only the most approximate resemblance to more standardized, unreworked representations, underscore the innate diversity present in the portraiture of any given emperor.62 Inscriptions and context would have aided ancient viewers in identifying less precisely defined reworked portraits. The latitude within specific portrait types, especially apparent among altered likenesses, is yet another symptom of the flexibility and mutability of imperial images. Beyond the important stylistic implications for the development and history of Roman portraiture, a recognition of altered imperial images has ramifications for other kinds of subsidiary imagery. For instance, reworked cuirassed images of Nero suggest that certain motifs on sculpted breastplates, such as that of victories flanking a thymeterium, may be an innovations of Neronian rather than Flavian (or Trajanic) artists. Similarly, a representation of Augustus with a corona spicea which has been transformed from a likeness of Nero suggests that Nero, rather than Augustus, is the first emperor to introduce this important corona in male imperial portraits.63 The recutting of Roman portraits also impacts modern questions surrounding the authenticity and forgery of ancient works of art. Portraits which look strange and unusual, because they were reworked in antiquity have been con-


demned as fakes, as for instance a likeness of Severus Alexander refashioned from Elagabalus in Kansas City (cat. 8.X).64 In fact, the oddities occasioned by recutting can help to validate a portrait’s authenticity. However, E.B. Harrison has sounded an important note of caution concerning reworked pieces of ancient sculpture and the art market: “In the art market and in the museums for which the market is the main source, they represent a real danger, for the idea of an anciently recut original can serve as a mask for the ineptitude of a forger.”65 Much scholarly effort has been expended in attempting to recover the lost voices of those members of Roman society who are misrepresented, under represented or not represented at all in the literary and historical tradition largely authored by the male elite or in the officially sponsored monuments of Roman art. The position of women, slaves, foreigners, as well as Roman attitudes towards gender, ethnicity, and sexuality have all been explored in recent scholarship.66 “Bad” emperors like Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Commodus, Elagabalus and Maxentius as historical losers have also been deprived of their voices and no longer have the power to speak through their images that revered rulers such as Augustus, Vespasian, Trajan, or Constantine have retained. A survey of condemnations prompts reappraisals of art created for these “bad” emperors and reveals new insights into various aspects of imperial self-representation including Caligula’s innovations in Julio-Claudian group dedications, the surprising persistence of Neronian military imagery or the extraordinary range of Maxentius’s visual propaganda during his six year rule of Rome. Furthermore, it often calls into question the veracity of certain assertions in surviving ancient sources and our own
64 Nelson Atkins Museum 45-66, cat. 7.16. On questions of forgery and authenticity, see R. Cohon (1996). 65 (1990) 180. 66 Scholarship has grown rather vast in these areas, but important contributions in the field of Roman art include: N.B. Kampen, ed. (1996); D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson eds., (1996) and in particular N.B. Kampen, “Gender Theory in Roman Art,” 14-26; J.R. Clarke (1996b) 599-603; and J.R. Clarke (1998) and 2003.

Inv. 1622, cat. 9.4. On diversity within the framework of imperial portrait typology, see H. von Heintze, in A. Cambitoglou ed. (1995) 264; R.R.R. Smith (1996) 30-47. 63 Sala dei Busi 274, inv. 715; as proposed by B.S. Spaeth (1996) 23; on the portrait see cat. 2.10.



chapter one examples of mutilated royal images survive from the Near East. A vandalized copper head of an Akkadian ruler from Nineveh provides an early example of mutilation in effigy.70 The ears have been severed from the image, the left eye gouged out, the bridge and tip of the nose damaged by chisel blows, and sections of the beard broken off, all acts of deliberate denigration. These vandalized features contrast with the rest of head which is well preserved, a hallmark of most intentionally disfigured images. C. Nylander has pointed out that the portrait’s mutilation finds close parallels to the mutilation of criminals in the Near East, and in particular of the two Persian pretenders Fravartish and Ciçantakhma, whose noses and ears were cut off and one eye blinded by order of Darius.71 Nylander also suggests that the damaged state of much Akkadian hard stone sculpture may be the result of systematic destruction.72 In a relief from Nineveh representing Sennacherib, the head of the king has been gouged out, while also at Nineveh, the faces of Ashurbanipal and his queen have been attacked, as have reliefs of Ummanigash.73 In the case of Sennacherib’s representation, the identifying inscription was also defaced.74 At Persepolis, royal reliefs have also been attacked. In scenes depicting the king enthroned and leading processions, the faces of the king have been obliterated, as have their scepters. Animistic beliefs in these images as effigies or doubles for the rulers may have motivated the deliberate disfigurement of royal representations in the Near East, as well as their abduction by hostile rulers.75 Indeed, the susceptibility of Near Eastern royal images to politically motivated mutilation prompted many curse inscriptions, including that of the eighth century Assyrian king Sargon who cursed “anyone who

subsequent historical assumptions. The physical evidence provided by damaged, altered, or mutilated portraits also aids in the recovery of the lost political voice of Roman imperial women such as the two Julias, Livilla, Messalina, Lucilla, Crispina, and Fausta.67 Although these women were most often accused of adultery and sexual misconduct, the virulent destruction of their images underscores the political nature of their crimes, namely involvement in conspiracies to overthrow the reigning princeps. Thus, damnatio contributes new avenues for revisionist approaches to Roman art and history. Sculptors also faced substantial technical obstacles when recarving marble portraits. In comparison to a freshly cut portrait, freshly cut from a block of stone, the volume of marble available for refashioning a likeness is obviously limited to the extent of the pre-existing image. The basic position of eyes, ears, and nose is also established by the original likeness. The recutting of portraits and resulting reduction in sculptural volume, often results in representations with overly large, projecting ears, thick necks, and receding chins.68 Marble also becomes more friable as it ages, so projecting elements such as ears, noses, and crowns can prove especially delicate and problematic. Indeed, ears and crowns, are often left entirely intact from the original likeness. The recutting of the lower sections of the face and in particular the mouth, often a focus in the transformation process may have additional ideological implications as the word for mouth, os can also be used to signify the entire face.69

Precedents and Parallels The Near East Prior to the Roman imperial period, representations of rulers were certainly destroyed, damaged, or altered for political reasons. Numerous

67 68 69

See infra and E.R. Varner (2001a). M. Pfanner (1989) 218-9; C.B. Rose (1997) 59. H. von Heintze in A. Cambidoglou, ed. (1995) 264.

70 Baghdad, Museum; C. Nylander (1980) 330-31 (with earlier literature). For the politically chaotic context of the mutilation, see A. Kuhrt (1987) 20-55. 71 C. Nylander (1980) 331-2. 72 C. Nylander (1980) 330, n. 6. 73 C. Nylander (1980) 331-2; Z. Bahrani (1995) 365-67, figs. 19, 21; see also T. Beran (1988). 74 Z. Bahrani (1995) 366, fig. 19. 75 Z. Bahrani (1995) 375-80.

developments, implications, and precedents would alter or damage” the features of his images.76 Pharaonic Egypt The destruction of royal monuments and images for political reasons was also carried out in Egypt. Representations of Hatchepsut, who ruled as pharaoh together with her nephew and stepson, Thutmoses III, have been extensively mutilated and her cartouches often erased.77 In some instances her name and titles have been replaced by those of Thutmoses III, and in others they remain blank. These erasures appear to be part of a concerted effort on the part of Thutmoses III to rewrite the historical record, and he seems to have been largely successful, as the name of his co-ruler Hatcheput is noticeably absent in surviving king lists.78 Images of Hatchepsut were also deliberately mutilated, as attested by the great number of damaged sphinxes bearing her likeness discovered buried together at the site of her great mortuary temple. 79 The excavator, H.E. Winlock, estimated that there were originally as many as 200 Hatchepsut shpinxes. The



Z. Bahrani (1995) 372-5; 378-80; I.F. Winter (1997)

77 For the evidence for a “damnatio memoriae” of Hatcehpsut, see C.F. Nims (1966) 97-100; P.F. Dorman (1988) 4665; C. Van Siclen (1989) 85-6; G. Robins (1993); J. Tyldesley (1996) 216-229. 78 Omitting Hatchepsut’s name from the king lists would cause no noticeable chronological gaps in the record, since she ruled together with Thutmoses III and it would then appear that the succession passed directly from her husband and brother Thutmoses II to his son by another wife, Thutmoses III. The alteration of the historical record as expressed in inscriptions, reliefs, and statues may have been intended to suppress Hatschepsut role as a successful king and discourage other influential royal women from attempting to rule as pharaoh. In this regard it is telling that it is only representations and inscriptions which celebrate Hatchepsut as pharaoh, and not those which celebrate her proper female role as queen consort, which have been targeted for obliteration. G. Robins (1993) 51-52; J. Tyldesley (1996) 223-6. 79 The “Hatchepsut Hole” discovered accidentally by H.E. Winlock in 1922-23; Other damaged images of Hatchepsut were discovered by Winlock in 1926-28 at the “Senenmut Quarry,” H.E. Winlock, 23 (1928) 46 and in 1927-8 (1928) 1-23.

uraeus, symbol of Hatchepsut’s position as king, has been chiseled off many of these representations, and the noses have been attacked and the eyes carefully gouged out. The destruction of the nose and eyes recalls the mutilation of the Akkadian copper head and also provides striking early parallels to the later mutilation of Roman imperial images. Monuments celebrating Hatchepsut’s advisor Senenmut have also been attacked.80 The reign of Akhenaten witnesses several unusual examples of the transformation of representations of a royal woman. Reliefs and inscriptions honoring the pharaoh’s minor wife Queen Kiya appear to have been regularly altered to depict one of his daughters by Nefertiti, Meretaten or Ankhesenpaaten and as a result Kiya has virtually disappeared from the artistic record.81 Kiya’s image is often remodeled by simply altering her headress into a “modified Nubian wig,” as in two reliefs in Copenhagen,82 and a relief in New York.83 Identifying inscriptions were also recut to honor Meretaten or Ankhesnpaaten.84 It is not entirely clear what prompted the obliteration of Kiya’s memory, but during her lifetime she appears to have enjoyed a great deal of prominence at Akhenaten’s court, and it is tempting to view the transformation of Kiya’s monuments as an indication of the increased importance and influence of Nefertiti and her daughters towards the end of the reign.85
80 P.F. Dorman discusses the complex problems surrounding the destruction of Senemut’s monuments and the evidence, or lack thereof, for a concerted proscription of his memory (1988) 141-64. 81G. Robins (1993) 54-55; D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 11, 87-88, 105-6. 82 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, AE.I.N. 1776; D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 106, 132-3, no. 27, fig. 100. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, AE.I.N. 1797; D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 87-88, 105-106, 133, no. 28, fig. 79. 83 Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985.328.8; D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 106, fig. 101. 84 As in one of the Copenhagen reliefs (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, A.E.I.N. 1776) whose inscription now reads “daughter of the king of his flesh, his beloved...Meretaten,” but beneath it, the beginning of Kiya’s usual titles are still legible: “the wife and [great] beloved of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt who lives on [Maat],” D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 106. 85 On Kiya, see: R. Hanke (1978)188-96; W. Helck


chapter one Euthymides, in which the name of Megakles, one of the Alkmeonidai, in the 6"8@H inscription has been erased, and that of Glaukon substituted.89 In 487, Hipparchos, the son of Charmides was ostracized and his statue on the Akropolis destroyed.90 At the end of the fourth century, the Athenians revoked the decrees honoring Demetrios of Phaleron and melted down three hundred of his metal statues, further denigrating his memory by refashioning some of them as chamberpots and throwing others into the sea.91 An inventory list of statues on the Acropolis compiled under Lycurgus c. 335 B.C. also provides evidence for the destruction and disposal of statues for aesthetic, and perhaps religious reasons.92 In 200 B.C., in defiance of Macedon, the Athenians repudiated the public honors accorded to Philip V and Livy describes the destruction of his monuments in terms which are intended to recall anachronistically Roman practices of damnatio memoriae:
Tum vero Atheniensium civitas, cui odio in Philippum per metum jam diu moderata erat, id omne in auxilii praesentis sepem effudit...Rogationem extemplo tulerunt plebesque scivit ut Philippi statuae et imagines omnes nominaque earum, item maiorem eius virile ac muliebre secus omnium tollerentur delerenturque diesque festi, sacra, sacerdotes, quae ipsius maiorumque honoris causa institutua essent, omnia profanarentur; loca quoque, in quibus positum aliquid inscriptumve honoris eius causa fuisset, detestabilia esse.93 (Then indeed the Athenian state, long restrained in their hatred of Philip through fear, because help was at hand, fully vented their rage...They immediately put forth a resolution, and the populace passed it, that all of the statues and portraits of Philip and their identifying inscriptions, and all those of his ancestors, both men and women
89 Athens, Akropolis Museum, GL 1037; Brouskari, The Acropolis Museum 126-127, no. 67, fig. 241. 90 Lykurg. Leokrat. 117; M. Donderer (1991-2) 271, no. 1. 91 Strabo 9.1.20 Plut. Mor. 820E; Dion. Hal. Chron. 37.41 (where the number of destroyed statues is given as 1500); Diog. Laet. 5.77 (statues thrown into the sea); C. Houser (1987) 269; P. Green (1990) 48; M. Donderer (19912) 271, no. 6. 92 D. Harris (1992) 637-52. 93 31.44.2-5. See also, P. Green (1990) 309; M. Donderer (1991-2) 272, nos. 7-8. On the “damnatio” of Philip, see H.A. Thompson (1981) 354.

After his own death, monuments honoring Akhenaten, his family, and references to the new monotheistic god Aten were systematically destroyed as Akhenaten’s new religion was abandoned and orthodoxy reasserted.86 Sculpted representations of Egyptian rulers were also transformed and recycled in large numbers without being politically motivated. Many statues of Rameses II have been refashioned from pre-existing images of Amenhotep III, whose sculpted images were produced in far greater numbers than any of his predecessors. A representation of Amenhotep’s chief wife, Queen Tiye may also have been recut, but not until the Ptolemaic period when it was reworked into an image of Arsinoe II.87 The drapery of the statue has been substantially recut, jewelery removed, the bottom edges of the wig narrowed, the eyes retouched, and the modius crown of Tiye modified into an Isis crown. The image of Queen Tiye may have been deliberately selected by the Ptolemaic artists because of the perceived similarities between the two popular queens and its reworking can then be seen as a kind of positive transformation, very different from the generally hostile transformations of the Roman period.88 In addition, the substantial alterations to the body of the statue are not typical of Roman transformations, which are generally concentrated entirely on the facial features and coiffure. Greece and Sicily Athens, from the late Archaic through the Hellenistic periods furnishes a number of close parallels to the Roman phenomenon of damnatio. An early example of the politically motivated destruction or alteration of an artistic monument is provided by a painted plaque, attributed to
(1980) cols. 422-24; W. Helck (1984) 159-67; A.P. Thomas (1994) 72-81; D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 14-5, 105-7; On Nefertiti’s importance towards the end of Akhenaten’s reign and her possible position as co-regent, see G. Robins (1993) 54 and D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 88-9, and n. 28. 86 D. Metzler (1973) 19-20. 87 Miho, Museum. A. Kozloff, xxx. 88 A. Kozloff, in J.N. Newland, ed. (1997) 34-37.

developments, implications, and precedents
should be abolished and destroyed and that the festivals, religious rites, and priesthoods which had been instituted in his honor or that of his ancestors should be desecrated, and that also the sites in which any inscriptions or honors had been placed should be held as abominable.)


Polybius records that, slightly earlier in 220 B.C., votive images at Dion, sacred to the Macedonians were also deliberately attacked and destroyed by the Aetolians.94 The names of Macedonian kings have also been erased in inscriptions from the Athenian Agora, and the Athenians passed sanctions against the monuments of Philip V of Macedon and those of his ancestors, c. 200 B.C. Several fragments of a gilded bronze equestrian statue discovered in a well located in the northwestern section of the Agora in 1971 may belong to an image of Demetrius Poliorcetes, one of Philip V’s most famous ancestors, destroyed during the Athenian demonstrations and sanctions of 200 B.C.95 The Agora well had been used as a dump Like the Romans, the Athenians destroyed the dwelling places of those convicted of crimes agains the polis, a process known as 6"J"F6"NZ.96 At Syracuse, after the expulsion of Dionysus II, Timolean encouraged the inhabitants of the city to demolish Dionysus’s citadel, as well as other monuments honoring Dionysus and his predecessors. Plutarch closely associates the destruction of these works of art and architecture commemorating Dionysus with the charges of tyranny leveled against him; in order to underscore the symbolic intent of the destruction, Timolean built law courts on the site of the obliterated monuments, as an architectural embodiment of the triumph of justice over tyranny.97 An early fourth century B.C. Greco-Persian sarcophagus discovered at Çan may also present
94 4.62.1-2; M. Donderer (1991-2) 271, no. 3; A.F. Stewart notes that this deliberate destruction of images is an attempt to obliterate “Macedonian historical consciousness,” (1993) 25. 95 J.M. Camp (1986) 164-5, fig. 138; C. Housere (1987) 255-81, figs. 16.1-6; P. Green (1990) 307; M. Donderer (1991-92) 267, no. 1. 96 W.R. Connor (1985) 79-102. 97 Plut. Tim. 22.2-3; 23.7; Dion.Hal. Chron 37.20f ; M. Donderer (1991-2) 272, nos. 9, 12.

evidence of non-Roman damnatio from Anatolia.98 The body of the polychrome sarcophagus, which seems to have been created for a local ruler, depicts a stag and boar hunt. The facial features of one of the horsemen in the stag hunt have been intentionally obliterated from the reliefs. Evidence for this kind of portrait effacement, in which only the head is attacked is generally rare for Roman reliefs, but there are comparable instances for both Domitian and Geta. The Ptolemies Several late Ptolemaic portraits have been reworked for political reasons and stand as important precursors to the altered likenesses of the Roman imperial period. In particular, three representations of Ptolemy IX (116-107, 88-80 B.C.) appear to have been remodeled from portraits of his younger brother and successor Ptolemy X (107-88) when the former regained control of Egypt in 88 B.C.99 Iustinus also records the destruction of images of Ptolemy X by the Alexandrians.100 A head in Boston which initially depicted Ptolemy X Alexander I Physkon has been transformed into a portrait of his elder brother Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyros by recarving the eyes and mouth and refashioning the hair and beard with stucco additions.101 The general proportions of the facial features have also been slimmed down from the original representation of Ptolemy X, whose nickname Physkon, refers to his corpulence. The reworked image may also have been completed with an eagle headdress which would have linked Ptolemy IX, whose epithet was Soter, to the founder of
See N. Sevinç, et al (2001). Late Ptolemaic portraits are notoriously difficult to identify, but circumstantial evidence based on representations preserved on sealings from Edfu and Nea Paphos suggests that Ptolemy IX and X can be differentiated on the basis of their facial features, the former usually appearing with a distinctive underchin beard and with slimmer facial features than his younger brother, see R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 95-7. 100 38.8.12; M. Donderer (1991-2) 273-4, no. 274. 101 Museum of Fine Arts inv. 59.51, h. 0.46 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 167, no. 57, pl. 39.1-2 (with earlier literature).
99 98


chapter one commemorative portraiture is probably anachronistic for early fifth century Rome, the office of censor had not yet been established in 485, and the temple of Tellus itself was not dedicated until 268.106 Nevertheless, this anecdote is particularly revealing because it indicates that Pliny and the contemporary audiences for whom he was writing, familiar with the damnationes of Gn. Calpurnius Piso Pater, Livilla, Caligula, Messalina, Nero, and others earlier in the century, expected such a direct link between attempted tyranny, condemnation, and the destruction of portraits. It also underscores the traditional, Republican precedents ascribed to the negation of images in the imperial period. Other early Republican manifestations of damnatio assigned to the fifth and fourth centuries document the razing of houses of condemned individuals, including domås belonging to the same Spurius Cassius, Spurius Maelius, Marius Manlius Capitolinus, and Marius Vitruvius Vaccus.107 Later, the houses of M. Fulvius Flaccus, a follower of the Gracchi and Lucius Saturninus were similarly destroyed.108 Flaccus’s house, which stood on the Palatine, was replaced by a portico constructed by Q. Lutatius Catullus, further canceling Flaccus’s memory.109 The destruction of Cicero’s house on the Palatine ordered by Clodius and the partial demolition of his villas at Tusculum and Formia can also be viewed as Republican expressions of architectural damnatio memoriae.110 The demolition of houses,

the dynasty Ptolemy I Soter.102 A portrait in the Getty of Ptolemy IX exhibits similar signs of reworking (fig. 1).103 The eyes and mouth have been recut. Like the Boston likeness, the portrait’s overall volume has been reduced. The neck preserves clear evidence of having been cut down and the area below the right ear has been cut back, perhaps to facilitate the addition of another eagle headdress to the altered image. Chisel marks are also clearly visible at the back of the head along a large flat area, perhaps also for securing added headgeart, or, alternatively, for repairs in stucco or marble to damage suffered during Ptolemy X’s overthrow. The head has been broken from a statue whose drapery is visible at the left of the neck. A third portrait of Ptolemy IX in Stuttgart, discovered at Athribis, also appears to have been modified from a likeness of Ptolemy X.104 The recutting of these images predicts the reworking of Roman marble portraits, although stucco additions are a relatively rare form of alteration in the Roman period. The Roman Republic The first recorded example of the destruction of a Roman honorific monument as a result of damnatio occurs in Pliny the Elder: a bronze statue of Spurius Cassius Vecellinus erected in front of the Temple of Tellus was melted down by order of the censors after his condemnation for attempted tyranny in 485 B.C.105 The historical veracity of Pliny’s account is called into question by three important inaccuracies: namely, true

102 On the reworking of portraits of Ptolemy IX and X and the putative eagle headdress, see R.R.R. Smith (1986) 74-8. 103 83.AA.330, h. 0.34 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 167, no. 59, pl. 40.1-2 (with earlier literature). 104 Würtembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. SS.17, h. 0.233 m; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 96, n. 65 (with earlier literature); S. Walker and P Higgs, eds. (2000) 81, no. 1.74, with fig., (with earlier literature). 105 NH 34.30. eam vero, quam apud aedem Telluris statuisset sibi Sp. Cassius, qui regnum adfectaverat, etiam conflatam a censoribus. See also T. Hölscher (1994) 32 and n. 98. For further discussion of Spurius Cassius, see K. Mustakallio (1994) 30-38, and B. Spaeth (1996) 71-3.

106 T. Hölscher (1994) 32; for anachronistic elements in later accounts of Republican condemnations, see also C. W. Hedrick (2000) 100. 107Cic. Dom. 100-102; Val.Max. 6.3.1a-b; Livy 2.7.5-12, 2.41.11 (Spurius Cassius), 4.16.1 (Spurius Maelius), 6.20.13 (Marius Manlius Capitolinus), 8.20.8 (Marius Vitruvius Vaccus); T.P. Wiseman (1987) 394 and n. 3; K. Mustakallio (1994) 39-64; J. Bodel (1997) 7-9; C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 100, 102, 105-6. 108 Cic. de.off. 1.138, Dom 102, 114; Val. Max. 6.3.1c; T.P. Wiseman (1987) 393; J. Bodel (1997) 7-8. 109 Cic. Dom. 102; 114 (ut eius qui perniciosa rei publicae consilia cepisset omnis memoria funditus ex oculis hominm ac mentibus tolleretur [so that every memory of him who had conceived treacherous plots against the Republic should be entirely abolishted); Val. Max. 6.3.1 c; T. Hölscher (1994) 57; J. Bodel (1997) ms. 5.. 110 Cic. Dom. 62; Red.Sen 18; Att 4.2.5, 7); J. Bodel (1997) 9.

developments, implications, and precedents even those belonging to condemned individuals outside the imperial family, continued in the early empire, as attested by the partial destruction of a house or houses belonging to Gn. Calpurnius Piso pater under Tiberius as decreed by the Senate and the surviving remains of a domus on the Caelian destroyed under Nero and likely belonging to G. Calpurnius Piso, condemned in A.D. 65 for conspiring against the emperor.111 The Roman aristocratic domus functioned as a semi-public monument to the achievements and social prestige of its owners, and as a result is closely bound up with the memoria and fama of its inhabitants.112 It is not surprising then that the house as monument would be a primary target included in the sanctions associated with damnatio memoriae. This emphasis on the cancellation of memory and reputation sharply differentiates the Roman practice of house razing from the Greek practice, 6"J"F6"NZ , which, as noted earlier, seems motivated more by the desire to remove a polluted dwelling from the polis.113 Although it dates to the reign of Tiberius, the senatorial decree of A.D. 20 concerning the damnatio of Gn. Calpurnius Piso pater which survives in six (or seven) bronze inscriptions from Spain, provides important evidence for the treatment of the images of condemned individuals and likely reflects established republican practices.114 Piso, implicated in the death of Germanicus at Antioch in A.D. 19, was accused of maiestas and committed suicide in A.D. 20. In addition to the partial demolition of his domus, the senate expressly ordered the removal of his portraits, wherever they may have been erected and forbade the display of his imago in any funerals where


it might normally have appeared.115 It is also notable that the Senate’s decree concerning the penalties enacted against Piso’s memory and images survives in several copies.116 Similar prohibitions had been passed against the appearance of imagines of M. Scribonius Libo Drusus, after his condemnation for treason in A.D. 16 and slightly later against G. Silius A. Caecina Largus in A.D. 24.117 Libo’s condemnation also included the declaration of public rejoicing on the anniversary of his death.118 Sanctions against the portraits and imagines of the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius continued in the early imperial period, as attested in Tacitus’s description of the funeral of Junia Tertulla in A.D. 22 which was remarkable for their conspicuously absent likenesses.119 Later, under Nero, Cassius Longinus was prosecuted for displaying an image of his ancestor, Cassius the Tyrannicide.120 This is
115 Utiq(ue) statuae et imagines Cn. Pisonis patris, quae ubiq(ue) positae essent, tollerentur .... neue imaginibus familiae Calpurniae imago eius interponeretur (the statues and portraits of Cn. Piso, the father, should be removed wherever they have been erected .... nor should his mask be placed among the other masks of the Calpurnian family); 73-80. The phrase quae ubique positae essent is presumably meant to stress the fact that Piso’s images are to be removed from both public and private spaces. The Senate also enacted sanctions against Piso’s name and ordered his son to change is name from Gnaeus (he seems to have adopted Lucius instead). It was also proposed that Piso’s name be erased from the public records (fasti), but this penalty was vetoed by Tiberius and not carried out; Tac. Ann. 3.17; see also H.I. Flower (1996) 28, and n. 45; H. Flower (1998) 160-61. 116 H. Flower makes an important distinction between Gn. Piso’s condemnation, which actually preserved the prestige of his family and descendants, and the much more punitive sanctions against defeated political rivals, which is the norm for condemned emperors. Flower points out the complex and conflicting motivations which could lie behind post mortem sanctions and sees Piso’s punishment as more traditional and characteristic of earlier republican practices, (1998) 179. 117 Tac. Ann. 2.32.1. As with Piso, sanctions were passed against Libo’s name and future Scribonii were forbidden the use of the cognomen Drusus. For Silius, see Tac. Ann.11.35. See also H. Flower (1998) 170-71. 118 II ad Ides of September; C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 107. 119 Ann. 3.76. There is some ambiguity as to the treatment of Brutus and Cassius’s images under Augustus and he may have permitted display of their portraits, despite sanctions; see Tac.Ann. 4. 35; Plut. Comp. Brutus and Dio 5; C.W. Hedrick (2000) 111, 126. 120 Suet. Nero 37.1; Tac. Ann. 16.7; H. Flower (1996) 317, no. T81.

111 For Gn. Calpurnius Piso, see J. Bodel (1997) ms. 9; H. Flower (1998) 169-70. These sanctions only targeted additions made by Gn. Calpurnius Piso to the propery. On the destruction of the Caelian domus and its likely association with G. Calpurnius Piso, see V. Santa Maria Scrinari (1997) 9. 112 T.P. Wiseman (1987) 393-413; B. Bergmann (1994) 225-56; J. Bodel (1997). 113 W.R. Connor (1985) 79-102. 114 M. Kajava (1995) 201-10; W. Eck, A. Caballos, and F. Fernandez, eds (1996); H. Flower (1996) 23-28; H. Flower (1998) 158-82.


chapter one victories on the Capitoline were destroyed.125 Furthermore, Sulla banned the display of any imagines of Marius,126 as well as imagines belonging to partisans of Marius who had been condemned as hostes.127 The first instance of numismatic damnatio also occurs under Sulla when he restrikes (countermarks) coins issued under Marius.128 Marius’s memory was subsequently rehabilitated and the Capitoline trophies which included his portrait were restored and reinstalled by Julius Caesar in 65 B.C.129 Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII Likenesses of Marcus Antonius were produced and widely disseminated after Caesar’s assassination on 15 March 44 B.C. and especially during his struggle for supremacy in the Mediterranean with Octavian. Indeed, P. Zanker has demonstrated how the two rivals waged a virtual war of images.130 Representations of Antonius are preserved on coins and depict him with a full head of hair, fleshy face, prominent hooked nose, and thick neck. Nevertheless, no sculpted likenesses can be identified with certainty as a result of the removal and destruction of his portraits following the defeat at Actium in 31 B.C. and his subsequent suicide in 30. Three portraits from Egypt, all with a similar coiffure are the best candidates as possible representations of Antonius and if they do depict him, they are likely to have been removed from public display and warehoused.131 Antonius had been declared a public

supported by Dio who claims that in an earlier period, possession of a portrait of Cassius had been a capital offence.121 However, by the principate of Trajan, sanctions appear to have no longer been in force against the portraits of both Cassius and Brutus.122 The desecration of corpses as acts of poena post mortem is also attested in the Republican period. Important examples include Antonius’s insistence that Cicero’s head and hands be cut off and then draped over the ship’s beaks of the Rostra in the Forum Romanum, or Octavian’s order’s that the head of Brutus be sent from Philippi to Rome and thrown at the feet of a portrait statue of Julius Caesar.123 Marius and Sulla Images played a crucial role in the civil war which Marius and Sulla waged at the beginning of the first century B.C. During the ascendancy of Marius, Sulla was declared a hostis and his house and possessions destroyed during his campaign against Mithradates. It is at this time, as well, that the monument put up by the Numidian King Bocchus in honor of Sulla’s Iugurthine victories may have been deliberately damaged. 124 The faces of the Victories flanking a shield have been chiseled from the reliefs. The symbolic intent is clear: by mutilating the victory figures, Sulla’s military accomplishments are denigrated and invalidated. When Sulla regained power (after the death of Marius), Marius’s portrait statues were pulled down and trophies commemorating his

62.27.2. 122 Plin. Ep. 1.17.3. Although C.W. Hedrick interprets the passages relating to the portraits of Cassius and Brutus as reflecting the lack of uniform practices associated with condemnations, Pliny’s intent seems to be that it is now possible to display their images, precisely because any sanctions have been rescinded or are not enforced under the more enlightened rule of Trajan, (2000) 101, 275, n. 36. 123 Cicero: Plut. Cic. 48.6; 49.2, Brutus: Suet. Aug. 13.1; D.G. Kyle (1998) 132. 124 Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Braccio Nuovo 2750; T. Hölscher (1994) 71; S. Nodelman (1987) 83-84; T. Hölscher in Kaiser Augustus und die verlorene Republik (Berlin 1988) 384-6, no. 214 (with fig.).


34.20.32; T Hölscher (1994) 50-55. Plut. Caes. 5; H. Flower (1996) 68. 127 Plut. Caes. 5; H. Flower (1996) 123. The proscribed imagines were exhibited again at the funeral of Caesar’s aunt Julia, the widow of Marius, in 69 B.C. 128 K. Harl (1996) 35; C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 274, n. 24. 129 Plut. Caes. 6.1-5. For the inclusion of a portrait of Marius in the resurrected monument: ¦46`<"H...9"D\@L... ñH •<JÂ BV<JT< –>4@H gÇ0 Ò •<¬D J0H 9"D\@L FL((g<\"H. y 130( 1987) 33-78. 131 All three portraits have a similar arrangement of locks over the forehead: limestone statue, Cairo, Egyptian Museum, inv. JE 42891; a marble head in Alexandria, Société archéologique d’Alexandrie; and a basalt pharaonic statuette, Cairo, Egyptian Museum, inv. 13/3/15/3; G.


developments, implications, and precedents enemy of Rome (hosti iudicato) 132 and Plutarch specifically states that Octavian, on entering Alexandria, had Antonius’s statues pulled down.133 Furthermore, both Plutarch and Dio confirm that the Senate in Rome ordered Antony’s monuments to be effaced or dismantled, his birthday to be declared a dies nefastus, and his descendants to be forbidden the use of the praenomen Marcus.134 His birthday was further considered ill-omened (vitiosus).135 The destruction of Antonius’s images provides important precedents for the treatment of representations of overthrown emperors and political rivals in the imperial period. Antonius’s memory and reputation did however undergo rehabilitation. This process was begun under Augustus himself. Although archaeological evidence for Augustus’s arches in the Forum Romanum is extremely complicated, it appears that, as part of the damnatio, Antonius’s name was deliberately omitted from the list of


consuls which decorated the interior bay of Augustus’s Actian arch in the Forum Romanum.136 By 19 B.C., however, when the Actian Arch was replaced by a tripled bayed arch commemorating the return of the Parthian standards, Antonius’s name is reinstated in the new list of triumphatores.137 The rehabilitation of Antonius’s memory is continued under his direct descendants, Caligula and Claudius.138 Antonius’s restoration prefigures the rehabilitation of the memory of Commodus under Septimius Severus or that of Nero in the 4th and 5th centuries A.C. As Antonius’s consort and ally, it is Cleopatra against whom Octavian technically waged war. Both Dio and Plutarch indicate that Cleopatra was also declared a hostis, and if so, she is the only woman for whom there is historical evidence of a proclamation as an official enemy of the Roman state.139 Indeed, there is a conscious attempt made on the part of Octavian and his supporters to portray the civil conflict against Antonius as a struggle between Rome and a foreign power, Egypt. Nevertheless, there is no evidence
136 R.A. Gurval reviews the rather sparse numismatic, archaeological, and literary evidence for the Actian arch and notes that it is possible that the predecessor to the Parthian arch in fact celebrated Augustus’ victory over Sextus Pompey at Naulochus in 36 B.C., (1995) 36-47, as earlier proposed by F. Coarelli (1985) 258-308. However, the evidence of the omission of Antony’s name in the list of consuls, which seems to have been part of the earlier arch, would favor an identification of the earlier arch as a commemoration of the victory at Actium rather than Naulochus, see A. Degrassi (1945-6) 96-7; A. Degrassi (1947) 133-5, 47 B.C., 42 B.C., 37 B.C.; E. Nedergard in E.M. Steinby, ed. (1993) 80-85 (with earlier literature). 137 A. Degrassi (1947) 86-7, 40 B.C. Tac.Ann. 3.18 indicates that Antony’s name was visible under Tiberius, further evidence of the rehabilitation. The idea of reconciliation and the rehabilitation of Antonius’s memory is also present in the Ara Pacis. The Apolline and Bacchic elements of its acanthus leaf scrollwork can even be read as a kind of numen mixtum reconciling Apollo, the patron deity of Augustus and Bacchus, with whom Antony was often identified. On the scrollwork see J. Pollini (1993a) 181217 and D. Castriota (1995). 138 Suet. Cal. 23.1; Claud.11.5; Dio 59.20.1 and A. Barrett, Caligula 218.. 139 Dio 50.4.4 (*¥ 58g@BVJD‘ JÎ< B`8g:@<); Plut. Ant 60.1 (R0N\>gJ"4 58g@BVJD‘ B@8g:gÃ<). In the Octavia Nero calls for his wife to be treated as a hostis, which prompts the praefect to whom he is talking to respond by wondering if a woman can really be a hostis 865-6.

z!<JT<\@L 6"Â J•H –88"H ²6bDTFg J4:VH 6"Â BD@FgR0N\F"J@ :0*g<Â Jä< z!<JT<\T< Ð<@:" 9VD6@< gÉ<"4; Dio 51.19.3;

Grimm (1989) 348-353, ns. 12, 30, fig. 1, pls. 84-5. It is important to point out that these images do not have close correspondences to Antonius’s numismatic images and the coiffures of the basalt portrait in Cairo and the Alexandria head are not different enough to support Grimm’s assertion that they represent two distinct portrait types: type A, Antonius as Triumvir and type B, Antonius as “sole ruler” in the east, respectively. The basalt statuette has also been associated with Augustus, Z. Kiss (1984) 31-2, figs. 25-6. R.R.R. Smith has more cautiously identified the limestone statue in Cairo as simply representing a late Ptolemy (1988a) 168 no.61, pl. 41. Three other portraits often associated with Antonius (Kingston Lacy, the Banks Collection; Brooklyn, Museum of Art, 54.51, and Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts, 4807) all have divergent hairstyles and physiognomies, nor do they have strong similarites with the three Egyptian images; as a result, they are likely to represent private individuals, see S. Walker and P. Higgs, eds. (2001) 241, no. 261, 243, no. 263, 254-5, no. 277. 132 Suet. Aug. 17.2. 133 Ant. 86.5. 134 Cic.49.4: ¦Nz @Þ JVH Jz gÆ6`<"H º $@L8¬ 6"2gÃ8g<

see also D.G. Kyle (1998) 234, n. 47. On the erasure of Antonius’s name, see Plut. Cic. 49.4; Dio 51.19.3; F. Vittinghoff (1936) 21 and. M. Kajava (1994) 201; see also C.W. Hedrick (2000) 104. 135 Fasti Verulani, Caeretaini, Maffaeiani, Praenestini, and Appiani minores; Dio 51.19.3; H. Flower (1998) 171, and n. 101; see also II 13.3 ad 14 January and ad Kalends of August and C.W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 107.


chapter one alliance with Antonius and conflicts with Octavian or after the Battle of Actium. Both Appian and Dio mention the gilded bronze portrait of Cleopatra which Julius Caesar placed in the Temple of Venus Genetrix, and Dio’s account indicates that the statue was still in situ in the early 3rd century.145 The statue was apparently not removed after Actium, just as her images were not destroyed at Alexandria. The site of this portrait in the Temple of Venus Genetrix and its strong associations with Divus Iulius may have insured its survival. M. Flory has further suggested that Octavian may have added portraits of Octavia and Livia to the temple in order to deliberately contrast his wife and sister’s romanitas and moral virtue with Cleopatra’s foreignness and perceived moral laxity; thus the three statues together would have acted as an exempla of correct versus incorrect female behavior, as valid after Actium as before.146 Posthumous images of Cleopatra do seem to have been produced as evidenced by the Cherchel portrait whose anachronistic pin curls framing the face find close correspondences in Julio-Claudian coiffures and suggest that the likeness was produced in the second quarter of the first century A.C. The portrait comes from Iol Caesarea, the capital of Roman Mauretania, and may have been commissioned by Cleopatra’s grandson, Ptolemy, the last king of Mauretania (r. A.D. 23-40).

to suggest that Cleopatra’s images were systematically destroyed or removed after her suicide. In the same passage where Plutarch records the destruction of Antonius’s portraits at Alexandria, he also indicates that Octavian accepted 2000 talents from Archibius in order that Cleopatra’s images should not be pulled down. Three sculpted portraits of Cleopatra have survived in the Vatican,140 Berlin,141 and Cherchel.142 The Vatican portrait was reportedly discovered in 1784 at the Villa of the Quintilii on the Via Appia. It may have been carved during her sojourn in Rome with Julius Caesar between 46-44 B.C. and then eventually incorporated into the extensive sculptural display at the Villa.143 The Berlin portrait is also likely to have come from the environs of Rome, perhaps in the vicinity of Ariccia or Genzano, and it too may have been created between 46-44.144 In any event, it is extremely unlikely that new images of Cleopatra would have been created in Rome during her

140 Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 3851, h 0.39 m; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) S. Walker and P. Higgs, eds. (2000) 157-8, no. III.2, with figs. (with earlier literature). 141Antiken Museen, 1976.10, h. 0.27 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) S. Walker and P. Higgs (2000) 159, no. III.4, with figs. (with earlier literature). 142 Museum, S 66 (31); h. 0.31 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) ; S. Walker and P. Higgs (2000) 158, no. III.3, with fig. (with earlier literature). 143 The portrait has also been attributed to the “Tomba di Nerone” near the via Cassia. For the most recent attribution to the Villa dei Quinitllii, see S. Walker and P. Higgs (2000) 147, 157, no. III.2. 144 S. Walker and P. Higgs, eds. (2000) 159.

145 146

App. BC 2.102; Dio 51.22.3 (1993) 295-6; see also S. Wood (1999) 32.

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla



Caligula’s name has become synonymous with the excesses and debauchery of the early empire, and indeed he is the first of Rome’s emperors to be assassinated and to suffer a damnatio memoriae. Gaius Iulius Caesar Germanicus, nicknamed Caligula by the troops of his father Germanicus, was born on 31 August A.D. 12.1 On 18 March 37, he succeeded his great-uncle Tiberius as the third emperor of Rome, at the age of twenty-four. Initially, Caligula’s reign was viewed as a welcome change from the repressive policies of Tiberius.2 However, Caligula’s relations with the senatorial aristocracy eventually soured as a result of the emperor’s increasingly megalomaniacal behavior. Caligula was assassinated, during the Ludi Palatini, on 24 January 41, together with his wife Milonia Caesonia, and his infant daughter Julia Drusilla.3 Dio adds the additional gruesome detail that some of Caligula’s assassins ate the flesh from his corpse.4 The Senate wished to condemn his memory officially, but Caligula’s uncle and successor Claudius, who himself may have been involved in the plot to murder Caligula, refused to permit formal sanctions5 or to declare the day of Caligula’s death a public holiday.6 However, Claudius did permit the images of his predecessor to be removed at night7 and his acts to be annulled.8 As a further mark of his defamation, Caligula’s remains were not interred in the Mausoleum of his great-grandfather Augustus, but rather buried in the imperial gardens on the Esquiline.9 Caligula’s exclusion from the Mausoleum of Augustus stood as a posthumous act of disinhersion from the Julian gens and had happened earlier to Julia Maior, Julia Minor, and to Caligula’s mother, Agrippina Maior, as well as his brothers Nero and Drusus Caesar.10 Claudius had multiple motives for vetoing an official damnatio. Clearly, senatorial condemnation of Caligula’s memory would have reflected negatively on the entire Julio-Claudian dynasty and ultimately on Claudius’s own legitimacy and fitness to rule. And in fact, immediately following Caligula’s murder, the Senate considered abolishing the memories of all the Julio-Claudians and destroying their temples (quidam vero sententiae loco abolendam Caesarum memoriam ac diruenda templa censuerint).11 Nevertheless, during his lifetime Caligula had enjoyed considerable popularity with other

Suet.Cal.8.1; Fasti Vallenses; Fasti Pighiani; Dio.59.6.1; and A. Barrett (1989) 6-7, n. 9 with discussion of conflicting evidence for Caligula’s birthplace. 2 A. Barrett (1989) 50-71. 3 Suet. Calig. 59; Dio 49.29.7; the murders of Caesonia and Drusilla may have occurred slightly after that of Caligula, Jos. AJ. 19.190-200. See also J. Scheid (1984) 180, 184. 4 59.27.7 (6"\ J4<gH 6"Â Jä< F"D6ä< "ÛJ@Ø ¦(gbF"<J@). 5 Suet. Claud. 11.3; Dio 60.4.5-6; On Caligula’s unofficial damnatio, see F. Vittinghoff (1936) 102; J. Bleicken (1962) 104-105; J.P. Rollin (1979) 165; H. Jucker (1982) 110; A. Barrett (1989)177. There is no evidence that Caligula was declared a hostis, as stated by E. Angelicoussis (1992) 57, no. 24.


Suet. Claud. 11.3. Dio 60.4.5. 8 Suet. Claud. 11.3. 9 Initially the corpse was only partially cremated and then hastily buried. Caligula’s spirit was reported to have haunted the Esquiline gardens and the palace on the Palatine until Caligula’s two surviving sisters, Agrippina Minor and Julia Livilla completed the cremation and properly interred the remains, Suet. Calig. 59; see also S.R.F. Price (1987) 76. 10 See J. Linderski (1988) 191. 11 Suet. Calig. 60. Clearly, many of the temples referred to were dedicated to Augustus, underscoring the depth of feeling against the Julio-Claudians among the senatorial aristocracy. See also Joseph. AJ 19.173, 187.



chapter two
the mirror. Neither his body nor his mind were imbued with health.12

segments of the Roman populace, most notably the Praetorian Guards and the plebs. As a result, Claudius found it to be politically expedient to bring Caligula’s assassins to trial and execute them in order to appeal to lingering sentiment favorable to Caligula. On the other hand, by condoning an unofficial, de facto damnatio, which included the removal and replacement of Caligula’s portraits and the erasure of his name from inscriptions, Claudius managed to retain favor with the disaffected senatorial aristocracy who had come to view Caligula as a deranged and dangerous despot. Despite its unofficial nature, Caligula’s damnatio and the resulting treatment of his sculpted images established important precedents for the condemnation of future emperors. As was the case with earlier members of the JulioClaudian dynasty who had been condemned, representations of Caligula were removed from public display, deliberately mutilated, or altered into other likenesses, most often of Claudius or Augustus.

Suetonius’s unpleasant physical characterization of Caligula functions as a visual component of the author’s negative assessment of the emperor’s life and character, underscored by the statement: valitudo ei neque corporis neque animi constitit. As such, his depiction of the emperor is strongly influenced by ancient physiognomic theory which was in vogue during the second century A.C. and therefor serves a largely rhetorical function and should by no means be taken literally.13 Caligula’s small eyes and bodily appearance denote the petty, thieving and deceitful character of the panther as well as the sensual nature of the goat (further underscored in the anecdote about his sensitivity to his baldness); his pale skin is a sign of cowardice, while his wide forehead and hollow temples are further indications of stupidity, foolishness, and madness.14 Clearly, Suetonius’s exaggeration of Caligula’s unattractive physical traits is intended to reflect his unwholesome spiritual and moral qualities.15
Cal. 50.1-2. For ancient physiognomic theory see: E.C. Evans (1969); for the use of physiognomic theory in Suetonius’s description of the Caesars see: J. Couisson (1953) 246; D. Wardle emphasizes that Suetonius’s description derives from a hostile literary tradition (1994) 326. The discrepancies between the surviving sculpted and numismatic likenesses of Caligula, and the literary portrait provided by Suetonius continue to perplex modern scholars who wish to take Suetonius at face value. E. Bartman has pointed out the problems inherent in giving the literary depictions of Caligula primacy over the surviving visual evidence and vice-versa, (1994) 341. However, Bartman herself in a subsequent work refers to Caligula’s visual representations as “sublimating” his unpleasant physical appearance, thus taking Suetonius’s description at face value (1998) 26. There is also no objective evidence for Bartman’s speculation that portraits of Caligula which represented him as “effeminate” or “divine” (and so in keeping with the literary representations) were more “offensive” and thus the first to be destroyed (1994) 341. In fact, there is no evidence that “effeminate” portraits were ever created, and Caligula’s divine or heroic portraits were actually reworked to represent Claudius and Augustus (cat. 1.X-X0. 14 E.C. Evans (1969) 54-55; D. Wardle (19940 323-30; Psued.Arist. 812a, 812b, 808b; Pol. 182, 230, 244, 248, 254; Adamant. 377-78, 386, 392; Anon.Physig.Lat. 2.27, 2.29, 260, 2.92-4, 2.117, 2120. 15 Caligula’s literary damnatio may have additional con13 12

Caligula’s Portrait Typology Suetonius presents an unflattering description of the young princeps’ physical appearance:
Statura fuit eminenti, colore expallido, corpore enormi, gracilitate maxima cervicis et crurum, oculis et temporibus concavis, fronte lata et torva, capillo raro et circa verticem nullo hirsutus cetera. Quare transeunte eo prospicere ex superiore parte aut omnino quacumque de causa capram nominare e criminosum et exitiale habebatur. Vultum vero natura horridum ac taetrum etiam ex industria efferebat componens ad speculum in omnem terrorem ac formidinem. Valitudo ei neque corporis neque animi constitit. He was of tall stature, had a pallid complexion, and a body disproportionately large for his slender neck and skinny legs. His eyes were deeply set, his temples hollow, and his forehead was wide and forbidding. His hair was sparse and he was bald around the top of his head, although the rest of his body was hairy. As a result to view him from above as he went by or for any reason at all to name a goat were held as capital crimes. His face was frightful and loathsome by nature and he exacerbated this by practicing all manner of terrifying and threatening expressions in

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla In contrast to Suetonius’s literary portrait of Caligula, the emperor’s surviving numismatic images present him with handsome and regular facial features including a smooth and broad forehead, sharply delineated brows, large, deeply set eyes, aquiline nose with slightly bulbous tip, well-formed mouth with receding lower lip, and a rounded chin.16 The distinctive numismatic representations of Caligula have facilitated the identification of forty-eight sculpted and glyptic portraits of the emperor.17 D. Boschung has convincingly divided the surviving likenesses into two types based on the arrangement of comma shaped locks over the forehead.18 However Boschung’s criteria, which are derived from an elaborate schematization of individual locks, should be simplified, and the portraits grouped according to the presence or absence of a central or slightly off-center part. Such a grouping essentially follows Boschung’s division. The majority of Caligula’s sculpted likenesses exhibit a principal parting of the locks at the center of the forehead, or over the inner corner of the left eye, constituting Boschung’s main type (Haupttypus).19 The locks over the temples are often combed back towards the center of the forehead. However, in several portraits, the part is omitted, or occurs at the extreme left of the forehead; in this type (Boschung’s secondary type [Nebentypus]), most of the locks over the forehead are combed from proper left to right.20 As the sec-


ondary type exists in far fewer numbers, and there are no verifiable examples which have been recarved, it is likely to have been introduced after the main type, probably rather late in Caligula’s principate. Additionally, the secondary type portraits are only found in Italy, suggesting that they had not yet been widely disseminated.21 As a result, the main type is almost certainly type 1, and the secondary type, type 2.

The Mutilation and Destruction of Caligula’s Images The most dramatic visual evidence for the denigration of Caligula’s posthumous reputation is provided by surviving images which were deliberately mutilated in antiquity as a direct result of his condemnation. Intentional defacement of Caligula’s portraits constituted an effective way of visually and physically dishonoring his memory and, concomitantly, expressing loyalty to the new emperor, Claudius. Nevertheless, actual mutilation of Caligula’s images is extremely rare. An under life-sized cuirassed bronze bust in a Swiss private collection, a replica of the main type, received violent blows to the surface of the face from a square hammer and the eyes have been gouged out (cat. 1.3. figs. 2a-b).22 The violent elimination of the eyes is the first surving instance of an attack on the sensory organs

sequences. It has been suggested that Curtius, the Alexander historian is Q. Curtius Rufus (cos. A.D. 43) and that his negative assessment of Alexander and his achievements is, in fact, a reflection on Caligula, see A. Stewart (1993) 17. 16 A.E. Wardman (1967) notes that unlike Plutarch, Suetonius does not explicitly refer to visual representations of the emperor, such as portraits, in his written physical descriptions, 419. This may be because Suetonius is very well aware that his written descriptions do not correspond with the visual representations of the emperors. 17 Catalogued by D. Boschung (1989) 18 D. Boschung (1988) 31-70. 19 Sometimes referred to as the Schloss Fasanerie type, after a well preserved replica, fig. 30. 20 Sometimes referred to as the New Haven type after the well-preserved replica in the Yale University Art Gallery, see D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127. Although Boschung

only recognizes three marble replicas of this type (New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, 1987.70.1; Naples, Antiquario Flegreo, no. 68; Fossobrone, Museo), three additional marble portraits, classified as the main type by Boschung, should actually be reassigned to the Nebentypus on the basis of the coiffures which are parted at the far left of the forehead (Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 637a inv. 2687; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14.37, and Worcester, Art Museum, 1914.23). 21 R. Grossman is the first scholar to have explored the typological implictions of the geographical distribution of Caligula’s surviving portraits in a senior essay at Yale University (2001) written under the supervision of D.E.E. Kleiner. 22 H. .097 m.; H. Jucker (1973) 20; H. Jucker (1982) 112; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 49-50, 54-57, 91, 92, 100, 115, no. 30, pls. 27.1-4, 45.1 (with previous literature); A. Barrett (1989)178, n. 30; J. Pollini (1993) 425, and n. 14; E.R. Varner (2001b) 47.


chapter two have the initial C obliterated.28 Chisels, hammers, and files were all used to mutilate the Caligulan coins.29 The obliteration of Caligula’s praenomen on coins must be related to one of the earliest legal sanctions which would have been included in a damnatio memoriae, namely the prohibition against a family’s continued use of the condemned individual’s praenomen. Coins were expressive and tangible monuments of Caligula’s policies and propaganda; their random destruction and mutilation effectively denigrated his memory and could be carried out by private persons or soldiers not necessarily acting with a mandate from the Senate or princeps. Although Caligulan coins appear to have remained in circulation, they were closely connected in the popular consciousness with the disgraced reputation of the overthrown princeps and the bronze issues were considered worthless.30 Caligula’s coins also suffered official forms of defacement. On a series of Caligula’s Vesta aes coinage, the countermark TICA (Tiberius Claudius Augustus) has been used to obliterate the inscription C CAESAR. In some instances, countermarks obliterate and cancel the emperor’s facial features.31 A. Barrett has proposed that these countermarked coins were used to pay the soldiers stationed on the Rhine and that the countermarks acted as assertions of Claudius’s new and legitimate authority.32 If Barrett is correct, it signals that the army is an important audience for the mutilation and destruction of

in imperial portraits and the practice would become common in deliberately disfigured images. In addition, H. Jucker has plausibly suggested that a marble fragment in Aquileia comprising a chin and mouth is derived from an over life-sized portrait of Caligula which was broken apart with a hammer following the emperor’s death (cat. 1.1; fig. 3).23 Similarly, the upper section of a colossal head with corona civica from Saguntum in Spain may be derived from a vandalized representation of Caligula (cat. 1.2).24 This head was discovered in the forum and provides evidence for the destruction of Caligula’s public images in the western provinces. Evidence for the mutilation of Caligula’s likenesses is limited to these three portraits and suggests that such mutilation resulted from spontaneous demonstrations against his memory, as opposed to officially sponsored sanctions. Cassius Dio records such spontaneous demonstrations occurring in the chaos which erupted immediately after Caligula’s assassination when some of the emperor’s statues were overthrown and dragged from their pedestals (•<*D4V<JgH Jg "ÛJ@Ø 6"Â gÆ6`<gH ¦FbD@<J@).25 In addition, the majority of Caligula’s portraits in gold, silver, or bronze would have been melted down for their metal content, effectively combining destruction with reuse. Certain Caligulan coins have also been deliberately defaced, often with the C for Gaius being hacked out.26 Caligula’s portrait features have been intentionally mutilated in aes coinage from lower Germany,27 while, according to H. Jucker, approximately 9.5% of certain Caligulan types

23 Aquilea, Museo Archeologico, inv. 128; h. .012 m.; H. Jucker (1982) 111, pl. 15.1-2; D. Boschung (1989) 120, no. 49, pl. 39.5-6 (with previous literature); E.R. Varner (2001) 48. 24 Museo Arqueológico. 25 59.30.1a. A. Barrett sees this as a “limited and spontaneous” action on the part of the conspirators, probably taking place on the Palatine (1989) 178, n. 28. 26 E. Jonas (1936-38) 89-91; H. Hinz, W. Hagen, and D. Haupt (1966) 580 for an as from 37/38 minted at Rome with most of Caligula’s name removed; Jucker (1982) 1148; A. Barrett (1989)180, n. 45. 27 H. Chantraine (1968) 22; K. Coleman (1988) 230.

RIC 23/25 (adlocutio), RIC 26 (Caligula’s three sisters), RIC 27/29 (corona civica), RIC 35/37 (consecratio of the Temple of Augustus), and RIC 42 (Agrippina Maior’s carpentum). H. Jucker (1982) 117. Based on Jucker’s individual breakdown of the types with 410 total coins vs. 39 damaged coins. 29H. Jucker (1982) 117. 30 plus minus asse Gaiano, Stat. Silv. 4.9.22; K. Coleman (1988) 230. A. Bay has even suggested that the aes coinage which was technically issued by the Senate and prominently displayed SC on the reverses was particularly targeted because the Senate did not want to be associated in any way with Caligula’s memory, (1972) 122. 31 New York, American Numismatic Society, inv. 1953.171.1082; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 108-109, cat. 11. 32 A. Barrett (1989)179, n. 42, (with previous literature on the coins).


caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla monuments from the outset of imperial damnationes. In a more sweeping condemnation of Caligula’s memory, the Senate also ordered in A.D. 43 that his bronze coins be recalled and melted down.33 This act seems to have been limited to the mint at Rome, but the two years which intervened between Caligula’s death in 41 and the passing of the Senate’s decree in 43 highlight the lingering hatred that the senatorial aristocracy still bore towards the memory of Caligula.34 Furthermore, it indicates that there was, in fact, an official aspect to his condemnation, although not enacted immediately after his death. The dearth of small bronze coinage in the provinces may also be attributed to an effective numismatic damnatio.35 On the other hand, local mints in Gaul seem to have continued to mint aes coinage with Caligula’s portrait perhaps as late as A.D. 43, a significant example of the widely varying responses to, and even acceptance of, Caligula’s condemnation on the part of local municipalities.36 In general, however, the scarcity of Caligulan coins in hoards, of both base and precious metals, indicates some kind of official de-monetization.37


The Transformation of Caligula’s Images Caligula/Claudius The great number of recut images of Caligula confirms that reworking, rather than intentional mutilation, was the preferred approach to the emperor’s sculpted likenesses once they had been removed from public display. Indeed, well over half of Caligula’s marble portraits have been altered into other likenesses. Reuse was economically, as well as ideologically motivated. In adDio 60.22.3. A. Barrett (1989)178. 35 RPC 698-99; A. Savio (1988)13. 36 A. Barrett (1989) 178. 37 A. Barrett (1989)179 with a list of coin hoards and the number of Caligulan issues versus those of other reigns. Caligula’s numismatic damnatio has been investigated by C. Clay: “Claudius and the Coinage of Caligula: Numismatic Damnatio Memoriae Under the Roman Empire,” (talk presented at “The Science of Numismatics” Chicago, 27 March 1996).
34 33

dition to preserving a costly piece of marble, recutting was a way of visually cannibalizing images of the overthrown Caligula and physically displacing them with representations of his successor Claudius, or his revered predecessor, Augustus. Refashioned likenesses of Caligula provide the first large body of evidence for the recarving of imperial portraits. This practice would become the standard approach to images of the other two emperors condemned later in the first century, Nero and Domitian. Indisputably, the unofficial damnatio of Caligula supplied the impetus for the development of techniques of recarving. In addition to the technical ramifications for sculptural production and modification, the recutting of Caligula’s portraits also significantly influenced the style and iconography of Claudius’s public representations. Indeed, recut images stand as prominent visual markers for periods of political transition in the first century. A majority of Caligula’s recut portraits have been refashioned into likenesses of Claudius. Reworking marble portraits of the youthful Caligula into convincing representations of his middle-aged uncle, Claudius posed numerous challenges to sculptors. Obviously, the chief obstacle was the greatly reduced volume of marble available from which to create the new portrait. In addition, the increasing friability of marble as it ages mandated that the sculptors responsible for recutting heads had to take special care when handling protruding elements like noses and ears. The representations of Claudius reworked from images of Caligula can be divided into two categories: classicizing likenesses which retain youthful elements of Caligula’s portraits, and veristic likenesses which emphasize Claudius’s more mature physiognomy. Claudius’s own sculpted portraits divide into two types on the basis of their coiffures.38 In the most widely disseminated type (main type/haupt38 Interpretations of Claudius’s portrait typology include D. Salzmann (1976) 252-64; K. Fittschen (1977a) 55-58, no. 17; H. Jucker (1981a)254-84; Fittschen-Zanker I, 1617; H.-M. von Kaenel (1986); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 12935; C.B. Rose (1997) 70-71, no. 23.


chapter two with the left ear now appearing considerably higher than the right. In refashioning this portrait, the sculptor has focused on creating definitive signs of Claudius’s age as opposed to faithfully rendering the new princeps’ hairstyle. Vertical and horizontal furrows on the forehead, bags beneath the eyes, sunken cheeks, strong naso-labial lines, and a fleshy underchin help to make the recut portrait a realistic and recognizable likeness of the middleaged Claudius, who was almost 51 at the time of his accession. The unflattering realism of the head is entirely the result of recarving. The sculptor has attempted to eliminate any lingering traces of Caligula’s facial features in an effort to strongly differentiate the new portrait of Claudius from the original. Indeed, the classicizing elements of the Caligulan likeness have been entirely subsumed in the Claudian image’s emphasis on verism. The accentuated signs of aging in this portrait effectively distinguish the new likeness of Claudius from the youthful visage of his overthrown predecessor, and express visually Claudius’s political and ideological distance from the unsuccessful regime of Caligula. A second reworked representation of Claudius in Woburn Abbey is also noteworthy for its exaggerated signs of aging and its physical anomalies are similar to those of the Conservatori likeness (cat. no. 1.34; fig. 5). The top of the skull and forehead, which slopes sharply, are abnormally large. The face itself is unnaturally flat and does not project adequately from the mass of the skull. The mouth is asymmetrical, with the left side being noticeably longer and lower than the right. Much of Caligula’s main type hairstyle remains, including the central part over the forehead. Nevertheless, the artist has entirely refashioned the physiognomy, adding conspicuous furrows in the forehead, vertical creases above the nose, deep naso-labial lines, sunken cheeks, and fleshy underchin. Again, these emphatic signs of aging eradicate all trace of Caligula’s youthful physiognomy and create an image of the new middleaged princeps which is visually distinct from those of his overthrown and condemned predecessor. Thus, two of the most realistic images of Claudius, which revive many of the features of veris-

typus) created during his principate, Claudius’s generally veristic, middle-aged portrait features are combined with a hairstyle which is parted near the inner corner of the left eye. Locks at the edges of the forehead are often combed back towards the part, creating the pincer-like motif which is characteristic of this coiffure. An apparently earlier type (the so-called Kassel type), perhaps created during the reign of Caligula, or at the outset of Claudius’s own reign has a coiffure which is usually parted at the right of the forehead, combined with more youthful facial features.39 Significantly, Claudius’s single most veristic likeness, a replica of his main type, is a recarved portrait of Caligula in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (cat. no. 1.31; fig. 4a-d).40 Numerous details signal the reworking of this image, including the overly long neck, the receding chin which has been carved back from the frontal plane of the face, and, most tellingly, the remnants of Caligula’s main type coiffure. The top and upper left side of the head have been roughly worked with a flat chisel in an attempt to remove traces of the original Caligulan coiffure, but Caligula’s pattern of locks remains visible at the right side and rear of the head. Additionally, the locks over the forehead, although slightly cut back, substantially retain Caligula’s original arrangement, with the part occurring over the inner corner of the left eye. The long Caligulan hair on the nape of the neck has also been shortened. Modifications to the coiffure have caused the occiput to be overly large when seen in profile. The ears have been recut to reduce their mass,

39 The youthful facial features also occur on early numismatic representations. C.B. Rose has proposed a third, posthumous type. According to Rose, this type is characterized by more emphatic signs of aging and a triangular facial structure, reminiscent of Nero’s type 2. He also suggests that the corona civica is a standard attribute of this type. However, the coiffure of this type is identical to the main type, and it should more plausibly be considered a posthumous redaction of the main type, (1997) 71. Posthumous images of Augustus were also created which added more emphatic signs of aging to the three types created during his lifetime, see infra. 40 Formerly Braccio Nuovo, inv. 2443 (Centrale Montemartini 2.74).

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla tic portraits created in the late republican period, are a direct result of Caligula’s damnatio. The political implications of such a revival are clear. Claudius cannot have been unaware that the Senate had considered abolishing the memory of all the Julio-Claudians and reestablishing the Republic after Caligula’s murder. Those images of Claudius which reference the topographical realism of late republican portraiture must have been designed to appeal to just those citizens who had republican sympathies. The verism of certain representations of Claudius, which clearly differentiated him from his Julio-Claudian predecessors prefigures the revival of verism often noted in portraits of Vespasian, and indeed was similarly motivated. Although they do not attain the enhanced effects of verism present in the Braccio Nuovo and Woburn Abbey portraits, additional reworked examples emphasize similar indications of aging in Claudius’s physiognomy: Berlin (cat. no. 1.18),41 Fano (cat. 1.19, fig. 6a-c)42 and Hannover (cat. 1.21, fig. 7a-b).43 All of the portraits are from Italy. The Fano likeness is a colossal statue which portrays the emperor with hip mantle in the guise of Jupiter. Although the head is worked for insertion, it appears to belong with the body and the statue provides important evidence for the reuse of Caligula’s full-length images. Furthermore, it confirms that divine representations were created for Caligula during his principate and that there was no hesitation in reusing these images as representations of Claudius.44 Indeed, Caligula is the first living emperor to be depicted as Jupiter in free standing sculpture, and he appears to have introduced what would become the widespread practice of depicting the reigning princeps in divine guise.45 The bust in Berlin has been cut down from a fulllength statue, which also portrayed the emperor


in an heroic or divine fashion with a nude torso.46 In addition to the recarved marble portraits which accentuate realistic elements of Claudius’s middle-aged appearance, a chalcedony cameo portrait in Vienna has been reworked with similar results (cat. 1.33, fig. 8a-b).47 The Vienna cameo is rare example of a reconfigured gem portrait. Indeed, only a very few of cameos or intaglios appear to have been altered as a result of condemnations. Caligula was initially represented, capite velato, wearing a variation of his main type hairstyle which is retained in the large middle row of locks over Claudius’s forehead.48 A corona civica now encircles Claudius’s head, but the veil of the Caligulan portrait from which the corona has been carved is clearly visible at the top of the cameo. The artist who recarved this gem has reduced the size of the forehead by adding a second smaller row of locks beneath those of the original Caligulan portrait. Claudius’s age is indicated through the addition of furrows in the forehead, sunken cheeks, and very strong naso-labial lines. Like the Conservatori, Woburn Abbey, Berlin, Fano, and Hannover portraits, the Vienna chalcedony emphasizes recognizable traits of Claudius’s aged physiognomy rather than an orthodox Claudian hairstyle. The recarving of individual locks of Claudius’s coiffure may have proved impossible to carry out on the small, delicate surfaces of the cameo, so the artist has opted for a practical and workable alternative. By no means, however, are all or even a majority of Claudius’s portraits veristic. Indeed, many of his images were created in the classicizing and idealizing style established by Augustus. As with the veristic portraits, arguably the most idealizing representation of Claudius has been reworked from a preexisting likeness of Caligula. This portrait, a colossal head in the Sala
46 For the cutting down of the statue see D. Boschung (1989) 113 and H. Jucker (1981a)258-60. 47 Kunsthistorisches Museum 18, inv. IX A 23; h. 14.5 cm.; D. Boschung (1989) 51-2, 90, 116, no. 36, sketch 29, pl. 30.4 (with previous literature); J.J. Herrmann, jr. (1991) 45. 48 D. Boschung (1988) 116.

Staatliche Museen, Antiken-Abteilung, inv. 1965.10. Museo Civico. 43 Inv. 1978.15. 44 A statue in Zadar reworked to Augustus provides additional confirmation for such divine or semi-divine depictions of Caligula, see cat. 1.15. 45 C.B. Rose (1997) 74-5.



chapter two ments of a seated figure, “di bello stile,” are noted in early accounts of the excavations.53 The original portrait statue of Caligula, together with a representation of Drusilla as Venus Genetirx,54 were added to a cycle of Julio-Claudian statuary, likely commissioned early in the reign of Tiberius, which included an heroic statue of Augustus as Diomedes;55 a togate statue of Gaius Ceasar;56 a togate statue of a young Julio-Claudian prince with bulla, perhaps Nero Caesar the son of Germanicus and brother of Caligula;57 and a statue of Livia.58 The colossal scale of the Caligula indicates that it was intended as the focal point of this dynastic group, whose other statues are essentially life-sized, or slightly over. Inscriptional evidence, as well as the architectural plan of the edifice at Otricoli, indicate that the “basilica” was likely associated with the worship of both Fortuna Augusta and the Gens Augusta.59 Thus, the specificity of the Sala Rotonda portrait to its ancient site, its importance as the centerpiece of the statuary cycle, and its association with the imperial cult, in conjunction with its colossal size, dictated the image’s reconfiguration, rather than removal or disfigurement.60 The important Julio-Claudian statuary group discovered in 1966 at the Collegium of the Augustales of Rusellae also included an image of Claudius transformed from Caligula which presents
53 G. Dareggi (1982) 23, n. 195. H. Jucker (1981a) 267 posits that the portrait may have belonged to an acrolithic statue. 54 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Gabinetto delle Maschere, no. 429, inv. 816; G. Dareggi (1982) 21-22, figs. 32-33 (with previous literature); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 93. 55 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala a Croce Greca, n. 565, inv. 181; G. Dareggi (1982) 12-14, no. 1, fig. 19-20 (with previous bibliography); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 88. 56 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala a Croce Greca, no. 597; inv. 199; G. Dareggi (1982) 14-16, no. 2, figs. 21-4 (with previous literature); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 90. 57 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Galleria dei Candelabri 4.93, inv. 2622; G. Dareggi (1982) 16-18, no. 3, figs. 25-29 (with previous literature); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 91. 58 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala dei Busti, 352, inv. 637; G. Dareggi (1982) 18-21, no. 4, figs. 30-31 (with previous literature); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 89. 59 G. Dareggi (1992) 12, 26. 60 In addition, the large scale of the head provides an optimum amount of marble for recutting.

Rotonda of the Vatican clearly preserves the strong classicism and monumentality of the original likeness of Caligula (cat. 1.X, fig. 9a-b).49 The head is worked for insertion and portrays the princeps wearing the corona civica. The portrait contains numerous signs of recarving. The size of the face is significantly smaller than the great mass of the hair and corona. Although most of the back of the head is a restoration, when seen in profile, the face bears no coherent relationship to the large size of the head. Furthermore, the neck is too massive for the proportions of the face. Most importantly, the hairstyle of Caligula’s main type, with central part, is still discernable in the upper row of curls above the added locks of Claudius’s earlier Kassel type which now frame the forehead. Claudius’s forehead is generally lower and broader than that of Caligula and the artist responsible for the recarving of this portrait has attempted to reduce the height of the forehead by adding the lower row of Claudian locks. The additive technique is the same as that employed in the refashioning of the Vienna cameo.50 The recarving process has also rendered the features of the face decidedly asymmetrical, which are even more exaggerated in the Sala Rotonda head because of its colossal format.51 While refashioning the image of Caligula, the artist also added new physiognomic elements, consisting of superficial signs of aging in the slightly sunken cheeks and the lines around the mouth. However, the smooth forehead, sharply delineated brows, aquiline nose with somewhat bulbous tip, essentially unlined face, narrow chin, and overall air of classicizing youthfulness are derived directly from the portraiture of Caligula. The Sala Rotonda portrait was found in 1779 during the papal excavations of the basilica at Otricoli where it occupied the central apse.52 The image was designed as a seated statue, probably depicting the emperor in the guise of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus, and indeed, fragNo. 551, inv. 242. Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. IX a 23, cat. 1.33. 51 As, for instance, the colossal portrait of Maxentius recarved to Constantine in the Cortile of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, cat.9.4. 52 H. Jucker (1981a) 270; D.Boschung (1988) 113.
50 49

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla compelling parallels to the Sala Rotonda head (Cat 1.20, fig. 10).61 Inscriptional evidence suggests that this group may have been initiated during the reign of Augustus with substantial numbers of portraits added under Caligula and Claudius, and perhaps a single image of Divus Claudius added by Nero. The Caligulan additions encompassed likenesses of his father and mother, Germanicus and Agrippina Maior, his brothers Nero Caesar and Drusus Caesar, his sisters Drusilla (probably as Diva) and Julia Livilla, and his grandmother, Antonia Minor.62 One of the two preserved representations of Claudius, with corona civica., contains clear indications that it has been transformed from a pre-existing image of Caligula.63 Caligula’s main type coiffure, substantial traces of which remain behind the left ear and on the right side of the neck, has been modified into a version of Claudius’s principal type. Slight signs of aging have been added to the portrait, including lightly carved horizontal furrows in the forehead and naso labial lines. Although not as youthful as the Sala Rotonda head, the portrait has maintained much of the classicizing style of the original likeness. Another reworked head of Claudius in the Vatican preserves the youthful and classicizing air of the original portrait of Caligula (cat. 1.29; figs. 11a-b).64 The ends of the locks over the forehead have all been cut back, creating an unnatural straight line. Nevertheless, Caligula’s coiffure is still visible in this area. The recarving of the face has imbued the image with some indications of aging appropriate for Claudius. The eyes have been recut to make them slightly sunken, and pouches of flesh have been added beneath them. The temples have been more deeply sculpted in order to accentuate their hollow quality, while the cheeks have been made to sag slightly. The chin has been cut back and reduced in size in order to add a fleshy un61 Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma, inv. 97765. 62 C.B. Rose (1997) 116. 63 H. Jucker (1981a) 266, n. 91; U. Baldini, M. Cristofani, G. Maetzke (1983) fig. 126; R. Amedick (1987) 5051; C.B. Rose (1997) 117-8, ns. 8, 15. 64 Magazzini, Inv. 151


derchin, clearly visible in profile views. This recutting of the chin has caused it to recede from the frontal plane of the face, a hallmark of recarved portraits. The reduction of the sculptural volume in the head has also caused the ears, which have not been recut, to be overly large, as well as noticeably low on the head. The signs of aging in the Vatican Magazzini head, however, are superficial, and like the colossal portrait from Otricoli, an idealized and youthful image of Claudius is the end result, with crisply delineated details and smoothly modeled surfaces. The more youthful features of the Sala Rotonda and Magazzini heads would have been consonant with the idealized portraits of Claudius’s earliest numismatic representations. The importance of imperial hairstyles as easily recognizable and epistemological emblems of identity is underscored by the recut portraits which are endowed with recognizable Claudian coiffures rather than strongly individualized portrait features. A head of Claudius inserted into a statue representing the emperor in the traveling costume of a Roman general, with long paludamentum and tunic, now in Aquileia is also remarkable for the classicizing and youthful elements still present in the likeness (cat. 1.17; fig. 12).65 The coiffure has been entirely recut, and the original locks on the top and back of the head have been chiseled out and not replaced. The arrangement of hair over the forehead is an imprecise rendition of Claudius’s main type. Light horizontal furrows have been added to the forehead, pouches have been carved beneath the eyes, and naso-labial lines indicated. Nevertheless, the crisp delineation of the upper and lower eye-lids, the handling of the mouth, and the smooth surfaces of the flesh, all remnants of the original portrait of Caligula, endow the likeness with a decidedly idealized appearance. The head is of white Luna marble, while the body is thought to be of Greek marble. If the original Caligulan portrait belonged to this body, the statue would provide important evidence for the production of militaristic images of Caligula.

Aquileia, Museo Archeologico, inv. 108.


chapter two dle age, but they are the only signs of aging present in the image and contrast with the smoothly modeled surfaces of the flesh. Likewise, the Istanbul portrait contains only minimal indications of aging. A second reworked likeness in Istanbul retains many of the characteristics of the original representation of Caligula (cat. 1.23).72 This togate statue exhibits the central part of Caligula’s main type coiffure. The hair at the back of the neck has been shortened and the lower sections of the face substantially recut with the result that the chin recedes noticeably and the head appears unnaturally wide in profile. Nevertheless, the reworking is rather perfunctory and the resulting image of Claudius is fairly generic. Caligula/Augustus Recutting images of Caligula into youthful and classicizing representations of Rome’s first emperor Augustus did not present the same technical difficulties as those inherent in reworking portraits to Claudius. This fact, coupled with the continued popularity and importance of Augustus as divus accounts for the great number of Caligulan portraits which have been altered into likenesses of Augustus. And in fact, thirteen of these portraits have survived.73 While the recut coiffures are primarily of Augustus’s most common Prima Porta type, one example of the later Forbes type is also represented.74 In most of the portraits, the size of the
Archaeological Museum, inv. 4648. D. Boschung (1993a) only recognizes six portraits of Augustus which are recut from images of Caligula (1993a) 79-80, an additional seven exhibit clear indications that they also have been reworked from likenesses of Caligula, see cat. 1.4-15. 74 Copenhagen 611, inv. 746. D. Boschung has proposed a new portrait typology for Augustus which recognizes five types: 1) Typus Béziers-Spoleto, 2) Typus Lucus Feroniae 3.) Typus Alcuida (essentially the type earlier identified as the Actium or Octavian type, 4) Typus Louvre MA 1280 (essentially the type earlier identified as the Forbes type, and 5) Typus Prima Porta, (1993) 11-50. The portraits which Boschung identifies as replicas of the BeziersSpoleto and Lucus Feroniae types, should be considered variants of his Alcuida type (the old Actium-Octavian type). R.R.R. Smith elucidates the problems inherent in Bos73 72

A portrait of Claudius as Jupiter from the theater at Vaison has also been recut from an image of Caligula’s main type and retains much of the youthful and idealizing aspects of the original likeness (cat. 1.32).66 The statue is a standing Jupiter type with hip mantel and it provides further important evidence for the dissemination of images of Caligula in the guise of Jupiter with corona civica. The Vaison statue is carved from a single block of marble, and its recutting has caused the corona to be much to large in proportion to the head, while the head itself is also too small in relation to the body. Claudius is represented with his earlier coiffure and youthful physiognomy, suggesting that the image was reworked shortly after his accession. Numerous other representations of Claudius which have been refashioned from images of Caligula retain strong elements of youthful idealization from the original likeness. Among these are portraits in the Louvre (cat. 1.26),67 Mantua (cat. 1.24; fig. 13),68 Naples (cat. 1.25; fig. 14),69 Perugia (cat. 1.28; fig. 15a-d),70 and Istanbul (cat. 1.22; fig. 16a-b).71 In the Louvre portrait, remnants of Caligula’s locks are clearly visible beneath the Claudian coiffure over the forehead. Shallow naso-labial lines, light furrows in the forehead, and the suggestion of pouches beneath the eyes added to the likeness give only the faintest impression of middle age, and the recut image maintains the classicism of the original representation of Caligula. Similarly, cursory signs of aging have been added to the Mantua likeness. The coiffure of the Naples portrait has also been recut, and the Caligulan locks on the top and back of the head have been removed with a flat chisel and not replaced. Despite the fact that superficial signs of aging have been added to the head, including pouches beneath the eyes and naso-labial lines, the resulting likeness is youthful. Emphatic naso-labial lines in the Perugia portrait are intended to convey Claudius’s mid66 67 68 69 70 71

Musée Municipal, inv. 128 B. MA 1219. Palazzo Ducale. Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 150-215. Perugia, Museum. Archaeological Museum, inv. 87.

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla head is generally reduced to give the face a thinner, more Augustan configuration, the chin made more square, and the mouth recarved in order to de-emphasize the receding lower lip which was a recognizably Caligulan trait.75 One of these recarved likenesses, currently in the Centrale Montemartini was discovered in 1937 near the Theater of Marcellus (cat 1.11; fig. 17a-b).76 Possibly of Parian marble, the head is worked for insertion and is a replica of Augustus’s Prima-Porta type. The coiffure over the forehead has been extensively recarved, but the position of the part over the inner corner of left eye is retained from Caligula’s main type. The locks themselves have been deeply undercut and the forehead slopes back at an unnatural angle. The back of the neck is very flat where Caligula’s longer locks have been removed. The top of the head was separately worked and no longer survives. Although it is possible that the original portrait of Caligula was pieced together, it is more likely that the marble addition was part of the sculptural transformation of the likeness. A second likeness of Augustus from Rome, in the Museo Capitolino, has been similarly reworked (cat. 1.10).77 This Prima-Porta type portrait includes a corona civica. Again, the position of the part over the inner corner of the left eye is a remnant of Caligula’s main type coiffure. The locks over the forehead themselves have been recut, making them unusually shallow and short. The facial features have also been reworked, and some signs of aging added, including pronounced naso-labial lines and the suggestion of a double chin. Such signs of aging occur in posthumous images of Augustus and may have been added here to firmly disassociate the reconfigured imchung’s expanded typology, (1996) 30-47. 75 The receding lower lip is also a feature of Livia’s portrait, and it is present in the portraits of her descendants including Tiberius, Drusus, Germanicus, and especially in Caligula’s sister, Agrippina Minor, and her son Nero. On the receding lower lip in Agrippina’s portraits and the orthodontic condition which may underlie it, see S. Wood (1995) 466-67. 76 Sala degli Orti Mecenaziani 7, inv. 2394 (Centrale Montemartini 1.61). 77 Scala 7, inv. 230.


age from the original youthful representation of the condemned Caligula.78 The Capitoline and Montemartini portraits exemplify the recarving of Caligula’s likenesses into images of Augustus at the capital and its surroundings. Also from the environs of Rome is colossal head of Augustus discovered at Caere which has been refashioned in much the same way as the Capitoline and Conservatori images (cat. 1.12; fig. 18a-b).79 The head, which is worked for insertion, has been reduced in volume and is too small in proportion to its long, thick neck. The locks over the forehead have been completely recarved into Augustus’s Prima Porta arrangement, although they are not entirely smooth and traces of the chisel are still very evident. The brows have been allowed to remain from the original portrait of Caligula, while the forehead has been cut back in order to make it commensurate with the reworked coiffure, occasioning very noticeable bulges over the eyes. The Caere head was part of seated image depicting the emperor in the guise of Jupiter, fragments of which were also found in the excavations.80 The original image of Caligula formed part of a cycle of Julio-Claudian portraits decorating Caere’s theater and it would have been similar to the seated statues of Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius, all also in the guise of Jupiter, from the same cycle.81 Furthermore, its re-

78 See especially an altar with relief portrait dedicated to Divus Augustus from Palestrina (Palestrina, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, inv. 23555; D. Boschung (1993a) 138, no. 63, pls. 67.1-3, 221.3; N. Agnoli (2002) 243-9, no.III.9, figs. 9a-f. 79 Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9953. 80 Including a hand, part of an arm, and possibly a knee; see M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani, and P. Santoro eds. (1989) 97, no. 17, and n.1 81 Augustus (Louvre MA 1246; P. Liverani in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. [1989] 137-43; C.B. Rose [1997] 83-6, cat. 5); Tiberius (Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano inv. 9961; M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. [1989] 58-60, no. 2; C.B. Rose [1997] 83-6, cat. 5, pls. 71-2); Claudius (Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9950; M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. [1989] 61-64, no. 3; C.B. Rose [1997] 83-6, cat. 5, pls. 73-74). The torso on which the head of Claudius is now displayed probably


chapter two Details of physiognomy and coiffure present in a head of Augustus in the J. Paul Getty Museum betray its origins as a likeness of Caligula (cat. 1.8; fig. 19a-d).85 The portrait is worked for insertion into a togate body and was discovered at Pietrabbondante. Its wide eyes and hollow temples are clear remnants of the earlier image of Caligula. In the recarving of the portrait, the central, signature locks of Augustus’s Prima Porta hairstyle have been emphasized and deeply undercut, carved back into the existing mass of the forehead. The reduction of sculptural volume is especially apparent when the head is viewed in profile. Although Augustan physiognomic details have been included in the portrait, it is the emphatic undercutting of the locks of hair over the forehead which highlights the Prima Porta coiffure and provides the recarved image with a clearly recognizable emblem of its new identity as a portrait of Augustus. A pronounced horizontal furrow in the forehead, as well as the suggestion of naso-labial lines have also been added to the portrait. Although subtle, these signs of ageing do occur in posthumous images of Augustus and in recarved portraits like that in the Museo Capitolino (cat. 1.10). Similarly, a head in Mantua retains elements of Caligula’s coiffure and iconography (cat. 1.9).86 While the locks over the forehead have been reconfigured to reflect Augustus’s Prima Porta coiffure, the arrangement of the hair on the top and back of the head has not been altered from the Caligulan image. A statue of Augustus in Zadar provides additional testimony for the reworking of full-length heroic images of Caligula (cat. 1.15; fig. 20a-d).87 This statue, together with the colossal Caligula/ Claudius in the Sala Rotonda, the statues of Caligula/Claudius in Vaison and Fano, and the colossal Caligula Augustus from Caere, reveal the scope of the heroic and divine images of Caligula created during his reign. Caligula’s strong emphasis on divine imagery may be reflected in Suetonius’s damaging anecdote (likely apocry85 86 87

carving explains how two representations of Augustus came to be part of the cycle.82 The head was discovered with several portrait inscriptions commemorating Augustus, Germanicus (or Drusus Minor), Agrippina Minor, an unidentified emperor, and Caligula’s sister, Drusilla. In Drusilla’s inscription, celebrating her as Diva and sister of the emperor, Caligula’s name has been erased.83 In its original incarnation as a colossal image of Caligula as Jupiter, the Caere portrait was an impressive monument and again attests to his innovations in portrait policy through dissemination of his own likenesses in divine guise. Furthermore, like the colossal Caligula/Claudius in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, it was site specific within the context of the theater complex, a fact which undoubtedly contributed to its reconfiguration, as opposed to wholesale destruction.84
belongs with the head of Augustus in the Louvre; see M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. (1989) 61-4 and P. in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. (1989) 137-43. 82 Louvre MA 1246, cited above; see also, D. Boschung (1993a) 171, no. 152, pls. 88, 223-4 (with earlier literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 86. 83 CIL 11.3598; M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani, and P. Santoro, eds. (1989) 106, no. 22, with fig. (with earlier literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 84. 84 C.B. Rose has suggested that the seated statue of Tiberius from Caere (Museo Gregoriano Profano inv. 9961) has, in fact, been refashioned from an image of Caligula (1997) 85. Rose notes that the head is worked for insertion, which is unusual for nude, or partially nude statue bodies, and that the head and body seem to be of different types of marble. Rose suggests that the original statue was carved from single block of marble, the head of Caligula was removed, a mortis prepared in the body, and a new head of Tiberius inserted. However, this also would be a highly unusual form of reuse, and it would be more likely that the facial features would simply be recut to Tiberius if the statue was originally of one piece of marble. Deliberate damage to the facial features of Rose’s hypothetical statue of Caligula would make the kind of reuse he posits necessary, as may have been the case with the Caligula/ Claudius and the Messalina/Agrippina Minor statues at Velleia (cat.1.27 and 3.4). However, it is important to keep in mind that the evidence for intentionally mutilated images of Caligula is fairly limited. The Caere Caligula/ Augustus was also inserted into a Jupiter statue body, so this kind of piecing may simply be peculiar to the Caere group. If Rose is correct about the Tiberius being reworked, it would further mean that there were two images of Caligula as Jupiter from Caere. Although not improbable, this also seems unlikely.

78.AA.261. Palazzo Ducale, inv. 6615. Museum.

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla phal) that the emperor had planned to remove the heads from famous cult images, including Phidias’s chryselephantine statue of Zeus at Olympia, and have them replaced with his own likeness.88 Significantly, Claudius did not abandon his predecessor’s practice of being depicted with divine or heroic attributes.89 The head of the Zadar statue has been refashioned into a replica of Augustus’s Prima Porta type. The piece is carved from a single block of marble and, as a result, the recut head is too small in proportion to the body. As was also the case with the colossal Caligula/Claudius in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican and the statue from Vaison, the corona civica which the emperor wears is too massive for the face and the forehead is also too broad. The statue was discovered in 1777 during excavations of the Roman Forum at Aenona in Dalmatia and testifies to the reworking of Caligula’s likenesses in the provinces. Seven other images, four female and three male were found with the Caligula/Augustus, including a togate portrait of Tiberius.90 Additional provincial representations of Augustus which have been recut from Caligula include portraits in Condeixa-a-Nova (cat. 1.4),91 Copenhagen (cat. 1.5; fig. 21a-d),92 Cuenca (cat. 1.6),93 Lisbon (cat. 1.7),94 Tomar (cat. 1.13),95 and Tunis (cat. 1.14, fig. 22a-c).96 These portraits cover a broad geographical spectrum: the Condeixa-aNova, Cuenca, and Tomar portraits testify to the reconfiguration of Caligula’s images into repre-


sentations of his great grandfather in Spain and Portugal, while the Copenhagen portrait, which comes from Sardis, attests to the practice in Asia Minor, and the Tunis portrait for North Africa. In addition, the Copenhagen image contains some signs of aging, including light horizontal furrows in the forehead and crows feet at the outer corners of the eyes, like the reconfigured likenesses in the Museo Capitolino and the Getty. The Lisbon portrait also exhibits indications of aging in its partially sunken cheeks and slight naso-labial lines. The Tunis likeness has also been reconfigured with superficial signs of aging such as the horizontal furrow in the forehead and suggestion of sunken cheeks. The Condeixa-aNova head belonged to a togate statue displayed in the Forum, whose base was discovered with it and may have represented the emperor capite velato. The Cuenca portrait was apparently also publicly displayed in the Roman Theater at Segobriga, where it was excavated. Caligula/Tiberius Only one of Caligula’s images, in Frankfurt97 appears to have been altered retrospectively into a representation of Tiberius (cat. 1.16). In the Frankfurt portrait the locks over the forehead have been entirely recut, but the remnants of Caligula’s longer locks parted over the inner corner of the left eye are still clearly visible. Although the facial features themselves have been slightly altered, the new image of Tiberius is remarkably youthful and generic. The portrait is veiled and originally commemorated Caligula’s role as pontifex maximus. Undoubtedly Tiberius’s own posthumous unpopularity accounts for the fact that this is the only one of Caligula’s portraits to be refashioned into a likeness of his uncle and predecessor. Caligula/Titus Two portraits of Caligula which were not recarved until the Flavian period provide impor97

Calig. 22.2. Divine or heroic images of Claudius created during his reign include the statue of Claudius as Jupiter from Lanuvium (Musei Vaticani, Sala Rotonda, no. 550, inv. 243, the bronze nude statue from Herculaneum (Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico) and the Claudius as Jupiter from the Metroon at Olympia (Archaeological Museum 7 125). 90 The whereabouts of the four female statues are no longer known, C.B. Rose (1997) 135. 91 Museo Monográfico de Conimbriga, inv. 67.388. 92 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 611, inv. 746. 93 Museo Arquelógico Provincial el Almudi. 94 Museu Nacional de Arquelogia e Etnologia, inv. 21520 A.. 95 Convento de Cristo. 96 Musée du Bardo, C 72.


Frankfurt, Liebieghaus.


chapter two ioned, as evidenced by chiseled surfaces directly below the corona civica. The eyes and facial features have also been completely refashioned. A beard has been carved into the face, an example of negative modeling. The reduction of the volume of the face has caused the corona to be too large in proportion to the rest of the head. Coins of Claudius Gothicus depict him with a fuller coiffure combined with short military beard, as in the White-Levy head. Physiognomic details, like the low, broad forehead, shape of the bridge of the nose, and long thin upper lip combined with full, receding lower lip present in the WhiteLevy portrait also find close parallels in the numismatic portraits of Claudius Gothicus.102 The White-Levy head is another important manifestation of the phenomenon of warehousing images for extended periods, in this case over two centuries, prior to their reconfiguration. Caligula/Deity A head in Algiers formerly depicting Caligula is the only surviving likeness of a condemned emperor which seems clearly to have been transformed into the image of a deity (cat. 1.38).103 The head is colossal in scale and most of Caligula’s coiffure has been removed. Nevertheless, traces of the original hair are still visible on the nape of the neck. The shape of the mouth and broad eyes are also Caligulan. The hair around the face has been drastically worked away and holes drilled into the head for the attachment of a wreath or perhaps radiate crown. The head comes from Iol Caesarea the capital of Mauretania, making it possible that it has been refashioned into a representation of the city’s patron the sun god, Sol.104

tant physical evidence for the warehousing of Caligula’s sculpted images. These portraits, in Arles (cat. 1.35; fig. 23)98 and Athens (cat. 1.36; fig. 24)99 must have been removed from public display and stored in secure locations until they were refashioned into representations of the second Flavian emperor.100 The coiffure of the Arles likeness, with central, part, has been retained from the original image, a replica of Caligula’s main type. The chin has been substantially cut back in order to give the likeness the heavy underchin which is a prominent feature of Titus’s portraiture. The Athens portrait was discovered in Smyrna. The locks over the forehead also reproduce the arrangement of Caligula’s main type, with central part. The idealized, classicizing features of both heads, markedly different from the more individualized likenesses of Titus, are remnants of the original portraits. The disparate find spots of these portraits further attest to the geographical scope of the sculptural transformation of Caligula’s images. Both portraits also provide critical evidence for the warehousing of the images of condemned emperors. They are the first recut likenesses whose reconfigurations were not carried out for over a generation following an emperor’s condemnation. The Athens and Arles portraits were clearly stored, likely in sculptural depots where they were accessible to sculptors for reuse several decades after their removal from public display. Caligula/Claudius Gothicus(?) One image of Caligula, now in the Levy-White collection, was not recarved until the third century, when it was refashioned into a soldier emperor, perhaps Claudius Gothicus (cat. 1.37; fig. 25a-e).101 The portrait has been substantially recut, but traces of Caligula’s main type coiffure are clearly visible behind both ears. The locks over the forehead have been entirely refashMusée Réattu, Cellar Depot. National Museum, Roman Collection, inv. 348. 100 For a full discussion of Titus’s portrait typology, see infra. 101 New York, Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection.
99 98

RIC 211-37, pl. 5.76-82, pl. 6.83-92. Museum. 104 D. Kreikenbom has suggested that a fragmentary and badly weathered Julio-Claudian portrait in Sardis (Depot, NOEX 60.12) may be a private portrait recut from Caligula. The piece is too poorly preserved to secure an identification as Caligula, or to be certain that it has, in fact, been reworked, (1992) 223, no. 4.2.


caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla The Removal of Caligula’s Images Suetonius’s statement that Caligula’s images were removed on Claudius’s behest finds further support in surviving unaltered portraits. Many are well-enough preserved, or have archaeological contexts which confirm that they were removed from public display and warehoused as a consequence of the unofficial condemnation. Indeed, as a group, the unreworked images of Caligula are astonishingly well-preserved and, ironically, have largely escaped use as building material or being burned in medieval lime kilns because of their burial, disposal, or storage in secure locations. The find-spots of two portraits from Cumae,105 as well as North African likenesses in Sabratha106 and Tunis (fig. 26a-b)107 provide archaeological confirmation for the storage of Caligula’s portraits following their removal from public display. One of the heads from Cumae is a replica of Caligula’s main type and was discovered in the “crypta romana”. The nose of the portrait is missing, but there is little other damage. The head was likely detached from its original context, and stored in the crypta following Caligula’s damnatio.108 The other head from Cumae was discovered in 1952 at the south side of the Forum.109 The portrait is worked for insertion into a togate statue and depicts Caligula with a corona civica. The likeness is likely to have been displayed in


the Forum or its environs during Caligula’s principate. After his downfall, the head was removed from its statue and stored in the area of the Forum. The head from Sabratha is colossal in scale and was intended for an acrolithic statue, which formed part of the monumental decoration of the city’s basilica.110 Although the portrait is badly weathered, it preserves most of its features intact, including the nose. The other North African image was discovered behind the socalled Temple of Fortuna Augusta at Mustis (modern El Krib) in the nineteenth century.111 The head is well preserved. The rims of the ears are broken off, as is the forepart of the nose. There are some abrasions on the brows, cheeks, and chin. Ostensibly, the portrait was removed from the statue into which it was inserted, and stored or buried in the vicinity of the temple following Caligula’s overthrow. An over life-sized togate statue, a replica of Caligula’s main type from Rome, and now in Richmond provides additional persuasive evidence for the removal and warehousing of the emperor’s likenesses.112 The portrait is carved from a single block of Luna marble and is reported to have been discovered in the vicinity of the Theater of Marcellus at Rome.113 The head exhibits very little damage: the rims of both ears are chipped, the tip of the nose has broken off, and there are additional chips on the chin. Both forearms are missing, as is the front of the left foot. In fact, major damage is limited to the front of the statue which suggests that the image may
110 The head was discovered during excavations of the basilica. H. Sichtermann AA (1962) 505-6, 510-11; D. Boschung (1989) 108. 111 D. Boschung (1989) 110. 112 Richmond, Virginia Art Museum, accession no. 7120, h. 2.032 m, head, 0.27 m.;.D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 38, 53-55, 61, 89, 109-10, no. 11, sketch 11, pls. 11.14, 42.1-4, 43 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 32, n. 138, 119, no. 106; N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 110, fig. 4.8; The sculpture was on display at the Palazzo Colonna in Rome until the end of the nineteenth century and was purchased by the Virginia Museum in 1971. 113 Although there is a break in the neck, technical analysis has confirmed that the head does in fact belong with the body, see, J. Ternbach (1974) 29.

105 Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 150 226, h. 0.245 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 62, n. 41, 69, 84, 100, 120, no. ?47, pl. 38.1-4 (with earlier literature). Antiquario Flegreo, no. 68, h. 40 cm; D. Boschung (1989) 29, note 19, 58-60, 87, note 193, 90, 117, no. 38, sketch 31, pl. 33.1-4 (with earlier literature). 106 Museum, 650, h. O.72 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, note 15, 35-38, 55, 63, 108, no. 6, sketch 6, pl. 6.1-4; D. Kreikenbom (1992) 195-6, no. 3.57, pl. 13d. 107 Institut National d’Archeologie et d’Art, formerly in Carthage, h. 0.48 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, note 12, 3842, 50, 54-57, 110-11, no. 14, pl. 14.1-4 (with earlier literature). 108 A portrait of Tiberius was also discovered in the “crypta,” and it is possible that the portrait of this unpopular emperor was also removed from display. 109 M.E. Bertoldi (1973) 42; D. Boschung (1989) 117.


chapter two The fine state of preservation of numerous other images of Caligula, suggest that they, too, were removed from public view and warehoused.118 This group of portraits consists of busts in New York119 and Paris;120 heads worked for insertion and now in, Los Angeles (fig. 27),121 Venice,122 and Worcester (fig. 28);123 and heads which have been cut or broken in the area of the neck: in Copenhagen,124 New Haven (fig. 29),125 Paris,126 Schloss Fasanerie (fig. 30),127 and the
118 A portrait from Cártama is so badly weathered that it is impossible to determine whether the extensive damage to the facial features is the result of deliberate mutilation in antiquity, or simply incidental destruction; Malaga, Museo Arqueológico Provincial, inv. 553, h. 0.34 m.; D. Boschung (1988) 29, n. 12, 40-41, 52, 55, 57, 111, no. 17, sketch 16, pl. 16.1-3 (with earlier literature). 119 Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. no. 1914.37, Rogers Fund, h. 0.51 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 28, 29, 46, 60-62, 86, 119, no. ?46, sketch 36, pls. 37.1-4, 47.1; H. Meyer (2000) 91, fig. 180. 120 Musée du Louvre, MA 1234, h. 0.47 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 38-39, 54-56, 72, 87, 100, 110, no. 13, sketch 13, pls. 13.1-4, 46.4 (with previous literature). 121 J. Paul Getty Museum, acc. no. 72 AA 155, h. 0.43. m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, note 12, 38-9, 53-57, 90, 110, no. 12, sketch 12, pl. 12.1-4 (with earlier literature); H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 97, fig. 41; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 96-99, cat. 4. 122 Museo Archeologico, inv. 142, h. 0.42 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 28, 32, 36, 46, 53-56, 61, 63, 108, no. 4, pl. 4.1-4 (with earlier literature); I. Favoretto and G.L. Ravagna, eds. (1997) 208, no. 76. 123 Worcester Museum of Art, acc. no. 1914.23; h. 0.486 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 43-45, 51, 52, 55-57, 60-61, 72, 90, 112, no. 20, sketch 19, pls. 20, 21.1-4 (with earlier literature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 126, fig. 102; H. Meyer (2000) 94, figs. 185-86. Although this portrait has been dated to the Neronian period by Jucker ([1973] 20) its style is perfectly consonant with other Caligulan pieces, especially the Getty and Venice heads. 124 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 637a, Inv. 2687; h. O.31 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 41-, 51, 52-3, 54-, 60, 86, 100, 111-12, no. 18, sketch 17, pls. 17, 18.1-4 (with earlier literature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127, fig. 104; F. Johansen (1994) 1, 136-7, no. 56, (with figs., with previous literature); H. Meyer (2000) 96, fig. 195. 125 Acc. no. 1987.70.1, h. 0.33 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, note 1, 58-60, 116-117, no. 37, sketch 30, pls. 31, 32.13 (with earlier literature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127, fig. 103; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 96-99, cat. 5. 126 MA 1267, h. 0.33 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 28, note 2, 29, note 11, 32-5, 53-55, 61, 63, 107, no. 2, sketch 2, pl. 2.1-4. The head is currently mounted on a seated togate statue to which it does not belong. 127 FAS.ARP 21, h. 0.365 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 11, 32-36, 53-55, 60-61, 63, 108, no. 5, sketch 5, pl. 5.1-

have been violently overturned, just as Cassius Dio reports in his account of the general confusion following Caligula’s murder.114 After it was toppled the portrait must have been removed from public display and stored while awaiting some form of reuse.115 A bust in Trieste was originally part of another togate likeness of Caligula carved from a single block of marble.116 The portrait belongs to the emperor’s main portrait type and appears to have been found in a fragmentary state and cut down to its current form in the modern period.117 The likeness may have been found at Aenona, like the heroic Caligula/Augustus in Zadar reworked to Augustus (cat. 1.15; fig. 20a-d). The brows are chipped, the tip of the nose is missing, the lips are abraded. The chin contains some modern restorations in plaster and there are chips to the surfaces of the face and neck. It is possible that the original statue was toppled, like the Richmond togatus, and this may explain its damaged and fragmentary state. The fragments of the statue may then have been stored for eventual reuse.
59.30a. See also, H. Jucker (1973) 19. In addition to the damage to the front of the statue, there is a deep chisel gouge where the base of the neck and upper chest border the toga along the right side as a result of an attempt in antiquity to separate the neck and head from the body and thus reuse the statue, see H. Jucker (1973) 19. The chips along the edges of the break in the neck, which Jucker identifies as chisel blows, appear much too fresh to be part of any ancient damage to the statue. These chips are also fairly random, and are probably incidental damage, and not caused by chisel or hammer blows. The attempt to reuse the statue may have taken place in a sculptor’s workshop. And indeed, the reported findspot of the piece lies in the Campus Martius, an area of the city in which has yielded much evidence for sculptors’ workshops, A. Claridge (1998) 180. Most important in the context of damnatio memoriae is the site of the discovery of the Cancelleria reliefs, believed by many scholars to be a sculptors’ or marble masons’ workshop. See F. Magi, (1945) 54. In any event, the attempt to reuse the statue was abandoned. Perhaps the damage to the portrait rendered it unsuitable and impracticable for reworking into a portrait suitable for the new emperor, Claudius; and so the entire statue must have been stored to await some other form of reuse. 116 Museo Civico, inv. 2177, h. 0.52 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 25, 37, 54-56, 89, 109, no. 9, sketch 9, pls. 9.14, 46.1. 117 D. Boschung (1989) 109.
115 114

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla Villa Albani,128 as well as a miniature bronze bust depicting the emperor with bare chest and paludamentum, atop a globe in Brooklyn (fig. 31)129 and two miniature bronze heads in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (figs. 32-33).130 The New York bust, a version of Caligula’s secondary type was discovered (together with the head worked for insertion in Worcester [fig. 28]) in an area of imperial holdings at Marino near Lake Albano. The bust is extraordinarily well-preserved, with damage limited to the rim of the left ear. Most of the ancient surfaces are intact. Likewise, the Worcester head (also a replica of the secondary type ) is in a similarly fine state of preservation, with damage essentially limited to the rim of the right ear.131 Claudius would have had no reason to continue to display images of Caligula on the imperial estates. Both portraits may have been removed and stored together, thus ensuring their protection. The Louvre bust, a replica of the main type, is reputedly from Thrace and exhibits the light beard of mourning which Caligula adopted after the death of his sister Drusilla on 6 October 38. Also uncommonly well-preserved, it is likely to have been removed from public view and warehoused in a secure location following Caligula’s assassination.132 Two other heads worked for insertion, now in Los Angeles and Venice, are also singularly well4 (with previous literature). D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127. 128 Portico, no. 54, h. 0.26 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 111, no. 15 (with earlier literature). R. Bol (1990) 148-51, no. 192, pls. 86-89. 129 Brooklyn Museum, Department of Ancient Art, acc. no. 21.479.12, h. 0.142 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 120, no. ?48 (with previous literature); E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 1023, cat. 9, with fig. 130 23.162.23, h. 0.255 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 115, no. 31, pls. 28.1-4, 47.2; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 102-3, no. 7, with figs.; and 25.78.35, h. 0.068 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 114-15, no. 29, pl. 26.5-8; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 102-3, no. 8. 131 D. Boschung sees this portrait as a reflection of the main type ([1988] 43-5) but it should rather be grouped with the secondary type, as the part occurs at the far left of the forehead. 132 There is some damage to the rims of both ears, now repaired in plaster. A section of the back of the head, at the left is missing, and may have been worked separately. The bust is cracked across the upper chest. The drapery which covered the left shoulder is no longer extant, and may have been worked separately.


preserved. As part of the Grimani bequest of 1586, the Venice portrait is likely to be from Rome or its vicinity where, judging from its impressive scale and workmanship, it was an important public commemoration of Caligula.133 The Malibu likeness, said to be from Asia Minor, is worked for insertion into a togate image of the emperor. It, too, is so well preserved that it must have been removed from its statue body and warehoused in safe location.134 The portraits in Copenhagen, New Haven, Paris, and the Schloss Fasanerie are also so wellpreserved that they are likely to have been warehoused or buried following Caligula’s overthrow.135 Formerly part of the Campana Collection, the Paris portrait is said to have come from Rome. The head in the Schloss Fasanarie is also from Italy, and its high artistic quality, as well as that of the Copenhagen portrait, may indicate a metropolitan Roman provenance for both pieces.136 The Copenhagen likeness even preserves the painted pupils, irises, and lashes of the left eye, further underscoring the likelihood of its storage in a protected location following its removal from public display. In contrast, the Yale head which was discovered near the Ponte Milvio in Rome, is covered by extensive root marks, suggesting that it may have been buried at some point after Caligula’s overthrow.137 Although not as well preserved as the preceding images, a
133 The Venice portrait, currently mounted on a modern bust, is well over life-sized. Modern restorations to the head include the rims of the right ear, most of the left ear, the tip of the nose, and the lower lip. The portrait has also been subjected to an extensive modern cleaning. The ancient sculpture in the Grimani collection was largely acquired in Rome where the family had a vigna and a residence on the Quirinal, in the vicinity of the later Palazzo Barberini. Presumably some of the ancient sculpture came from their vigna. On the Grimani and their collection, see I. Favoretto (1990) 84-92. 134 The head has suffered very minor damage, including chipping of the rims of both ears, and abrasions on the tip of the nose and chin. 135 The damage to all three portraits is limited in nature; remarkably, as in so many of the warehoused portraits of Caligula, the noses are intact. 136 Despite the fact that the Copenhagen piece was purchased in Istanbul, it has been recognized as a product of a metropolitan Roman workshop. See C.C. Vermeule (1967) 387, no. 2, and F. Johansen (1987) 97. 137 I would like to thank Dr. Susan B. Matheson, Cu-


chapter two surviving portrait of Claudius is the tallest in the cycle and exhibits many signs that it is a substitution for an earlier head.142 The tenon of the current head of Claudius does not fit closely into the body, leaving a visible gap between neck and chest. A large chunk of marble which is missing from the toga at the area of the back of the neck and the top of the shoulders provides further crucial evidence; chipping in this area has been caused by hammer blows, prompting C. Saletti to conclude that the original portrait was carved all of one piece of marble and that the head was knocked from the statue by blows from the rear.143 This damage is not visible from the front. All of the portraits from Velleia are very flat and summarily worked at the back, confirming that they were not intended to be seen from the rear. Following Caligula’s death, his portrait was attacked, perhaps disfigured, and eventually the head was severed from the body and a mortis was prepared in the chest to receive the new, separately worked likeness of Claudius. In contrast to those portraits whose fine states of preservation indicate that they were stored in secure locations, the archaeological find spots of five images of Caligula suggest that they were disposed of in a much more violent manner. A portrait in Huelva was discovered among the debris of a Roman well in Tharsis.144 The badly corroded surfaces of the head indicate that it has suffered long immersion in the water of the well,

portrait in Fossombrone exhibits no signs that it was intentionally mutilated in antiquity and was also almost certainly removed from public display and perhaps warehoused after Caligula’s overthrow.138 In addition, the miniature bronze bust in Brooklyn may have originally been displayed in a public or domestic shrine from which it certainly would have been removed following the emperor’s assassination. The removal of Caligula’s images is also attested at the Julio-Claudian Basilica at Velleia, where a likeness of Caligula was replaced by one of Claudius (cat. 1.27; fig. 34a-b).139 The transformation presents a nearly identical scenario to that of the group dedication at Rusellae. C. B. Rose has persuasively argued that the Basilica was originally constructed under Caligula, at which time portraits of Augustus, Tiberius, Germanicus, Tiberius Gemellus, Caligula, Drusilla, Agrippina Maior, and Livia were created.140 Drusilla’s statue, apparently posthumous and depicting her with a “Demeter/Kore” body type, is now headless but was accompanied by an inscription proclaiming her status as Diva.141 The
rator of Ancient Art of the Yale University Art Gallery for allowing me access to the file on the Yale Caligula which includes information on its provenance in correspondence from the late Frank Brown, the former owner of the portrait. 138 Museo, h. 0.33 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 38, 58-60, 87, n. 193, 100-101, 117, no. 39, sketch 32, pl. 34.1-4 (with previous literature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127. 139 Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichitá, no. 1, inv. 280 (1870), 834 (1952). 140 C.B. Rose (1997) 122-3. An additional togate portrait, often identified as L. Calpurnius Piso, also seems to be part of this initial phase (Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 835). Rose intriguingly suggests that this portrait may have been recut from a representation of Drusus Caesar, the son of Germanicus, into Nerva (1997) 124 . However, the coiffure of the portrait exhibits none of the principal characteristics of Nerva’s hairstyle in identified original and reworked image. The physiognomy also exhibits no close parallels to extant portraits, and the shape of the face of the Velleia portrait is much more square than most of Nerva’s images. C. Saletti had originally proposed a Tiberian date for the initial phase of the Basilica (decorated by portraits of Augustus, Tiberius [?], Drusus Maior, Drusus Minor, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, and Livia), followed by the addition of three more statues under Caligula (Caligula, his mother, Agrippina Maior, and his sister, Drusilla [1968] 87-90). 141 DIVAE DRUSIL [LAE]/GERMANI [CI]/ CAE-

SARI [S F](ILIAE), C. Saletti (1968) 68; C.B. Rose (1997) 122. 142 C. Saletti (1968) 45-7; H. Jucker (1973) 19, n. 6. 143 C. Saletti (1968) 46. C.B. Rose has proposed that the head itself has in fact been recut from Caligula into Claudius (1997) 122. He bases this on the “proportions of the head and relative placement of the facial features (which) match the portraits of Caligula (while) the bangs, lips, nose and forehead have been recut to conform to the physiognomy of his successor.” However, I can see no overt signs that the head has been recut (there, are, for instance no discernible traces of Caligula’s coiffure) and while the smaller proportions of the head would support Rose’s argument, it seems more likely, given the poor fit of the tenon and mortis and the high join between the sections of veil at the left, that Saletti and Jucker are correct and the head is an ex novo creation for a statue that was originally carved from a single block of marble. 144 Museo Provincial, h. 0.402 m.; D. Boschung (1989)

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla into which it may have been thrown as an act of denigration against the overthrown princeps. Similarly, four miniature images of Caligula are said to have come from the Tiber and they may have been hurled into the river in order to defame Caligula’s memory. The deliberately damaged cuirassed bust, discussed above, is reported to have been discovered in the Tiber, as is also the case with a bronze bust which portrays the emperor with bare chest and paludamentum, (fig. 35)145 The disposal of these busts in the Tiber is a forceful statement of denigration rendered that much more dramatic by the fact that the bronze from which they were fashioned was inherently valuable and it would certainly have been more practical and economical to melt them down. A fourth miniature bust, also with bare chest and paludamentum, but in marble, was found in the Tiber in 1886 during construction of the river’s embankments (fig. 36).146 The small scale of this bust, with little available marble for recarving, may also account for its having been discarded rather than reused. It is certainly significant that almost half of Caligula’s surviving miniature portraits are reputedly from the Tiber. On account of their miniature format, many of these busts can be associated with sacra privata, as decoration for household lararia, or with sacra publica, as part of the worship of the emperor’s genius.147 As such, these miniature images are powerful symbols imbued
29, note 12, 40-41, 52, 55-56, 90, 111, no. 16, sketch 15, pl. 15.1-4; M. Donderer (1991-2) 264, no. 9. 145 New York, White Levy Collection (formerly Zurich, Coll. R. Schinz-Rüesch); H. 0.199 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 46, 48-9, 54-57, 60 72, 92, 93, 100, 114, no. 27, sketch, 27, pls. 25.1-4, 46.2 (with previous literature). 146 Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 4256, h. 0.16. m.; B. Di Leo, MusNazRom I.9.1 141-43, no. R98; D. Boschung (1989) 41-44, 51, 54-57, 60, 72, 86, 92, 100, 112, no. 19, pls. 19.1-4, 46.3 (with previous literature); M. Donderer (1991-2) 222, n. 126; B. Germini in A. La Regina, ed. (1998) 48 (with fig.). The treatment of the facial features, especially in the details of the narrow pointed chin and shape of the mouth the mouth with overbite are nearly identical to a miniature bronze bust of Caligula’s sister, Agrippina Minor, created during the reign of Claudius (Chieti, Museo, without inv. no.). 147 B. di Leo, MusNazRom 9.1, 143. For the association of miniature busts with sacra publica see B. Schneider (1979)


with religious meaning. Following his downfall in 41, it would no longer have been permissible or even desirable to display portraits of Caligula in either sacra privata or sacra publica.148 The act of hurling images of Caligula into the Tiber was a demonstrative way of blackening the murdered princeps’ memory, canceling any devotional aspects of the portrait, and at the same time expressing loyalty to Claudius and his new regime. Furthermore, the violent disposal of these busts is charged with overtones of poena post mortem, associated with the disposal (and denial of proper burial) of the corpses of capital offenders, noxii killed in the arena, and later, even certain condemned emperors.149 Water also functioned as a traditional place for the disposal of polluted or threatening objects rejected by society; furthermore, salt water was held to have properties especially efficacious in purifying accursed objects, and, as D.G. Kyle notes, the Tiber eventually deposited any items thrown into it in the sea.150 As is the case with the miniature busts and the head in Huelva, the weathered states of portraits in Athens151 and Málaga152 suggests that they
31. For the association of miniature busts with sacra privata see L. Polacco (1955) 185. 148 In addition, H. Jucker has suggested that the small bronze cuirassed bust which has been deliberately attacked with a hammer, may have originally topped a legionary standard (cat. 1.3). As such, it may have been damaged and thrown into the Tiber during the demonstrations which occurred in the brief period of disquiet preceding the acclamation of Claudius, H. Jucker (1982)113. 149 On the disposal of corpses of dead noxii and capital offenders in the Tiber, see D.G. Kyle (1993) 306; D.G. Kyle (1998) 213-28. After Ceasar’s assassination, certain Senators wished to have his body dragged through the streets and thrown in the Tiber (Suet. Iul. 82.4). Following the death of Tiberius, the disaffected common people of Rome wanted to throw his body into the Tiber, shouting “Tiberium in Tiberim” (Suet.Tib. 75.1). Vitellius’s corpse was, in fact thrown in the Tiber and there was an unsuccessful attempt to do the same thing with the body of Commodus after his murder (Suet. Vit. 17.2; HA. Comm. 18-19, and infra.). The remains of Elagabalus were dragged through the Circus Maximus and the streets of Rome and ultimately stuffed into the sewers which emptied into the Tiber (HA. Elag. 17.6, and infra.). 150 D.G. Kyle (1998) 214. 151 National Museum, Warehouse, inv. 3590, h. 0.26 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 35, 37-39, 53-55, 109, no. 10, sketch 10, pl. 10.1-4 (with earlier literature). 152 Museo Arqueológico Provincial, inv. 553, h. 0.34 m.;


chapter two as a result of their value as gems, which precluded them from being destroyed, as well as the difficulty inherent in recutting them as attested by the Caligula/Claudius chalcedony cameo in Vienna (cat. 1.33). Imperial portrait gems functioned as presentation pieces, and it is possible that the gem portraits of Caligula remained in private collections and perhaps were even valued as curiosities or souvenirs of an unpopular and infamous reign.158 A chalcedony cameo of Caligula enthroned with the goddess Roma (or possibly Drusilla in the guise of Roma) in Vienna159 appears to have been copied in antiquity as evidenced by a blue glass cameo in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (fig. 39).160 Boyhood likenesses of Caligula are also presumably preserved on the blue glass phalerae distributed to the troops of his father Germanicus. The phalerae depict bust length portraits of Germanicus, together with small busts of three children, likely including Caligula.161 As the primary honorand in these phalerae is Germanicus, the three children with Germanicus are generic, often indistinguishable in terms of gender and coiffure, and thus it is not surprising that there has been no attempt to destroy them our cancel out the representations of Caligula.162 However, more mature portraits
0.049 x 0.038 m.; Boschung (1989) 115-6, no. 33, pl. 29.3. 158 On gem collecting in Rome, see Pliny, NH 37.11; J.M. Padgett (1995) 3-22. 159 Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. IX a 59, h. 11 cm., w. 10 cm.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 51-2, 69, 72, 8788, 92, 95-6, 100, 116, no. 34, pl. 30.1-2 (with previous literature); T. Mickoki (1995) 184, no. 226, pl. 23; H. Meyer (2000) 67, 81, figs. 130, 164, 169; S. Walker and P. Higgs, eds. (2000) 186-7, no. 3.45 (with figs) (with earlier literature). 160 Acc. no. 46.10, H. 14 cm.; G.M.A. Richter (1956) 66-9, no. 47, pl. 23.a (probably ancient); F. Eichler (1970) 71; H. Kyrieleis (1970) 492-8, figs. 2 & 7 (ancient); G.M.A. Richter (1971) 101, no. 485; W.R. Megow (1987) 185; D. Boschung (1989) 121, no. *55 (not ancient); E.R.Varner, ed. (2000) 112-3, no. 14, with fig. 161 For example, London, British Museum, PRB 1870.224.2 and Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. AS XI B8; D. Boschung (1987) 248-54, nos. 35-42, figs. 7-9, 1112, 83-91; C.B. Rose (1997) 24, pl. 16. 162 Although D. Boschung has suggested that these phalerae depict Claudius with his three children, they rather appear to represent Germanicus, probably with his three sons, Nero and Drusus Caesar, and Caligula, (1987) 24854.

were not stored in secure locations, but discarded in a more summary fashion following Caligula’s death, The Athens head is broken off at the area of the chin and there is further damage to the forehead, brows, nose, cheeks and lips. The facial features of the head in Málaga, discovered at Cártama, have been substantially obliterated through weathering. A representation of Caligula in relief, now in Trieste, has also survived.153 The fragmentary relief, from Kula in East Lydia, depicts Caligula on a rearing horse and a standing figure of Germania. The inscription reads:
'"4\å 'gD:"<46è "ÛJ@- 'gD:"<\" 6DVJ@D4 5"\F"D4 6"2g4gDäJ"4 ¯ B"H Ò *0:`F4H J`B@H

The relief attests to Caligula’s commemoration in the remote provinces. As the inscription is not erased, it is likely that the relief was removed from display following his overthrow. A pharaonic image of Caligula and accompanying cartouche have also survived at Dendera.154 In addition to the surviving images in marble and bronze, at least fourteen cameo or intaglio portraits of Caligula are extant. The gems depict Caligula in a variety of attributes and attire including the laurel crown of the triumphator,155 cuirass and laurel crown,156 and capite velato with scepter.157 These glyptic likenesses may survive

D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 40-41, 52, 55, 57, 111, no. 17, sketch 16, pl. 16.1-3 (with earlier literature). 153 Museo Civico, inv. 2228, 0.63 x 0.60 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 92, 120-21, no. 51, pl. 40.3 (with earlier literature). 154 D. Boschung (1989) 92-121, no. 52 (with earlier literature). 155 Florence, Museo Archeologico, onyx, inv. 14539; A. Giuliano (1989) 239, no. 165, with figs.; Florence, Museo Archeologico, inv. 14540, onyx, A. Giuliano (1989) 239, no. 166, with figs.; Ionides Collection, onyx, 0.013 x 0.011 m.; Boschung (1989) 116, no. 35, pl. 30.3; and Switzerland, Private Collection, sardonyx, h. 0.02 m.; Boschung (1989) 117-8, no. 41. 156 New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 11.195.7, onyx, 0.043 x 0.0305 m.; Boschung (1989) 115, no. 32, pl. 29.1-2, E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 112-13, cat. 13. 157 Musei Vaticani, Biblioteca, inv. 5268, sardonyx,

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla of Caligula do survive on at least two phalerae created during his reign.163 They lack secure archaeological contexts, but they may have simply been discarded after his overthrow. A miniature seated cuirassed statue in green chalcedony may also have originally represented Caligula, judging from its style and the type of cuirass with cingulum.164 The image is headless and lacks its lower legs and arms. If it indeed depicted Caligula, some of the statuette’s damage may have been the result of intentional disfigurement at the time of the damnatio. Caligula’s name was erased in inscriptions, canceling his epigraphic identity in a manner analogous to the removal of his portraits from public display. Claudius removed his predecessor’s name from the Theater of Pompey, whose restoration had been completed under Caligula.165 In one instance, Caligula’s name and titles were even replaced by those of Claudius (just as his sculpted portraits were replaced by, or recarved to, images of Claudius): on an inscription from an arch at Thugga in North Africa, constructed to honor Caligula, his name and titles have been replaced by those of Claudius.166 The re-inscription was executed so hastily that Claudius is given the praenomen Imperator which he never actually used.167 Other erased inscriptions are known from Milan, Bologna, Pompeii, Dalmatia, Samos, Alexandria, and Cyzicus.168 A very
163 London, British Museum, 1972.1-26-1; inv. PS 284008, diam. 3.7 cm. D. Boschung (1987) 243-5, no. 26, figs. 72-3; C.B. Rose 35, pl. 23; Mainz, Romanisch-Germanisches Zentral Museum, B. 30431, diam. 3.8 cm.; D. Boschung (1987) 243-5, no. 37, fig 74 (from south Noricum or north Pannonia?. 164 The Art Museum, Princeton University, Loan ; J.M. Padgett (1995) 9, fig. 7; H. Meyer (2000) 88-91. 165 In A.D. 21, the theater was burned (Heiron. a. Abr.2037); restoration was begun by Tiberius (Tac.Ann 3.72; Vell.Pat. 2.130.1); Caligula completed the restoration (Suet. Calig. 21) and Claudius dedicated it (Suet. Claud.21.1; Dio 60.6.8); Dio (60.6.8) reports that Claudius placed the name of Pompey once again upon the theater, which suggests that Caligula replaced Pompey’s name with his own when he completed the restoration. see also, A. Barrett (1989)178 and L. Richardson, jr. (1992), “Theatrum Pompeii,” 384. 166 L. Poinsott (1913) 45, n. 35; A. Barrett (1989)178, n. 31. 167 M. Stuart (1939) 611. 168 A. Barrett (1989)178, note 31; Milan (ILS 194), Bologna (ILS 5674), Pompeii (ILS 6396), Dalmatia (ILS


unusual example of the erasure and recutting of a Caligulan inscription was discovered at the Theater at Thera.169 The inscription, belonging to statue base apparently from the theater’s scaenae frons, has been erased and recut in honor of Vespasian. The Caligulan statue base was originally part of a group dedication which included the emperor’s parents, Germanicus and Agrippina Maior.170 Caligula’s name is not erased on their statue bases and the erasure of his own inscription (and removal of the accompanying portrait?) may not have occurred immediately after Caligula’s overthrow, and perhaps not until Vespasian’s principate.171 Caligula’s name is allowed to remain in certain other inscriptions as well, including the epitaph of Agrippina Maior from the Mausoleum of Augustus, which suggests that the excision of his name was not always a necessary component of the condemnation.172 Two boundary tones from Dalmatia illustrate the ambiguous treatment of Caligula’s inscriptional identity: in one his name has been erased,173 and in the other it has been left intact.174 The rather sparse evidence for epigraphic erasure further underscores the fact that Caligula’s portraits were the primary targets of the damnatio. Other forms of denigration included Claudius’s refusal to complete some of Caligula’s building products, such as the amphitheater begun near the Saepta Julia in Rome.175 Claudius also piously discontinued the Caligula’s purported use of the Temple of Castor and Pollux as a vestibule or annex which allowed access from the Forum to the imperial buildings on the Palatine.176 Claudius repaired the Aqua Virgo,
5948); Samos (IGR 4.1721), Alexandria (IGR 1.1057), and Cyzicus (IGR 4.146). 169 IG 12.3, suppl. 1294; C.B. Rose (1997) 160-1, cat. 97. 170 IG 12.3 suppl. 1392-3; C.B. Rose (1997) 160. 171 C.B. Rose (1997) 160. 172 CIL 6.886. 173 CIL 3.8472 = ILS 5948; C.W. Hedrick (2000) 112. 174 CIL 3.9832 = ILS 5949; C.W. Hedrick (2000) 112. 175 Suet. Calig. 21; E.S. Ramage (1983) 205; L. Richardson, jr. (1992) 6-7. 176 Dio.60.6.8; Recent archaeological excavation in the area of S. Maria Antiqua seems to confirm this; see: H. Hurst, G. Morganti, and F. Scoppola (1986) 470-78; H. Hurst (1988) 13-17; A. Barrett (1989) 209, n. 57; H. Hurst


chapter two eral inscriptions.183 Although the portrait of Caligula is broken into two pieces and a large chunk of marble is missing from the left side of the head, the facial features are entirely intact and the image has not been intentionally disfigured. The flat back of the head indicates that it originally depicted the emperor capite velato in his role as pontifex maximus. A second image of Caligula, from Gortyna on Crete also formed part of a dynastic group and appears to have remained on public view.184 The head, worked for insertion into a draped statue capite velato, was discovered during the excavations of the Agora at Gortyna, carried out by the Archaeological Institute of America in 1893-94 in the area of the “Great Inscription.” It was found with representation of Tiberius,185 Livia186 and Gaius Caesar,187 all similarly worked for insertion. The portraits are remarkably well-preserved and essentially intact. The fine state of preservation of the Caligulan likeness and its discovery together with the other Julio-Claudian portraits, indicates that it, like the Iesi image, is unlikely to have been removed at the time of Caligula’s damnatio. The entire group is Caligulan in date and must have decorated the agora or an adjacent public building.188

which was claimed to have fallen into disrepair under Caligula, a fact explicitly mentioned in an inscription commemorating the Claudian repairs: Aquae Virginis disturbatos per C. Caesarem.177 Ancient authors such as Suetonius generally classify Caligula’s building projects as tyrannical excesses. For instance, Suetonius’s accounts of Caligula’s sacrilegious remodeling of the Temple of Castor and Pollux in the Forum Romanum as a vestibule for his Palace on the Palatine, or the bridge he constructed to link the residences on the Palatine with the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline may be intentionally distorted or misinterpreted to reflect Caligula’s tyrannical nature.178 In addition, Claudius’s own choice of coin types may have been subtly designed to defame the memory of Caligula.179

The Continued Display of Caligula’s Images In stark contrast to those portraits of Caligula which were mutilated, recut, or warehoused as a result of his overthrow, the archaeological context of certain images strongly suggests that they were allowed to remain on public view in group dedications. One of these likenesses, now in Iesi (fig. 40)180 formed part of Caligulan dynastic commemoration at ancient Aesis, which included representations of Augustus181 and Tiberius.182 The portraits, worked for insertion, were discovered in 1784 in the courtyard of the Convento di S. Floriano together with fragments of five togate statues, 2 draped female statues, and sev-

in E. M. Steinby, ed. (1995) 106-8 (Domus Gai). 177 ILS 205, E.M. Smallwood (1967) 83, no. 308 b, and E.S. Ramage (1983) 205, and A. Barrett (1989) 178. 178 Suet. Calig. 22.2. C. Edwards (1993) 146-7; see also Suet.Calig. 37.2-3 for Caligula’s other extravagant building programs. 179 E.S. Ramage (1983) 202-6. 180 Palazzo della Signoria, h. 0.34 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 14, 35-6; 54-56, 63, 89, 96, 108-9, no. 7, sketch 7, pl. 7.1-4 (with earlier literature);C.B. Rose (1997) 81, cat. 1, pl. 57. 181 D. Boschung (1993a) 40, 47-8, 66, 72, 154, no. 105, pl. 86, 149.1; C.B. Rose (1997) 81, cat. 1, pl. 55. 182 C.B. Rose (1997) 81, cat. 1, pl. 56; see also H. Jucker (1981a) 262-66.

CIL 11.6199-6202. Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 64, h. 0.393 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 32-6, 52-57; 61, 63, 89, 9899, 107, no. 1, sketch 1, pl. 1.1-4 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 34, n. 147c; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat. no. 85, pl. 194. 185 Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 65, h. 0.43 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat. 85, pl. 195. 186 Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 67, h. 0.40 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat. 85, pl. 196. 187 Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 66, h. 0.442 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 98-99, 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat. 85, pl. 197. 188 L. Fabbrini (1966-7) 142. According to Fabbrini, the original statue body for which the head of Caligula was intended may also have been discovered at Gortyna. The rear portion of a togate statue, whose size and style are comparable to the portrait of Caligula, and three cuirassed torsos of Julio-Claudian date are known from old photographs once belonging to R. Paribeni. (1966-67) n. 55. The head of Gaius appears to be Augustan in date, but transformed in the Caligulan period into a veiled portrait to con184


caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla The Agora at Gortyna also yielded another well preserved image of Caligula, a full length veiled togate portrait.189 A replica of the main type, the Gortyna statue is carved from a single block of marble and exhibits very little damage. Much of the nose, which was worked as a separate piece, is missing, both forearms are gone, and the tip of the right foot is also missing. There are chips and abrasions to the drapery. In view of the evidence of the Gortyna group dedication with Tiberius, Livia and Gaius, the togate statue may also have continued to be displayed publicly after the damnatio.190 If this is indeed the case, the Cretan portraits and the Iesi likeness underscore the great degree of autonomy which individual cities possessed in responding to directives from the capital concerning Caligula’s unofficial damnatio as sanctioned by Claudius. These images may have escaped removal in part because they belonged to series of imperial portraits and the series itself as a representation of imperial continuum was often deemed to be of more importance than the eradication of any individual member from the series whose memory had been disgraced and dishonored.191 In addition, the survival of Caligula’s representations on Crete further suggests that the de facto damnatio was not rigidly enforced on the island.192 In general, the continued display of Caligula’s images as part of a group dedications may have been intended to signal the uninterrupted dynastic stability of the Julio-Claudians. In addition, because Caligula’s damnatio was not officially mandated (at least outside the realm of the coinage), municipalities located at some distance from the capital may have enjoyed greater latitude in their response to and treatment of the emperor’s images, just as they were free to honor the emperor and his
form with the other male images, C.B. Rose (1997) 153. 189 Gortyna, Antiquarium, h. 2.04 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, note 12, 35-37; 52, 54-57, 63, 89, 109, no. 8, sketch 8, pls. 8.1-3 and 41.1-2 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 34, n. 147 b, 38, n. 176, 119, no. 105, pl. 7.6. 190 L. Fabbrini, (1966-7) 140; H. Jucker (1973) 19. 191 See S.R.F. Price (1984) 161-2 for the imperial series at Boubon which does not seem to have been disturbed by damnationes. 192 L. Fabbrini (1966-67) 142-43.


family with portrait dedications on their own initiative. A portrait of Caligula discovered at ancient Luna in Italy together with a representation of a Julio-Claudian female presents more ambiguous evidence concerning its removal or continued display (fig. 41).193 The head is worked for insertion. Although the rims of both ears are broken, the brows have been damaged, as has the chin, and most of the nose has broken away, there is no evidence that the image has been intentionally mutilated. The female head is most likely a representation of Diva Drusilla, depicted with diadem and infula.194 The portrait is very similar to an image of Drusilla in New York, although it omits the characteristic pin curls which frame the face in all other images of Drusilla.195 Both portraits may have been removed from their original statues following Caligula’s assassination, although Drusilla’s images seem to have generally been allowed to remain in group dedications, as for instance at Caere, Otricoli, and Velleia. A third portrait representing Agrippina Maior, simplified in its forms like the possible Drusilla, appears to be from the same workshop and may have been part of the same dedication, although it was not found with the other two. Possibly, the Caligula and Drusilla were removed and warehoused, while the Agrippina remained on view, thus accounting for the dissociation. Alternatively, all three images may have continued to be displayed publicly, like those from Gortyna. The female portrait probably depicting Drusilla has also been associated with Livia. If Livia, it has been deliberately fashioned to resemble her greatgranddaughter Drusilla.196 Although it is less like193 Genoa-Pegli, Museo, inv. 614; h. 0.295 m.; A. Frova (1988) 307; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n 12, 32-35, 53-55, 61, 63, 107-108, no. 3, sketch 3, pls. 3.1-4 (with previous literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 94, cat. 20, pl. 84. 194 Genoa-Pegli, Museo Civico, inv. 609; C.B. Rose (1997) 94, no. 20, p. 85. 195 Hispanic Society; S Wood (1995) 475-6, figs. 22-3. The Geno-Pegli head exhibits the same long almond shaped eyes, similar mouth and over all configuration of the face as the New York portrait. 196 Both S. Wood (1999) 223-5, 239-40 and E. Bartman (1999) 223, no. 11 assign the portrait to Drusilla. Wood feels that the diadem and infula help secure the identifica-


chapter two la’s only direct descendant would have mandated her assassination. Suetonius’s statements that Julia Drusilla had inherited her father’s savage temperament are probably additional products of anti-Caligulan propaganda designed to justify the infanticide.201

ly that the portrait represents Livia rather than Drusilla, an identification as Livia would strongly suggest that both portraits did indeed remain on display. J. Pollini has recently proposed that a statue of an imperial genius from Pozzuoli was intended specifically as a representation of Caligula’s genius.197 The coiffure does contain the central part of Caligula’s main portrait type, and the facial features, although very idealized, might well reflect Caligula’s physiognomy. However, the image is certainly generic enough that it could have been re-used quite easily by changing its Caligulan context or any accompanying inscription. Indeed, L. Curtius earlier identified the statue as representing the genius of Caligula’s father, Germanicus.198

Conclusion: Paradigms and Precedents Although not officially voted by the Senate, Caligula’s de facto damnatio memoriae effectively established appropriate paradigms for the destruction and alteration of the visual representations of condemned emperors which would endure for the next three centuries of the empire. In rare instances, Caligula’s portraits were attacked and disfigured. Mutilated portraits such as the miniature bronze cuirassed bust in Switzerland or the fragmentary likenesses in Aquileia and Saguntum attest to the violence enacted against Caligula’s images after his overthrow. Caligula’s coins were also disfigured through inscriptional erasure and countermarking. Significantly, recycling, rather than mutilation, was the preferred methodology for the repression of Caligula’s sculpted representations. After his assassination, Caligula’s portraits were no longer publicly or politically useful objects, and as a result, the majority of his images have been physically altered to represent other individuals or deities. For the remainder of the first century and into the second, marble images of condemned emperors and empresses would continue to be reconfigured on a vast scale. The recycling of Caligula’s portraits crucially impacted the style of his successor Claudius’s images, resulting in examples of extreme realism, as well as restrained classicism. Subsequent transformations of Nero and Domitian’s portraits would similarly reflect both veristic and classicizing trends incorporated in the representations of Vespasian and Nerva. As sculptors grappled with the novel technical challenges inherent in refashioning Caligula’s images, creating convincing likenesses of the

The Collateral Condemnations of Milonia Caesonia and Julia Drusilla Any images which had been produced of Caligula’s last wife, Milonia Caesonia and infant daughter Julia Drusilla were removed and destroyed together with those of the emperor. And indeed, there are no surviving sculpted portraits of either Caesonia or Julia Drusilla. 199 Caesonia’s own illustrious familial connections through her mother Vistilia to many of the leading families of the period, Caligula’s avowed affection for her, and her very public presence in Rome may have been additional factors which ensured that she was murdered with her husband and that her monuments suffered a damnatio. Because of her influence and connections, Caligula’s assassins could not afford to let Caesonia survive and she was even accused by some contemporaries of culpability in the failures and excesses of her husband’s principate.200 Julia Drusilla’s position as Caligution, although Bartman states that “it could plausibly be Livia.” 197 Berlin, Museum SK 157, h. 2.05 m; H. Kunckel (1974) 78, no. A 3, pls. 8.2, 9.2 (with earlier literature); J. Pollini (forthcoming). 198 (1948) 71. 199 E.R. Varner (2001a) 44-45. 200 Joseph. AJ. 19.193.

Calig. 25.4.

caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla middle-aged Claudius may have presented the most difficulties. It was undoubtedly easier to reconfigure Caligula’s portraits into idealized representations of his great grandfather Augustus, or even the second Flavian emperor, Titus. Significantly, most of the refashioned Claudian images come from Italy or Rome, while portraits recut to Augustus or Titus are far more geographically diverse, and are found in Gaul, Spain, Portugal, North Africa, and Asia Minor. The proximity of the altered portraits of Claudius to Rome as a center of imperial portrait production, and consequently technical expertise, may not be coincidental, but in fact the result in the difficulty posed by the sculptural transformation of Caligula into Claudius. The reuse of Caligula’s portraits also had serious implications for developing iconography of imperial imagery. As C. B. Rose has noted, Caligula was the first of Rome’s emperors to have himself portrayed as Jupiter in marble statuary during his lifetime.202 Several of these divine images, including portraits from Caere, Otricoli, Vaison, and Zadar were refashioned into representations of Augustus, and more significantly, the new ruler, Claudius. From this period on, emperors would routinely depict themselves as Jupiter.



(1997) 74-5.

The mutilation of Caligula’s images also reveals patterns of sculptural disfigurement in which the sensory organs are traumatized, while the rest of the image is left in tact. The small cuirassed bronze in a Swiss private collection perfectly illustrates the practice, with hammer and chisel blows damaging the facial features and the eyes gouged out of their sockets. Such mutilation underscores the function of imperial images as effigies, and, on an important anthropological level, acted as a substitute for corpse abuse (poena post mortem). Caligula’s portraits were also warehoused in vast numbers and highlight the Roman practice of sculptural storage. Portraits could also be disposed of in more destructive ways, often being thrown into bodies of water, such as rivers or wells. In particular, the disposal of Caligula’s images in the Tiber, like the miniature bronze in the Levy-White collection, or the miniature marble portrait in the Palazzo Massimo, have additional intimations of corpse abuse, mirroring the disposal of bodies of dead capital offenders, arena victims and other noxii at the capital. The various and variable responses to Caligula’s artistic representations triggered by his condemnation also reveal the flexible and adaptable nature of damnatio memoriae, which embraced a wide variety of censorship practices including warehousing, disfigurement, destruction, and transformation.


chapter three


Like Caligula before him, Nero has become a paradigm of the decadent and tyrannical emperor, corrupted absolutely by his absolute power.1 Nero was born at Antium on 15 December A.D. 37.2 Originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, the future emperor was the son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina Minor. In A.D. 49, Agrippina married the reigning princeps, her uncle Claudius. Shortly thereafter in A.D. 50, she persuaded Claudius to adopt her son under the names Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus. On 13 October A.D. 54, at the age of sixteen, Nero succeeded his great-uncle and adoptive father as Augustus. Initially Nero ruled under the close supervision of Agrippina, but by A.D. 55 her influence began to wane and his praefectus praetorio, Sextus Afranius Burrus and his tutor, Lucius Annaeus Seneca came to dominate.3 Under their guidance, Nero apparently governed well during the early years of his reign; but in 62, Burrus died and Seneca was dismissed from the emperor’s service. Nero’s increasingly autocratic tendencies, as well as his overriding interest in artistic pursuits, began to alienate the traditionally minded members of the senatorial aristocracy.4 Relations between the emperor and Senate grew steadily worse and alleged plots against Nero’s life led to wide scale persecutions of prominent citizens at Rome. The devastating fire of A.D. 64, coupled with several disturbances on the borders of the empire, contributed to a general decline in Nero’s popularity, especially among the military. During the last years of his reign, Nero failed to restore public confidence in his administrative capabilities. In March of A.D. 68, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gaius Julius Vindex, revolted against the princeps. Shortly thereafter, Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, and Lucius Clodius Macer, legatus in Africa, did likewise. Nero took no immediate action against the usurpers and was unable to control the situation. Consequently, abandoned by most of the army and the Senate, Nero committed suicide with the aide of his freedman Epaphroditus on 9 June A.D. 68 and Galba succeeded as the new princeps.5 Nero’s body was not mutilated after his death and in fact his funeral was carried out at a rather enormous cost of 200,000 sesterces.6 He was cremated in white robes embroidered with gold, and his nurses, Alexandria and Egloge, as well as his mistress Acte, placed his ashes in the tomb of his paternal ancestors the Domitii, whose funerary complex was situated on the Collis Hortulorum (the modern Pincio). His monument consisted of a porphyry container for his ashes (solium), surmounted by an altar of Luna marble, all of which was surrounded by an enclosure of Thasian marble. Despite these elaborate funerary arrangements and furnishings, Nero’s remains were not deposited in the Mausoleum of Augustus. Like Julia Maior, Julia Minor, Agrippina
5 Suet. Nero 47-49; Dio 63.27; J. Scheid (1984) 180-81, 184-85. 6 See Suet. Nero 50.

1 For a review of historical attitudes towards Nero, see J. Elsner and J. Masters in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds.(1994) 2-8. 2 As established by the AFA; M. Griffin (1984) 21, n. 11. 3 The decline of Agrippina’s influence is mirrored on the Roman coinage. Agrippina initially appears in a facing profile with her son, and then iugate, with Nero in the foreground, and after 55 she disappears entirely. Nevertheless, Agrippina continues to prominently feature on the provincial coinage at Alexandria, Caesarea, Nicea, Antioch, and Thessalonika, and until her death in 59. 4 On Nero’s conflict with the aristocracy and their response to the princeps, see V.A. Rudich (1992).

nero and poppaea Maior, Nero and Drusus Caesar, Caligula, and Agrippina Minor before him, Nero’s exclusion from the Mausoleum constituted a posthumous and highly symbolic revocation of his membership in the Julian gens, into which he had been formally adopted by Claudius, and served as an effective denigration of his memory and reputation. Nero was the first emperor to be officially declared a hostis by the Roman Senate: se hostem a senatu judicatum et quaeri ut puniatur more maiorum.7 The Senate sought to execute Nero in the manner traditionally reserved for hostes, which mandated that the offender was stripped, held by a forked stick, and then beaten to death with rods. Suetonius includes a detailed description of this traditional punishment in his account of Nero’s final moments8 The declaration of Nero as a hostis necessarily included posthumous sanctions against his monuments and inscriptions. Pliny the Elder also records that Nero’s “crimes” were condemned (damnatis sceleribus illius principis).9 Suetonius indicates that Nero’s publicly displayed images also played important roles in the events leading up to his overthrow. A placard was affixed to one of his statues which read in Greek “Now there will be a true contest, and you will finally surrender.”10 A second placard, also affixed to a portrait of Nero proclaimed that the emperor “deserved the sack,” referring to the traditional punishment for parricide, the poena cullei in which the condemned was sewn into a sack with a dog, a monkey, a snake and a rooster and thrown into a body of water.11 The reference to parricide recalls the murder of Nero’s mother, Agrippina Minor, and may also be intended to metaphorically invoke Nero’s “murder” of the Roman fatherland, the patria. The historical sources and the surviving archaeological evidence


confirm that this destruction of Nero’s portraits, monuments, inscriptions, and coins was aggressively carried out under Galba and Vespasian.12 During the revolt of Vindex, the troops of Rufus Gallus overthrew and destroyed Nero’s statues, prefiguring the destruction of the emperor’s images following his death.13 Immediately after Nero’s death, the mob also demonstrated against the dead emperor and dragged his statues through the Forum Romanum.14 Tacitus quotes Nero’s successor Galba as saying that there was no prior precedent for the condemnation of a princeps (neque erat adhuc damnati principis exemplum).15

Nero’s Portrait Typology Like his unflattering portrayal of Caligula, Suetonius’s physical depiction of Nero was profoundly affected by Nero’s damnatio and the ensuing defamation of his memory. Suetonius describes Nero’s physical appearance in the following terms:
Statura fuit prope iusta, corpore maculoso et fetido, subflavo capillo, vultu pulchro magis quam venusto, oculis caesis et hebetioribus, cervice obesa, ventre proiecto, gracillimis cruribus...comam semper in gradus formatam. He was well-proportioned, but his body was spotted and malodorous. His hair was tawny. His features were pretty rather than pleasing, with eyes that were blue, but dull. His neck was heavy and his stomach hung over his skinny legs. (He wore) his hair always arranged in waves.16

The physical details of heavy neck and wavy hairstyle are indeed present in Nero’s later

12 Suet.Galba 15.1,; Tacit.Hist. 1.20, 1.78; Plut.Galba 16.12, Otho 3.1; F. Vittinghoff (1936) 102; J. Bleiken (1962)1045; J. P. Rollin (1979) 165; E. S. Ramage (1983) 201, 20910, n. 22; A. Barrett (1989) 177, n. 25. 13 6"Â @Ê FJD"J4äJ"4 J•H :¥< J@Ø ;XDT<@H gÆ6`<"H 6"2gÃ8@< 6"Â FL<XJD4R"<, Dio 63.25.1. 14

Suet.Nero 49.2; K.R. Bradley (1978) 277-78. Suet.Nero 49.3. 9 HN 34.18.45 10 nunc demum agona esse, et traderet tandem, Nero 45.2. This pasquinade is undoubtedly meant to refer ironically to the supposedly rigged contests in which Nero participated during his Greek tour. See also A.P. Gregory (1994) 93. 11 R. Bauman (1996) 30.


Plutarch reports that the gladiator Spiculus was thrown beneath the statues as they were being torn down. Galba 8.5 ( EBÃ68@< :¥< @Þ< JÎ< :@<@:"P`< •<*D4VF4 ;XDT<@H ©86@:X<@4H ßB@$"8`<JgH ¦< •(@D” *4XN2g4D"<). 15 Tacit. Hist. 1.16. The statement also essentially confirms the unofficial, ad hoc nature of Caligula’s condemnation. 16 Nero 51; K.R. Bradley (1978) 281-85.


chapter three mouth consists of full upper lip and receding lower lip. The chin is rounded and the ears protrude from the head which continues to be a characteristic physical trait in the three subsequent types. A new portrait type was created for Nero upon his accession to the throne in A.D. 54. Coins issued from 54-59 depict the young princeps with the same centrally parted hairstyle, but the facial features are significantly more mature. This second type is often referred to as the accession type or Cagliari type, after a well-preserved replica.24 Nero’s third type marks a significant departure from the two earlier types. The numismatic portraits of A.D. 59-64 depict the emperor with much heavier facial features; the face is broader, the neck thicker, and there is a visible underchin, details which conform more closely to Suetonius’s description of the princeps. The coiffure is generally longer and more full than the earlier hairstyle and is made up of locks which are carefully arranged over the forehead in parallel curves moving from right to left. These locks reverse direction over the outer corner of the right eye. The hair which covers the top of the head is waved in an incipient version of the waved coma in gradus formata hairstyle mentioned by Suetonius. The locks grow long on the nape of the neck and are swept forward. Long sideburns still curl in front of the ears. Only one sculpted example of this type, now in the Museo Palatino, has survived (fig. 82a-c).25 It conforms closely to the nuthe coiffures and physiognomies of these two types are basically identical and they should certainly be considered the same type. M. Bergmann and P. Zanker have proposed that the portraits of Hiesinger’s Heir Apparent type are actually an official “Neufassung” of the earliest type, (1981) 321-22. 24 Accession type: U. Hiesinger (1975)118; Cagliari Type: M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 321-22. As in the first portrait type, the placement of the part is subject to slight variation; In one example over the inner corner of the right eye, Cagliari, Museo Nazionale, inv. 35533; and in four examples over the inner corner of the left eye, Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 4, inv. 418; Rome, Museo Palatino, ex Terme, inv. 616; Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala dei Busti 385, inv. 59; Syracuse, Museo Nazionale, inv. 6383. 25 Museo Palatino, ex Terme, inv. 618.

sculpted and numismatic portraits, but Suetonius deliberately exaggerates the unattractive aspects of Nero’s appearance in order to deprecate the emperor’s character. As with his description of Caligula, contemporary theories of ancient physiognomics clearly influenced Suetonius’s description.17 Nero’s spotted body (corpore maculoso) likens him to the panther, who is petty, thieving, and deceitful.18 The spindly legs are characteristic of the monkey, and betray an evil, intemperate and lustful nature.19 His weak eyes are signs of cowardice and timidity,20 while his protruding stomach denotes “deceitfulness, insensitivity, drunkenness, and debauchery.”21 Nero’s surviving sculpted likenesses correspond closely with his datable numismatic images and can be divided into four distinct portrait types each marking significant events in the emperor’s career. 22 The earliest type celebrates Nero’s adoption by Claudius and appears on coins minted during from A.D. 51-54. This type depicts the future emperor with a coiffure of long comma shaped locks parted near the center of the forehead.23 Lengthy sideburns curl in front of the ears. The facial features are smooth and regular. Well formed, almond shaped eyes, with crisply delineated upper and lower lids are set beneath straight brows. The nose is aquiline. The

17 T. Barton elucidates the connections between physiognomical and Suetonius’s rhetorical invectio against Nero in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57-58. 18 Phgn. 810a.6-9; K.R. Bradley (1978) 283; T. Barton in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57. 19 Phgn. 810b.3-5; Polemo F.1.194.10, 270.17; Anon. § 71, § 91, § 112; T. Barton in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57. 20 Phgn 807b.8; K.R. Bradley (1978) 283-84; T. Barton in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57; Pliny the Elder also describes Nero’s dull eyes as a sign of his weak and cowardly nature, HN 11.141-45. 21 Polemo F.1.210.7-12; Ps. Pol. 361.16-362.10; Anon § 64, 93, 112; Adam. F.1.361.5-362-2; T. Barton in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57. 22 U. Hiesinger (1975) remains the fundamental source on the Nero’s portrait typology. subsequent refinements include, M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 321-32; H. Jucker (1981a) 284-309; Fittschen-Zanker I, 17-19; and S. Maggi (1986) 47-51; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 135-39. 23 U. Hiesinger has divided the portraits of these years into two separate types: an “Adoption Type” dated 50-51 and an “Heir Apparent Type,” (1975) 117-118. However,

nero and poppaea mismatic images, but includes a lightly incised beard. The type was introduced to mark the quinquennalia of Nero’s reign in A.D. 59.26 Nero’s fourth and final type is similar to the third type, with even more insistent modeling of the corpulent facial features, and a more ornately constructed coiffure. This type is introduced on coins in A.D. 64 and continues until Nero’s death in 68. The hair is still arranged in curving locks across the forehead, but the right to left orientation of these locks remains unbroken as there is no longer a change in direction of the hair over the outer corner of the right eye. The waves of hair on the top of the head are much more pronounced than in the third type; this final coiffure resemble most closely the hairstyle which Suetonius refers to as coma in gradus formata.27 The fourth type was created to commemorate Nero’s decennalia in A.D. 64.28 The heavier, emphatically modeled facial features of Nero’s final two portrait types are clearly modeled on the images of Hellenistic rulers, especially Ptolemaic portraits.29 These fleshier faced images are intended to communicate the concept of JDLNZ or luxuria (royal luxury and beneficence).


The Mutilation and Destruction of Nero’s Images Mutilated images of Nero are graphic reminders of the damnatio pronounced against him. Four

U. Hiesinger (1975)124. H.P. L’Orange stressed this coiffure’s relationship to Hellenistic ruler portraits and its ultimate derivation from images of Alexander the Great, (1947) 55-63. J.M.C. Toynbee set forth an alternative suggestion that Nero’s hairstyle is an imitation of the coiffures worn by aurigae; (1947) 137 (followed also by Bartman [1998] 25). This seems highly unlikely; the reverse should rather be the case, with Nero’s evocation of Hellenistic hairstyles influencing the charioteers with whom he was popular. 28 U. Hiesinger (1975)124. 29 See, for instance, a portrait of Ptolemy I Soter in the Louvre, (MA 849, R.R. Smith [1988] 164, no. 46, pl. 34.13) and later, fatter faced physkon portraits: Ptolemey XII Auletes (?) (Louvre, MA 3449, R.R. Smith [1988a] 168, no. 62, pl. 42.1-2); the Getty Physkon (83.AA.205, R.R. Smith [1988a] 168, no. 63, pl. 42.2-4); and the Brussels Physkon (Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, inv. E1839, R.R. Smith [1988a] 93-94, no. 73, pl. 47.1-2).


surviving portraits were intentionally vandalized after his overthrow. The most dramatically damaged is a likeness of the second type from the island of Cos (cat. 2.2).30 The portrait was excavated at the island’s agora, where the image is likely to have been publicly displayed. The brows, eyes, nose, and lips and chin have all been attacked with a chisel. The resulting damage to the sensory organs is T-shaped and occurs in other deliberately defaced imperial portraits. While extreme, it still renders the likeness recognizable. Like the bronze cuirassed bust of Caligula in which the eyes have been gouged out (cat. 1.X), the violent destruction of the sensory organs stands as an anthropomorphic attack on the image as an artistic effigy of the emperor and has close conceptual ties to post mortem corpse abuse (poena post mortem).31 After its mutilation, the image must have been stored or buried in the vicinity of the agora. Prior to its removal, the defaced portrait may have remained on public display for a time as a visible signifier of Nero’s posthumous denigration. The head provides rather surprising evidence for the mutilation of Nero’s images in the Greek speaking areas of the Empire where he is known to have enjoyed great popularity during his lifetime. However, the Greeks’ former enthusiastic support for Nero as the emperor who “liberated” the province of Achaea may have produced an anti-Neronian backlash and probably necessitated prominent public displays of repudiation like the mutilation of the Cos portrait.32 A portrait of Nero in Cagliari has also been deliberately defaced (cat.2.1; fig. 42).33 The bust is said to have been acquired on the mainland.34 It has undergone severe damage to the brows, eyes, nose, lips, and chin, echoing the T-shaped destruction of the Cos portrait. Two X’s have been carved at each clavicle and VICTO

Museum, inv. 4510. E.R. Varner (2001b) 48. 32 On Nero’s relationship to the Greeks and their response to him, see S.E. Alcock in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds., (1994) 98-111 33 Museo Nazionale, inv. 6122. 34 U. Hiesinger (1975)115, n. 10.



chapter three the building’s sculptural decoration. Its destruction should perhaps be associated with the events surrounding the revolt of Vindex in Gaul. Subsequently, the fragment was stored or buried near the Odeum. It has also been suggested that a fragmentary marble eagle discovered in an area of ancient refuse disposal at Exeter may be a remnant of an vandalized portrait of Nero as Jupiter.39 The scattered find-spots of the damaged likenesses suggests that their destruction was likely the result of spontaneous demonstrations against Nero’s memory. These must have been fairly immediate responses to the news of the emperor’s overthrow and death, and were intended to defame Nero’s character and reign, as well as to demonstrate support for Galba’s new regime. The surprising paucity of surviving damaged marble portraits, in comparison to the enormous number of portraits which were recarved or untouched , confirms that removal and reuse, rather than intentional mutilation, was the standard response to Nero’s damnatio and is consonant with the earlier evidence established by Caligula’s survivng marble and bronze images.40 Nero’s numismatic portraits were also defaced, and many of his coins were countermarked throughout the Empire. A laureate portrait of Nero on a tetradrachm from Alexandria has been destroyed and the accompanying legend: NEP K7AK KAIE EEB 'EP AKT has been obliterated.41 A coin from Thessalonika also has a defaced laureate portrait of the emperor and a partial erasure of the legend: NE /////// EB AETOE KAIEAP.42 A deep chisel mark has been cut into Nero’s neck on an as discovered at Silchester (Roman Calleva Atrebatum).43 A dupondius
39 J.M.C. Toynbee (1979) 130-2, pl. 20.44; P. Stewart (1999) 186, n. 24. 40 D. Kreikenbom has indentified fragments of a seated colossal image from Lugundum Convenarum (St. Bertrand) as a replica of Nero’s last type (St. Bertrand de Comminges, Musée Municipal; [1992] 206, no. 3.75). However the preserved sections of the coiffure are too fragmentary to permit a secure identification. 41 R. Mowat (1901) 449-50; rev. bust of Octavia facing right, OKTAO IA EBA TO and LE, dated to the fifth year of Nero’s reign, A.D. 58. 42 L. Ruzicka (1924) 354-55. 43 G.C. Boon (1974) 11, fig.; the coin was discovered between 1890 and 1909.

scratched on the right breast. The X’s may be ancient or modern markers, preparatory to removing the head and neck from the torso.35 The inscription VICTO (to the conquered) is an ironic reversal of the dedication used for victorious athletes or performers, VICTORI (to the victor), and is especially caustic in light of Nero’s own athletic and artistic pretensions. The ironic implications of the graffito also directly recall the pasquinade proclaiming that there would now be a true contest (agona) in which Nero would finally be defeated. A badly damaged statue from the Roman theater at Vicenza (ancient Vicetia) may also be an intentionally mutilated representation of Nero (cat. 2.4).36 The portrait, discovered in 1839 represents an emperor with bare torso and hip mantle as Jupiter. The face of the portrait has been shorn away and the damage appears to be deliberate. The long locks which are swept forward on the nape of the neck are characteristic of Nero’s type 2, 3, and 4 portraits. If the statue did depict Nero, it provides important evidence for the violent destruction of his publicly displayed images in Italy. The damaged statue could then have been stored somewhere in the theater or its substructures Two other marble portraits may owe their extremely fragmentary state to destruction carried out as a consequence of Nero’s damnatio. A type 2 portrait from Syracuse (cat. 2.2; fig. 43)37 and a type 4 portrait from Vienne (cat. 2.5; fig. 44)38 are both only partially preserved. The Syracuse fragment depicts the emperor with a corona civica and was found in the city’s Forum. Like the portrait from Cos, it may have originally been displayed in the public context of the Forum, and stored or buried there following the destruction of the image. The Vienne portrait was excavated at the city’s Odeum and may have been part of

35 I thank T.J. Luce for first suggesting this possibility. The removal was obviously never carried out, and recalls the unfinished attempt to remove the head and neck from the togate body of the Richmond Caligula, see supra. 36 Vicenza, Museo Civico, inv. EI-19. 37 Syracuse, Museo Nazionale, inv. 6383. 38 Vienne, Musée archéologique.

nero and poppaea from Rome has been disfigured by the countermark SPQR which has severed the neck, metaphorically “decapitating” Nero’s image (fig. 45).44 Nero’s portraits have been overstruck in provincial issues in bronze or brass from Teos,45 Sardis,46 and Smyrna.47 Nero’s coiffure has been removed with a chisel on a duopondius in Bonn48 and a sestertius in Hamburg.49 The resulting bald images were likely intended to make the overthrown princeps appear ridiculous.50 In both coins, Nero’s names and titles have not been erased. On the other hand, a small bronze coin from Cyme has had Nero’s name carefully erased,51 as do sestertii from Rome and Lyon,52 and a [bronze] issue from Patras.53 Like the mutilation of his sculpted portraits, the defacements of Nero’s coins are isolated events, individual expressions of denigration intended to signal loyalty to the new princeps.54 Significantly, the mutilation of Nero’s numismatic images is limited to the less valuable issues, with no examples on aurei.55 Nero’s coins were also frequently countermarked.56 During the rebellion of Vindex, SPQR was stamped on the obverses of Neronian aes from Lyon, usually on the emperor’s neck.57 At


44 New York, American Numismatic Society, inv. 1953.171.1308; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 126-31, with figs. 45 RPC 53, 425. 46 RPC 53, 495, no. 3045. 47 RPC 53, 420-21, no. 2490. 48 Bonn, Rheinische Landesmuseum, inv. 6783; from Neuss; V. Zedelius (1979) 20-21; H. Jucker (1982) 124 pl. 42; D. Salzmann (1984) 295, n. 5, fig. 1. 49 Kunsthalle; P. Postel (1976) 124, no. 612, pl. 42; D. Salzmann (1984) 295-96, fig. 2. 50 D. Salzmann suggests that the coma in gradus formata hairstyle may have been objectionable in itself since Suetonius refers to it as shameful (pudendus, Nero 51) (1984) 298, n. 15. 51 T.O. Mabbot (1941) 398. 52 Removed from obverses showing Nero’s arch in Rome, F.S. Kleiner (1985) 118, no. 67b (Rome), 133, no. L71 a (Lyon). 53 RPC 53, 261, no. 1263. 54 D. Salzmann proposes that the alteration of these coins may have made them more acceptable in the marketplace, as was certainly the case with countermarked coins; however the scarcity of defaced or altered coins speaks against Salzmann’s theory (1984) 298. 55 D. Salzmann (1984) 298. 56 R. Mowat (1901) 448; C.J. Howgego (1985) 5-6. 57 G.C. Boon (1974) 11.

Tripolis, Nero’s issues were countermarked successively with the monograms of Galba, Otho, and Vespasian.58 And 'A7BA is countermarked on various obverses,59 often obliterating Nero’s facial features, as for instance on bronze and brass issues at Perinthus,60 Nicea,61and Nicomedia.62 In Spain, Galba’s province, a denarius of Nero was completely overstruck.63 At Tripolis, in addition to Galba’s countermark, there are countermarks with the names of Otho or Vespasian.64 Thessalonika, Prusa, Caesareia in Samaria, and NysaScythopolis all countermarked Nero’s coins with each city’s respective name.65 Nero’s coinage may also have been recalled by the local Senate of Nicopolis.66 The extensive use of countermarks was intended to revalidate Nero’s coinage, as well as to announce the sovereignty of the new emperor to the citizens of the Empire.67 Additionally, the countermarking of Nero’s coins was a practical, as well as economically viable alternative to the wholesale recalling of his issues, which would have necessitated the creation of entirely new emissions. The Othonian countermark from Tripolis is especially intriguing, given the emperor’s rehabilitation of Nero’s memory at the capital, and it further underscores the relative autonomy local mints must have enjoyed in responding to condemnations.

58 C.H.V. Sutherland (1940) 266; BMC Greek Coins of Phoenicia nos. 39, 41, 42; C.J. Howgego (1985) 6, 222-223, nos. 592, 594-95, pl. 23. 59 D.W. MacDowall (1979) pl. 21 d, k; C.J. Howgego (1985) 205-6, nos. 525-7, 222, no. 591, pls. 20, 23; F.S. Kleiner (1985) 118, nos. R71 b & c, 126, L8 a. 60 RPC 53, 319-20, nos. 1752, 1758-61. 61 RPC 53, 348-9, nos. 2050, 2052, 2057, 2060-61. 62 RPC 53, 351, nos. 284-85. 63 C.H.V. Sutherland (1940) 266. 64 RPC 53, 647, no. 4520. 65 C.J. Howgego (1985) 6, 209-10, no. 537, pl. 21 (Thessalonica), 214, nos. 556-7, pl. 21 (Prusa), 211, no. 543, pl. 21 (Caesareia in Samaria), 213, no. 555, pl. 21 (NysaScythopolis), 228, no. 619, pl. 24 (Corinth?); see also RPC 52. 66 T. O. Mabbot (1941) 358. 67 R. Mowat (1901) 449, n. 1.

52 The Transformation of Nero’s Images Nero/Vespasian

chapter three Wrinkles are eliminated or less emphatically carved. Vespasian is endowed with a fuller head of hair, often with a row of coma shaped locks across the forehead. This portrait type is classicizing in tone and looks back to the idealization of Julio-Claudian portraiture rather than to republican verism. The more youthful type appears to have been in use simultaneously with the main type, although not produced in such great numbers. It also appears on coins minted throughout Vespasian’s reign.69 There is, however, some conflation between the two types: portraits of the main type can gloss over some of the signs of aging and achieve a less harshly veristic approach, while portraits of the secondary type can include more dramatic signs of aging and thus be more realistic in their handling of Vespasian’s facial features. As is to be expected, images of the youthful Nero were more often refashioned into likenesses of Vespasian’s secondary idealizing type. Ten of the portraits recarved to Vespasian, have been reworked into the secondary type, in spite of the fact that this type was produced in far fewer numbers than the much more widely disseminated main type. It would have been substantially easier for artists to recarve Nero’s youthful and relatively classicizing images into Vespasian’s own more youthful portrait type. Indeed, as was also the case with the portraits of Claudius reconfigured from Caligula, the most idealizing images of Vespasian have been recut from pre-existing representations of Nero. In fact, Vespasian’s most classicizing portrait has been refashioned from a likeness of Nero (cat. 2.22; fig.46a-d).70 The head was excavated at Lucus Feroniae in 1953 near the temple in the Forum, where it is likely to have
69 The secondary type may be based on a portrait of Vespasian created before his elevation to the principate, or it may simply be a classicizing response to the more veristic type. In any case, since both types were in use simultaneously, the main veristic type may have been judged appropriate in certain contexts, while the secondary classicizing type in others. Patrons who commissioned imperial portraits and individual artistic workshops also must have played a role in determining the degree of classicism or verism included in each portrait. 70 Lucus Feroniae, Magazzini, formerly Rome, Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia.

Over forty surviving marble portraits which originally represented Nero have been recarved into images of other emperors. Sixteen of these portraits have been reworked into likenesses of Vespasian, who, as victor in the civil conflicts of 68-69, established the Flavian dynasty. These ecarved portraits encompass both portrait types employed by Vespasian during his reign, a more youthful, idealized type (secondary type), and an older, more veristic type (main type).68 The main portrait type recalls republican portraiture with its ruggedly realistic portrayal of the aging emperor’s physiognomy. Vespasian is depicted as balding, with little or no hair on the top of the head. The thinning locks at the temples are combed towards the back of the head. The face is massive and square. Deep vertical furrows mark the forehead, with horizontal furrows above the nose. The eyes are heavily lidded with bags beneath them and crows feet are often included at their corners. The nose is hooked and the bridge is very pronounced. Sunken cheeks, the suggestion of jowls, and strong naso-labial lines are further elements of aging included in the emperor’s physiognomy. The mouth is long and thin and the lower lip does not recede. Wrinkles are often carved on the neck as further indications of age. This is the most widely disseminated of Vespasian’s two portrait types and appears on coins minted throughout his reign. The secondary type agrees with the main type in the essentials of physiognomy, but the signs of aging are minimized or suppressed. The emperor is represented as considerably more youthful.
For discussions of Vespasian’s portrait typology, see: J.J. Bernoulli (1891) 21-28; G. Förschner (1959) 3-10, 26 (1960) 25-32; B.M. Felletti Maj 1966) 1147-48; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 9-17, 72-84; A. De Franciscis (1975) 211-24; V.P. Giornetti in MusNazRom I.1, 279-80; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)332-49; H. Jucker (1981b) 697-702; G. Paladini (1981) 612-22; J. Pollini (1984) 549-51; D. Salzmann (1984) 295-99; K. Fittschen and P. Zanker (1985) 33, nr. 27; A. Amadio in MusNazRom I.9.1, 186-87; D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 1723.

nero and poppaea been displayed. It is worked for insertion into a togate statue. The longer hair on the nape of the neck is a remnant of the original likeness of Nero. The eyes and brows do not appear to have been substantially recarved and strongly recall portraits of Nero’s fourth type, especially the replica in Munich.71 The Lucus Feroniae portrait deviates from the other replicas of Vespasian’s secondary type in the in that indications of aging are almost totally suppressed. The brows and cheeks are relatively smooth and the naso-labial lines and wrinkles on the neck are not pronounced. The portrait has maintained much of the youthfulness and classicism of the original likeness of Nero, and as such, is directly comparable to the idealizing representations of Claudius which retain the classicism of Caligula’s likenesses. Another remarkably youthful portrait of Vespasian, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, has been similarly refashioned from an earlier likeness of Nero (cat. 2.19; fig. 47a-d).72 The piece was acquired in Rome and is likely to have been discovered in the city or its environs. The portrait portrays the emperor with a corona civica and is worked for insertion into a draped statue. The eyes and the brows remain basically intact from the original portrait of Nero’s second type. The receding lower lip has also been retained, as has the fleshy underchin. The artist has added superficial signs of aging to the portrait, including light horizontal furrows in the forehead and vertical creases above the nose. Nevertheless, the overriding classicism of the image is a clear remnant of the original Neronian likeness. Although they are not as highly idealized as the Lucus Feroniae and Cophenhagen portraits, five other recut representations of Vespasian, formerly at the Villa Borghese (cat. 2.26; fig. 48),73 in Baltimore (cat. 2.15,74 Cleveland (cat.
71 The Nero/Vespasian in Cleveland (Cat. 2.17) also substantially retains the eyes and brows of Nero’s fourth type; J. Pollini (1984) 551. 72 No. 463, inv. 1979. 73 The original was formerly displayed the right of the Villa’s entrance, and is now replaced by a concrete copy. The original is currently on display, with other sculpture from the Villa’s facade at the Palazzo dei Conservatori. 74 Walters Art Gallery, inv. 23.119.


2.17; fig. 49a-e),75 London (cat. 2.21; figs),76 and two portraits in Seville (cat. 2.27-28)77 exhibit fundamentally classicizing approaches to the emperor’s physiognomy that are direct legacies of the Neronian originals. Signs of aging have been added to the Borghese portrait including horizontal furrows on the forehead, vertical creases above the nose, crows feet at the corners of the eyes, slightly sunken cheeks, naso-labial lines, and wrinkles on the neck. These signs of aging notwithstanding, the recarved image of Vespasian is extremely idealizing in appearance and has maintained much of the youthful character of the original Neronian likeness. The Baltimore portrait is reported to have come from Pergamum. The long, rectangular shaped tenon is unusual and indicates that the head is worked for insertion into a semi-nude heroic portrait body, with cloak or paludamentum draped over the right shoulder. The classicism of the image, which has been essentially retained from the youthful portrait of Nero, stands in the tradition of heroized representations of Roman emperors particularly popular in the Greek speaking East.78 The Seville portraits, one discovered at Écija in 1972 and the other from Italica, as well as the London likeness, discovered at Carthage between 1835-36, provide additional evidence for idealized representations of Vespasian refashioned from images of Nero in the provinces. Three other replicas of Vespasian’s secondary type, in Copenhagen (cat. 2.18),79 Grosseto (cat. 2.20),80 and the Vatican (cat. 2.25; fig. 51a-e)81 represent fundamentally different approaches to the recutting of Nero’s images. While they are versions of Vespasian’s more youthful type, these portraits reject the classicism of the original likenesses in favor of an emphasis on realistic signs of aging. The Vatican portrait is symptomatic of

Art Museum, inv. 29.439a. British Museum, inv. 1890.. 77 Museo Arquelógico, inv. 7.906 and Museo Arquelógico, inv. 1060. 78 P. Zanker (1983) 23-24, 47-48; J. Pollini (1984) 553. 79 National Museum, inv. 3425. 80 Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma. 81 Galleria Chiaramonti, 7.9, inv. 1291.



chapter three The under life-sized scale of the head is a direct result of the reduction in marble occasioned by the recutting. A second recut portrait in the Palazzo Massimo, also achieves similarly exaggerated effects of aging which emphatically distance the new representation of Vespasian from the images of Nero (cat. 2.24., fig. 53a-e).85 Whereas in many reworked portraits the physiognomic asymmetricalities occasioned by the recarving often appear anomalous, in these two portraits the exaggerated effects are well suited to the revival of Republican topographical verism espoused in Vespasian’s main type. Although they fail to attain the level of realism present in the Terme portraits, two other examples of Vespasian’s main type in Tunis (cat. 2.29; fig. 54)86 and Turin (cat. 2.30; fig. 55a-b)87 have been refashioned from likenesses of Nero. In the Tunis portrait, Nero’s locks have been entirely smoothed over, but the mass of the original coiffure is still present and bulges out unnaturally behind Vespasian’s ears. The brows are retained from Nero’s second type. The wrinkles and furrows which have been cut into the forehead, above the nose, and around the mouth have been rendered in a harshly linear manner which is characteristic of much of the sculpture produced locally in North Africa. The result is a more abstract handling of the veristic details of Vespasian’s main type than in the metropolitan Roman or Italian examples. The head is worked for insertion into an over life-sized togate statue and was discovered in the temple of Apollo at Bulla Regia. The image may have been associated with the imperial cult and, in addition to the London portrait, provides important evidence for the dissemination of Nero’s likenesses in North Africa and their subsequent reworking after his overthrow.88 A colossal laureate portrait from Verria in Macedonia has also been recut into a
Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 53. 86 Tunis, Musée du Bardo, inv. C 1025. 87 Museo di Antichità, inv. 244. 88 A statue of Minia Procula, identified by inscription as a priestess of the imperial cult was also discovered at the temple of Apollo; A. Beschaouch, R. Hanoune, Y. Thébert (1977) 131, fig. 130.

this group. The head, presumably from Rome or its vicinity, has been recut from a preexisting portrait of Nero’s fourth type. Numerous signs of aging have been added to the likeness and include deep horizontal furrows on the forehead and vertical creases above the bridge of the nose, sunken eyes set beneath heavy lids, naso-labial lines, and several wrinkles on the neck. The hair over the forehead has been recut, and the top of the head has been worked over with a chisel. The locks over the left ear are unaltered from Nero’s fourth portrait type.82 The longer hair on the right side of the head, and on the nape of the neck are also remnants of Nero’s fourth type, as is the slightly receding lower lip. The wrinkles on the neck do not accurately take into account the turn of the head and are clearly a product of the reworking.83 The indications of aging sharply distinguish the new portrait of Vespasian from more idealized images of the disgraced Nero. Significantly, only five of the portraits of Vespasian recut from likenesses of Nero have been reworked into Vespasian’s more realistic, main type. One of these portraits, in the Terme, was discovered in 1908 near Castel Porziano and is remarkable for the marked exaggeration of its aged facial features, which make it, without a doubt, the most realistic of Vespasian’s images (cat. 2.23; fig. 52a-d).84 The furrows in the forehead are insistently modeled. The small eyes are nearly swallowed by the heavy lids and surrounding folds of flesh. The cheeks are sunken and the naso-labial lines are deeply carved. The recutting of the facial features has resulted in striking asymmetricalities. The left eye is considerably smaller than the right and the handling of the upper eyelids has given a triangular shape to both eyes. The treatment of the eyebrows is vastly different. All trace of Nero’s full lips have been removed and, consequently, the mouth of the portrait is reworked as a sunken gash in the face.

82 83 84

M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 337. M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 337. Inv. 38795.

nero and poppaea markedly veristic likeness of Vespasian, with strong horizontal wrinkles added to the forehead, pouches beneath the eyes, as well as deep nasolabial lines (cat. 2.31).89 Traces of Nero’s longer and fuller hair (from type 3 or 4) are visible at the back of the head. The insistent signs of aging have been cut into the head, rather than being fully modeled, giving the likeness a kind of wood-cut effect. The Verria head provides important evidence for the transformation of Nero’s likenesses in Greece. A small chalcedony bust of Vespasian in Boston has also been refashioned from a representation of Nero (cat. 2.16).90 The portrait depicts the emperor wearing a paludamentum and is an important instance of a miniature military image of Nero being recut into a likeness of Vespasian. Traces of Nero’s longer locks are still clearly visible at the sides and back of the head. A Neronian sestertius once on the art market in Munich is a unique example of a reworked numismatic portrait.91 The coin is dated by its reverse, which depicts a congiarium, to A.D. 6466. The obverse depicts a laureate portrait of the emperor and the legend reads: NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P IMP P P. Nero’s coiffure and beard from his third portrait type, as attested in an unaltered versions of the coin, have been carefully chiseled away.92 In addition, the nose has been chiseled in at the bridge, and three diagonal cuts have been made in the emperor’s fleshy underchin. Apparently, these alterations were an attempt to transform Nero’s likeness into that of Vespasian. Interestingly enough, Nero’s name and titles have not been erased or altered. The combination of the reworked portrait of Vespasian with the names and titles of Nero makes a forceful statement regarding Nero’s overthrow and Vespasian’s ultimate success in replacing him as the head of the Roman state. Because it is unique, the reworked sestertius is likely to have been the spontaneous
Museum, inv. 373. Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 98.768. 91 D. Salzmann (1984) 295-99, figs. 3, 5. 92 A. Banti and L. Simonetti (1979) 138- 53, nos. 784805, figs; D. Salzmann (1984) 296-7, n. 10, figs. 4,6.
90 89


work of an individual who intended to defame the memory of Nero and proclaim his loyalty to the new regime. Nero/Titus Several likenesses of Nero have been refashioned into images of Vespasian’s eldest son, Titus. On the basis of numismatic parallels, Titus’s sculpted portraits have been divided into two types.93 The first is the most widely disseminated of his types. The coiffure of this type is combed forward from the occiput, with longer locks at the back of the head and relatively short curly locks framing the face. The hair recedes at the temples and is arranged in a curved segment over the forehead. The locks over the forehead are brushed from left to right, with a few locks over the right eye reversing this direction. The face is full and square, with a forehead that is broad and often marked by horizontal furrows. The brows are somewhat arching and the eyes are marked by well-defined upper and lower lids. The nose is hooked and the cupid’s bow mouth is full. The lower lip does not usually recede. The chin is rounded and often cleft and combined with a fleshy underchin. The main replica of this type, after which it is often called, is a cuirassed statue discovered at Herculaneum.94 The second type differs from the first chiefly in the way in which the locks are arranged over the forehead. These locks are less randomly ordered than in the Herculaneum type and are combed from left to right, sometimes having one or two curls reversing this direction over the outer corner of the left eye. The hair over the forehead is also less curved than in the first type. The second type has been referred to as the Erbach type after an important replica preserved in that collection.95 Significantly, most of the images of Titus trans-

93 See M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 18-29; K. Fittschen (1977) 63-67; Fittschen-Zanker I, 3334. 94 Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 6059. 95 See D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 172-6, figs. 141-2, for a discussion of Titus’ portrait typology and illustrations of the Herculaneum and Erbach images.


chapter three altered from Nero’s fourth type and consequently are more exuberant and baroque in the modeling of the physiognomy. In both portraits the lower profiles closely match Nero’s type 4 portrait in Munich (fig. 83). The Alexandria portrait of Titus provides further corroboration for the recarving of Nero’s likenesses in the provinces, and additionally attests to the dissemination of Nero’s images in Egypt, a province which interested Nero greatly. A badly weathered type 1 image of Titus in Copenhagen also appears to have been refashioned from a type 3 or 4 portrait of Nero (cat. 2.34; fig. 36a-d).102 Like the Paris and Alexandria heads, it exhibits a more emphatic modeling of the heavy facial features. The small, fleshy eyes are remnants of the Neronian portrait. Nero’s longer locks have been cut down behind the ears and on the nape of the neck. Representations of Nero were also reworked into Titus’s secondary (Erbach) type, as attested by two examples, in the Villa Borghese (cat. 2.39)103 and the Uffizi (cat. 2.35; fig. 57).104 The Borghese head was recarved from a type 2 likeness of Nero and retains some of the classicizing feel of the original. As part of the Borghese collection, the head is likely to have been discovered in Rome or its vicinity. The Uffizi portrait has been recarved from a replica of Nero’s third or fourth type. Like the Borghese piece, it probably comes from Rome or its vicinity, as it was originally part of the Ludovisi collection sold to Ferdinando II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in 1669.105 The discrepancies of coiffure and physiognomy occasioned by the recarving have resulted in a likeness of Titus which deviates considerably from other replicas of his second type. A portrait from the Roman theater at Trieste of Titus has also been reconfigured from an existing image of Nero (cat. 2.40; fig. 58).106 The portrait is worked for insertion, likely into a

formed from pre-existing images of Nero have been adapted to Titus’s first type, suggesting that these reconfigurations took place earlier in the principate of Vespasian, rather than later or during the principate of Titus himself. A cuirassed portrait from the Metroon at Olympia, originally a type 3 replica of Nero has been refashioned into a conflation of Titus’s two portrait types (cat. 2.37).96 Nero’s type 3 coiffure is evident on the top of the head and behind the left ear where it is swept forward. The long, curving locks which remain from Nero’s hairstyle contrast starkly with Titus’s more heavily modeled short curls added over the forehead. The cuirass is decorated with marine imagery, including dolphins and a Nereid riding a hippocamp. This particular motif may have been created by Neronian artists.97 In addition the statue attests to the dissemination of militaristic images of Nero in Greece, specifically Olympia, the site of his panhellenic victories in athletics and recitation. Furthermore, the portrait confirms both a Neronian and Flavian phase for the portrait cycle at the Metroon, as the original portrait of Nero would have been added to the existing Claudian group of Divus Augustus, Claudius, and Agrippina Minor. Two portraits of Titus’s first type have been adapted from replica’s of Nero’s second type. These likenesses, in Hannover (cat. 2.36)98 and Castle Howard (cat. 2.33),99 still exhibit remnants of Nero’s type 2 hairstyle at the back of the head. The smooth modeling of the surfaces in the Hannover likeness reveals the underlying classicism and idealization which are characteristic of Nero’s type 2 images. On the other hand, the more realistic details of the Castle Howard portrait have entirely eliminated any trace of Nero’s youthful facial features. In contrast, two additional replicas of Titus’s first type, in Paris (cat. 2.38)100 and Alexandria (cat. 2.32),101 have been
Museum, no. 144. Two additional cuirasses display identical imagery, in the Louvre (inv. 3384) and Durres, inv 4415 (earlier 825) see infra. 98 Sammlung des Herzogs von Braunschweig. 99 Castle Howard (Forschungsarchiv für römische Plastik Köln, neg. no. 1025/05, 1025/06, 918/10). 100 Musée du Louvre, MA 3562. 101 Alexandria, Museum, inv. 26958.
97 96

102 103 104 105 106

664a, inv. 1843. Sala del Ermafrodito 171, inv. 748. Inv. 1914.126. B. Palma, MusNazRom 1.6, 104. Museo Civico di Storia e Arte, inv. 3139.

nero and poppaea cuirassed statue, and represents the emperor wearing a laurel crown. The hair behind the corona has been worked away, but the longer locks brushed forward behind the ears are clear remnants of Nero’s type 3 coiffure. As a result of the reworking, the crown is too large for the shape of the face, and the neck is unnaturally thick at its base. Nero/Domitian Vespasian’s younger son, Domitian shared superficial similarities in age, physiognomy, and coiffure, with Nero and as a result more portraits of Nero were altered into representations of Domitian, than have been transformed into either Vespasian or Titus. All three of Domitian’s portrait types are represented among the reworked images, spanning the years A.D. 69-96. Domitian’s earliest type is attested on coins from A.D. 72-75. The young prince is shown with a full head of curly hair which is arranged in curving locks over the forehead, combed from right to left, with a section of locks often reversing direction over the right eye. Domitian has a hooked nose like his father and his face is broad. His mouth is full, and the lower lip recedes slightly. The chin is firm and somewhat square in shape. Domitian’s second portrait type is used on coins beginning in 75. In this portrait type, the hair is curlier over the forehead and at the temples. Some of these locks can be treated as full corkscrew curls. The curving locks over the forehead continue to be brushed right to left, but the reversed locks are placed over the left eye rather than the right. The third and final portrait type first appears on coins in A.D. 81, the year of Domitian’s accession. The long strands of hair are now brushed in waves, forward from the occiput.107 Again, the curving locks are carefully arranged over the forehead and are oriented right to left, with the locks over the right temple reversing this direction.


Four full length portrait statues of Domitian originally represented Nero. Three of these are cuirassed likenesses, including a statue recut to Domitian’s first type in the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican (cat. 2.53; fig. 59).108 The likeness retains elements of Nero’s type 2 coiffure, but M. Pfanner has conclusively demonstrated that the original facial structure belonged to Nero’s third portrait type: the profile of the Braccio Nuovo head matches exactly the profile of Nero’s only surviving type 3 portrait in the Museo Palatino (fig. 82a-c).109 Thus, the original portrait of Nero was a conflation of types 2 and 3, datable to A.D. 59-64. The Braccio Nuovo statue is one of three Neronian likenesses which exhibit such conflations.110 The reworked image of Domitian retains the calm, classicizing authority of the original and consequently is a flattering representation of the young Caesar. The statue recalls the Prima Porta statue of Augustus, depicting the emperor in cuirass and hip mantle. Like the Prima Porta portrait, the imagery on the cuirass, a cupid riding a bull, a nereid, a triton, and a dolphin, imbues the likeness with additional iconographical meaning, placing the rule of the princeps in a larger cosmological setting and proclaiming his domination over the sea. In addition, the statue’s marine imagery closely relates it to the Nero/ Titus from the Metroon at Olmpia (cat. 2.37). As a representation of a victorious imperator the statue also provides invaluable evidence for militaristic images of Nero produced in Rome. Such images were undoubtedly created to capitalize on the Roman military successes in Armenia, engineered by Gn. Domitius Corbulo, as well as to publicly represent Nero in the traditional role of popular army commander (like his maternal grandfather Germanicus), despite the emperor’s lack of military experience.

107 According to Suetonius, Domitian combed his hair forward in order to cover his premature baldness, Dom. 18.2. 108 126 (formerly 129), inv. 2213.

(1989) 219, fig. 35. A bronze portrait from the Via Babuino has the same combination of type 2 hair with type 3 facial features (Palazzo dei Conservatori, [formerly] Sala dei Bronzi, inv. 2385[Centrale Montemartini 1.25b), while a portrait in Oslo combines a type 4 coiffure with the leaner facial features of type 2 (Nasjonalgalleriet, 1248).



chapter three variation with thymeterium may be an innovation of the Neronian period, designed, through the sacral symbol of the thymeterium, to underscore the divinely sanctioned nature of Nero’s position as victorious imperator. 115 The pteryges are embossed with lions heads alternating with pairs of double elephant heads, perhaps intended as allusions the victories in Armenia. The statue body is of extremely high quality, with much care lavished on the details of the cuirass and sandals.116 The original portrait must have been created between A.D. 64 and 68 and may have been designed to offset the perception of Nero as an artist and philhellene, which was especially prevalent during the later years of his reign. In addition to the Braccio Nuovo and Vaison-la-Romaine statues, the Parma portrait provides further evidence for a militaristic component of Neronian visual propaganda. Indeed, martial representations of Nero may have been especially susceptible to reuse under the Flavians, who all stressed their roles as military leaders and victors. Another full length portrait of Domitian’s first type has been entirely transformed from an earlier likeness of Nero. The statue is now in Munich and the body, adapted from a 4th century prototype of Diomedes by Kresilas, depicts the emperor nude, with mantle draped over his left shoulder and a balteus across his chest (cat.2.46;

A second reworked cuirassed portrait of Domitian provides additional evidence for militaristic representations of Nero (cat. 2.58; fig. 60ab).111 The statue was discovered at the Roman theater in Vaison-la-Romaine, together with the Caligula/Claudius as Jupiter (cat. 1.32). The anomalies of the reworked portrait, namely the unfinished hair on the top and sides of the head and the asymmetrical eyes, would not have been visible if the portrait was displayed high up in the scaenae frons or wall of the theater. The original statue of Nero is likely to have been specifically commissioned for the theater. On the cuirass winged victories in short chitons flank the palladium associated with Minerva, Vesta and the earliest cults of Rome, and the entire ensemble is designed to underscore the emperor as semper victor.112 Although variations on this motif became common on Flavian and Trajanic cuirasses, its earliest appearance is on the Vaison statue suggesting that the resonant combination of Victory figures and the palladium was a particular innovation of the Neronian period.113 A third cuirassed portrait, discovered on 17 June 1761 during the excavations of the JulioClaudian Basilica at Velleia, provides an unusual example of an image of Nero which has undergone two recuttings (cat. 2.50; fig. 61a-e).114 The portrait was initially a replica of Nero’s fourth portrait type, then recarved into a likeness of Domitian, and ultimately reworked into an image of Nerva (cat. 5.13). The decoration on the cuirass is strikingly similar to the Vaison statue, with nearly identical winged victories in short chitons flanking a thymeterium, instead of a palladium. Like the motif on the Vaison statue, the
Vaison-la-Romaine, Musée Municipal, inv. 300.315. As a further statement of the invincible and heroic nature of the emperor, he is presented barefoot. The appearance of the palladium on the cuirass also associates the image with the cult of Vesta, which Nero promoted, as evidenced particularly by his rebuilding and expansion of the Temple and Atrium Vestae in the Forum Romanum after the fire of A.D. 64; see F. Coarelli (1980) 83. 113 On the motif, see K. Stemmer (1978) 77, n. 227, 155, and table between pages 152 and 153. 114 Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 146 (1870), 827 (1954).
112 111

115 K. Stemmer cites the Parma cuirass, which he dates to the early Claudian period, as the first appearance of the motif of victories flanking a thymaterium or candleabra; 810, no. I 4, table between pages 152 and 153. Stemmer cites only three instances which predate the Neronian period and they are dated to the Claudian or late Claudian periods; none of these survive with their original portrait heads to permit more secure dating (formerly Sikyon Museum, [1978] 19, no. I 18, pl. 9.4; Schloss Ehrbach 20 [1978] 24, no. II 2, pl. 11.2-3; Berlin, Staatlich Museen 368 [1978] 60, no. V 8, pl. 36.4; see also Sassari, Museo Sanna 7890 [1978] 87-88, no. VII 23, pl. 61.3, which is listed in the table between pages 152 and 153 as late Claudian, but in the catalogue entry as Neronian). Stemmer’s dating criteria are probably too rigid, and it is certainly within the realm of possibility that these three cuirasses are Neronian or later. Significantly no Neronian cuirasses are included in Stemmer’s table on the types and chronology of cuirass decoration. 116 C. Saletti (1968) 54-5.

nero and poppaea fig. 62a-e).117 The statue was discovered in 1758 at Labicum, in the excavations of a villa which may have belonged to one of Domitian’s freedmen. This heroic image of the emperor was originally a replica of Nero’s third type. Although the Diomedes body type is attested in the early imperial period, it was not especially popular for imperial portraits during the first century.118 The Munich statue documents the dissemination of heroic, classicizing images of Nero, fully in keeping with the emperor’s philhellenic tastes. In addition, the combination of classicizing body with a head rendered in the more baroque style of Nero’s third portrait type would have lent an eclectic tension to the original. Additional portraits of Domitian have been reworked from likenesses of Nero, and, as might be expected a substantial majority were refashioned into replicas of Domitian’s first portrait type making them datable to the initial years of Vespasian’s principate, as also seems to be the case with portraits reconfigured into representations of his brother Titus . Images from Rome or its environs include a portrait altered from type 2 likeness in Madrid (cat. 2.44)119 as well as portraits refashioned from type 4 likenesses in the Terme (cat. 2.52; fig. 63a-d),120 the Museo Capitolino (cat. 2.51),121 in Munich (cat. 2.47),122 and Boston (cat. 2.47; fig. 64a-c).123 Of uncertain provenance, another type 1 portrait of Domitian in Stuttgart has been recut from a replica of Nero’s third portrait type (cat. 2.57).124 The carving of the Boston head is of the highest artistic quality and is remarkable for a recut im-


age. The sculptor responsible for refashioning this piece has concentrated his efforts on redoing the hair over the forehead and the preexisting mass of Nero’s coiffure has allowed the artist to dramatically undercut the new locks. The resulting exuberant play of light and shadow contrasts with the smooth classicism of the face and recalls similar virtuoso contrasts in the best metropolitan Roman portraits from the Flavian period.125 Indeed, the sculptor has masterfully translated the existing image of Nero into the emerging Flavian artistic idiom.126 In contrast, a type 1 likenesses in Vasto, also refashioned from a type four replica of Nero represents an entirely different stylistic approach (cat. 2.59; fig. 65).127 The stiff, linear handling of the coiffure, the emblematic treatment of the almond shaped eyes, and the blank, unmodeled surfaces of the face suggest that the original portrait of Nero and the subsequent recarving strongly reflect local Apulian taste and workmanship apparently characterized by a preference for schematized and abstracted sculptural renderings. Provincial variants of Domitian’s first portrait type, from Cologne (cat. 2.42)128 and Munigua (cat. 2.56),129 have also been reworked from representations of Nero. The Cologne likeness retains small narrow eyes and the part over the right temple of Nero’s type 3 images. The portrait was discovered at Cologne, ancient Colonia Agrippinensis, and is worked for insertion into a togate statue, capite velato. The city’s close connection to Nero’s mother Agrippina Minor may have
As is especially evident in female portraiture of the period whose elaborate coiffures provided ample opportunities displaying such sculptural talents, as, for example, in the well known Fonseca bust in the Stanza degli Imperatori of the Museo Capitolino 15, inv. 434, FittschenZanker III, 53-54, no. 59, pls. 86-7 (despite P. Zanker’s attempts to date the bust to the late Trajanic or early Hadrianic period). 126 The head was discovered at Tusculum in the ruins of Domitian’s villa in the nineteenth century. M. Comstock and C.C. Vermeule (1976) 217. Evidently the recarved likeness was sufficiently appreciated in antiquity to be displayed at the imperial villa. 127 Museo Civico. 128 Römisch-Germanisches Museum. 129 122. Seville, Museo Arqueológico Provincial, inv. 1996/8.

Munich, Glyptothek, 394 (formerly 249). Louvre MA 1251 and Louvre MA 1215 are early imperial replicas of the type. Other variations on the type which predate the Neronian image include: Pompey (Museo Torlonia, C. Maderna [1988] 199, no. D3); Agrippa (Venice, Museo Archeologico 11, C. Maderna [1988] 198, no. D2); Augustus (Musei Vaticani, Sala a Croce Greca, inv. 181, C. Maderna [1988] 199-200, no. D4, pl. 18.3). 119 Prado, inv. 321 E. 120 Museo Nazionale Romano. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 226. 121 Stanza degli Imperatori 14, inv. 427. 122 Glyptothek, 418. 123 Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 88.639. 124 Württembergisches Landesmuseum, 64/28.



chapter three ginally represented Nero (cat. 2.54; fig. 68).134 Elements of Nero’s third portrait type coiffure still visible in the relief indicate that it was created between 59 and 64, while the use of Domitian’s third portrait type, indicates a date of 81 or later for the recutting. The period of over a decade which elapsed between the creation of the monument and its alteration is puzzling and suggests that the relief may have been stored in the intervening years, or alternatively never installed on the monument for which it was intended, as seems to also be the case with the Cancelleria Reliefs (cat. 5.17). Several of Nero’s glyptic likenesses were also reworked, including a type 2 likeness of Nero on a sardonyx cameo in Minden recut to a portrait of Domitian’s third type (cat. 2.45; fig. 69).135 The emperor wears a corona civica and the coiffure and facial features have been extensively recarved, causing a reduction in the overall proportions of the head. Consequently, both the neck and corona are too large for the current size of the head. Nero’s longer locks have been cut back over the forehead, in front of the ears and on the nape of the neck, but traces of the original coiffure are still clearly visible in these areas. The locks on top of the head have also been reworked into Domitian’s waved arrangement. Nero’s aquiline nose has been made hooked by recarving the bridge of the nose. Like the reconfigured type 3 marble portraits of Domitian in Naples and Madrid, the Minden cameo could not have been recarved any earlier than A.D. 81. Cameo portraits of Vespasian or Titus are fairly rare, which suggests a decline in both production and demand for such gems during their reigns. The recutting of the Minden cameo may have been occasioned by the renewed interest in gem portraits under Domitian. The inherent value of the Minden portrait as a semiprecious stone and object d’art, must have insured that it was not destroyed as a result of Nero’s damnatio. But the fact that the effort was made to reuse this cameo underscores its political signifi-

occasioned the creation of the original Neronian likeness. The Munigua image was discovered in an ancient well together with other sculptural fragments. The orientation of the locks, as well as the broad facial features have been retained from the original type 4 likeness of Nero. The Cologne and Munigua portraits testify to the transformation of Nero’s representations into images of Domitian as Caesar in the western and northern provinces. An unusual example of Domitian’s second portrait type in Naples has been recut from a replica of Nero’s own second type (cat. 2.48).130 The coiffure of the Naples head has been largely recarved. However, Nero’s longer locks are clearly visible on the left side of the head, especially at the nape of the neck where they are swept forward. The locks on the right side of the nape of the neck have been made shorter, but the projecting mass of the original coiffure is still clearly visible in this area. Three replicas of Domitian’s third portrait type, in Naples (cat. 2.49; fig. 66a-b),131 Rome (cat. 2.55; fig. 67),132 and Madrid (cat. 2.43),133 have been recut from images of Nero. These three recut images of Domitian provide significant evidence for the warehousing of Nero’s portraits, since they could not have been reworked any earlier than A.D. 81, the year in which Domitian’s third portrait type was introduced to mark his accession. The Naples likeness retains elements of Nero’s own third portrait type. The portrait in Rome is well over life-sized in scale, and displays remnants of Nero’s type 3 coiffure over the right ear. The Madrid likeness has also been refashioned from a type 3 portrait of Nero. In addition to the Munigua portrait, and the Nero/Vespasians in Seville, it provides further evidence for the warehousing and reworking of Nero’s images in Roman Iberia. A fragmentary relief portrait of Domitian’s third type in the Museo Gregoriano Profano oriMuseo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 5907. Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 6061. 132 Villa Margherita (American Embassy) wall along the Via Boncompagni. 133 Madrid, Museo Arqueológico, inv. 2770.
131 130

134 135

no. 644, inv. 4065. Domschatz.

nero and poppaea cance as a presentation piece, redesigned to exalt the reigning emperor, Domitian. The great number of sculpted portraits of Nero which were reworked into images of the three Flavian principes Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian may also have been occasioned by economic necessity as well as convenience. Following Nero’s financial excesses and the enormous costs of the civil wars, Vespasian inherited an imperial treasury which was substantially depleted. Certainly, reworking preexisting portraits of Nero into likenesses of the new dynasts would have been more economically feasible than destroying the former emperor’s representations altogether.136 Nero/Augustus As was also the case with Caligula, several images of Nero were retrospectively recycled into representations of Augustus. The continued popularity of the first princeps transcended the change in regime, while the physical similarities between Nero and his great-great grandfather would have facilitated the reworkings. Seven of these refashioned portraits have survived and all of them are versions of Augustus’s Prima Porta type.137 Three likenesses, in the Palazzo Colonna (cat. 2.11; fig. 70),138 Padua (cat. 2.9), 139 and St. Germain-en-Laye (cat. 2.12)140 were originally replicas of Nero’s second type, the closest to Augustan portraits in terms of style, iconography, and coiffure. In all three Nero’s central part has been replaced with the three lock arrangement characteristic of Augustus’s Prima Porta hairstyle.


Vespasian’s thrifty personality and concern with economy are illustrated by several anecdotes recorded by Suetonius, Vesp. 16, 23.2-4. 137 D. Boschung recognizes six recarved likenesses in his catalogue of Augustus’s portraits (Alexandria, GrecoRoman Museum, inv. 24.043; Aquileia, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, inv. 12; Luni, Antiquario, CM 1033; Padua, Museo Civico, inv. 819; Palazzo Colonna, fid. no. 54; St. Germain-en-laye, Musée des Antiquités Nationales, inv. 63734). However, details of physiognomy and coiffure indicate that a portrait in the Vatican is also recarved (Sala dei Busti 274, inv. 715). 138 Fid. no. 54. 139 Museo Civico, inv. 819. 140 Musée des Antiquités Nationales, inv. 63734.


Nevertheless, Nero’s long curving locks are still apparent, at the edges of the forehead and over the ears. The physiognomy of the Colonna portrait has been very little altered from the Neronian likeness, and is a pertinent reminder of the homogenous nature of much JulioClaudian portraiture and the endurance of the Augustan iconographic legacy. In the Padua and St. Germain images, the facial features have been recut, especially in the area of the forehead, cheeks and mouth. The Padua portrait includes slight signs of aging, the suggestion of sunken cheeks and naso-labial lines. As already noted, veristic signs of aging can be a feature of Augustus’s posthumous images, and here they may have been additionally intended to distance the recarved image from the original Neronian likeness, as with so many of the portraits altered to Vespasian. Indeed, the recutting of Padua head is likely contemporary with the transformation of images of Nero into Vespasian and reflects similar stylistic intentions. The St. Germain portrait was discovered in Marseilles and attests to the reworking of Nero’s images in Gaul. Nero’s type 3 portraits were also refashioned into representations of Augustus, as evidenced by likenesses in Aquilea (cat. 2.7; fig. 71),141 the Vatican (cat. 2.10; fig. 72a-b),142 and Alexandria (cat. 2.6).143 The Aquilea portrait, a full length togate statue capite velato (carved from a single block of marble) was discovered near the Roman circus at Aquilea, together with the Caligula/ Claudius with long paludamentum (cat. 1.17; fig. 12). The portrait retains much of Nero’s full coiffure, but the face has been substantially recut and again, signs of aging often present in Augustus’s posthumous likenesses, have been added. The statue, testifies to the dissemination of traditional images of Nero, capite velato, intended to celebrate the emperor’s religious role as pontifex maximus.144 The Vatican portrait is especially significant

Museo Archeologico Nazionale, inv. 12. Sala dei Busti 274, inv. 715. 143 Greco Roman Museum, inv. 24043. 144 As also in the unreworked type 2 capite velato portrait of Nero in the Museo Palatino, ex Terme (inv. 616), see infra.



chapter three The colossal image in Alexandria is worked for insertion into an acrolithic statue. Nero’s type three hairstyle is plainly visible at the edges of the forehead and in the traces of long sideburns over the ears. The long arching brows and full, receding lower lip have also been retained from the Neronian likeness. Indeed, the brows themselves project unnaturally from the forehead and are remnants of the sculptural volume of the Neronian original. The insistent modeling of the coiffure and facial features, also clear vestiges of the original, combine to make this one the most baroque of Augustus’s images. The portrait was discovered at Athribis, and attests to the creation of colossal images of Nero in Egypt, probably to be associated with the imperial cult. A fragmentary relief portrait of Augustus from Luni was modified from a replica of Nero’s fourth portrait type (cat. 2.8; fig. 73).150 Likely forming part of the sculptural decoration of an important public monument at Luna, the portrait featured a separately worked radiate crown (in metal). The radiate crown is an important Neronian innovation within the context of imperial visual imagery. Previously, its use had been essentially limited to representations of deities like Apollo-Helios, Hellenistic rulers, as for instance Ptolemy IV, and divi, most notably Augustus.151 If the radiate crown is a feature of the original Neronian portrait, as seems probable, its appearance on the Luni relief may actually have dictated the reconfiguration of the image as Divus Augustus, for whom it was already and established attribute Like the Nero/Domitian in the Museo Gregoriano Profano, the portrait provides important, albeit tantalizing, evidence for the production and appearance of Neronian relief monuments and their subsequent alteration under the Flavians. Both of the likenesses are also the first chronological instances of reconfigured portraits on

for its attribute, the corona spicea. Nero’s third coiffure has been left largely intact, with the exception of the central locks over the forehead which have been recut to Augustus’s Prima Porta arrangement. The small eyes, broad facial features, and full, retreating lower lip are all legacies of the Neronian portrait. And in fact, the profile of the Vatican image closely matches that of the Palatine portrait of Nero. The Vatican head marks the first appearance of the corona spicea in conjunction with male imperial portraits.145 This distinctive crown is multivalent in its associations with Ceres, Triptolemus, the Eleusinian Mysteries, as well as the fratres arvales.146 The corona spicaea is also used extensively by Nero’s mother, Agrippina Minor in her numismatic images issued under Claudius. The association with the fratres arvales is likely stressed in the Vatican image, as it may have been discovered at the Arval sanctuary at Magliana.147 The recognition of this piece as a recarved portrait of Nero changes significantly the initial ideological implications of the image. The portrait is not a product of Augustus’s wish to associate himself with Ceres as guarantor of agricultural abundance,148 but rather a testament to Nero’s close involvement with the fratres arvales.149
145 Prior to the Neronian period, the corona spicea, chiefly associated with Ceres, was used in conjunction with representations of female members of the imperial family including Livia, Antonia Minor, and Agrippina Minor; see B.S. Spaeth (1996) 171, no. 1.10, 172, nos. 1.16, 1.21, 173, nos. 1.23-26 (Livia); 173, nos. 2.1-2 (Antonia Minor); 175, nos. 6.4, 6.6-9 (Agrippina Minor). 146 P. Liverani favors an association with the Arval Brotherhood (1990-91) 165, as does C. Chirasi-Colombo (1981) 423-5; B. Spaeth, following A. Alföldi (1979) 582-3, cites the piece in the context of Triptolemus and Ceres (1994) 92 and (1996) 23, n. 123, 47, n. 94. 147 J. Scheid (1990) 572, n. 36. 148 As proposed by B.S. Spaeth (1996) 23, 47, n. 94. 149 At Nero’s request, the Brotherhood made an annual sacrifice on the birthday of his father, Gn. Domitius Ahenobarbus (11 December) in front of the ancestral home of the Domitii Ahenobarbi (Suet. Nero 9; Tac. Ann.13.10; J. Scheid [1990] 412, 416). The Arvals gave thanks for the discovery of a “wicked plot” against Nero between May and September of 66 (Suet. Nero 36; AFA Henzen 34 = Smallwood 26; Griffin [1984] 178, n. 75). They also made vows for safe return of Nero and Statilia Messalina from Greece (25 September 66; Philost. Life of Apollonius 5.7; Eus., ed. Schoene, 154-57; Griffin [1984] 126, n. 162). Later

emperors are also shown with this crown as frater arval, as for instance, portraits of Antoninus Pius and Lucius Verus in the Louvre, MA 1180, MA 1169 (K. de Kersauson [1996] 198-99, 270-71, nos. 84, 121). 150 Antiquario, CM 1033. 151 M. Bergmann (1998) 13-79 for the Hellenistic material.

nero and poppaea Roman imperial reliefs which may have been commemorative or historical in nature. Nero/Claudius One colossal portrait of Nero originally a replica of Nero’s third or fourth type, now in Baltimore, was altered into a likeness of his uncle and predecessor, Claudius (cat. 2.13).152 Deep naso labial lines and strong wrinkles around the mouth have been added in order to transform the image of the youthful Nero into a middle aged representation of Claudius. Such realistic signs of aging are consonant with the revived interest in verism which marks the early Flavian period. All three Flavian emperors honored the defied Claudius, whose cult may have been neglected during the later years of Nero’s reign. 153 The retrospective reconfiguration of the Baltimore portrait into Claudius is unique but it stands as a clear expression of the pietas which the Flavians evinced towards the memory of Claudius. Nero/Galba A sardonyx cameo in Paris representing Galba has been recut from a type 3 portrait of Nero (cat. 2.14; fig. 74).154 The cameo presents the emperor with corona civica and aegis. The locks which frame the face have been shortened, but their arrangement has essentially been retained from Nero’s coiffure. Horizontal furrows on the forehead and emphatic naso-labial lines, which appear on Galba’s numismatic portraits, have been included in the recarved cameo likeness. The remnants of the original likeness, namely the full Neronian coiffure and the divine attribute of the aegis, are


extremely inconsistent with Galba’s numismatic iconography. Galba’s coin portraits stand in stark contrast to those of his predecessor. Galba is usually depicted with a short, military coiffure, his features are realistically aged, in the tradition of Republican verism, and he eschews all divine attributes. Galba’s portraits were distinctly intended to differentiate his character and policies from those of Nero and they are an important precursor of similarly motivated Flavian veristic likenesses. However, the discrepancies of the recarved Paris cameo may have been viewed as less incongruous in the medium of glyptic portraits, which often present the emperor or members of the imperial family with divine attributes.155 Nero/Trajan A fragmentary sardonyx cameo in Berlin has been somewhat cursorily reworked into a likeness of Trajan (cat. 2.60; fig. 75).156 The emperor wears the laurel crown of the triumphator. Nero’s type 3 coiffure remains essentially intact, although shallow locks have been engraved on the forehead beneath the Neronian locks in order to change their orientation from right-to-left to leftto-right.157 A notch has been carved into the forehead just below the hair to make it bulge slightly, a physiognomical trait of Trajan’s portraiture. Naso-labial lines have been added and the lips and chin recarved. The reconfiguration of this cameo was delayed at least 30 years, as it cannot have been recut before Trajan’s accession in 98. Nero/Antinous In contrast to the Nero/Trajan cameo in Berlin, a sardonyx in Paris has been more plausibly
Cameos of Galba in Florence represent him bareheaded, without attributes and with a laurel crown (Museo Archeologico invs. 14543 and 14656), A. Giuliano (1989) 242, no. 173, with fig. (with earlier literature); A. Giuliano (1989) 244, no. 174, with fig. (with earlier literature). 156 Staatliche Museen, inv. no. 1983.11. 157 Trajan’s Type 1 coiffure is characterized by a majority of forehead locks which are combed right to left.

Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, inv. 23.118. Vespasian is credited with completing the huge complex containing the Temple of Divus Claudius on the Caelian, parts of which was used as a nymphaeum in the park of Nero’s Domus Aurea (Suet. Vesp. 9.1), Claudius is also featured on coins of Titus and Domitian (BMC 2, 28990, nos. 297-307, 417, no. 512, pls. 56.1, 56.3, 56.5, 83.3). Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis is an extreme example of the denigration of Claudius which took place under Nero; see also J. Pollini (1984) 552-53, n. 45. 154 Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 251.



chapter three stippled beard has been added to the portrait, and the hair over the forehead has been recut into Gallienus’s arrangement of comma shaped locks which are clearly intended to recall Julio-Claudian coiffures.160 The resulting image combines the shorter beard of Gallienus’s first portrait type, with the fuller coiffure of his later types.161 The revival of Julio-Claudian coiffures which occurred under Valerian and Gallienus, combined with the political and economic instability of the period, would have rendered the Columbia portrait especially suitable for reuse at this time.162 Like the Nero/Augustus and the Nero/Titus in Alexandria, the Columbia head also provides important evidence for the kinds of Neronian images displayed in Egypt, in this instance a veiled portrait invoking Nero’s role as Pontifex Maximus. Nero/Constantinian Emperor Nero/Gallienus

refashioned into an image of Antinous (cat. 2.61; fig. 76).158 Antinous wears a corona civica and paludamentum. The hair around the face has been recarved into Antinous’s profusely curly coiffure, although the straight locks of Nero’s type 2 hairstyle remain on the occiput, and Nero’s central part is still discernible amidst the reconfigured hairstyle over the forehead. The corona and paludamentum of the Paris cameo are remnants of the original Neronian image. As elements of ostensibly imperial iconography, they are unusual among portraits of Antinous, which tend to have divine or heroic attributes. As most portraits of Antinous were produced between 131, the year of his death, and 138, the year of Hadrian’s death, this cameo, like the Nero/Trajan cameo in Berlin, was not reworked until considerably after Nero’s own death and damnatio.

Nero’s sculpted images could also be warehoused for centuries as evidenced by a portrait in Columbia, Missouri which was not recarved until the middle of the third century, when it was altered into a likeness of Gallienus (cat. 2.62; fig. 72a-d).159 The portrait comes from Egypt and is worked for insertion into a togate statue, capite velato. The togate statue to which this head originally belonged was almost certainly reused after Nero’s portrait head had been removed. The insertion of a new head, probably a Flavian likeness, would have transformed the statue into a new and serviceable portrait. In the head itself, the long curving locks of Nero’s third coiffure remain visible behind the ears and over the forehead. The mouth retains the Neronian full receding under lip; but the upper lip has been recarved, giving it the pronounced central dip characteristic of Gallienus’s likenesses. Moreover, the profile with its fleshy underchin is an unmistakable feature Nero’s last two portrait types. A
158 Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles, 238, 5.9 x 4.8 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 97, n. 294, 111, 11314, 308, no. E6, pl. 42.10 (with previous literature). 159 University of Missouri, Museum of Art and Archaeology, acc. no. 62.46.

A colossal head in the Terme provides additional important evidence for the warehousing of Nero’s images for long periods of time (cat. 2.63; fig.

S. Wood (1986) 101. Gallienus’s first portrait type dates to the period of co-rule with his father Valerian (253-60), while the three later types (“Terme,” “Louvre,” and “Lagos,” all date to his reign as sole emperor (260-68); On Gallienus’s portrait typology see Fittschen and Zanker I, 134-139, nos. 112115, pl. 142; K. Fittschen (1993). The Columbia head finds close parallels to a replica of the Lagos type in the Palazzo Quirinale, Sala delle Quattro Stagioni SM 5071; M.E. Micheli in L. Guerrini and C. Gasparri (1993) 92-5, no. 33, pl. 32; K. Fittschen (1993) 212, pls. 27b, 29b, 35b. 162 M. Fuchs suggestion that the Nero/Gallienus is a type 4 Nero with beard reworked from a portrait of Caligula, (1997) 88 does not seem persuasive. The likeness preserves no traces of a pre-existing Caligulan likeness. Indeed, details such as the fleshy underchin and the girth of the portrait in profile are features of Nero’s representations and not Caligula’s and would be virtually impossible to add in terms of sculptural volume to a recut image. The stippled beard is more typically a third century feature. In Nero’s type 3 portrait in the Museo Palatino, the slight beard under the chin is incised as a series of long, curving locks, not stippled. The beard of the gilded bronze portrait now in an American private collection (fig. 87a-b) is fully modeled. The beards on Neronian and later Hadrianic private portraits which Fuchs sites are also fully modeled rather than stippled (Hannover, private collection, and Budapest, Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, inv. 3942, M. Fuchs [1997] 8889, pls. 9-10).


nero and poppaea 78).163 The portrait, originally of Nero’s fourth type, was not recut until the fourth century. Like the Columbia Nero/Gallienus, the Terme head must have been accessible and well enough preserved to make its reuse viable. The over life-sized scale of the Terme portrait virtually assures that it was reused as an imperial likeness. The provenance of the Terme head is unknown, but it is likely to have been discovered in Rome or its vicinity. Despite the portrait’s poor state of preservation, the remains of Nero’s type IV coiffure are discernible. The hair over the forehead has been recarved, but Nero’s hairstyle, with its parallel arrangement of curving locks across the forehead, from right to left, has been substantially retained. The resulting arrangement closely resembles a colossal marble portrait in the Cortile of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, representing one of the sons of Constantine.164 The classicism of the Terme image would also be consistent with a Constantinian date for its recarving. The eyes of the image have been recut in order to make them larger. The pupils have been drilled as half circles, with the irises incised around them, a pattern also consistent with other Constantinian portraits.165 The Constantinian period witnesses a resurgence in the practice of recarving imperial images, especially in the city of Rome, as attested by several portraits of Maxentius refashioned to represent Constantine and the recut relief portraits from the Great Trajanic Frieze, the Hadrianic tondi, and originally the Aurelian panels on the Arch of Constantine. The Con-


stantinian period also evinces a predilection for over life-sized and colossal imperial images. Nero’s Images Altered into Private Individuals In addition to the recarved portraits of Vespasian, Domitian, Titus, and Claudius, an unidentified child’s portrait in Hannover may have been reworked from a likeness of Nero (cat. 2.64).166 The portrait was discovered in Rome in the eighteenth century and traces of Nero’s type I coiffure are still visible on the back of the head and on the nape of the neck. The recarved arrangement of the hair, with its comma shaped locks is found in private portraits from the Julio-Claudian through the Trajanic periods. K. Fittschen has suggested that the reconfigured image was intended to represent one of the sons of Vitellius, whose likenesses appear on some of their father’s coins, but whose names are not recorded.167 Given Vitellius’s very public rehabilitation of Nero’s memory, this seems unlikely and the possibility that this portrait was recarved into an unknown private individual should not be discounted. In any case, the Hannover portrait remains a unique (and puzzling) example of a recarved replica of Nero’s first type. A portrait in the Yale University Art Gallery may also have been recarved into a representation of an unknown private individual of the Hadrianic period (cat. 2.65; fig. 79a-d).168 The arrangement of the locks over the forehead, with a part in the hair over the outer corner of the right eye recalls the type 3 replica in the Terme. The slightly wavy treatment of the hair on the top of the head also clearly resembles the coma in gradus formata coiffures of Nero’s last two portrait types. Additionally, the small, fleshy eyes find parallels in Nero’s type 3 and 4 likenesses. If the portrait is, indeed, a recarved portrait of Nero, then it is another unusual example of an imperial image reworked into the likeness of a private individual. The Yale piece may have been
Sammlung des Herzogs von Braunschwieg. K. Fittschen in Die Skulpturen der Sammlung Wallmoden (Göttingen 1979) no. 27. 168 Inv. 1961.30.
167 166

Inv. 126279 Inv. 2882, H. 0.65 m.; K. Fittschen and P. Zanker (1985) 156-58, no. 125, pl. 156. 165 This treatment of the pupils and irises occurs in other Constantinian portraits; for example and marble portrait of a son of Constantine in Sara, San Donnato, H.P. L’Orange (1984) 138, pl. 61c-d; a marble portrait of Constantine in Carthage, Museum, inv. C 0032, H.P. L’Orange (1984) 87, 121-22, pl. 56a-b; and three recarved portraits from the Hadrianic tondi of the Arch of Constantine: a recarved portrait of Constantine on the northwest (left) medallion, lion hunt, H.P. L’Orange (1984) 43, 45, 124, pl. 33a-b, two recarved portraits of Licinius, on the northeast side, offering to Apollo, and northwest side, offering to Hercules, H.P. L’Orange (1984) 43-45, 116-17, pls. 28a-b, 29a-b.



chapter three The Colossus, however, was clearly unfinished at the time of Nero’s suicide in A.D. 68,172 and was only eventually erected on the Velia in c. A.D. 75, when it was dedicated as an image of the Sun.173 Cassius Dio suggests that the portrait features of the Colossus may have been altered to resemble Titus (JÎ gÉ*@H @Ê μ¥< JÎ J@Ø ;XDT<@H @Ê *¥ JÎ J@Ø I\J@L §Pg4<).174 Hadrian had the statue relocated to a position closer to the Colosseum in order to clear the Velia for construction of the Temple of Venus and Roma.175 In the later second century, the Colossus was altered into an image of Hercules with the portrait features of Commodus.176 The Commodan alterations were removed following his death and damnatio. Finally, in the early fourth century the Colossus was rededicated to the memory of Maxentius’s deified son, Romulus.177 Despite the changes of its location, attributes, and portrait features, the Colossus continued to be associated with Nero throughout its
the Colossus as a portrait of Nero (2000) 536-7. Although Smith claims that the notion of the Colossus as a portrait of Nero is derived solely from the Pliny and Suetonius passages, Dio 65.15.1 also entertains the notion of Neronian portrait features and the three passages taken together seem fairly unequivocal. Smith is surely right, however, in raising the possibility that the Colossus was not, in fact, intended by Nero as a portrait of himself as the sun god, but rather the sun-god with facial features resembling those of Nero. The image would then have been intended to invoke the concept of Sol Augustus (or Apollo-Helios-Augustus). 172 P. Howell (1968) 293-4 was the first entertain the possibility that Colossus was not completed during Nero’s principate by pointing out that Pliny’s description of the statue as destinatum illius principis simulacro (intended as a likeness of that emperor [Nero] implied that it was not completed in that form. Similarly Howell noted Suetonius’s use of staret to describe the placement of the Colossus in the vestibule of the Domus Aurea (in quo colossus CXX pedum staret ipsius effigie [in which would stand the 120 foot tall Colossus as a representation of him{Nero}])suggesting that these were Nero’s intentions, rather than the statue’s ultimate outcome. See also M. Bergmann (1993 [1994]) 9; F. Albertson (1996) 803; M. Bergmann (1998) 190; R.R.R. Smith (2000) 537; F. Albertson (2001). 173 Suet. Vesp. 18; Dio 65.15.1; P. Howell (1968) 294 with supporting evidence from later Chronicles. 174 65.15.1. 175 HA.Had. 19.12. 176 HA. Comm. 17.9-10; Dio 72(73).22.3; Herod. 1.15.9; ChronPasch (Bonn ed.I 492) A.D. 187. 177 195. A. Cassatella and M.I. Conforto (1989) 41; P. Peirce (1989) 404; M. Cullhed (1994) 61; S. Ensoli in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 86.

removed from public display following Nero’s damnatio and warehoused, its reuse occasioned by the continued popularity of coiffures inspired by Nero’s coma in gradus formata arrangement into the Hadrianic period.169 The long span of time between Nero’s overthrow and the Yale image’s putative transformation suggests that the portrait was warehoused in a safe location prior to its reuse. If the Hannover and Yale portraits are in fact representations of Nero reworked into private individuals, then, like the altered head of Caligula in Algiers (cat. 1.38), they are extremely rare examples of imperial images which have not been transformed into representations of other emperors.

The Colossus The Colossus is perhaps the most famous Neronian image to have undergone transformation in antiquity.170 Nero commissioned the renowned sculptor Zenodorus to design a ca. 100120 Roman foot talll bronze representation of the sun-god, Sol/Helios with Neronian facial features, ultimately intended to be the spectacular centerpiece for the atrium of the Domus Aurea on the Velia which allowed access to the villa/ palace complex from the Forum Romanum.171
169 For instance, a portrait of a private Hadrianic man in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 544, inv. 1641, F. Johansen (1995a) 166-7, with figs. (with earlier literature); For private versions of Nero’s coiffures, see P. Cain (1993) and M. Fuchs (1997). 170 P. Howell (1968) 291-99; C. Lega, (1989-90) 33978; M. Bergmann (1993). C. Lega (1993); F. Albertson (1996) 802-3; M. Bergmann (1998) 189-201, fig. 3 ; S. Ensoli in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 66-71; R.R.R. Smith (2000) 532-8; F. Albertson (2001). S. Ensoli’s attempt to identify the bronze colossal head of Constantine from the Lateran (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Orazi e Curiazii, [ex Sala dei Bronzi] inv. 1072; h. 1.77 m.; K. Fittschen and P. Zanker (1985), as belonging to the colossus of Nero are largely unconvincing as it is far smaller than the ancient descriptions of the colossus itself. If the Constantinian bronze has been modified from an earlier portrait, It seems much more likely that it has been altered from an earlier portrait of Trajan, as suggested by the arrangement of the hair at the back of the head. 171 Pliny, NH 34.18.45; Suet. Nero 31.1. R.R.R. Smith has recently raised a note of scholarly caution concerning

nero and poppaea history. The Colossus may also have been reflected in a painted portrait of Nero, also 100 Roman feet tall, which was displayed in the Horti Maiani and destroyed by lightning before Nero’s death.178


The Removal of Nero’s Images Portraits of Nero were removed and then warehoused under Galba, as corroborated by Suetonius in the Life of Otho: Certe et imagines statuasque eius reponi passus est (It is certain that he [Otho] allowed his [Nero’s] portraits and statues to be re-erected).179 Suetonius’s use of the verb reponere (literally to set up again) is extremely significant because it indicates that images previously removed during Galba’s brief tenure as princeps were readily accessible and survived in suitable condition to be returned to public display.180 Tacitus also confirms that portraits of Nero were displayed under Otho (Et fuere qui imagines Neornis proponerent).181 Most surviving representations of Nero were not intentionally vandalized after his death. On the contrary, like the portraits of Caligula before him, they were removed and stored in secure locations. Two of these surviving images are fulllength, togate statues, replicas of Nero’s earliest boyhood type, in Detroit,182 and the Louvre (fig. 80).183 The Louvre portrait, originally part of the
178 Pliny, HN 35.33.51; M. Cima, in M. Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 39. 179 Suet.Otho 7.1. 180 Reponere is also used by Tacitus in conjunction with the statues of Poppaea which were returned to public display under Otho (Hist 1.78) as part of the emperor’s campaign to rehabilitate the memories of Nero and Poppaea. 181 Hist. 1.78. 182 Institute of Arts, acc. no. 69.218, H. 1.40 m.; H.R. Goette (1989) 39, n. 180, 125, no. 249, pl. 11.3; E.R. Varner in D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson, eds. (1996) 63, no. 15 (with earlier literature); J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 4. The portrait head of the statue in Detroit has been broken off at the neck and reattached. The statue lacks its left foot and there is slight damage to the ears, nose, right hand and drapery folds. 183 Louvre, MA 1210, h. 1.38 m.; K. de Kersauson (1986) 210-11, no. 99, figs. (with earlier literature); S. Maggi (1986) 50, n. 15; H.R. Goette (1989) 37-38, 124-125, no. 245, pls.

Borghese Collection, was discovered at Gabii, and was likely stored there following Nero’s damnatio.184 In contrast, the Detroit statue, said to be from Asia Minor, provides evidence for the removal and storage of Nero’s boyhood images in the provinces. The upper half a nude type 4 portrait with a chlamys draped over the shoulder has also survived.185 The images’s current whereabouts are unknown, but it depicted the emperor n with Diomedes body type. Like the Nero as Diomedes statue in Munich reconfigured as Domitian (cat. 2.46; fig. 62a-c) the lost portrait provides further important evidence for the association of Nero with the Greek hero at Troy in visual art. Sixteen surviving marble heads representing Nero have clearly been removed from their original context as a consequence of the damnatio. In the case of heads worked for insertion, the statues to which they originally belonged would have been reused with the addition of new likenesses, undoubtedly depicting the same individuals as his reworked portraits, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Claudius and Augustus. Two of Nero’s well-preserved portraits were discovered in a cryptoporticus beneath the Temple of Apollo complex on the Palatine where they must have been stored following his overthrow.186 The Neronian heads were discovered with other sculptural remnants, including an under-life-sized Julio-Claudian female portrait, and heads of an Isiac priest and an ephebe.187 The earlier portrait of Nero is a type 2 replica worked for insertion and depicts the emperor capite velato (fig. 81a-c).188 Like the

10.4, 94.3; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 70-71, figs. 18-19; J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 2. The statue exhibits minimal signs of damage; the left hand and sections of both feet are restorations. 184 H.R. Goette (1989) 124. 185 H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 72, 94-5, 102, fig. 34. 186 The likenesses were discovered by Pietro Rosa in 1869 during his excavations for Napoleon III; see M.A. Tomei (1990) 85 and M.A. Tomei (1997) 78, 79, nos. 53 and 55; M.A. Tomei (1999) 171. 187 M.A. Tomei (1999) 171, fig. 110 (Julio Claudian Female Portrait, Museo Palatino, inv.115176. 188 Museo Palatino, Sala 7; formerly Museo Nazionale


chapter three traits’ possible association with the Temple of Apollo Palatinus is intriguing, given Nero’s identification with Apollo and the solar iconography of many Neronian images. Well-preserved likenesses in the Museo Capitolino,191 the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek,192 the Vatican,193 Munich (fig. 83),194 Worcester (fig. 84a-b)195 and a Swiss private collection,196 fur8.4); a bust of Antoninus Pius (Museo Palatino, Sala 7, formerly Museo Nazionale delle Terme, inv. 1219, M.A. Tomei [1997] 84, no. 58 (with fig.) (with earlier literature); and a portrait of Julia Domna (Museo Palatino, Sala 8, formerly Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 12438, M.A. Tomei [1997] 94, no. 67 (with fig.) (with earlier literature), and a replica of the Lepcis-Malta type (Julia Livilla), Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 620. 191 Stanza degli Imperatori 4, inv. 418, H. 0.32; Fittschen-Zanker I, 17-18, no. 17, pl. 17 (with earlier literature); S. Maggi (1986) 50, n. 15; G. Legrottaglie (1999) 80, pl. 19.d-e; H. Meyer (2000) 50, fig. 90. The portrait, a type 2 replica, has been attached to a modern bust and displays signs of modern reworking. Restorations include the tip and bridge of the nose, the right cheek, portions of both ears, and portions of the neck. 192 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 628, inv. 750, h. 0.27 m.; V. Poulsen (1962) 99 no. 65, pl. 110-11 (with earlier literature); U. Hiesinger (1975)116, n. 20, pl. 20.28; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)322, n. 7; S. Maggi (1986) 48, 50, n. 15, fig. 5. F. Johansen (1994) 158, no. 67 (with figs.); J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 6; The head is a type 1 replica and has suffered abrasions to the brows, cheeks lips and chin and the nose is no longer extant. The piece was purchased in Rome, and should be considered a metropolitan replica of Nero’s initial portrait type. 193 Museo Gregoriano Profano 595, inv. 10198, H. 0.27 m.; A. Giuliano (1957) 13, no. 16, pl. 11 (with earlier literature); U. Hiesinger (1975)116, n. 18. The portrait is a type 1 replica. Restorations in stucco include the nose, a portion of the chin, the brows, sections of the hair, and portions of the ears. 194 Glyptothek, 321, h. 0.44 m.; J.J. Bernoulli (1886) 399, no. 40, pl. 23; A. Furtwängler (1910) 346, no. 321; K. Vierneisel and P. Zanker, eds. (1979) 101; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)326, figs. 9a-d; Fittschen-Zanker I, 1819, n. 4, 35, n. 2; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 73, 92, 94, figs. 25-29; H. Meyer (2000) 128-30, figs. 239-244. The portrait is from Rome, originally in the Palazzo Ruspoli. The surface of the portrait is somewhat weathered and the right cheek is slightly chipped. The portrait has been cut or broken from the bust or statue to which it originally belonged. 195 Art Museum, acc. 1915.23, h. 0.38 m.; Bergmann and Zanker (1981)326-31, figs. 10a-e; H. Jucker (1981a) 3079; C.C. Vermeule (1981) 298, no. 254, with fig. (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 18-19, nr. 18, n. 4; N. Hannestad in N. Cambi and G. Rizza, eds., (1988) 327; D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 138-39, fig. 113 (photo reversed);

veiled statue in Aquileia reworked to represent Augustus, or the Nero/Gallienus in Columbia, this portrait celebrates Nero’s position as Pontifex Maximus. The second Palatine likeness is the only surviving replica of Nero’s third portrait type (fig. 82a-c).189 These two extremely well-preserved representations were likely displayed somewhere within the context of the structures covering the Palatine, perhaps the Temple of Apollo Palatinus complex or Nero’s palaces (the Domus Transitoria and the Domus Aurea), and were warehoused following Nero’s overthrow. Indeed, there are surprisingly few imperial images which are known to have come from the Palatine, and the warehousing of these portraits must account for their survival on the hill.190 In addition, the porRomano delle Terme, inv. 616, h. 0.43 m.; E. Talamo, MusNazRom 1.1, 273-74, no. 169, with fig. (with earlier literature); Bergmann and Zanker (1981)322; FittschenZanker I, 17-18, n. 5; S. Maggi (1986) 50, n. 15; H.R. Goette (1989) 39, n. 179, 2b; M.A. Tomei (1990) 85; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 72, 92-3, 102-3, fig. 22; M.A. Tomei (1997) 78, no. 53 (with fig.); J.M. Croisille (1999) 399, fig. 11; M.A. Tomei (1999) 171, fig. 111. 189 Museo Palatino, Sala 7, formerly Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 618, h. 0.31 m.; E. Talamo, MusNazRom 1.1, 272-3, no. 168, with fig. (with earlier literature); K. Vierneisel and P. Zanker (1979) 101, fig. 11.1; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 322-326, fig. 5. Fittschen-Zanker I, 19, n. 4; M.A. Tomei (1990) 85; N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 111-12, fig. 4.10; D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 138, fig. 112; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 723, 102-3, figs. 23-4; M.A. Tomei (1997) 80, no. 55 (with fig.); J.M. Croisille (1999) 400, fig. 14; M..A. Tomei (1999) 171, fig. 109; H. Meyer (2000) 131-2, fig. 242; A. La Regina, ed. (2001). The occiput, nape of the neck, and a portion of the neck are now missing from the portrait and may have been worked separately. A rectangular channel in the top of the head suggests ancient modifications or repairs (possibly for the addition of a radiate crown), which perhaps mitigated against recarving the portrait. The tip of the nose has been broken off and there is damage to the chin. Other type 3 portraits apparently survived but their whereabouts are no longer known. Modern portraits in Modena and Florence are based on ancient replicas of type 3 which are now lost, and a fragmentary portrait, whose whereabouts are also currently unknown, was a type 3 replica as well (EA 5063, DAI neg. 3074) M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)324-26, figs. 6a-c, 7, 8a-d. 190 Images which remained on display on the Palatine would have fallen prey to the same kind of despoliation which afflicted the architectural structures on the hill. Other imperial portraits from the Palatine include a deliberately damaged head of Maximinus Thrax (Museo Palatino, Sala 8, formerly Museo Nazionale delle Terme, inv. 526817, cat.

nero and poppaea ther attest to the removal and storage of Nero’s images at Rome and its environs. The Capitoline portrait was discovered at Tusculum in 1818 by Lucien Bonaparte, while the other portraits are said to come from Rome. The Munich and Worcester likenesses are type IV replicas (and both include holes for the addition of radiate crowns). The Worcester portrait has been updated from a type 2 or 3 image, which probably precluded further recutting after Nero’s condemnation.197 Images from elsewhere in Italy were also removed and warehoused, including likenesses in Cagliari,198 and Mantua,199 The Cagliari portrait


Johansen (1994) 21, fig. 21; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 73, 93-5, figs. 30-33; J.M. Croisille (1999) 401, fig. 16. The head has been broken from a bust or statue. Sections of the shoulders are still preserved. There is damage to the nose and the chin. 196 Aniken-Sammlung Ennetwies, h. 0.325 m.; H. Jucker and D. Willers, eds. (1982) 101, no. 40, with figs.; I. Jucker (1995) 23-24, no. 10, pls. 21-22; The portrait, a type II replica, has been cut or broken from a statue or bust. The nose has been restored in plaster, and the left ear is missing. There are slight abrasions to the brows, nose, cheeks and chin. The portrait was originally attached to a togate statue to which it did not belong and displayed in gardens at the junction of the Via Flaminia and the Via di Villa Giulia in Rome. 197 Punch marks which are still visible on the right side of the neck indicate that the hair on the nape of the neck was cut back in antiquity. The ears of the portrait were also removed and square holes cut into the head, presumably for the attachment of new ears. Two rows of small holes, some still containing the remnants of metal dowels, were drilled in the hair, in order to affix an metal crown or diadem to the portrait. This evidence for the reworking of the Worcester head suggests that an earlier portrait of Nero was reworked in an effort to update the image of the emperor from replica of type 2 or 3. 198 Museo Nazionale, inv. 35533, h. O.42 m.; U. Hiesinger (1975)114-15, pl. 21.33-34 (with earlier literature); Z. Kiss (1975) 11, 144-45, 147-48, 154, figs. 502-3; H. Jucker (1981a) 287-88, skizze 4; Bergmann and Zanker (1981)32122, fig. 2a-b; J. Pollini (1984) 553-54, pl. 73.13-14; FittschenZanker I, 17, no. 17; S. Maggi (1986) 47-48, 50, n. 10; C. Saletti (1989) 79, pl. 7; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 138, fig. 111; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 71-2, 92-3, figs. 20-21; J.M. Croisille (1999) 399, fig. 9; H. Meyer (2000) 30, 46, figs. 47, 82-3. The portrait, said to be from Olbia, has been inserted into a modern bust. The head is exceedingly well preserved; only the right ear has been restored. 199 Palazzo Ducale h. 0.24 m.; A. Levi (1931) 58, no. 111, pl. 64b (with earlier literature); R. Bianchi Bandinelli (1932) 159, no. 7; V. Poulsen (1951) 120, no. 6; U. Hiesinger

may have been displayed on the extensive imperial holdings on Sardegna which included ceramic and brick factories.200 A generally well preserved type 1 portrait in Stuttgart has been broke from a statue or bust of Luna marble and it, too is likely from Rome or elsewhere in Italy.201 Evidence for the removal of Nero’s images in Gaul is provided by a type 1 likeness in Geneva.202 The portrait depicts the young prince wearing the corona civica and possibly comes from Vienne. If so, it suggests that Nero’s images were removed at Vienne, in addition to being attacked and damaged as attested by the fragmentary type 4 portrait from the Odeum (cat. 2.5; fig. 44). An unusual portrait of Nero from Rome, now in the Sala dei Busti of the Vatican was also removed from public display and stored (fig. 85).203 This likeness is unique in that it has been reworked from a preexisting portrait of Gaius Caesar, the eldest grandson and one of the presumptive heirs of Augustus.204 Like the Worces-

(1975)113-15, pl. 22.35-36; Z. Kiss (1975) 143-44; H. Jucker (1981a) 289, figs. 63-64; Bergmann and Zanker (1981)3212; Fittschen-Zanker I, 18, n. 7; S. Maggi (1986) 47-51, figs. 1-3; J.M. Croisille (1999) 399, fig. 10. The portrait has been attached to a modern bust. The right ear is broken. The nose, portions of the lips, the right half of the chin, and part of the left ear are restorations. The portrait originally formed part of the collection of antiquities accumulated by the Gonzaga in their villa at Sabbioneta. The piece was certainly discovered in Italy and may have come from the area around Mantua (alternatively, the Gonzaga may have purchased it in Rome). 200 C. Saletti (1989) 79. Saletti also notes a dedicatory inscription from a Temple of Ceres erected by Nero’s mistress, Acte, discovered on Sardinia, n. 62. 201 Würtembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. arch. 65/ 11, h. 0.22 m.; U. Hausmann (1975) 30, no. 7 123, fig. 1820, 24; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)321, n. 6; S. Maggi (1986) 50, n. 10; J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 5. 202 Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, inv. C 186, h. 0.122.; I. Rilliet-Maillard (1978) no. 9; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)321, n. 6; S. Maggi (1986) 48, n. 19, fig. 7. H. Jucker and D. Willers, eds. (1982) 103, no. 41, with figs.; J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 7. Much of the nose and chin of the Geneva portrait have been restored in marble and there is slight damage to both ears. 203 385, inv. 591, H. 0.28 m; J. Pollini (1987) 13, 62, 66-67, 101, no. 20 (with earlier literature); J.M. Croisille (1999) 405, fig. 26; H. Meyer (2000) 56, fig. 102. 204 The locks over the forehead have been recut into Nero’s characteristic type 2 arrangement with central part.


chapter three an unidentified Julio-Claudian prince.210 The portraits comprised a collection of Julio-Claudian images which were displayed in a first century A.C. villa located to the east of the Via Flaminia in the Campus Martius. The portraits were discovered in a subterranean passage of the villa, where they may have been deposited for safekeeping during the chaos which ensued in Rome following Nero’s death and the subsequent civil wars.211 A gilded bronze type 4 head now in an American private collection, has also been severed from its original statue (fig. 87a-b).212 Damage sustained to the back of the neck is the result of a blow or blows which beheaded the image. The bronze in the damaged area has aged differently than undamaged areas and is chemically consistent with ancient depredations. The quality and style of the portrait suggest that it was produced in Rome.213 Significantly, the image was not melted down after its decapitation, but perhaps ritually buried or disposed of in a more cursory fashion. The fact that the valuable metal content of the head
I, 24, n. 1b; C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.5, pl. 118. 209 Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 1.252, inv. 2171; Fittschen-Zanker I, 21-25, no. 20, pls. 20-21; C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.3, pl. 120. 210 Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, inv. 23.190, D. K. Hill (1939) 404-5, figs. 4, 8-9; C. Pietrangeli (1946-48) 58, no. 2; Fittschen-Zanker, I, 24, n. 1c; C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.2, pl. 119. 211 As first suggested by D. K. Hill (1939) 408-9; see also, D. von Bothmer in L. Bonfante and H. von Heintze, eds. (1976) 158. None of the finds postdate the Neronian period. 212 Connecticut, Private Collection (W. Conti); h. 0.377 m.; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996), figs. 1-17, 105-14. Both the technique of gilding and the corrosion of the bronze argue in favor of the head’s authenticity; see H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 163-7. The height of the original statue is estimated between 2.15-2.25 m., H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 125. 213 The thickness of the bronze is remarkably consistent for ancient bronze working and the artists have taken great care to add additional feeding channels so that the molten bronze could reach complicated areas of the coiffure and head, all of which indicates that the workshop responsible for the piece was operating at the highest levels, likely producing imperial commissions. I would like to thank Renee Stein, Conservator at the Michael C. Carlos Museum for sharing her invaluable insights and expertise concerning the production and chemical properties of the head.

ter head, the fact that the portrait had already been subjected to recarving, with adjustments to the coiffure, eyes, and mouth, and general reduction in the volume of marble, probably precluded a second transformation after Nero’s death and damnatio. A bronze portrait discovered in 1880 during the construction of the Anglican Church on the Via Babuino in Rome furnishes additional compelling archaeological evidence for the storage of Nero’s images (fig. 86).205 The portrait, a conflation of Nero’s second and third portrait types,206 formed part of a cache of bronze JulioClaudian busts207 which included two portraits of Augustus,208 a portrait of Gaius Caesar,209 and

Although Gaius’s original forehead locks, a reversed version of Augustus’s Prima Porta coiffure, are currently visible, they were probably covered over with stucco when the portrait was reused. The eyes have been slightly recarved; the inner corner of the left eye has been more deeply cut than the outer corner and the entire reworking has caused the left eye to appear smaller than the right. The inner corner of the mouth has also been more deeply cut as a result of the reworking. The reuse of the bust was not occasioned by a damnatio memoriae but rather for economic or practical reasons. In the Neronian period, likenesses of Gaius (and his brother Lucius) would no longer have held the propagandistic importance which they had during the Augustan period and the typically Julio-Claudian classicism with which the facial features of Gaius were imbued, as well as the comparable ages of Gaius and Nero would have rendered the bust especially appropriate for reuse. 205 The face of the portrait is preserved in the Centrale Montemartini while the remainder is in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Sala dei Bronzi (Vitrine), inv. 2835 (Centrale Montemartini 1.25b) and Walters Art Gallery, 23.104, total h. 0.433 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 18-19, no. 18, pl. 18 (with earlier literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.4, pl. 121. 206 The hairstyle with its central part is clearly derived form Nero’s second portrait type, but the heavy facial features, with addition of a light beard, are characteristic of his third type. The cuirassed portrait of Nero recarved to represent Domitian in the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican originally exhibited a similar combination of type II coiffure and type III physiognomy. See cat. 2.X. 207 NSc (1880) 467 (Dec.); R.Lanciani BullCom 9 (1881) 30. 208 Augustus (Prima Porta type), Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, inv. 23.105; D. Kent Hill (1939) 401-2; figs. 3, 67; C. Pietrangeli (1946-48) 58, fig. 1; Fittschen-Zanker I, 24, n. 1a; C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.1, pl. 117. Augustus (?) (Forbes Type?), private American collection, R. Lanciani, BullCom 9 (1881) 246, no. 1/2, pl. 1.3; D. Kent Hill (1939) 407, fig. 2; C. Pietrangeli (1946-48) 59; Fittschen-Zanker

nero and poppaea was not recuperated indicates that the act of mutilation overrode any economic considerations in this instance. The original statue body, possibly cuirassed may, have been reused through the addition of a new head. Both the scale and quality of the original portrait suggest that it was an important and probably highly visible monument. A bronze statuette in Venice, has also been dissociated from original context following Nero’s damnatio.214 The statuette depicts the emperor cuirassed and seated. He extends his right arm in gesture of clementia. This small bronze may reflect the statue of Nero in Armenia to which Tiridates surrendered his crown in 63, prior to receiving it back from the Nero’s own hand in Rome in 65. Although L. Sperti has attempted to link this statuette to the elaborate ceremonies surrounding Tiridates visit to Rome in 66, the use of Nero’s second portrait type, in use from 54 to 59 probably precludes the statuette’s association with these events. The image comes from Opitegerium and its small scale suggests that it may have been associated with a shrine, or was a fitting for furniture or horse trappings. A portrait of Nero originally inserted into a cuirassed portrait from Caere has also been removed (fig. 88).215 The head itself no longer survives, but the imagery on the cuirass suggests that it was originally combined with a portrait of Nero. On the upper portion of the breastplate, Apollo-Helios, driving the chariot of the sun, is represented with facial features and coiffure assimilated to Nero’s with type 4 portrait type. This imagery evokes the decoration of the purple and gold covering designed for the Theater of Pompey during the visit of Tiridates in 66.216 The association with the events of 66 is further con-


firmed by the kneeling Arimaspes, who were legendary one eyed people from central Asia, offering bowls in submission to winged griffins, the creatures of Apollo (and by extension Nero), which occur directly below the scene of Nero/ Helios. Despite its specifically Neronian connotations, the cuirassed statue body is of extremely high artistic quality and was likely reused with the insertion of a new portrait head. The original representation of Nero provides additional important evidence for the production of Neronian military images, which also draw on solar iconography. The portrait further attests to Nero’s inclusion among the important cycle of Julio-Claudian statues at Caere. A nearly identical cuirass in Turin discovered at Susa, now completed with a private third century likeness may have originally been another military representation of Nero from which the head was removed.217 The conflation of Neronian portrait features and solar imagery also recalls the Colossus, as well as the altar of Eumolpus, a slave at the Domus Aurea, which is dedicated to Sol and Luna and includes a representation Sol with Neronian type 4 facial features and coiffure.218 A cuirassed statue in Istanbul, whose head has not been preserved, survives together with its plinth and dedicatory inscription: ;gDT;" 58"L*4< 1g@L 58"L*4L 5"4FgD@F L4@<.219 The statue was discovered at Tralles and the head has been cut or broken from the body. Because the inscription has not been erased or altered, it is clear that the statue was either removed entirely
Turin, Museo di Antichità, without inv. no., h. 1.95 m.; K. Stemmer (1978) 96, pl. 64.1-2; C.B. Rose (1997) 85, and n. 17. 218 Florence, Museo Archeologico, inv. 86025; CIL 6.3719=31033; ILS 1774; M. Bergmann (1993[1994]) 9, pl. 5.3; M. Bergmann (1998) 194-201, pl. 38; R.R.R. Smith (2000) 539. Eumolpus apparently oversaw the imperial furnishings at the Domus Aurea (a suppelectile Domus Auriae). 219 Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, 584, h. ; G. Mendel (1914) 315-16, no. 584, with fig.; G. Mancini (1922), no. 22; F.W. Goethert (1935) 137, pl. 52.3; H. Muthmann (1951) 50-51, 211, pl. 8; G.M.A. Hanfmann and C.C. Vermuele (1957) 232; C.C. Vermeule (1959) 43, no. 76; J. Inan and E. Rosenbaum (1966) 69; C.C. Vermeule (1968) 43, 389, no. 6; K. Stemmer (1978) 17, n. 62, 171, no. 185; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 100, 102, fig. 36; M. Fuchs (1997) 92-3.

214 Museo Archeologico, Sala 18, vetrina b, inv. 276; h. .011 m.; L. Sperti (1990) (with earlier literature). 215 Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9948; h. 2.30 m.; M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani, P. Santoro, eds. (1989) 68-70, no. 5, with figs. (with previous literature); R. Gergel (1994) 196-97; C.B. Rose (1997) 836, cat. 5, pl. 64 (identification as Germanicus). 216 Dio 53.6.2. The imagery also has obvious parallels with the Colossus. See M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani, P. Santoro, eds. (1989) 69.


chapter three towards the trophy and the portrait head that originally completed the statue. The Palazzo Colonna cuirass also includes a foreign child, at the feet of a bound foreigner beneath a trophy. Additional cuirasses which are possibly Neronian in date include Schloss Erbach,225 Berlin,226 Sassari,227 and formerly Sikyon.228 Unfortunately, none of these statues survives with its original head, but taken together with the Istanbul and Caere statues, the Venice bronze statuette and the cuirassed portraits altered to represent Titus and Domitian (Olympia, Vaison, and the Vatican), they attest to the surprising breadth and vitality of militaristic representations of Nero, as well as experimentation and innovation in cuirass imagery. In contrast to the warehoused images, the corrosion suffered by a head in Oslo suggests that it was thrown into a body of water after it was removed from the togate statue to which it originally belonged.229 This type four likeness was purchased in Rome and is presumably from the capital or its surroundings.230 Although details of its discovery are lacking, the image may come from the Tiber, where it would have been thrown following Nero’s suicide and damnatio in an act of poena post mortem similar to disposal of the three miniature busts of Caligula.231 The treatment of images related to post mortem corpse abuse may also explain the discovery of a bronze portrait of Nero in the River Alde at Rendham near Saxmundham in Sussex, (fig. 90).232 The head,
225 226

from public display to await some form of eventual reuse, or conversely, it may have been allowed to remain on view. It is also within the realm of possibility that the portrait continued to be displayed publicly, although without its head, in order to denigrate Nero’s memory. The mention of the deified Claudius in the inscription suggests that the statue was dedicated early in Nero’s reign and that the original portrait was a replica of Nero’s second type in use until A.D. 59.220 Two fragmentary cuirassed statues in the Louvre221 and Durres (fig. 89) 222 have nearly identical relief decoration to the Nero/Titus in Olympia, and, as a result, appear to have originally represented Nero. Other extant cuirassed statues which are Neronian in date and may have been combined with portraits of the emperor include a statue in Grosseto from the JulioClaudian group dedication at Rusellae 223 and one restored as a portrait of Fabrizio Colonna in the Palazzo Colonna in Rome.224 The Grosseto cuirass is nearly colossal in scale and remarkable for its sculptural quality. The imagery on the cuirass is striking and unique. A trophy is depicted above an eagle with outstretched wings. To the trophy’s left is a seated mourning female foreigner looking frontally out of the relief. To the right, an adult male rushes towards the trophy with cloak flying behind and a child clutched in his arms. Both the adult and male look up

220 It seems highly unlikely that the statue is Antonine and represents a revival of Nero’s portraits in the second century, as suggested by K. Fittschen (1970), K. Stemmer (1978) 17, n. 62, and M. Fuchs (1997) 92-3. Indeed, the unusual combination of patrician calcei with a cuirass also occurs in the Nero and Agrippina panel from Aphrodisias and the small seated bronze in Venice (Museo Archeologico 276) and seems to be a characteristic of certain Neronian military imagery. 221 inv. 3384, h. 1.20 m.; G. Koch (1995) 324-6, pl. 74.3 (with earlier literature). 222 inv 4415 (earlier 825) h. 1.67 m.; G. Koch (1995) 321-6, pls. 71-74.1 (with earlier literature). 223 Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma; K. Stemmer (1978) 28, no. 11a 3, pl. 14.3; C.C. Vermeule (1980b) 16; H.R. Goette (1988) n. 36; A. Kuttner (1995) 166, n. 16: C.B. Rose (1997) 118. 224 K. Stemmer (1978) 393; C.C. Vermeule (1980b) 93, fig. 53; A. Kuttner (1995) 166, n. 17.

No. 20; Stemmer (1978) 24, no. II.2, pl. 11.2-3. Staatliche Museen, 368; Stemmer (1978) 19, no. V.18, pl. 36.4. 227 Museo Sanna 7890: Stemmer (1978) 87-88, no. 7.23, pl. 61.3. 228 Museum; Stemmer (1978) 19, no. I.18, pl. 94. 229 Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. 1248, h. 0.385 m.; from the Hartwig collection in Rome; S. Sande (1991) 48-50, no. 35, pl. 35 (with earlier literature); H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 71, 94-5, fig. 35. 230 The more youthful facial features of the likeness are a contamination from Nero’s second portrait type; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)232. 231 The Hartwig collection was assembled in Rome at the end of the nineteenth century, during which time, great quantities of sculpture were being recovered from the Tiber as a result of the construction of the river’s embankments. 232 London, British Museum, PRB, inv. 1965.12-1.1; h.

nero and poppaea perhaps originally from ancient Comilodunum, has been decapitated from its original statue and its disposal in the Alde provides an illuminating provincial counterpart to the disposal of images and corpses in the Tiber.233 A badly weathered type 2 likeness in the Louvre, whose provenance is unknown, may also have been disposed of in a similarly destructive fashion.234 Relief portraits of Nero from the Sebasteion at Aphrodisias present conflicting approaches to Nero’s images. The Sebasteion complex, begun during the reign of Tiberius and finished under Nero, was dedicated to Venus-Aphrodite, the Theoi Sebastoi, and the Demos.235 The complex was entered through an arch and consisted of two monumental three-storied porticoes on the north and south which enclosed a long rectangular open space culminating in a temple of VenusAphrodite. The entire complex stressed the city’s close ties to the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Sculpted relief panels, set between the columns of the upper two stories of the colonnade, honored members of the dynasty and depicted mythological scenes (many having to do with Aeneas), the various Ethnoi of the empire, as well as other geographical and chronological personifications. Nero appeared in three of the imperial panels, two of which are extant, and, in the mythological series, Aeneas is represented with portrait-like features resembling Nero’s last two types in a


panel depicting the hero fleeing Troy with Anchises and Ascanius/Iulus.236 One of the reliefs presents Nero at the proper right, wearing a cuirass, while Agrippina stands to his left as a conflation of the goddesses Roma and Concordia extending the laurel wreath of the triumphator (fig. 91).237 The depiction of Nero and Agrippina is modeled on the cult group from the temple of Roma and Augustus at Pergamum, as depicted in Claudian cistophoroi.238 The use of Nero’s second portrait type in the relief and the prominent divine iconography for Agrippina and her depiction as the guarantrix of Nero’s imperium indicates that the relief was created after Nero’s accession in A.D. 54, but probably not long after Agrippina’s diminishing political prominence which commenced c. A.D. 55. Although the circumstances surrounding the fate of the relief after Nero’s downfall are somewhat enigmatic, it was removed from the colonnade and used, face down, as a paving slab in one of the north shops at the Sebasteion’s ground level.239 The panel contains clear indications of secondary use, including the loss of its upper corners, smoothing of the picked surfaces at the back, two cuttings near the top, and a hole cut through the background emerging above Agrippina’s right arm. The relief is generally well preserved, and this, together with the signs of secondary use, suggest that the panel was reused sometime after Nero’s condemnation in 68.240 The panel may have
R.R.R. Smith (1990) 97, fig. 9; C.B. Rose (1997) 167. K.T. Erim (1986) 4 (with fig.), 30 (fig.), 122 (with fig.); R.R.R. Smith (1987) 127-32, pls. 24-26; R.R. Smith (1988b) 53; T. Mikocki (1995) 181, no. 210; C.B. Rose (1997) 164-7, no. 105.10, pl. 207; S. Wood (1999) 302-3, fig. 142; H. Meyer (2000) 28, fig. 44. Agrippina appears in a similar guise, as the guarantor of Nero’s auctoritas and military victory, in a cameo in Cologne (Cathedral, Dreikönigenschrein I B a 17, W.R. Megow (1987) 213-4, no. A 98, pl. 35.1-2). 238 RPCi 2221-2; BMCRE 1, 196, no. 228; RIC2 1, 131, no. 120; CNR 14.130-48; R. Mellor (1975) 140-1; C. Fayer (1976) 110; S.R.F. Price (1984) 182, 252, no. 19; L. Sperti (1990) 10, plate 13, fig. 30; C.B. Rose (1997) 47, pl. 208. 239 Room 9 of the north portico; R.R.R. Smith (1987) 128. 240 R.R. Smith (1987) 128. Alternatively, the panel could have been reused much later, after the collapse of the north portico, which occurred much earlier than the south. If so, then the Nero and Agrippina panel would have remained
237 236

0.33 m.; U. Hiesinger (1975)116, n. 17; H. Jucker (1981a) 307-9, figs. 75-6 (with earlier literature); S. Maggi (1986) 50, n. 15; M. Donderer (1991-2) 260, no. 6; A. Oliver (1996) 152. Although it is has been variously identified as Claudius or even Trajan, the head is clearly a provincial variant of Nero’s second type with centrally parted hair; see H. Jucker (1981a) 307-9. 233 H. Jucker, compares the portrait’s disposal in the Alde to the proposed disposal of Tiberius’s corpse in the Tiber in 37 at which time the Roman mob shouted “Tiberium in Tiberim!.” Jucker speculates that the inhabitants of Roman Britain may have shouted the equivalent of “‘In die Alde mit Nero!’,” (1981a) 308-9. 234 Musée du Louvre, MA 3528, h. 0.26 m; K. de Kersauson (1986) 214-15, with figs. (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)322, n. 7; S. Maggi (1986) 48, 50, n. 10, fig. 4. The portrait has suffered damage to the forehead, nose, and lips and the back of the head is missing. 235 R.R.R. Smith (1987) 90.


chapter three
57!K)3?G )C?KE?G 5!3E!C E+#!EI?G '+C9!;35?G , rather generic Julio-Claudian

come from the north portico, whose primary decoration consisted of geographical (and temporal) personifications, which would make it unique, as all of the other imperial panels are from the south. The humble, utilitarian reuse of the panel with its grandiose military and divine imagery stands as a potent reminder of Nero’s posthumous denigration in the city which had such close ties to his dynasty. In contrast, the second Neronian panel, from the south portico, was never removed from the colonnade (fig. 92a-c).241 In another explicitly militaristic scene, the emperor, helmeted and nude with a paludamentum draped over his shoulders, supports the slumping figure of Armenia in his arms.242 Although Nero’s portrait features have not been damaged or recut, the inscription has been altered.243 The inscription originally read:
!C9+;3! [;+CS;(3)] 57!K)3?G )C?KE?G 5!3E!C E+# !EI?G '+C 9!;35?G.244

NEPON(I) in the second half of the top line was erased. The altered inscription thus refers to
on display, as did the Nero and Armenia panel. This seems highly unlikely given the very specific Neronian imagery of the Nero and Agrippina relief, combined with its relatively good state of preservation and the secondary signs of reuse. In addition, none of the other panels seems to have been reused in this way. 241 K.T. Erim (1986) 116-17 (with fig.), 180 (fig.); R.R.R. Smith (1987) 117-120; H. Meyer (2000) 30-32, figs. 45-6, 48. Like the remains of other reliefs from the south portico of the Sebasteion, the fragmentary portrait head of Nero and the slab itself were discovered above the latest paving levels of the complex, indicating that the relief remained in place until the ultimate collapse of the south portico in the Late Roman Period; R.R. Smith (1987) 119-20. 242 The composition has iconographic parallels with the Pasquino group as well as coin reverses and is intended to show the emperor aiding or succoring the province, rather than merely conquering it. On these and similar scenes representing parocinium, see A. Kuttner (1995) 77. 243 Although the head is fragmentary and the facial features are now missing, there is no evidence that the damage to the head is intentional; R.R.R. Smith (1987) 119120. 244 R.R.R. Smith, (1987) 117-18. The superfluous iota in Nero’s name may have been removed immediately after the inscription was first carved.

names which could be linked with other members of the dynasty.245 The use of Nero’s second type on the relief, and its great similarity to earlier Julio-Claudian likenesses, allowed the relief to remain in situ, the only modifications necessary for reuse being the alteration to the accompanying inscription. Dio Chrysostom attests to this kind of reuse of portrait statues by simply changing the dedicatory inscription.246 Nevertheless, the erasure of Nero’s name from the inscription also constitutes a posthumous, and highly visible, denigration of his memory at Aphrodisias. A third imperial panel also depicts Nero in his second portrait type; the emperor is nude and holding a globe in his extended left hand (fig. 93).247 Nero’s raised right hand presumably held a scepter and he wears a paludamentum over his right shoulder. A diminutive male foreigner is at Nero’s right. The relief was discovered in the remains of rooms 9-10, together with a panel often identified as “Augustus by Land and Sea.”248 This panel more likely represents Claudius, perhaps as divus, suggesting that both reliefs may have been created early in Nero’s reign. Like the Nero and Armenia panel, the archaeological context of the Neronian panel suggests that it was never removed from display. Again, the rather generic Julio-Claudian appearance of the portrait features may have allowed it to be re-interpreted following Nero’s downfall by redacting the inscription. Indeed, the portrait has often been associated with Nero’s father, Germanicus.249 Inscriptional evidence suggests that there was a fourth panel from the imperial cycle depicting Nero and Helios.250 The inscription has been
R.R.R. Smith (1987) 118. Or.31. Additionally, such reuse may have been more liable to occur in the provinces, where the imperial image was not as widely disseminated as at Rome, and where discrepancies in portrait typologies were more likely to be overlooked. 247 R.R.R. Smith (1987) 110-11, no. 4 (with fig.). 248 R.R.R. Smith (1987) 104-6, no. 2 (with fig.); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 138, fig. 133. 249 R.R.R. Smith (1987) 110-11. 250 SEG 31 (1981) no. 919; J. Reynolds (1981) 324, no. 9; C.B. Rose (1997) 48, 165, no. 105.
246 245

nero and poppaea altered in an identical manner to the Nero and Armenia panel, with Nero in the first line erased:
[;+CS;] 57!K)3?G )C?KE?G 5!3E!C E+#!EI?G '+C9!;35?G /73?G


As with the other panels, it seems that Nero’s image was left intact, with only the most individualized part of his nomenclature obliterated. 251 In addition to his sculpted, bronze, and relief portraits, Nero’s image has survived on ten cameos. Although there is much scholarly controversy concerning its date, the Grand Camée de France was likely created under Claudius to commemorate his adoption of Nero (fig. 94).252 H. Jucker has convincingly identified the principal figures on the gem; the central band depicts, from proper right to left, Providentia (?), Nero, Germanicus,
251 Nero may also be represented in a fifth imperial panel, together with Britannicus. The panel depicts two boys, nude and wearing paludamenta. The boy at the right of the relief is clearly singled out as being of higher status because he holds an aplustre (ship’s rudder) and globe, symbols of domination over sea and land. C.B. Rose has proposed that the relief depicts Nero and Britannicus after Claudius’s adoption of Nero, with Nero’s senior status reinforced by the attributes he holds (1997) 164-8, no. 105.8, pl. 205. While Rose’s theory is attractive and logical in terms of Claudian dynastic propaganda, the coiffure of the proposed Nero figure lacks the characteristic central part of Nero’s established type I portraits and an identification as Gaius and Lucius may be more tenable, R.R.R. Smith (1987) 124-5. Smith has also noted in conversation that its placement on the portico after the other Neronian reliefs gives it a likely Neronian, rather than Claudian, context, making the appearance of Britannicus highly unlikely. 252 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, 264, 31.0 x 26.5 cm.; K. Jeppesen (1974); W.R. Megow (1987) 1, 4, 9, 24, 31-2, 42, 49, 51-2, 80, 84-5, 88, 99, 103-4, 123, 130-4, 139, 142-44, 146, 202-07, no. A85, pls. 32.5-10, 33 (with previous bibliography); D. Boschung (1989) 64-6, 85, 88, 92, 95-6, 119, no. 4, pl. 35.6; D. D. Boschung (1993a) 195, no. 215, pl. 205.4; N.B. Kampen (1991) 235, fig. 13; D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 149-51, fig. 126; K. Jeppesen (1993) 141-75, pl. 34; C. Mango in M. Henig and M. Vickers, eds. (1993) 59, 62, fig. 4.11; C. White in M. Henig and M. Vickers, eds. (1993) 79-82, figs. 5.1-2; A. Kuttner (1995) 166, n. 18; T. Mikocki (1995) 157-8, no. 45,pl. 8; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 97, fig. 50; H. Guiraud (1996) 11621, figs. 81a-b; C.B.Rose (1997) 24; E. Bartman (1999) 1124, fig. 90; S. Wood (1999) 308-13, fig. 145.; E. Borea and C. Gasparri, eds. (2000) 558, no. 44, with fig.; H. Meyer (2000) 11-28, figs. 1-11, 13, 16, 18-19, 21, 23, 25-26, 2830, 35, 39-43.

Agrippina Maior (whose Scheitelzopf coiffure is a later restoration), Tiberius enthroned as Jupiter, Livia enthroned as Ceres, Claudius, and Agrippina Minor seated on a throne decorated with sphinxes; above the central register, Augustus, veiled, wearing a radiate crown and holding a scepter, is carried aloft on the back of ApolloMithras or Aeneas. Augustus is flanked on his right by Drusus Minor and on his left by Eros and Drusus Maior.253 The Grand Camée clearly links the reigning princeps Claudius with his illustrious relatives, and furthermore, honors the distinguished lineage of Claudius’s adopted son Nero, through Agrippina Minor and Maior. The cameo’s central scene alludes to Tiberius’s adoption of Nero’s grandfather Germanicus, the charismatic general whose memory continued to be revered and whose name Nero took at the time of his adoption into the gens Iulia. Tiberius’s adoption of Germanicus is implicitly compared to Claudius’s adoption of Nero.254 Furthermore, the prominence of the two Agrippinae stresses their importance for the continuum of the JulioClaudian dynasty, and strongly suggests that the Grand Camée may have been created for, or at the instigation of, Agrippina Minor.255 Although Nero appears on this gem, the Claudian content of the cameo, as well as its complicated iconography, may have precluded any recarving under the Flavians and its value as a precious stone and work of art may have prevented outright destruction. Agrippina Maior’s Scheitelzopf is a restoration or adaptation, likely carried out in the third or the fourth century and suggests that the cameo continued to be an important part of some collection.256 The Grand Camée may have remained
253 H. Jucker (1976) 211-50; for a review of the scholarship on the Grand Camée and the stylistic and iconographic reasons which support a Claudian date for the creation of the gem, see W.R. Megow (1987) 203-7. K. Jeppesen’s attempts to identify the figures on the gem on the basis of age and body type are entirely unconvincing and fail to accurately recognize the youthful cuirassed figure as Nero, with a clear version of his type I physiognomy and coiffure (1993) 141-75. See also infra. 254 W.R. Megow (1987) 206. 255 See S. Wood (1988) 409-26 for Agrippina Minor’s manipulation of her mother’s image in order to legitimize her own and Nero’s position within the dynasty. 256 H. Jucker (1981b) 674-5.


chapter three laurel crown of the triumphator.266 As in the Sebasteion relief, Agrippina appears as the guarantrix of Nero’s auctoritas and victory. A sardonyx cameo in Nancy, with a type 3 portrait of Nero, also represents the emperor in overtly divine guise.267 Nero is shown in a scene of apotheosis, borne heavenward on the back of an eagle. Nero appears as Jupiter, with hip mantle, sandals, aegis and laurel crown. The emperor holds a figure of victory extending a wreath in his right hand and cradles a cornucopia in his left. The divine symbolism and inflated visual rhetoric of the Cologne and Nancy gems may have been judged as iconographically inappropriate for the first two Flavian emperors, Vespasian and Titus, and thus unsuitable for recutting during their principates. In any case, these images undoubtedly survived because of their value as semiprecious stones, as objects d’art, or as curiosities. In addition to the cameos, Nero’s image survives on three intaglios. A chrysolite in London,268 a carnelian in Paris,269 and a another carnelian in New York (fig. 95),270 are all based on Nero’s

imperial property for a considerable time as it was eventually given by the Byzantine emperor, Badouin II to Louis IX of France for the Sainte Chapelle.257 Nero’s profile appears nine times on gems, including: two type I likenesses on sardonyx cameos in the British Museum;258 four laureate type 2 likeness in St. Petersburg,259 in Bonn, 260 in the British Museum,261 and the Content Collection;262 and two type 4 replicas in Berlin,263 and Geneva.264 Nero also appears as a small head rising from a cornucopia with Agrippina Minor on a sardonyx cameo in Paris.265 These portraits are likely to have survived because of their intrinsic value as gems and/or their perceived worth as collectors’ items. Two additional glyptic portraits survive on cameos with more complicated iconography. A sardonyx cameo in Cologne depicts Nero enthroned with the attributes of Jupiter; at his left stands Agrippina Minor again in the guise of Roma-Concordia, crowning her son with the

257 J.J. Bernoulli (1886) 275; and K. Jeppesen (1993) 174, n. 160. 258 3621, inv. no. R.P.K. 21, 2.2 x 1.3 cm.; ex Payne Knight Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 88, 99-101, 212-13, no. A 96, pl. 34.7 (with earlier literature). 3618, h. 3.2 x 2.4 cm.; ex Blacas Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 98, 141, n. 438, 215, no. A 101, pl. 34 (with earlier literature). 259 Sardonyx cameo; Ermitage, inv. J 275, 2.0 x 1,8 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 215-16, no. A 103, pl. 34.11 (with earlier literature). 260 Fragment from a sardonyx cameo; Private collection, 2.3 x 1.8 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 212, no. A 94, pl. 34.910 (with earlier literature). 261 Fragment from an onyx cameo; 3600, inv. 68.5-20.2, 2.8. x 2.1 cm; ex Pulsky Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 88, 96, 100, 113, n. 353, 212-13, no. A. 95, pl. 34.4-5 (with earlier literature); H. Born and K. Stemmer, 97, fig. 58. 262 Sardonyx cameo, 3.03 x 2.8 x .52 cm,; M. Henig (1990) 34, no. 59. 263 Fragmentary sardonyx cameo; Staatliche Museen, inv. 30219.710, h. 2.15 cm; ex von Gans Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 96, 98, 215, no. A100, pl. 35.4 (with earlier literature); H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 97, fig. 56. 264 Glass cameo; Musée d’Art et d’Histoire 224, 1.7 x 1.3 cm.; ex Fol Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 215, no. A 102, pl. 35.5 (with earlier literature). 265 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, inv. 276, 8.3 x 7.6 cm; S. Wood (1999) 305-6, fig. 133; T. Mickoki (1995) 39, 180, no. 203 (with earlier literature); W. Megow (1987) 27-8, no. A86, pl. 27.3.

266 Dom, Dreikönigenschrein I B a 17, 8.0 x 6.4 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 4, 96, 101-2, 109, 137, 143, 149, 21314, no. A 98, pl. 35.1-2; T. Mikocki (1995) 182, no. 213, pl. 14; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 72, 100, fig. 51. Nero wears a mantel draped across his hips, holds a scepter in his raised right hand and an ornamented ship’s stern (aphlaston) in his left hand. He wears a laurel crown and a star, an attribute of solar divinity, rises from his head. An eagle decorates his throne. Agrippina holds aloft a second laurel crown in her right hand and cradles a cornucopia in her left arm. She wears a tunica with a palla draped around her hips. She, too, wears a laurel crown. Three sheaves of wheat spring from her head. 267 Bibliothèque Publique, h. 7.1 x 6.0 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 86, n. 265, 96, 101-3, 114, 142, n. 440, 144, 21415, no. A 99, pl. 35.3 (with earlier literature); J. Arce in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 551, no. 295 (Caracalla). The profile, coiffure and beard closely resemble the sculpted replica of Nero’s third portrait type in the Terme. The Nancy gem has been identified with Caracalla, but the coiffure does not correspond to any of Caracalla’s hairstyles. 268 British Museum, Blacas 497, 16 x 13 mm; G.M.A. Richter (1971) 109, no. 523, fig. 523 (Nero in his younger years)(with earlier literature). 269 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, 17 x 13 mm; Chabouillet, Cat, no. 2083; G.M.A. Richter (1971) 109, no. 524, fig. 524. 270 Metropolitan Museum of Art, 41.160.762, 14 x 12 mm.; G.M.A. Richter (1971) 109, no. 525, fig. 525 (with

nero and poppaea fourth portrait type. Intaglios were often used as seals for important documents and clearly, Nero’s image would no longer have been appropriate for such a use after his damnatio. Because they are carved in negative relief, in very small-scale, intaglios are virtually impossible to recarve and indeed only one surviving intaglio seems to have been reconfigured as a result of Geta’s condemnation (cat. 7.9). They may simply have been discarded, or again, valued as curiosities or preserved by Nero’s former partisans after his death. A graffito from an arched room in the substructures of the “Domus Tiberiana” in Rome may have been intended a caricature of Nero’s third portrait type.271 The grafitto is signed TVLLIVS ROMANUS MILES and depicts an individual in right profile. The light beard, short aquiline nose, and slope of the underchin recall Nero’s third portrait type. The handling of the hair over the forehead parodies Nero’s carefully arranged coiffures. If the graffito is indeed a likeness of Nero, it lies far outside the realm of official portraits of Nero. This humorous image would have been exempted from the damnatio as a result of its satiric and unflattering nature. The room in which it was found lies in an area of the Palatine used as barracks for soldiers and sleeping quarters for slaves.272 The removal of Nero’s public images represents an attempt to obliterate him from the historical record and communal consciousness, comparable to the erasure of his name in inscriptions and the destruction, dismantling, or appropriation of his commemorative monuments and works of architecture. Not surprisingly, no archaeological trace remains of the triumphal arch which was erected in Nero’s honor on the Arx of the Capitoline Hill, but its appearance can be reconstructed on the basis of numismatic evidence.273 The arch, which was vowed by the
earlier literature); K.M. Dickson in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 132, no. 25, with fig . 271 L. Correra (1894) 89-90, pl. 2.4; R. Lanciani (1897) 147, fig. 55; W. Binsfeld (1956) 31; H. Jucker (1963) 8788, fig. 8. 272 R. Lanciani (1897) 146. 273 F.S. Kleiner (1985); S. de Maria (1988) 283-84; F.S. Kleiner in E.M. Steinby, ed. (1993) 101.


Senate in 58 and begun in 62, commemorated Gn. Domitius Corbulo’s victories in Parthia, for which Nero took credit. The arch was demolished under Galba or Vespasian274 Despite the monument’s destruction, it had an enormous impact on subsequent arch design.275 Nero was a prodigious builder, and his main building projects were either demolished or expropriated.276 The Domus Aurea, the sprawling villa/palace which Nero built linking the Palatine and the Esquiline outraged the Senatorial aristocracy on account of its lavish decoration and the extent of its grounds in the heart of Rome.277 Although Otho lived in the Domus Aurea and devoted substantial sums to its completion, the palace was subsequently destroyed or transformed and the elaborately landscaped grounds were reclaimed by Vespasian for other purposes.278 The great artificial lake was drained and the Amphitheatrum Flavium erected on its site. The surviving Esquiline wing of the palace was incorporated into the substructures of the baths of Trajan. It is likely that the Baths of Titus on the Oppian represent modifications to the pre-existing baths of the Domus Aurea, opened to the public in A.D. 80.279 The works of art which had decorated Nero’s palace were expropriated by Vespasian for public display in the nearby Templum Pacis.280 Like the destruction of the
274 Both Otho and Vitellius were sympathetic towards Nero’s memory. F.S. Kleiner (1985) 70-72. The arches of Domitian were similarly destroyed, F.S. Kleiner (1985) 94. 275 F.S. Kleiner (1985) 94-6. 276 On Nero’s building projects and their negative presentation in hostile literary sources, see J. Elsner in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 112-27. 277 The palace is censured in a contemporary epigram recorded by Suetonius: “Rome is becoming a house; emigrate to Veii, Romans, unless that house takes over Veii, too” (Roma domus fiet; Veios migrate, Quirites, Si non et Veios occupat ista domus, Nero 39.2). And later, Martial quips “One house took up the whole of Rome,” (Lib.Spect. 2.4). 278 Suet. Otho 7.1; L.F. Ball has also distinguished postNeronian phases of construction in the Esquiline wing of the Domus Aurea, portions of which he assigns to modifications carried out under Otho, (1994) 226-27 and (2003) 168-69. 279 F. Coarelli (1974) 203; L.F. Ball (forthcoming) 24953. 280 Pliny, NH 35.120. On the political implications of the Templum Pacis as a reaction against the Domus Aurea, see C. Kerrigan (1996) 359 (abstract).


chapter three Nero’s name has been erased in the majority of his inscriptions.285 In addition to the expected erasure of the princeps’ name in portrait dedications and other commemorative inscriptions, a bronze inscription, honoring Nero which was added to the architrave of the Parthenon in A.D. 61-2, was entirely removed from the temple.286 The inscription was inserted between the bronze shields which had been affixed below the metopes, probably under Alexander. 287 Indeed, of the seven (or possibly eight) inscriptions from Athens which originally mentioned Nero, his name has been erased on all but two.288 Nero’s name has also been erased in an important public inscription from Akraiphia in Boetia, which recorded the speech delivered by the emperor at the time of the liberation of Achaea and additionally honored the emperor as Nero Zeus Eleu-

house of Julia Minor earlier in the first century, or the destruction of the house of C. Calpurnius Piso under Nero himself, the dismantling, demolition, and reconfiguration of the Domus Aurea reflects the earlier republican practice of razing the houses of individuals subjected to a damnatio.281 The Esquiline wing of the Domus Aurea, not incorporated into the Baths of Trajan until it was ravaged by the fire of A.D. 104, was degraded by alterations which turned its grand public rooms and spaces into utilitarian barracks or storerooms.282 The modified Esquiline remnant of the Palace, in a semi- ruinous and highly visible state near the Colosseum would have functioned as yet another pertinent manifestation of Nero’s disgrace and downfall. The combination of Neronian ruin with the new Flavian architectural showpiece would have been extremely effective visual propaganda for the new regime. The circus which was begun by Caligula and completed by Nero in the valley of the Mons Vaticanus may also have been given over to public use following Nero’s death and damnatio.283 Interestingly, Nero’s greatest public building project, the Baths which he constructed in the Campus Martius continued to be known as the Baths of Nero despite his damnatio.284

281 F.C. Albertson (1993) 139; V. Santa Maria Scrinari (1997) 9. 282 Plans for the baths on the Oppian may have been initiated late in the reign of Domitian. L.F. Ball (1994) 22728. 283 The circus was begun by Caligula. It’s dimensions were comparable to the Circus Maximus. Caligula was responsible for bringing the obelisk, now in the piazza of San Pietro, to the circus. Claudius continued work on the circus and Nero completed it. Both Caligula and Nero used it as a private venue for their own chariot racing. No reliable references to races, games or performances held in this circus postdate the Neronian period. After the death of Nero, the area may have been used as public gardens. Tombs eventually encroached on the area of the circus. HA, Elag. 23.1 mentions Elagabalus racing in this circus, but the reference is probably fictional, designed to link the character of Elagabalus with those of Caligula and Nero. See A. Barrett (1989) 200 and J. Humphrey (1986) 55054. 284 For instance, ILS 5173 (thermis...Neronis); and Martial (2.48.8 [thermas...neronianas]; 3.25.4 [Neronianas... therms]; 7.34.9-10 [Neronianas thermas]; and his famous

quip “Quid Nerone peius? Quid thermis melius Neronianis? (7.34.4-5). 285 M. Stuart lists portrait dedications which originally honored Nero (1939) 609. Stuart’s list is reproduced here: ROME: CIL 6.927, 31288, 921 = Dessau 222, 4; REGIO I: Casinum (CIL 10.5171); Pompeii (CIL 10.932); REGIO II: Aeclanum (CIL 9.1108); REGIO IV: Aequiculi (CIL 9.4115); REGIO VII: Luna (CIL 11.1331 = Dessau 233, 1332, 6955 = Dessau 8902); BAETICA: Marchena (CIL 2.1392); Salpensa (CIL 2.1281; LUSITANIA: Olisipo (CIL 2.183,184); Emerita (EphEpigr 8 (Hisp) 24); AQUITANIA: Mediolanum Santonum (CIL 13.1040); LUGDUNENSIS: Metiosedum (CIL 13.3013); BRITANNIA: Regni (CIL 7.12 plus EphEpigr 9, 24; NORICUM: Virunum (CIL 3.4825); MACEDONIA: Hripishta (AE [1914] 216); ACHAEA: Delphi (AE [1937] 52 = Sylloge3 808); Athens (IG 2-32 32773278); Megara (IG 6.68); Sparta (IG 6.1, 376); Messene (IG 5.1, 1449-1450); Olympia (Olympia 5.373, 375, [374?]); BOSPORUS: Panticapaeum (IGR 1.876); ASIA: Ilium (IGR 4.209d); Alexandria Troas (CIL 3.382); Pergamum (IGR 4.330); Halasarna (IGR 4.1097); Cos (IGR 4.1053); Hippia (IGR 4.1090); Aphrodisias (CIG 2740); Tralles or Nysa (CIG addendum 2942d); Omarbeili (AE 1891, 151); LYCIA AND PAMPHYLIA: Sagalassus (IGR 3.345); CYPRUS: Salamis (IGR 3.986); Curium (IGR 3.971); EGYPT: Talit (IGR 1.1124). 286 K.K. Carroll (1982) 59-63; Carroll argues persuasively that the inscription did not commemorate the dedication of the Parthenon in toto to Nero, nor did it commemorate a statue set up to Nero in or near the Parthenon. 287 The channels cut for the attachment of the bronze letters are still visible and allow the text of the inscription to be reconstructed. The bronze letters themselves were removed in their entirety following the damnatio. 288 K.K. Carroll (1982) 31.

nero and poppaea therios.289 The inscription also mandated the erection of portraits of Nero and his third wife Satilia Messalina in the temple of Ptoan Apollo. Significantly, Statilia Messalina’s name is allowed to remain in the inscription. Given the relatively short period which elapsed between the Nero’s liberation of Achaea and his death in 68, it is unlikely that these honorific images were ever set up. However, if they were, Nero’s would undoubtedly have been removed from the temple. Nero’s name has also been excised from another prominent provincial monument, the Jupiter Column at Mainz. The column was originally dedicated PRO SALUTE NERONIS, but after the emperor’s death and condemnation his name was eradicated from the inscription.290 In addition, Nero’s name has been erased in an honorific inscription from the imperial cult building at Boubon in Turkey. 291 Although not a portrait inscription, the erasure of Nero’s name and titles at Boubon suggest that his statue was also removed from the cycle of imperial images which decorated the building.292 The Continued Display of Nero’s Images


289 SIG3 814; T. Pekary (1985) 62; S.E. Alcock in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 99; C.B. Rose (1997) 136-38, cat. 67. 290 G. Bauchhenss and P. Noelke (1981) 162-3; G. Bauchhenss (1984). 291 SEG 27 (1977) 916; J. Inan and C. Jones (1997-98) 268-95; S.R.F. Price (1984) 160, 263-64; C.B. Rose (1997) 171, cat. 109. [erased line ca. 20 characters] [erased line ca. 20 characters] [erased line ca. 20 characters]

In contrast to those images which were mutilated, transformed, or removed, a third full-length togate statue of Nero’s first type in Parma may have remained on public display (fig. 96).293 The statue was discovered substantially intact in the Julio-Claudian Basilica at Velleia on 11 June 1761 in the colonnade where the representations of other members of the Julio-Claudian family were also uncovered. Like the two portraits of Caligula excavated at Gortyna on Crete, the discovery of the Parma portrait of Nero in the Velleian Basilica, together with numerous other Julio-Claudian representations, strongly suggests that it was never removed from public view. As already noted, the original cycle of portraits was created under Caligula and included portraits of Augustus, Tiberius, Germanicus, Tiberius Gemellus, Caligula, Drusilla, Agrippina Maior, and Livia. Subsequently, the portrait of Caligula was reworked to an image of Claudius (cat. l.32; fig. 34a-b) and a portrait of Messalina was added to the cycle and ultimately transformed into an image of Agrippina Minor (cat. 3.4; fig. 100a-c), at which time the statue of Nero was also added.294 Like the Julio-Claudian Basilica at Otricoli, the Velleian Basilica was dedicated to the worship of the imperial gens. It is especially significant that the boyhood image may have been
293 Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 826, H. 1.53 m.; C. Saletti (1968) 49-52, 91-2; 122-23, pls. 35-38 (with earlier literature); 14; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)321, n. 6; H.R. Goette (1989) 33, 37, 125, no. 246 (reworked portrait of Britannicus?)(with earlier literature); D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 136, fig. 110; F. Johansen (1994) 21, fig. 20; C.B. Rose (1997) 122-3, cat. 48.13, plates 133, 150-51; S.Wood (1999)195 . There is slight damage to the tip of the nose, the edges of the ear and the top of the skull and both forearms are missing. Rose has suggested that the body is reused from an earlier image. He notes the awkward join between head and neck and the fact that the back is not nearly as summarily worked as the other statues in the group and lacks the flat profile of the others. However, the discrepancies between the statue of Nero and the other two Claudian portraits, those of Claudius and Agrippina Minor may simply reflect the fact that the Nero has been created ex novo in the Claudian period, whereas the Claudius and Agrippina Minor have been reworked from pre-existing images of Caligula and Messalina. 294 C. Saletti (1968) 91-2.

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292 A portrait inscription contemporary with the erased inscription honoring Nero which commemorates Poppaea was also found at Boubon (SEG 27 (1977) 917). The inscription is not erased and seems to date between A.D. 62, the year of Poppaea’s marriage to Nero and 63, the year in which she was awarded the title of Augusta, see C.B. Rose (1997) 171, cat. 109. The lack of erasure in the portrait inscription may indicate that her image was not removed, but rather allowed to remain on public display.


chapter three of the same imperial personages are commemorated, including Diva Drusilla. In addition, both contained images of Caligula transformed to Claudius, as well as a boyhood togate portraits of Nero with bulla, and cuirassed portraits of Nero as imperator. Like the cuirassed statue of Nero from Rusellae, the togatus with hidden bulla lacks its head so it is impossible to confirm its ongoing public display. Alternatively the statue exhibits an unusual large rectangular cutting in the marble on the upper chest below the mortis and this appears to be an area of repair to the drapery which possibly indicate an attack on the image after Nero’s suicide. Inscriptional evidence, however, seems to confrim that Nero’s boyhood portraits were allowed to remain in important group dedications. Nero’s name has not been erased from an inscription belonging to a group dedication set up near the Britannic Arch of Claudius in Rome.299 Nero’s portrait may not have been removed from the statuary group, given the fact that his name and titles have not been effaced. Nero may also have been present in another Claudian group dedication, which included a gilded bronze imago clipeata of Agrippina Maior with an inscription identifying her as the grandmother of Nero.300 The survival of boyhood images of Nero in the context of Julio-Claudian statuary cycles suggests that the continuum of imperial auctoritas as embodied in group portraits may, in isolated cases, have been deemed more important than dishonoring the memory of condemned emperors.301 In addition boyhood portraits of Nero, which naturally were created prior to his accession, may have been seen as less threatening and less representative of Nero as tyrannus.

retained in the Velleian group dedication which presents ample evidence of adult alterations as the result of damnatio including the transformed Caligula/Claudius and Messalina/ Agrippina.295 The impressive statuary cycle displayed at the Collegium of the Agustales of Rusellae which yielded the likeness of Caligula recut to Claudius and the Neronian cuirass also included a two headless togate portraits of boys, one of which is likely to have depicted Nero.296 C.B. Rose has intriguingly suggested that the togatus which includes a partially hidden bulla, as a sign of incipient manhood, belonged to a portrait of Nero and stressed his seniority over Britannicus, whose corresponding statue has a prominently displayed bulla.297 This large dedication appears to have been initiated under Augustus with substantial additions under Caligula and Claudius, and perhaps two images added under Nero. Evidence consisting of portrait heads and statue bodies are preserved for seventeen and are likely to represent Germanicus (head and body), Agrippina Maior (body), Diva Drusilla (body), Julia Livilla (head and body), Nero Caesar (head), Drusus Caesar (head and upper torso), Antonia Minor (head), Divus Augustus (body), Diva Livia (head and body), Caligula/Claudius (head; cat. 1.20), Nero as Caesar (body), Britannicus (body/head and body), Claudia Octavia (head and body), Divus Claudius (head) and Nero as imperator (body), as well as an unidentified cuirass and unidentified togate boy.298 The Rusellae dedication presents tantalizing parallels to the Velleia group. Naturally, many

S. Wood (1999) 195 notes the discrepancies in enforcing condemnations present at Velleia. The third altered adult image, the cuirassed portrait of Nero himself recut to Domitian and ultimately transformed into a representation of Nerva was apparently not an original part of the Julio-Claudian dedication, but added later, after its transformation. 296 Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma; C.B. Rose (1997) 116-18, no. 45.6. 297 C.B. Rose (1997) 118. The portrait of Octavia is also remarkable for its similarities of coiffure and physiognomy to Nero’s type 1 portraits. 298 Inscriptional evidence suggests that the earliest phase of the cycle included representations of Augustus as emperor, Agrippa, and Lucius Caesar C.B. Rose (1997) 116.


299 CIL 6.921; S. de Maria (1988) 112-3, 280-2, no. 69; E. Rodríguez Almeida in E.M. Steinby ed. (1993).85-6; this inscription has often been assumed to belong to the arch, but C.B. Rose has pointed out that this is impossible and that the inscription belongs to a nearby, perhaps contemporary group dedication, (1997) 113-5, no. 42, pl. 116 (with earlier literature). 300 C.B. Rose (1997) 90, no. 13; S. Wood (1999) 237. 301 On the importance of continuity in the context of the imperial cult, see S.R.F. Price (1984) 161.

nero and poppaea Portrait dedications from which Nero’s name has not been erased may also suggest the continued display of his images. Nero and Poppaea were honored with two portrait groups at Luna, one including their deified infant daughter Claudia,302 and a highly unusual group dedication from Amisus originally honored Nero, Poppaea and Britannicus.303 The lack of erasure in the Luna dedications may simply indicate that the statues and their bases were removed (or destroyed) in toto, but the appearance of Britannicus in the Amisus group suggests that it may have remained on display.


The Rehabilitation of Nero’s Memory Following Nero’s official condemnation under Galba, Otho attempted to rehabilitate his memory in an effort to curry favor with the plebs.304 As noted earlier, Otho ordered Nero’s portrait statues returned to public display, allowed himself to be called Otho Nero, allocated large sums for continued work on the Domus Aurea, and courted Nero’s widow Statillia Messalina.305 Otho also forced the Senate to re-erect the statues of Poppaea, who had been Otho’s wife before she married Nero.306 Upon his accession, Vitellius continued Otho’s policy of honoring Nero’s memory.307 Vitellius offered sacrifices to Nero’s manes, had his songs performed in public, and generally wished to imitate him.308 In fact, numismatic portraits of both Otho and Vitellius depict them with versions of the coma in gradus formata coiffure which function as recognizable visual links to Nero.309 Dio even praises Vitellius
302 CIL 11.1331; C.B. Rose (1997) 95, no. 22; CIL 11.6955; C.B. Rose 94-5, no. 21. 303 G. Bean (1956) 213-6; SEG (1959) 748; C.B. Rose (1997) 161, no. 98. 304 Tacit. Hist. 1.78. 305 Suet. Otho 7.1, 10.2, Tacit. Hist. 1.78 (imagines Neronis proponeret), Plut. Otho 3, see supra xxx. 306 Statuas Poppaeae per senatus consultum reposuit, Tacit. Hist. 168, and see infra. 307 Vitellius and Otho seem to have played on the plebs’ nostalgia for Nero, M. Griffin (1984)186. 308 Dio, 64.7.3; Suet. Vit. 11.2. 309 See infra.

for retaining the coinage of all three of his immediate predecessors, Nero, Galba and Otho.310 However, Nero’s rehabilitation was short-lived, for his damnatio was once again actively enforced Vespasian.311 Despite his damnatio, the memory of Nero continued to be esteemed by the plebs after his death. Loyal followers frequently decorated his tomb with flowers and displayed togate images (imagines praetextatae) and edicts of the emperor on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum, “as if he were still living” (quasi viventis).”312 It is unclear whether imagines refer to sculpted or painted portraits, but the context of Suetonius’s statement suggests that these portraits were not heavy marble or bronze likenesses; rather, it is more likely that they were easily transportable painted or small scale images. Nero’s posthumous popularity also led to imposters.313 Interestingly, all of the known Nero imposters seem to have come from the eastern portions of the empire, where the emperor would only have been largely known through his images and not through actual personal appearances. Dio Chrysostom, writing at the end of the first century, was able to claim: “Even now his subjects wish he were still alive and most men believe he is,”314 More alarmingly, the Sibylline Oracle prophesied that in A.D. 195 Nero would return and Rome itself would fall.315 In the mid third century, Nero was again invoked when the Neroniana, the games he had instituted in 60, were revived under Gordian III.316 In the late fourth and early fifth centuries, Nero’s memory was again rehabilitated when his portrait was introduced on contonoriate medal64(65).6.1. In addition, Vespasian also denigrated Nero and his reign through his choice of coin reverses, E.S. Ramage (1983) 201, 209-10. 312 Suet. Nero 57.1; see also C. Wells (1992) 168. 313 Suet. Nero 57.2; Tacit. Hist. 2.8-9; Dio 66.19.3; B.W. Jones (1983) 516-21, Jones believes that the execution of G. Vettulenus Civica Cerialis, Domitian’s proconsul in Asia, in 88 might be tied to the appearance of the third of these pretenders. 314 Disc. 21.10. 315 OrSib 8.139ff; R. Syme (1958) 773; A. Birely, Septimius 157. 316 F. Friedländer (1907) vol. 2, 120, vol. 4, 548-9; B.W. Jones (1992) 103.
311 310


chapter three Uffizi,323 the Louvre, 324 the Vatican 325 the Museo Capitolino,326 the Palazzo Corsini,327 the Palazzo Quirinale328 the Villa Borghese,329 Palazzo Mattei,330 and Palazzo Farnese331 which range in date from the 16th to the 19th centuries. In the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the majority of these modern portraits were probably not intended as forgeries, but rather to fill gaps in collections, especially series of the twelve caesars.332 However, an unusual portrait of Nero in the British Museum does appear to have been fashioned as a forgery, created with the express purpose of deceiving its buyer that it was an
323 Inv. 1914.123; G.A. Mansuelli (1961) 68-69, no. 62, fig. 61a-b (ancient). U. Hiesinger (1975)122 (modern); J.M. Croisille (1999) 404, fig. 24. 324 MA 1222, ex Coll. Borghese; K. de Kersauson (1986) 239, no. 120, with figs; M Fuchs (1997) 83-96, pl. 7.1-4; J.M. Croisille (1999) 403, fig. 22 . While Fuchs considers this portrait to be a revival of the Gallienic period, the emphatic modeling of the facial features and the dramatic undercutting of the stiffly arranged coiffure over the forehead is not consonant with such a date betrays the image’s post antique origins. Gallienic sculpture is more often characterized by smoothly modeled and classicizing features. In addition, portraits of Gallienus and private individuals created during his reign do not have nearly as strong a visual correspondence to Neronian portraits as Fuchs suggests. Nor is there any historical, epigraphic, or numismatic evidence for the Neronian revival under Gallienus which Fuchs posits. 325 Bilblioteca K. Kluge and K. Lehmann-Hartleben (1927) 25-30, fig. 4 (ancient); B.M. Felletti Maj (1963) 42526, fig. 555 (ancient); Helbig4I, nr. 476 (ancient); U. Hiesinger (1975) 120, n. 34 (modern); G. Lahusen and E Formigli, (1993); J.M. Croisille (1999) 403, fig. 31. The head is documented as belonging to the Mattei in 1613 and was entered the Vatican collections in 1770 under Clement XIV. 326 Stanza degli Imperatori, ex Albani collection B 167; H. Stuart Jones (1926) 191, no. 15. 327 Scalone, 2nd pianerottolo, nicchia a destra e nicchia a sinistra, De Luca, 135, nos. 75, 76, pls. 328 Sala del Bronzino, DP 100; M.E. Micheli in L. Guerrini and C. Gasparri eds. (1993) 209-11, no. 84, pl. 61 (19th century). 329 Porphyry and marble portrait, Sala IV; I. Faldi (1954) 16-17, fig. 11h; P. Moreno and C. Stefani (2000); Marble bust, Salone del Ingresso; I. Faldi (19540 49-51; P. Moreno and C. Stefani (2000) 59. 330 Modern type 3 head on an ancient statue, F. Carinci in L. Guerrini, ed. (1982) 115-7, no. 7, pl. 23. 331 type 4; Sala delle Guardie (del Ercole Farnese); part of a cycle of 18 imperial busts. 332 Such Suetonian displays were particularly important in the 17th century and less so in the 18th; J. Fejfer (1997) 12-13.

lions.317 Nero is often represented in a chariot and is invoked as a famous patron of the Circus Maximus.318 These contorniates were minted by Rome’s elite and have a predominantly pagan iconography. Presumably distributed at the games held in the Circus, they are often used as evidence for the existence of a “pagan aristocracy” during this period at Rome.319 Nero’s later reputation as a persecutor of Christians may have instigated his appearance on the staunchly pagan contorniates. A chalcedony cameo which is contemporary with the contorniates also represents him with circus regalia .320 Nero is depicted frontally in a quadriga. He wears a paludamentum and the radiate crown of Apollo. He holds a mappa in his right hand and a scepter in his left and is accompanied by the inscription: NEPVN A O/ VCTE (Neron Auguste). Significantly, all of the late portraits of Nero include accurate, although stylized, versions of the coiffures and physiognomies of his third and fourth portrait types, which indicates that Nero’s portrait iconography was still known into the fifth century. These remarkably accurate details of Nero’s portraiture were likely transmitted to the late Roman die and gem cutters via coins and gems themselves. During the Renaissance and later, the scarcity of unaltered portraits of Nero led to the creation of numerous modern forgeries and copies of his likeness.321 These modern portraits reflect Nero’s last two portrait types. Modern portraits, like those in Florence and Modena, are fairly close copies of ancient originals which are now lost.322 Or they can be freer adaptations, strongly reflecting the artistic tastes of the period in which they were created, as in the examples in the
See, W. Jakob-Sonnanbend (1990). A. Alföldi and E. Alföldi-Rosenbaum (1976) pls. 58.19, 73.2-3, 87.3-12, 88.1-4, 94.6-8. 319 C.W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 59. 320 Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles 129, 287, diam. 3.4 cm.; E. Babelon (1897) 149-50, nr. 287, pl. 32; O. Neverov (1986) 192, fig. 8; W.R. Megow (1987) 216, no. A104, pl. 35.6; M. Fuchs (1997) 94; S. Ensoli in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 68, fig. 6. 321 H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 117; on the relationship of the post-antique portraits to surviving replicas, see J.M. Croisille (1999). 322 See supra.
318 317

nero and poppaea authentic ancient likeness of Nero.333 The portrait is said to have been purchased by Dr. Anthony Askew in 1740 in Athens where it was recut from an ancient portrait of Hadrian; the scarcity of authentic representations of Nero motivated the forgers to create an image of Nero from one of the numerous surviving likenesses of Hadrian.334


The Collateral Condemnation of Poppaea Sabina Poppaea’s images suffered a similar fate to those of her husband, and as a result, securely identified sculptural representations of the empress are completely lacking.335 Poppaea was married initially to Rufius Crispinus and then to the future emperor Marcus Salvius Otho.336 While still married to Otho, Poppaea became Nero’s mistress, sometime in A.D. 58.337 Nero and Poppaea were finally married in A.D. 62, only twelve days after Nero’s divorce from Claudia Octavia.338 At that time Poppaea was awarded the title of Augusta. She bore Nero one child, Claudia Augusta, who died in infancy.339 Poppaea’s death in 65 was rumored to have been caused by a miscarriage induced when Nero kicked her in the stomach.340

Although Poppaea was deified after her death,341 her apotheosis was rescinded in 68 when her memory was collaterally condemned together with that of Nero. During the reign of Galba, Poppaea’s images, like those of Nero, were removed from public display and warehoused.342 Upon his accession Otho reversed Galba’s policies and had the statues of his former wife returned to public display, expressly by order of the Senate: ne tum quidem immemor amorum statuas Poppaeae per senatus consultum reposuit.343 As was the case with Nero’s likenesses, the use of the verb reponere (literally, to set up again) indicates that statues of Poppaea were accessible and well preserved during Otho’s principate. Vitellius, continued Otho’s practice of honoring the memories of Nero and Poppaea.344 However, during the principate of Vespasian, portraits of Poppaea and Nero were once again removed from public display as their damnationes were re-enforced.345 Although images of Poppaea, celebrating her position as Augusta and later as diva were created and disseminated under Nero, her damnatio has ensured that no sculpted portraits are extant.346 Her likeness is, however, preserved on

333 BM GR 1805.7-3.246; B.F. Cook (1985) 27; P. Craddock in M. Jones, ed. (1990) 270-72, no. 301, with fig.; E. Köhne, C. Ewigleben, and R. Jackson, eds. (2000) 22, no. 7, with fig. 334 P. Craddock in M. Jones, ed. (1990) 270-72. 335 See E.R. Varner (2001a) 45-47. 336 M. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 523-24, no. 646. On her marriage to Crispinus, see Suet. Nero 35.5; Tac. Ann. 13.45; Plut. Galba 19.4; on her marriage to Otho, see Suet. Otho 3.1-2; Tac. Ann. 13.46; Tac. Hist. 1.13; Dio 61(62) 11.2. 337 Suet. Otho 3.1; Tac. Ann. 13.46; Tac. Hist. 1.13; Dio 61(62).11.2; Plut. Galba 19.4-5. 338 Suet. Nero 35.2. On Octavia Augusta, see infra. 339 Poppaea was given the title of Augusta, at the time of Claudia’s birth in 63, see Tac. Ann. 15.23; CIL 10.6787 = ILS 3873; CIL 11 1331 a = ILS 233; CIL 11. 6955 = ILS 8902; Suet. Nero 35.3; Claudia Augusta was deified after her death; Tac. Ann. 15.23, 16.6; M. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 198-199, no. 213. 340 Suet. Nero 35.3; Tac. Ann. 16.6; Dio 62.28.1. This incident should probably also be read in the light of antiNeronian rhetoric which informs all of these authors.

CIL 11.1331a = ILS 233; Tac. Ann. 16.21. Poppaea’s images were also targeted in A.D. 62, during demonstrations against Octavia’s banishment and divorce, (Effigies Poppaeae proruunt, Tac. Ann. 14.61, Octavia 684-7. See also, S. Wood (1999) 3 and E.R. Varner (2001a) 45-6, n. 33. 343 Tac. Hist. 1.78. See also M.B. Fory (1993) 303-4, 344 Suet. Vit. 11.2; Dio 65(64).7.3. 345 Nero’s image was not revived again until the late fourth century when his portrait is appears on contorniate medallions minted in Rome; A. Alföldi and E. AlföldiRosenbaum (1976) pls. 58.1-9, 73.2-3, 87.3-12, 88.1-4, 94.68. 346 Three portrait inscriptions have survived from A.D. 63-66; CIL 11.6955 (Luna, A.D. 63); CIL 11.1331 (Diva Poppaea, Luna, A.D. 66); Türk Tarih Kurumu Belleten 20 (1956) 213-15, pl. 1 (Amissus, A.D. 63-65); Several sculpted portraits have been associated with Poppaea, most notably a marble head worked for insertion, now in the Terme, inv. 124129; V. Picciotti Giornetti, MusNazRom 1.1 286-7, no. 178, with fig. While the heavier treatment of the facial featues in the Terme portrait, together with the treatment of the eyes find parallels in Nero’s last two portrait types and would lend support to an identification as Poppaea, the hairstyle of Terme head, with its formal arrangement of two rows curls, pin curls framing the forehead, and heavy shoulder



chapter three Bonn cameo has been quite literally defaced; the nose, lips, and chin have all been entirely destroyed as a dramatic repudiation of her deification. In addition, the destruction of the cameo may be intended to deprive the piece of any magical or supernatural qualities believed to reside in the gem itself. The virulent mutilation of the Bonn cameo is all the more remarkable as it is one of only two cameos with imperial portraits to have been vandalized.352 Unlike their sculpted counterparts, imperial gems were not part of the public visual discourse, and so lay outside the scope of usual condemnation practices. In addition, they were presumably designed for more partisanal audiences, such as members of the imperial family and entourage.353

coins issued by eastern mints347 and two cameos in Florence348 and Bonn349 which are nearly identical representations of Poppaea as diva (figs. 9798). The coiffure seen on the cameos, with three rows of large curls massed over the forehead and running back over the top of the head, as well as the physiognomy with large almond shaped eyes, arching brows, long oval face, and graceful neck are paralleled on the numismatic likenesses.350 These cameo’s highly unusual use of the aegis as a headdress equates the Poppaea with Juno-Isis and underscores her role as diva.351 The
locks does not appear in Poppaea’s numismatic likenesses. The portrait may, in fact be Poppaea’s predecessor, Octavia Augusta. For a brief discussion of the problems surrounding Poppaea’s portraiture, see D. Boschung (1993b) 77. In addition to sculpted, glyptic, and numismatic representations of Poppaea, Dio mentions posthumous theatrical masks which bore the likeness of Poppaea, 62(63) 9.5 (and Suetonius 21.3 where Poppaea is not mentioned by name; see also S. Bartsch.(1994) 47. I would like to thank Niall W. Slater for bringing these masks to my attention. 347 J.J. Bernoulli (1886) 417, pl. 35.20 (unspecified Asia Minor mint). Alexandrian issues: A. Geissen (1974) 58, nos. 155, 157-59, 60, nos. 168-69. 348 Florence, Museo Archeologico, inv. 14519, 2.6 x 1.8 cm; A. Giuliano, ed. (1989) 274, no. 229 (with figs.) (with earlier literature); E.R. Varner (2001b) 48, fig. 1. 349 Private collection, 2.4 x 1.5 cm.; W.R. Megow (1973) 244-45, no. 393, pl. 181; Megow (1987) 260-61, no. B 28, pls. 34.14-16.; T. Mickoki (1995) 188, no. 257, pl. 24; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 30, 97, fig. 57; S. Wood (1999) 289; E.R. Varner (2001) 48. E.R. Varner (2001 a) 48, fig. 2. Wood suggests that the portrait might in fact represent Octavia Claudia, but the coiffure is much closer to the Alexandrian coins of Poppaea and the divine assimilation and Egyptianizing implications of the headdress seem more suited to Poppaea. 350 While Poppaea’s coiffure is similar to that of her mother-in-law Agrippina Minor, the curls massed over the forehead are larger and run much farther back over the top of the head, as is especially visible in the Alexandrian issues. The braids on the back of the head are gathered together and looped back up, forming a long and thick pony tail on the nape of the neck. Poppaea’s ears are usually shown uncovered, and she is depicted with a long, fairly straight shoulder lock. In addition, Poppaea’s face and neck are longer than that of Agrippina Minor. It is likely that Poppaea’s hairstyle is closer to those popular in the early Flavian period, for instance, that worn by Domitia in her first portrait type, ca. A.D. 71, see E.R. Varner (1995) 18993, figs. 1-2. 351 The aegis headdress may also be meant to recall the headdress of the Egyptian goddess Hathor. I would like to thank Gay Robins and Saskia Benjamin for alerting me to the Egyptian implications of this headdress.

Conclusion: Rome’s First Official Imperial Condemnation Although Caligula’s condemnation had an official implication in terms of the senatorial recall of his coinage, it was essentially a de-facto damnatio. The repression of Nero’s memory was, however, officially sanctioned by the Senate and initiated when he was declared a hostis while still living. The senatorial measures passed to restore his images, as well as those of Poppaea, underscore the official nature of the initial sanctions. Nero is the first princeps whose memory was officially condemned and his damnatio follows the procedural precedents set for Caligula’s condemnation and included the outright destruction, mutilation, transformation, and warehousing of his sculpted likenesses. His coins were also effaced and countermarked and his name erased in honorific inscriptions. As with Caligula, the bulk of the evidence for Nero’s damnatio is centered around a vast num352 A sardonyx cameo with facing portraits of Macrinus and Diadumenianus has suffered similar mutilation of the facial features, Bonn, Rheinishces Landesmuseums, inv. 32300; cat. 7.11. 353 Thanks are due to M. Koortbojian for perceptive comments on this gem and its relationship to mutilated sculpted images. On the more flamboyant imagery and restricted audiences of imperial cameos, see R.R.R. Smith (2000) 542.

nero and poppaea ber of portraits which have been recycled, usually into representations of the succeeding Flavian emperors, but also into his great-great grandfather, Augustus, as well as Claudius, Galba, Trajan, Antinous, and Gallienus. Indeed the Neronian material is the chronological, as well as qualitative and quantitative fulcrum for the full blown practice of sculptural transformations. More portraits of Nero were reconfigured than for any other emperor and into a wider variety of new identities. Nero’s images which have been recycled into likenesses of Vespasian had the same critical stylistic impact on the development of portraiture as Caligula’s images refashioned into Claudius. Vespasian’s most insistently veristic representations, as well as his most cooly classicizing, are the products of sculptural recycling. Vespasian’s revival of verism with its republican connotations clearly signaled a period of transition from the Julio-Claudian to the Flavian regimes. On the other hand, his continued use of classicizing representations promoted his legitimacy by visually connecting him to the founder of the Empire, Augustus. The simultaneous use of two oppositional portrait modes underscores the potentially volatile nature of style, especially


in periods of political transition as a new regime attempts to establish power. In addition, the existence of two stylistic possibilities implies at least two distinct audiences for the imagery; the veristic images likely resonated with the disaffected senatorial aristocracy who had entertained the possibility of dismantling the principate after Caligula’s overthrow, while the more classicizing likenesses, with their intimations of continuity with the Julio-Claudians would have appealed to those who had benefitted under their rule. Nero was not only the first princeps to be officially condemned, but also the first whose memory and images were subsequently rehabilitated, first under Otho and Vitellius, and much later in the mid third and the end of the fourth century. Nero’s rehabilitations, as well as the phenomenon of the “false Neros” which continued into the second century, underscore his continued posthumous popularity and highlight the complexities of the condemnation process. The practice itself necessarily had to be remarkably flexible, but it also had to take into account widely differing assessments, both negative and positive, of the overthrown ruler and regime.


chapter four


Julia Maior In addition to the damnationes leveled against Caligula and Nero, the Julio-Claudian period witnessed several other condemnations of members of the imperial family. Julia, Augustus’s only child by his second wife Scribonia, is the first of the imperial women whose memory was condemned.1 Julia was born in 39 B.C. and married her cousin M. Marcellus in 25 B.C.2 Marcellus died in 23 B.C., and in that same year Julia married M. Vipsanius Agrippa and ultimately bore him five children.3 Their two eldest sons Gaius and Lucius Caesar were formally adopted by Augustus as his heirs.4 Following Agrippa’s death, Julia married Augustus’s stepson, Tiberius, in 11 B.C.5 The couple had one son, Claudius, who died in infancy.6 Their marriage proved unhappy, however, and Tiberius left Rome for retirement on Rhodes in 6 B.C. While Tiberius was absent from Rome, Julia was accused of adultery and banished by Augustus to Pandateria in 2 B.C.7 Upon his accession, Tiberius refused to end Julia’s exile, and further restricted her liberty, which reportedly hastened her death from starvation, in A.D. 14.8 Although charges of adultery were leveled against her, Julia’s exile was more likely motivated by her involvement in political intrigues
1 E. Meise (1969) 3-34; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)358-59, no. 421; E.R. Varner (2001a) 57-60. 2 Suet. Aug. 63.1; Vell.Pat. 2.93.2, Dio (48.34.3; 53.27.5; 54.65, 8.5, 18.1, 31.1-2, 35.4; 55.2-4, 10.14; 3 Gaius, Lucius, Julia Minor (Vipsania Julia), Agrippina Maior (Vipsania Agrippina), and Agrippa Postumus, Suet. Aug. 65.1., Cal. 7.1.; Vell.Pat. 96.1. 4 Suet. Aug. 64.1.; Vell.Pat. 96.1. 5 Dio 54.35.4. 6 Suet. Tib. 7.3. 7 Suet. Aug. 54.1; Tac. Ann 1.53; Vel.Pat. Hist. 2.100. 8 Tac. Ann 1.53.1-2; Dio 57.18.1a. On the political motives behind Tiberius’s actions, see J. Linderski (1988) 198.

against Augustus.9 Pliny explicitly links the charges of adultery and conspiracy: adulterium et consilia parricidae palam facta and the two need not be mutually exclusive.10 Also implicated in the plot were Sempronius Gracchus, Appius Claudius, Quintus Crispinus, Scipio, and Iullus Antonius, the second son of M. Antony and Fulvia.11 Dio reports that Iullus was executed for attempting to seize the principate.12 The charges of adultery and sexual promiscuity leveled against Julia effectively blackened her reputation and destroyed her political influence. Indeed sex and politics are inextricably bound together in the rhetoric surrounding Julia’s downfall and two of the locales of her alleged assignations, the Statue of Marsyas and Rostra in the Forum Romanum, are

B. Levick (1976) 306. G. Williams also links the charges of adultery with “other transgressions, in D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson, eds. (1996)128, 133. A. Ferril denies that there was a plot, but does not adequately explain Pliny’s explicit statement and Julia’s known involvement with other conspirators who were condemned for maiestas. Ferril also neglects to account for subsequent charges of adultery against imperial women involved in conspiracies against the reigning princeps, nor does he acknowledge that elite male historians might have deliberately suppressed, minimalized, or trivialized the roles of powerful imperial women who attempted to overthrow the current regime (1980)332-46. In his study of maiestas, R.A. Bauman also reviewed the evidence concerning Julia, and felt that there was no full blown conspiracy (1967) 198-206 and (1992) 108-119. Nevertheless, in his later study of maiestas in the early empire, he fully acknowledges the use of accusationes adulterii as substitutions for charges of maiestas in reference to Valeria Messalina, (1974) 177-88. K.A. Raaflaub and L. J. Sammons II review the ancient evidence and modern scholarship concerning Julia’s involvement in a conspiracy, and suggest that it may have been a kind of internal palace intrigue revolving around the succession, in K.A. Raaflaub and M. Toher, eds. (1990) 428-30; E.R. Varner (2001a) 58. 10 HN 7.45; S. Wood (1999) 138-40. 11 Vel.Pat. Hist. 100.4-5. 12 Dio 55.10.15.


other julio-claudians politically charged prominent public spaces.13 Ultimately accusations of sexual impropriety would become the standard way of discrediting later imperial women embroiled in political intrigues against the reigning emperor.14 Julia herself continued to be a potential threat to her father even in exile.15 Late in A.D. 7, or early 8, a conspiracy was formed to liberate Julia and her son Agrippa Postumus, who had been exiled in A.D. 7, and bring them to disaffected troops stationed nearby.16 In addition to formally requesting the Senate to banish his daughter, Augustus forbade her interment in his Mausoleum and formally disinherited her in his will, thus revoking her membership in the gens Iulia.17 After 2 B.C., it would no longer have been politically expedient to commemorate the emperor’s daughter with portraits. Nevertheless, before her banishment, Julia’s portrait honors are attested by seven surviving inscriptions from the Greek speaking east.18 Julia’s likeness is preserved on a lead tessera with


an accompanying inscription,19 on coins, including a group portrait with her two sons on the obverse of a denarius minted in Rome in 13 B.C.,20 on a bronze issue from Pergamum where she is identified as Julia Aphrodite,21 and possibly on a scabbard with Gaius and Lucius.22 Indeed, the only inscriptional evidence for Julia’s inclusion in group dedications comes from the eastern portions of the empire.23 While it is conceivable that her image was allowed to remain on view in the east, most of her portraits must have been destroyed or warehoused following her condemnation.24 Although attempts have been made to identify likenesses from Béziers and in Kiel as Julia, these portraits are more plausibly associated with Livia.25 Similarly, C.B. Rose’s sugges-

13 Sen. Ben 6.32.1; Pliny HN 21.6.9; Dio 55.10.12; S. Wood (1999) 37-40. 14 Julia was even accused of adultery with the actor, Demosthenes and such accusations of adultery with actors and other lower class males, served as a kind of literary and biographical topos used to denigrate the reputations of imperial women. (Macr. Sat. 1.11.17); see M.P. Vinson (1989) 440. 15 Dio 55.12.1; B. Levick (1976) 310; A. Richlin has speculated that Julia’s well known witticisms preserved by Macrobius, may function as a form of subversive humor indicative of her personal opposition to the status quo (1992) 74-9. 16 Suet. Aug.19.2; B. Levick, (1976) 337-38; J. Linderski, (1988) 198. B. Levick has further suggested that Julia the Younger may have been responsible for the attempt to free her mother and brother, (1976) 337-38. 17 On the letter to the Senate, see, Plin. NH 21.9; On Augustus’s refusal to allow Julia’s burial in his mausoleum, see, Suet. Aug. 101.3; Dio 56.32.4) on Julia’s disinherison, see J. Linderski (1988) 190. 18 D. Boschung (1993b) 48, n. 50 and C.B. Rose (1997) 61. Julia’s seven surviving inscriptions are: Delphi, SIG 779 A, B, D (14-2 B.C., together with Agrippina Maior, Lucius and Gaius(?), C.B. Rose [1997] 139-40, cat. 70; Ephesus, Forsch.Ephes 3.52 = ILS 8897 = IvEph 3006, Mithradates tower (4 B.C., together with Augustus, Livia, Agrippa, and Lucius Caesar; C.B. Rose [1997] 172-4, cat. 112); Lindos, C. Blinkenberg (1941) no. 385 (9-2 B.C., together with Tiberius and Drusus Maior; C.B. Rose [1997] 153-

4, cat. 87); Palaephahus, IGR 3.943, BSA 42 (1947) 228, no. 12 (together with Tiberius; C.B. Rose [1997] 156, cat. 91; Sestos, IGR 1.821 (together with Agrippa; C.B. Rose [1997] 180, cat. 122); Thasos, IG 12.8.381 = ILS 8784 = IGR 1.835 (12-2 B.C., together with Livia and Julia Minor; C.B. Rose [1997] 158-59, cat. 95; Thespiae, BCH 50 (1926) 447, nos. 88-89 (after 14 B.C., together with Livia, Agrippa, Gaius and Lucius, and Agrippina Maior; C.B. Rose [1997] 149-51, cat. 82}. 19 Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme; the lead tessera is very badly deteriorated, but its inscription reads (IV)LIA AVGVSTI and Julia is depicted with a nodus coiffure, wide eyes, and aquiline nose; see G.Grimm (1973) 279, pl. 87.2 (with earlier literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 61; S. Wood (1999) 69. 20 Minted by G. Marius; BMCRE 1.2, nos. 106, 108-9, pl. 4.3,5; RIC 1,76, nos. 166,166a, pl. 2.19; 10J.B. Girard (1976) 111, pl. 25.529; P. Zanker (1988) 216, fig. 167a-b; C.B. Rose (1997) 14-15, pl. 8; S. Wood (1999) 63-8, fig.20. 21 London, British Museum 096524; J. Pollini, in K. Raaflaub and M. Toher, eds. (1990) 354, fig. 31; S. Wood (1999) 64, 69, fig. 21. 22 Bonn, Rheinisches Landesmuseum; P. Zanker (1988) 218, fig. 172; A. Kuttner (1994) 174-75, fig. 114; E. Barttman (1999) 12, 20, 82-3, 95, 96, n. 9; 98, n. 69; S. Wood (1999) 106-7; E.R. Varner (2001a) 59. An aes from Pergamum, c. 11 B.C., may represent Livia on the obverse as Hera, and Julia on the reverse as Aphrodite, Paris Bibliothèque Nationale, no. 1195; W.H. Gross (1962) 29, n. 17, pl. 4, figs. 6-8; M.L. Anderson (1987) 130, fig. 4. 23 C.B. Rose (1997) 20-21; S. Wood (1999) 20. 24 S. Wood (1999) 27, 30; E.R. Varner (2001a) 59-60. 25 D Boschung (1993) 48-50 identifies the Béziers-Kiel type as Julia; see also J.C. Balty in Lo sguardo di Roma 204, no. 143;. R Winkes correctly assigns to type to Livia (1995) 112-13, no. 38, 181, no. 104; C.B. Rose (1997) 126-8, cat. 42, pl. 161, and E. Bartman (1998) 145, 167, no. 47, fig. 92. Wood’s identification of the female portraits in the Be-


chapter four been refashioned into someone else. The question of Julia’s appearance on the altar, or erasure or alteration are further compounded by the monument’s current alignment, which, as D. Conlin has amply demonstrated, has mis-restored and missing figures.31 Although Julia has been recognized as the female figure wearing a ricinium, the traditional fringed cloak of the Roman widow, on the north frieze of the Ara Pacis (N 36), the identification is not especially persuasive and as the figure is headless, the question of a possible reconfiguration of the portrait features remains open.32 Attempts to identify the female figure behind Agrippa on the South Frieze (S 32), usually identified as Livia, as Julia are similarly unconvincing and present even more insurmountable interpretive difficulties.33

tion that another portrait from the Beziers group, as well as a portrait in Copenhagen reputedly from Caere represent Julia, seems unlikely.26 These portraits bear a strong physical resemblance to Agrippa, and S. Wood is certainly correct to identify them as Agrippa’s daughter, Vipsania Agrippina who was also married to Tiberius and the mother of his heir, Drusus Minor.27 Ultimately, a portrait from Corinth is the most likely candidate as representation of Julia, and it was apparently produced by the same sculptural workshop as the well known statues of Augustus, Gaius and Lucius from the Basilica.28 If the head does depict Julia, as seems probable, then it was presumably removed from its original context and stored or buried in the vicinity of the basilica and forum. The absence of Julia in a large Julio-Claudian group dedication from Velia, which included in its initial phase representations of Gaius, Lucius, Octavia and Livia may further indicate that Julia’s likenesses were removed after her condemnation in 2 B.C. 29 The portrait group appears to have decorated some kind of medical collegium and may have been commissioned in honor of Gaius’s taking of the toga virilis in 5 B.C.30 Grave difficulties surround the secure identification of Julia on the greatest dynastic monument of the Augustan period, the Ara Pacis Augustae, and indeed she appears to be conspicuously absent as a result of her banishment and consequent condemnation. Although the Ara Pacis preserves no evidence for the excision of any figure from the monument, Julia may have

Agrippa Postumus The youngest child of Julia and Agrippa, Agrippa Postumus was adopted by his grandfather Augustus, together with Tiberius, in A.D. 4, following the death of his eldest brother Gaius. Just three years later, in A.D. 7, Ausgustus had his only surviving grandson banished, first to Surrentum, and later to the island of Planasia off the coast of Etruria, where he was also placed under guard (insuper custodia militum).34 Upon the accession of Tiberius in A.D. 14, Postumus was murdered by one of his guards; the orders for the murder are variously attributed to Tiberius, Livia, or, posthumously, to Augustus.35 Although Suetonius attributes his downfall to his sordid and

ziers group as Livia, Vipsania Agrippina, Antonia Minor (?), and a prominent local woman seems most convincing (1997). 26 Toulouse, Musée St. Raymond, inv. 30.004; C.B. Rose (1997) 61, 126-8, cat. 52, pl. 45, 159; Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, inv. 1282; C.B. Rose (1997) 61, pls. 43-5. See also E. Bartman (1999) 215-6. 27 It seems inconceivable that images of Augustus’ only child would not stress her resemblance to him as S. Wood has noted (1999) 187-88. 28 E. de Grazia Vanderpool (1994) 285; J. Pollini (forthcoming). 29 C.B. Rose (1997) 120-21, cat. 49, pls 122-31; E. Bartman (1999) 80, n. 47. 30 C.B. Rose (1997) 121.

31 D.A. Conlin (1992) 209-5; G. Koeppel (1992) 2168; D.A. Conlin (1997) 45-56. 32 See C.B. Rose (1990) 463, R. Billows (1993) 91 and A. Kuttner (1995) 100; E. Bartman (1998) 44; see also E. Simon (1967) 21 on the controversy surrounding the identification of this figure and the nature of the ricinium see J.L. Sebesta in J.L. Sebesta and L. Bonfante, eds. (1994) 50 and E.R. Varner (2001a) 60. 33 A. Bonnano (1976) 28. D. Boschung (1993b) 49; for the difficulties inherent in maintaining an identification of S 32 as Julia rather than Livia, see E.R. Varner (2001a) 60-61. 34 Suet. Aug. 65.4; Tac. Ann.1.3. 35 Suet. Tib. 22; Tac.Ann. 1.6.

other julio-claudians ferocious temperament36 and Tacitus claims that he had been convicted of no crimes37 Postumus’s exilium and eventual relagatio ad insulam may, in fact, have been politically motivated, as suggested by the plot to liberate him, as well as his mother, late in A.D. 7 or early in A.D. 8.38 Postumus also seems to have been somehow involved in the intrigues which led to his sister Julia’s downfall and banishment in A.D. 8.39 In addition, a plot to avenge Agrippa was led by his slave Clemens and it is enumerated by Suetonius together with the sedition of Lucius Scribonius Libo whose brother M. Scribonius Libo Drusus was eventually condemned for maiestas in A.D. 16), and mutinies in Illyricum and Germany at the outset of Tiberius’s principate.40 Agrippa Postumus’s image appears on coins minted at Corinth in A.D. 5.41 In addition, a statue base of Agrippa Postumus at a building associated with the Augustales at Lucus Feroniae attests to the creation of his portraits,42 and he is honored as a boy of 7 at Forum Clodii in 5 B.C. in a group dedication which included is brother Lucius, and almost certainly his oldest brother Gaius as well.43 His name occurs on an altar together with Gaius and Lucius at Ephesus, also probably erected c. 5 B.C,44 as well as an inscription from Samos.45 The memory and reputation of Postumus appears to have been rehabilitated under his nephew, Caligula as his name appears on an altar together with those of his father and Caligula’s siblings.46 The linkage of Agrippa Postumus with Caligula’s brothers, Nero and Drusus Caesar, suggest that he was being


reclaimed and celebrated posthumously, like them, as victims of Tiberius. After his banishment, Agrippa Postumus was naturally excluded from group dedications, including one set up in A.D. 8 at Eresus on Lesbos.47 There is no surviving evidence for Agrippa Postumus’s appearance in any of the Julio-Claudian group dedications in the East.48 Agrippa Postumus is conspicuously absent from a group dedication set up on the Acropolis at Athens.49 The base for the statues consists of a reused 3rd century B.C. inscription and honors Augustus, Tiberius, Drusus Minor, and Germanicus. There is a base for a fifth honorand, possibly Agrippa Postumus, which was never used. The portraits were erected after the adoption of Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus in A.D. 4, and Tiberius’s adoption of Germanicus in that same year. It may originally have been intended to honor the male members of the Julian gens as they existed in A.D. 4, namely the emperor, his two adopted sons, Agrippa Postumus and Tiberius, and Tiberius’s natural son, Drusus Minor, and adopted son Germanicus. News of Agrippa Postumus’s condemnation and banishment may have interrupted the erection of this group and ultimately precluded his inclusion, thus accounting for the empty base, which was left vacant until the reign of Trajan, when an image of that emperor was added to the ensemble.

Julia Minor Shortly after Agrippa Postumus’s exile, in A.D. 8 his eldest sister Julia Minor (Vipsania Julia), was also banished. 50 As was the case with her mother, Julia Minor may also have been involved with an anti-Augustan faction. Most tellingly, shortly after Julia’s banishment to the Island of Trimerus, her husband Lucius Aemilius Paullus was actually

Suet. Aug. 65.1 (ob ingenium sordidum ac fercox). Tac. Ann. 1.3 (nullius tamen flagitii conpertum). 38 Suet. Aug.19.2; B. Levick, (1976) 337-38; J. Linderski, (1988) 198. 39 E. Meise (1969) 37. 40 Suet.Tib. 25.1. 41 RPC 252, no. 1141 (as); F. Salviat and D. Terner (1982) 237-41. 42 L. Sensi (1985-86) 284, no. 5; AE (1988) 548; C.B. Rose (1997) 93. 43 C.B. Rose (1997) 88, no. 10. 44 I. Ephesos 253; C.B. Rose (1997) 221, n. 97. 45 IGR 4.1718; C.B. Rose (1997) 224, n. 148. 46 IG 12.2.172; IGR 4.78; C. Hanson and F.P. Johnson (1946) 399; C.B. Rose (1997) 35, 233-4, n. 63


C.B. Rose (1997) 152. C.B. Rose (1997) 20, 157. 49 C.B. Rose (1997) 138, no. 66. 50 E. Meise (1969) 35-48; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)635-6, no. 813; D.E.E. Kleiner in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 48; E.R. Varner (2001a) 60.



chapter four Agrippina Maior Julia Minor’s sister, Agrippina Maior, was publicly condemned for her outspoken opposition to her uncle, Tiberius. Agrippina was born c. 14 B.C., married to Germanicus in A.D. 5, and bore him nine children.59 After the death of Germanicus, under mysterious circumstances involving Gn. Calpurnius Piso, at Antioch in A.D. 17, Agrippina Maior returned to Rome with her children. Agrippina’s position as the widow of the enormously popular Germanicus, whom Tiberius had formally adopted, and the granddaughter of Augustus, insured her an elevated position at the capital, but relations between the emperor and Agrippina quickly deteriorated.60 Tiberius refused to let her remarry, perhaps fearing that any husband of Agrippina could stand as a potential rival to his own son, Drusus Minor, for the succession. In A.D. 29, Tiberius finally prevailed upon the Senate to exile Agrippina to Pandateria where she eventually starved herself to death in A.D. 33.61 After her death, Tiberius officially commemorated his merciful treatment of Agrippina for refraining from having her strangled and her corpse thrown down the Gemonian steps in an act of poena post mortem.62 Agrippina’s exclusion from the Mausoleum of Augustus posthumously canceled her membership in the imperial family, as had happened to her mother and sister before her. Agrippina’s memory was further publicly dishonored when her birthday was proFor their marriage, see CIL 6.886 = ILS 180; CIL 6.4387, 5186, 5772, 17146 CIL 9. 2635; CIL 11.167 = ILS 179; AE (1968) 476 = IvEphes. 256; AE (1980) 874; ZPE 55 (1984) 58.1.7; 59.1.21; Suet. Aug. 64.1; Tac. Ann.1.33. For the children, see Suet. Calig. 7; Plin. HN 7.13.57. 60 Tiberius is said to have remarked to Agrippina, “Is it your opinion, my little daughter, that you have been unjustly treated if you are not completely in charge?.” “Si non dominaris,” inquit, “filiola, iniuriam te accipere existimas?” Suet. Tib. 53.1. 61 Suet. Tib. 53.2. Suet. Cal. 10; Tac. Ann. 25; Dio 58.22.4-5. Tiberius apparently also accused her of impudicitia and adultery with Asinius Gallus, Tac. Ann 25; see also M.P. Charlesworth (1922) 260-1; E.R. Varner (2001a) 612. 62 Suet. Tib. 53.2; Tac. Ann. 25; D.G. Kyle (1998) 232, n. 34.

executed on charges of maiestas.51 As already noted, Agrippa Postumus may also have been implicated at an earlier stage in the conspiracy, and possibly Ovid as well.52 Julia survived in exile for twenty years, and finally died in A.D. 28.53 In addition to ordering her banishment, Augustus commanded that the child Julia Minor was expecting was to be exposed at birth: ex nepte Iulia post damnationem editum infantem adgnosci alique vetuit.54 Like her mother befor her, Julia Minor was refused burial in the Mausoleum of Augustus,55 and so symbolically disinherited her from the Julia-Claudian family for all posterity.56 In addition, Augustus ordered one of Julia’s villa’s razed to the ground, an act which would have had strong conceptual resonances with the destruction of domås belonging to condemned individuals in the Republic.57 Inscriptional evidence confirms the inclusion of Julia Minor’s portraits in group dedications, but, as a direct consequence of her disgrace and downfall, no surviving sculpted representations can be identified with certainty.58

51 nupta Aemilio Paulo, cum in maiestatis crimine perisset, ab avo relegata est, post revocata cum semet vitiis addixisset perpetuo damnata est supplicio, Schol.Iuv. 6.158; Suet. Aug. 19.1; Tac. Ann 3.24; 4.71; Pliny HN 7.45.149; Schol.Juv. 6.158. 52 On Ovid’s involvement, see R. Syme (1955) 488; and E. Meise (1969) 47. B. Levick has further suggested that after Agrippa Postumus’s banishment late in A.D. 7, Julia may have formed a plot to rescue her brother and mother from exile, ultimately ensuring her own banishment (1976) 337-38. Again, K.A. Raaflaub and L.J. Sammons II suggest that any intrigue may have centered on the question of the succession in K.A. Raaflaub and M. Toher, eds. (1990) 430-31. 53 Tac. Ann. 4.71. 54 Suet. Aug. 65.4. 55 Suet. Aug. 90.3. 56 J. Linderski (1988) 191. 57 Suet. Aug.72.3; C. Edwards (1993) 166, n. 74; M.. Bergmann (1994) 225-226, n. 4; J. Bodel (1997) 10; P.J.E. Davies in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 38; E.R. Varner (2001a) 61. 58 Thasos, IG 12.8.381 = ILS 8784 = IGR 1.835 (with the elder Julia), C.B. Rose (1997) 158-9, no. 95 and supra. E.R. Varner (2001a) 61; Julia Minor may also have been present in a dedication at Delphi, but it seems likely that the fragmentary inscription refers to her mother; SIG 3 779.A, B, D; C. B. Rose (1997) 139-40, no. 70.

other julio-claudians claimed a dies nefastus, an act against her memory with profound political implications.63 Agrippina’s images had been widely disseminated and, indeed, had played an important role in the protests on her behalf when her supporters carried her representations and those of her son Nero around the Curia while the Senate deliberated whether to pass sanctions against her (Simul populus effigies Agrippinae ac Neronis gerens circumsistit curiam faustisque).64 Following her condemnation, however, it would no longer have been appropriate or prudent to display Agrippina’s likenesses in either public or domestic contexts. Subsequently, after Agrippina Maior’s memory was rehabilitated by her children Caligula and Agrippina Minor, new images were created for her. In fact, one of Caligula’s first public acts as emperor was to retrieve Agrippina’s ashes, together with those of his brothers Nero and Drusus, and inter them in the Mausoleum of Augustus, thus rescinding their disinhersion and restoring them to their rightful membership in the JulioClaudian gens.65 The production of new representations in the Caligulan and Claudian period suggests that many of her portraits had been damaged or destroyed under Tiberius, and in fact, the majority of her surviving portraits are posthumous.66 As part of her rehabilitation, the proclamation of her birthday as a dies nefastus was also rescinded.67 Nero and Drusus Caesar


63 AFA 49.1-4 = Smallwood 9.11-15; Suet. Tib. 53.2; A. Barrett (1989) 62. 64 Tac. Ann. 5.4. 65 Suet. Cal.15.1. 66 As, for instance, the well known bust in the Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperiatori 7, inv. 421, h. 0.31 m., Fittschen-Zanker III, 5-6, no. 4, pls. 4-5; S. Wood (1999) 221-2, figs. 91-2.. On Caligula and Agrippina Minor’s rehabilitation of their mother’s memory, see S. Wood (1988) 409-26; S. Wood (1999) 178. Under Caligula, a portrait of Agrippina Maior was also added to the cycle of JulioClaudian statuary in the Basilica at Velleia (Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 828); a portrait from the Domus dei Moasaici at Rusellae may also be posthumous, either Caligulan or Claudian (Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma, inv. 1729148). 67 AFA (Scheid) 221.3; AFA (Smallwood) 9.11-15; Barrett (1996) 51.

Agrippina’s two eldest sons, Nero and Drusus Caesar also suffered in their mother’s downfall. Nero was born in A.D. 6, and Drusus in A.D. 7. Under Tiberius, both boys were declared hostes. Nero was exiled to Pontia, where he was starved to death in 31, and Drusus was imprisoned on the Palatine, and also starved to death in 33.68 In an act of poena post mortem, both of their corpses were dismembered and so thoroughly scattered that they could scarcely be gathered up (amborum sic reliquas dispersas ut vix quandoque colligi possent).69 Their remains were also denied burial in the Mausoleum of Augustus. When their younger brother Caligula attained the principate, he rehabilitated their memories together with Agrippina, and also deposited their ashes in the Mausoleum.70 Based on extant inscriptions and literary sources, portraits of Drusus and Nero Caesar were created in three separate phases: in 19, just after the death of their father Germanicus; between 23 and their downfall in 29; and under Caligula.71 During the 8 year period after their condemnation in 29 and prior to Caligula’s accession in 37, continued display of their images would have been discouraged and existing portraits may have been removed or destroyed. Many of the surviving images convincingly identified by C.B. Rose as Nero and Drusus appear to be posthumous and date to the principate of Caligula, as for instance a cuirassed portrait of Nero Caesar from the theater at Caere or a statue of Drusus in heroic nudity from Rusellae.72 As with their
iudicatos hostes, Suet. Tib. 54.2; Neronem et Drusum senatus Tiberio criminante hostes iudicavit, Suet. Cal. 7. 69 Suet.Tib. 54.2. 70 Suet.Cal. 15.1; S. Wood (1999) 208. 71 C.B. Rose (1997) 66. 72 Nero Caesar: from Caere, Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9963, C.B. Rose (1997) 67, 836, cat. 5.4, pls. 67-8; from Rusellae, Grosseto Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma; C.B. Rose 67, 1168, cat. 45.5; from Velia, Marna di Ascea, Soprintendenza Archeologica, inv. 3994 (17486), C.B. Rose (1997) 67, 12021, cat. 49.7, p. 128; Drusus Caesar, from Rusellae, Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma, C.B. Rose 66, 116-8, cat. 45.6. The dedicatory inscription to Drusus has also survived:


chapter four liberating his fate: JVH Jg g\6`<"H "bJ@Ø BVF"H
6"JX$"88@< 6"Â 6"JX6@BJ@< 6"Â 6"JXFLD@< ñH 6"\ "ÛJÎ< ¦6gÃ<@< "Æ64>`:g<@4.78 The anthropomor-

mother, these new Caligulan images may have been intended to replace damaged or destroyed likenesses.

Sejanus Lucius Aelius Sejanus was appointed co-Praefect of the Praetorian Guard, together with his father, Lucius Seius Strabo, at the accession of Tiberius in A.D. 14.73 Not long afterward, Strabo was named Praefect of Egypt, and, as sole Praefectus Praetorio, Sejanus wielded considerable power. Sejanus initiated a series of persecutions against the supporters of Agrippina Maior in the capital, and in 29, was instrumental in engineering her banishment to Pandateria. Sejanus, in conjunction with the emperor’s niece and daughterin-law, Livilla, appears to have been planning to seize the principate from Tiberius, but the emperor was warned of the plot by Antonia Minor and Sejanus was executed for treason, by order of the Senate in 31; in an extended example of poena post mortem, the populace of Rome is reported to have abused his corpse for three days before throwing it into the Tiber.74 Sejanus is the first person to suffer a damnatio memoriae in the imperial period whose corpse was so publicly desecrated and then discarded in the Tiber.75 His children were also killed and his wife, Apicata, committed suicide.76 The Senate’s pronouncements against Sejanus included sanctions against his memory and monuments and mandated that the day of his death was to be celebrated with public rejoicing.77 Dio vividly describes the destruction of the praefect’s images in Rome while the Senate was de-

phic implications are clear: attacks on Sejanus’ portraits were carried out as if they were attacks on his own person. Significantly, Sejanus witnesses the anthropomorphic attacks on his images, thus forced to be a spectator to acts which prefigure and parallel his own execution and the subsequent defilement of his remains.79 Furthermore, Juvenal’s description of the burning of Sejanus’s bronze portraits is linked to partial cremation, another form of corpse abuse and he further denigrates his memory by emphasizing the transformation of Sejanus’s portraits into commonplace and derogatory objects such as pitchers, frying pans, and slop pails.80 As an additional consequence of the damnatio, Sejanus’s name is erased in inscriptions.81 No securely identified sculpted likenesses of Sejanus exist,82 but honorary por-

DRVSO CAESARI GERMANICI CAESARIS F TI CAESARIS AVG N DIVI AVG PRONEPOTI EX DD PP 73 On the career of Sejanus, see D. Hennig (1975). 74 Dio 58.11.5; see also D.G. Kyle (1998) 221-2. 75 On post mortem corpse abuse of imperial individuals, see E.R. Varner (2001b). 76 Tac. Ann 5(6).9; Dio 58.11.5-6. 77 Dio 58.12.2.

78 58.11.3. Juvenal also describes the destruction of Sejanus’s images in graphic terms, 10.56-64: Quosdam praecipitat subiecta potentia magnae/invidiae, mergit longa atque insignis honorum/pagina: descendunt statuae restemque sequuntur,/ipsas deinde rotas bigarum inpacta securis/caedit et inmeritis franguntur crura caballis;/iam strident ignes, iam follibus atque caminis/ ardet adoratum populo caput et crepat ingens/ Seianus; deinde ex facie toto orbe secunda/ fiunt urceoli pelves sartago matellae. 79 D.G. Kyle (1998) 221. 80 10.61-4 And the head of powerful Sejanus, adored by the people, is crackling in the flames and out of that face, just now second in the whole world, are made pitchers, bowls, frying pans & chamber pots; also 10.81-2; D.G. Kyle (1998) 183, n. 106. 81 R. Cagnat (1914) 173. 82 K. Jeppesens’ attempt to identify the imperator who stands in front of Tiberius in the Grand Camée de France as Sejanus, rather than Germanicus is entirely unconvincing (1993) 141-75. Jeppesen’s conclusions stem largely from his unwillingness to see the scene as retrospective (i.e, combining both living and deceased figures in the same scene). However, retrospective combinations of living and deceased individuals can be found in other monuments, for instance the Gemma Claudia, which has facing portraits of Claudius and Agrippina Minor vs. Germanicus and Agrippina Maior (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum 19, inv. IX a 63), or, in the following century, the inclusion of Faustina Maior in the joint apotheosis scene on the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius, despite the fact that she had died and been divinized in A.D. 141, 20 years before the death of her husband. Additionally, Jeppesen’s identifications fail to accurately take into account the coiffures

other julio-claudians traits, known to have been created in great numbers, were removed from public display and destroyed in the capital and elsewhere in the Empire.83 As a mark of his denigration and the widespread nature of his damnatio, Sejanus’s tria nomina have been eradicated from the reverses of two coins from the mint of Bilbilis in Spain.84 The obverses of these coins depict laureate profile portraits of Tiberius, while the reverses commemorate the joint consulship of Tiberius and Sejanus in 31. The reverses depict a laurel wreath, originally surrounded by the legend NV AUGUSTA BILBILIS TI CAESARE V L AELIO SEIANO. Sejanus’s names have been removed in both coins, as has COS within the laurel wreath in one of the coins. The appearance of Sejanus’s name on the Tiberian coins attests to his extraordinary prominence and influence during his tenure as praefect. The erasure of his names from the coins is the earliest example of numismatic damnatio in the imperial period and dramatically underscores his precipitous fall from power and prefigures the random destruction of numismatic images and inscriptions of later emperors beginning with Caligula.85 Livilla


Livilla, Sejanus’s accomplice in the plot to overthrow Tiberius was also condemned.86 Livilla was born sometime between 14 and 11 B.C., the only surviving daughter of Drusus Maior and Antonia Minor.87 She was first married to Augustus’s grandson, Gaius Caesar, and after his death, she married Tiberius’s son Drusus Minor (Drusus Iulius Caesar), to whom she bore one daughter Julia, and twin sons, Germanicus Julius Caesar and Tiberius Gemellus.88 Drusus died in A.D. 23, allegedly poisoned by Livilla and Sejanus.89 After the death of Drusus, Sejanus, although only of equestrian origins, wished to marry Livilla.90 Tiberius, however, refused to permit the marriage91 and, as already noted, Sejanus was eventually executed for plotting against the emperor in A.D. 31.92 Charges of adultery with Sejanus and complicity in the murder of Drusus Minor were then brought against Livilla and she was either executed or forced to commit suicide.93

and portrait iconography of the figures depicted in the upper two registers. In fact, the gem must be Claudian, celebrating Nero’s adoption by Claudius in A.D. 50, as proposed by Jucker (1976) 210-50. 83 Sejanus’s portraits are attested in a remarkable variety of sources: Sen. Dial. 6.22.4 (Decernebatur illi statua in Pompei theatro ponenda, quod exustum Caesar reficiebat: exclamavit Cordus tunc vere theatrum perire); Suet. Tib. 65.1 (et imagines aureas coli passim videret); Tac. Ann. 3.72 (et censuere patres effigiem Seiano quae apud theatrum Pompei locaretur); Ann 4.2 (ut socium laborum non modo in sermonibus, sed apud patres et populum celebaret colique per theatra et fora effigies eius interque principia legionum sineret); Ann.4.7.2 (cerni effigiem eius in monumentis Cn. Pompei); Ann 4.74.2 (effigiesque circum Caesaris ac Seiani censuere); Dio 57.21.3 (JÎ< *¥ *¬ Ggï"<Î< .ä<J" X< Jè 2gV-

JDå P"86@Ø< §FJ0Fg. 5•6 J@bJ@L B@88"Â :¥< ßBÎ B@88ä< y@H g\6`<gH "bJ@Ø ¦B@4Z2F"<); Dio 58.2.7 (JÎ (VD J@4 B820 Jä< V<D4V<T< ô< » Jg $@L8¬ 6"Â º ÂBB"H "Ë Jg ML8"Â 6"Â @Â —<*DgH @Ê BDäJ@4 ¨FJ0F"< "bJ@Ø, @b*g X>0D\2:0Fg< –< J4H); Dio 78.7.1 (V<*D4V-<J@H J4<ÎH "bJ@Ø). See also C.B. Rose

(1997) 31. 84 Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, Espagne, no. 444; R. Mowat (1901) 444-46; K. Regling (1904) 144; RPC 1, 129, nos. 398-99 (for the coin type). 85 Sejanus’s downfall and subsequent condemnation pre-

figures that of another powerful praetorian praefect, Plautianus, at the beginning of the third century; see infra. 86 E. Meise (1969) 49-90; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)216-8, no. 239. 87 Suet. Claud. 1.6. 88 On the birth of the daughter see, Suet. Aug.99.1; Tac. Ann. 3.29.3; and Raepsaet-Charlier; On the twin sons, see, Tac. Ann. 2.84; CIL 5.4311 = ILS 170; Forsch.Eph. 4.3.37 = IvEph 4337; Germanicus Julius Caesar died the same year as his father, in A.D. 23; Tiberius Gemellus was killed at the outset of Caligula’s reign in 37 . 89 Suet. Tib. 62.1; Tac. Ann. 4.3, 4.10; Dio. 57.22.1-4. 90 Undoubtedly in order to strengthen his ties to the imperial house and legitimize his own claims as a successor to Tiberius’s imperium; Tac. Ann.4.3, 4.40. 91 There is a slight possibility that the two were betrothed or even married prior to their deaths. Sejanus is twice referred to as the son-in-law (generum) of Tiberius in Tacitus, Ann. 6(5).6, 6.8; and Dio refers to Sejanus as having married Julia, daughter of Drusus, prior to his downfall. Perhaps Livilla (Claudia Livia Julia), the daughter of Drusus Maior is meant here. Alternatively, Livilla’s daughter Julia Drusilla, the daughter of Drusus Minor and wife of Nero Caesar may also be intended although Nero Caesar himself did not die until A.D. 31, so it is uncertain if this Julia was even available for marriage prior to Sejanus’s death on 18 October A.D. 31, Fasti Ostiensis; see also K. Jeppesen (1993) 173 and n. 158. 92 Suet. Tib. 62.1; Dio 58.11.5-7. 93 Suet. 62.1; Dio 58.11.6-7; Octavia 941-43. Dio also


chapter four nature of Livilla’s damnatio should argue against the identification of the type as Livilla.100 Indeed, no surviving sculptural portraits can be securely associated with her as a direct result of her condemnation. Glyptic images of Livilla are less problematical and her likeness has survived on thirteen cameos.101 These gem portraits are remarkably consistent in their portrayal of Livilla, depicting her with a waved and centrally parted coiffure.102 The hair at the back of the head is rolled or

Livilla was clearly complicit in Sejanus’s plot to overthrow Tiberius, and as a result, Livilla is the first imperial woman against whom the Senate brought formal sanctions, voting to condemn her memory and decreeing the destruction of her images (atroces sententiae dicebantur, in effigies quoque ac memoriam eius).94 Livilla’s position as the widow of the emperor’s son, and mother of a potential heir, Tiberius Gemellus ensured her commemoration with numerous portraits. But after her condemnation, the senatorial sanctions mandated the erasure of her name in inscriptions and the destruction of her images.95 A portrait type (the Lepcis-Malta type) which survives in at least eight replicas has been associated with Livlla (and also with Antonia Minor and Julia Livlla), but there are many difficulties in maintaining the identification as Livilla.96 With one exception, a portrait from Tindari which has a crack through it, none of the portraits exhibits any signs of deliberate damage which could be associated with damnatio.97 The portrait of this type in Lepcis was part of the Julio-Claudian group dedication at the Temple of Roma and Augustus and does not appear to have been removed from public display, despite the fact that her name has been erased from the dedicatory inscription.98 Similarly, a replica from the Julio-Claudian cycle at Rusellae appears to have remained on public view.99 The vehement

records the alternative story that Livilla was not executed she was forced to starve to death by her mother Antonia Minor. 94 Tac. Ann. 6.2; see also M.B. Fory (1993) 303-4; E.R. Varner (2001a) 63. 95 The erasure of Livilla’s name in the portrait inscriptions from the Temple of Roma and Augustus at Lepcis Magna indicates that her portrait was also likely eradicated from the group diedication; H. Donner and W. Röllig (1968) 128, no. 122. 96 S. Wood reviews the complicated evidence (1999) 190-6. Wood has further demonstrated that another portrait in a Swiss private collection, identified by D. Kaspar as Livilla (H. Jucker and D. Willers, eds. [1982] 91, no. 35), is actually a Caligulan likeness of her niece, Agrippina Minor (1995) 465, n. 45. 97 Palermo, Museo. S. Wood (1999) 193. 98 H. Donner and W. Röllig (1968) 128, no. 122; C.B Rose (1997) 182, no. 125, 238, n. 44. 99 C.B. Rose (1999) 117-8.

100 K. P. Erhart (Mottahedeh) (1978) 202-204; C.B. Rose (1997) 68-9, 117-8; S. Wood (1999) 193. 101 As identified by W.R. Megow: 1.) Aquileia, Museo Archeologico, (1987) 298-99, no. D 27; T. Mikocki (1995) 170, no. 136 ; 2.) Berlin, Staatliche Museen 11096, (1987) 295-96, no. D 22, pl. 12.7; 3; T. Mikocki (1995) 34-5, 174, no. 161, pl. 4; S. Wood (1999) 196-7, fig. 79; 3.) Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, (1987) 300-301, no. D 32, pl. 14.4; 4.) London, British Museum 3434, inv. no. 1923.4-1.946, (1987) 297, no. D 26, pl. 12.9; 5.) London, British Museum, 3581, inv. 72.6-4.1420, (1987) 293-94, no. D 19, pl. 10.4; 6.) Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 131, (1987) 299-300, no. D 30, pl. 12.8; 7.) Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 242, (1987) 296, no. D 24, pl. 12.5; T. Mikocki (1995) 175, no. 164; 8.) Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 243, (1987) 296, no. D 23, pl. 12.6; T. Mikocki (1995) 174, no. 162, pl. 4; S. Wood (1999) 196-7, fig. 78; 9.) Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 244, (1987) 296-97, no. D 25, pl. 12.3; 10.) Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheiligen, (1987) 298-99, no. D 29, pl. 12.1,2,4; T. Mikocki (1995) 175, no. 165, pl. 11; 11) Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. XI 1160, (1987) 293, no. D 18; 12) Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. 1821.161. no. 45, (1987) 300, no. D 31; 13.) Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum 23, inv. IX a 34, (1987) 298, no. D 28; T. Mikocki (1995) 1745, no. 163, p. 4. Although Megow identifies two additional cameos as likenesses of Livilla, the coiffure is slightly different, with the ears covered, and these are more likely to be representations of Antonia Minor (Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 260, (1987) 294, no. D 20, Pl. 7.18; Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 261, (1987) 294, no. D 21, Pl. 7.17); see also T. Mickoki (1995) 174-5, nos. 163-5, pls. 4, 11 and B.S. Spaeth (1996) 121, 146, 173-4; E.R. Varner (2001a) 63-4. It is also important to note that these glyptic images are not replicas of the Lepcis-Malta type, S. Wood (1999) 195. 102 K. Jeppesen misreads the coiffure of the seated female at the left of the Grand Camée which leads him to identify her as Livilla; however, the coiffure is not a version of Livia’s later, centrally parted hairstyle, but rather a version of Agrippina Minor’s Claudian coiffure with rows of pin curls framing the face, (1993) 148 and n. 22. The figure also clearly displays Agrippina Minor’s receding lower lip.

other julio-claudians twisted into a small chignon. The ears are left uncovered, or with only the very tops covered. The facial features are regular with an aquiline nose, small mouth with pronounced downward curve at the outer corners, and a distinctive full, rounded chin. Two of the cameos emphasize Livilla’s prominence as the producer of potential heirs for Tiberius, showing her with her twin sons, Tiberius Caesar Gemellus and Germanicus Caesar.103 In another of the cameos, Livilla is shown in the guise of the goddess Pax.104 The great quantity of glyptic likenesses of Livilla which have survived contrasts vividly with the complete lack of marble or bronze portraits and underscores the eradication of her public images as a result of the senatorial sanctions.


Valeria Messalina Like Livilla, Valeria Messalina, the third wife of Claudius was officially condemned by the Senate for her role in a conspiracy against the reigning emperor.105 Well-connected within the JulioClaudian family, Messalina was a great-granddaughter of Octavia through both her father, Marcus Valerius Mesalla Barbatus and her mother, Domitia Lepida. Messalina married the future emperor Claudius in A.D. 38 or 39, and produced two children, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus and Claudia Octavia.106 In A.D. 48 Messalina was involved in an intrigue with the consul designate, Gaius Silius, culminating in the celebration of a marriage ceremony between the two.107 This “marriage” was likely designed to lend legitimacy to Silius, who hoped to replace Claudius as emperor, and also to restrain the

growing power of Claudius’s freedmen and his niece, Agrippina Minor.108 Informed of the ceremony while in Ostia, Claudius immediately returned to Rome and Silius, Messalina, as well as eight of their associates were executed.109 Tacitus specifically records that Messalina’s portraits (as Livilla’s had been before her) were included in the senatorial sanctions: nomen et effigies privatis ac publicis locis demovendas.110 Tacitus’s statement is supported by extant inscriptions in which Messalina’s name is erased including a funerary inscription belonging to one of her freedmen111 and from the Forum of Augustus in Rome, as well as honorific inscriptions from Lepcis Magna, Lindos, and Arneae which have been damaged or reused in other contexts.112 The erased inscription from Lepcis also attests to the removal of Messalina’s portrait from the Claudian group of portraits at the Temple of Roma and Augustus, just as Livilla’s image had been removed and her name erased from the earlier Tiberian dedication.113 Messalina’s damnatio was even extended to coins as attested by issues from Tralles that have her name intentionally chiseled

103 Berlin, Staatliche Museen, inv. 11096; Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, inv. 243; S. Wood (1999) 196-7, figs. 78-9. 104 Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheiligen, 9.5 x 7.8 cm. 105 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)606-8, no. 774; E.R. Varner (2001a) 64-68. 106 Suet. Claud. 27.1, 39.2; Tac. Ann. 11.26, 32, 34, 38; Dio, 40.12.5. 107 Tac. Ann. 11.25-38; Suet. Claud. 26.2; Juv. Sat. 10.329-45; Dio 60.31.35; Aur.Vict. Caes. 4. 11.

Tac. Ann. 11.28, 30 suggests that Silius was aiming for the principate, while Dio indicates that Messalina wished to place Silius on the throne, 60(61).31.5 . On the plot, see also, M. Griffin (1984) 27-29; B. Levick(1990) 64-7; S. Wood (1992) 233-4; S. Wood (1999) 255. 109 Suet. Claud. 26.2, 39.1; Tac. Ann. 11.28-38; Dio 60(61).31.5; The others executed were: Titius Proculus, Vettius Valens, Pompeius Urbicus, Saufeius Trogus, Decrius Calpurnianus, Sulpcius Rufus, Iuncus Vergilianus, and the actor Mnester. Mnester was widely reported to have been Messalina’s paramour and Dio suggests that Messalina had recalled coins of Caligula converted into bronze images of Mnester 60.22.3; If such images were in fact produced, they would have been subject to sanctions after the actor’s execution. 110 Ann. 11.38.3. The Senate’s specification of public and private locations signals the sweeping nature of the sanctions against Messalina’s representations. 111 CIL 6.4474. 112 Forum of Augustus Inscription: CIL 6.6918 = ILS 210 (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Museo Nuovo inv. 6944) and H. Flower in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 61, fig. 3; For the reused inscriptions see AfrIt 8 (1941) 34 (Lepcis Magna); IGR 4.1146 = IG 12.1.806 (Lindos); TAM 2.3.760 (Anreae, Lycia); C.B.Rose (1997) 41, and n. 43; S. Wood (1999) 274-5. 113 J. Reynolds and J.B. Ward-Perkins (1952) no. 340; C.B.Rose (1997) 184, no. 126.



chapter four empress’s downfall.120 The statue depicts Messalina cradling a male infant in her left arm. Although the head of the infant is a modern restoration, it originally must have represented Messalina’s son Britannicus. The pose of both mother and child are intended to evoke the Eirene and Ploutos of Kephisoditos, while the tunica and palla which the empress wears, and her gesture of raising to right hand to the veil covering her head are clearly intended to evoke her role as traditional Roman matrona. As a powerful piece of Claudian dynastic propaganda, the Louvre portrait would have been entirely unsuitable for display after Messalina’s condemnation.121 A papyrus in London preserves a letter written by Claudius granting permission for a group of portraits to be erected in Alexandria, including representations of Claudius, Messalina, Antonia Minor, Britannicus, Octavia Claudia, and Claudia Antonia.122 Like the Louvre statue, Messalina’s image was undoubtedly removed from the Alexandrian group dedication. Messalina’s portrait has also been removed from a full length statue in the Julio-Claudian Basilica at Velleia, and replaced with a likeness of Claudius’s fourth wife, Agrippina Minor (cat. 3.4; fig. 100a-c).123 After her damnatio, Messalina’s head was severed from the statue and the body prepared for the insertion of the new likeness of Agrippina. The pendant statue of Claudius from the Velleian cycle was transformed in an identical manner from a pre-existing likeness
120 MA 1224, h. 1.95 m.; K. de Kersauson (1986) 2001, no. 94, with earlier literature; S. Wood (1992) 219-34, figs. 1-4; D. Boschung (1993b) 71, no. 166; T. Mikocki (1995) 45, 187, no. 245; S. Wood (1999) 276-80, pls. 1235; E.R. Varner (2001a) 65, fig. 7. Because the portrait has been restored from several large pieces, S. Wood has suggested that the statue may have been deliberately attacked, thus accounting for its fragmentary nature. However, the face has not been mutilated and it is likely that the damage which caused the statue to be broken is incidental, rather than a deliberate act resulting from damnatio. 121 S. Wood has also suggested that the portrait may owe its good state of preservation to protection by a private owner, presumably a partisan of Messalina or her son (1992) 334. 122 C.B. Rose (1997) 185-8, no. 128. 123 Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv 146 (1870), inv. 830 (1952).

off.114 C.B. Rose has also plausibly suggested that Messalina may have originally appeared in the Ravenna relief (and the statue group it may reflect) and if so, her image would have been removed, replaced, or recut.115 As a direct result of her damnatio memoriae and the virulence of the feeling against her, Messalina is the first empress for whom there is extant physical evidence for the deliberate mutilation of her images. Two portraits of Messalina, in the Galleria Chiaramonti of the Vatican (cat.3.2; fig. 99),116 and Dresden (cat. 3.1)117 were vandalized with hammers or chisels. Both portraits represent Messalina with complex divine attributes. The Chiaramonti head combines a crested helmet, reminiscent of that of the Athena Parthenos and decorated with the Augustan symbols of the griffin of Apollo and the winged horse of Mars, with a turreted crown associated with, Cybele, Tyche, and Roma.118 Restorations to the nose and lips of the portrait conceal intentional mutilations and the headdress itself has suffered extensive damage. The corrosion of the portrait’s surfaces indicate that it may have been thrown into a body of water following its defacement. Substantial blows to the Dresden portrait have split the image into four sections. It combines a turreted crown with a laurel or olive wreath. The overt divine iconography of the Chiaramonti and Dresden representations may have provoked the violent depredations which each image has suffered, as tangible signs of the empress’s denigration.119 The removal of Messalina’s images is confirmed by a full-length portrait in the Louvre whose generally excellent state of preservation indicate that it was warehoused following the

114 RPC 2654; BMC Lydia 345, no. 124. See also, C.B.Rose (1997) 41, and n. 43. 115 Rose (1997) 102. 116 Galleria Chiaramonti 39.9, inv. 1814. 117 Albertinum, Skulpturensammlung, cat. 358. 118 S. Wood (1992) 225, and n. 18. 119 Three portraits, in Dresden (Albertinum, Skulpturensammlung, 352), Munich (Glyptothek, inv. 316), Schloss Fasanerie (cat. no. 23) have been identified as a second type for Messalina, but these likenesses should be assigned to Drusilla. S. Wood (1995) 471-82, figs. 18-19, 24-26.

other julio-claudians of Caligula (cat. 1.27; fig. 34a-b). As with the Caligula/Claudius, the fact that the portrait features were replaced, rather than recut, strongly suggests that they were intentionally mutilated. Messalina’s image may also have been removed and replaced with a statue of Bacchus in the Julio-Claudian statuary group from Baiae.124 A portrait statue now in Naples of Agrippina Minor, refashioned from a likeness of Messalina, is the first surviving female image to have been physically transformed as the result of a damnatio (cat. 4.3; fig. 101a-d).125 The statue is carved from a single block of marble and the facial features and coiffure have been substantially altered. As a result, the head is disproportionately small. The statue itself represented the empress as the goddess Ceres, which like the Louvre image, was designed to celebrate her role as producer of heirs guaranteeing the stability of the empire. Not only is the Naples statue the first recarved imperial female portrait, it is apparently the only likeness of a condemned empress reconfigured in the first, second and third centuries. Two sculpted portraits of Lucilla (cat. 6.11 and cat. 6.12) would also be recut, but not until the Constantinian period and a relief portrait of Galeria Valeria (cat. 9.8) appears to have been refashioned earlier in the fourth century. The Naples statue’s unique status stands in marked contrast to the numerous private female likenesses which were altered or updated during these centuries.126 The specificity of imperial female coiffures as badges of identity, as well as their often very elaborate and delicate configurations which precluded extensive


sculptural alterations must have contributed to the nearly total absence of recarved representations of fallen empresses. The random holes scattered throughout Agrippina’s coiffure which are remnants of Messalina’s earlier arrangement attest to the enormous technical problems which faced sculptors who attempted to reconfigure the images of imperial women. Apparently, sculptors determined that such challenges were nearly insurmountable and as a result, replacement, removal, or intentional disfigurement become more standard responses to the sculpted likeness of condemned women.

Agrippina Minor Under Nero, three prominent imperial women were condemned for plotting against the emperor. The first of these was the emperor’s own mother, Agrippina Minor. Agrippina had undergone an earlier condemnation when she and her sister Julia Livilla were exiled by their brother Caligula, as images of both are conspicuously absent in later Caligulan group portrait dedications.127 After Caligula’s death, Agrippina returned to Rome and gained supreme power as the wife of Claudius. Agrippina eventually secured the accession of her son over Claudius’s own son by Messalina, Britannicus, and at the outset of Nero’s principate she appears to have acted as a kind of regent for her son. Agrippina’s preeminent position is broadcast on aurei and denarii from the mint of Rome which show facing busts of Agrippina and Nero, with Agrippina’s name and titles on the obverse and Nero’s relegated to the reverse and rendered in the dative; Agrippina’s prominence is underscored in similar extraordinary fashion on the Aphrodisias Sebasteion relief and the Cologne cameo in which she is depicted as Roma/Concordia and the guarantrix of Nero’s imperium.128 However, per127 C.B. Rose (1997) 37. On the exile of the two sisters, see: Suet. Calig. 24.3; 29.1-2; Dio 59.22.5-9; A. Barrett (1990) 106-10; A. Barrett (1996) 63-67; S. Wood (1999) 213-4. 128 For the coins of 54 see, RIC 150, no. 1 (aureus and

S. Wood (1999) 285. Messalina is also absent from the group dedication from Russelae which includes her daughter Claudia Octivia, and presumably her son, Brittanicus. If these statues are part of an earlier Claudian phase it is likely that Messalina was also represented and her image removed after her condemnation. 125 Museo Nazionale Archeologico. inv. 6242.; P. Liveriani identifies a statue from Caere (Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9952) as a representation Agrippina Minor recycled from Messalina ( [1990-91] 66). S. Wood, however, has situated the likeness within Drusilla’s typology and suggested that the sculptural modifications resulted from her deification (1995) 471-75. 126 On reworked private female portraits, see S. Matheson in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 70-81.



chapter four tions throughout the entire world under penalty of death (for those who don’t comply) (simulacra, titulos destruit mortis metu totum per orbum).132 And indeed, Agrippina’s image has been attacked on an aureus with her facial features slashed.133 Agrippina’s name is also erased in selected inscriptions and an effaced portrait dedication at Epidauros, further suggests that certain of her images were destroyed.134 In addition, Agrippina’s image at Rome was certainly eradicated from a group commemoration erected by imperial musicians in 55-6 and ultimately destroyed in the fire of 64. The surviving inscriptions honor Augustus, Nero, Claudius and Agrippina. After Agrippina’s murder, her portion of the base was dismantled and destroyed and the remaining inscription altered as a result.135 Similarly, other important public

haps as early as 55 her power was in eclipse, and in 59 she was accused of conspiring to overthrow Nero and, as a result, she was murdered.129 Tacitus specifically states theat supplicationes were to be celebrated commemorating the failure of Agrippina’s conspiracy and her birthday (6 November) was to be a dies nefastus, as her mother Agrippina Maior’s had been under Tiberius:
Miro tamen certamine procerum decernuntur supplicationes apud omnia pulvinaria, utque Quinquatrus, quibus apertae insidiae essent, ludis annuis celebrarentur; aureum Minervae simulacrum in curia et iuxta principis imago statuerentur; dies natalis Aprippinae inter nefastos esset (However, in an astonishing spirit of rivalry among the elite, supplicationes were decreed at all shrines, and the Quinquatrus, the festival of Minerva on which the plot was revealed, was to be celebrated with annual games; a golden image of Minerva together with a portrait of the princeps was to be set up in the Curia, and the birthday of Agrippina was to be counted among the days inauspicious to the Roman state.130

In view of the charges which the emperor brought against his mother, it certainly would no longer have been politically expedient to display portraits of Agrippina after her death. Dio confirms that some of Agrippina’s statues were removed from display at Rome.131 In the Octavia Agrippina’s ghost mentions the destruction of her images and inscriptions, ascribed to Nero’s orders: he (Nero) destroys my statues and inscrip-

denarius of Rome, A.D. 54); by 55 the facing portraits are replaced by jugate busts, with Nero in the more prominent frontal position, and his name and titles now on the obverse in the nominative RIC 150, nos. 6-7 (Aureus and denarius of Rome); see also C.H.V. Sutherland (1987) 87, figs. 35a-b; and C.B. Rose (1997) 47; and K. Dickson (2002). 129 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)365-7, no. 426; A. Barrett has suggested that Agrippina’s period of influence actually encompassed the first five years of her son’s reign, the quinquennium Neronis, until her death in 59 (1996) 23840. 130 Ann. 14.12. On Agrippina’s death and the alleged conspiracy, see also Suet. Nero 34.3; Tac. Ann. 14.7.6-7, 11; Dio 61(62).14; R. Bauman (1992) 190-203; W. Eck (1993) 88, n. 96; A Barrett (1996) 181-95, 244-6; C.B. Rose (1997) 48. 131 61(62).16.2a; see also A.P. Gregory (1994) 94.

Octavia 611-12. BMCRE 1, 174, n. 72 (undamaged example of the issue); W. Eck (1993) 59, fig. 23; Va Morizio in C. Panella, ed. (1996) 216. 134 R. Cagnat (1901) 173; ILS 226.31; A. Barrett (1996) 192, n. 39. For the portrait dedication from Epidauros, see C.B. Rose (1997) 10, n. 91, 48, 141, no. 72. 135 123. Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme; CIL 6.40307; AE (1996) 248; V. Morizio in C. Panella, ed. (1996). The dedicants, the aenatores, consisting of the tubicines, the liticines and the cornicines, were listed in a continuous line beneath the imperial dedications which were oriented horizontally. Romani, modifying the musicians, originally appeared in Agrippina’s section of the base, but was reinscribed under Claudius’s name and titles, immediately to Agrippina’s right. The inscriptions of Augustus and Nero are on the same slab, while those of Claudius and Agrippina were carved on separate slabs.







other julio-claudians portraits from Rome, such as the basanite image of Agrippina as priestess of the Divine Claudius from the Claudianium on the Caelian would have been removed from public display.136 It is also possible that the damage which the statue body has suffered, as it is composed from forty-one fragments, may have been the result of an attack carried out after her condemnation. Two bronze statues of Agrippina from Herculaneum137 employ a priestly iconography similar to the basanite portrait and they may have been warehoused following her murder. In addition, Agrippina’s absence from the important Julio-Claudian cycle at Rusellae may not be coincidental. Most of her immediate family members including both of her parents, all of her siblings (Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar, Julia Livilla, Diva Drusilla, and Caligula [cat. 1.20; altered to Claudius), her husband Claudius (in altered Caligulan portrait and a second posthumous representation), and her son Nero (probably in two portraits: boyhood togatus with bulla and cuirassed statue as imperator). The inclusion of Nero with bulla in the cycle, together with Claudius’s children by Messalina, Claudia Octavia and Britannicus, may suggest a date of 50-51 for the Claudian statues. If so, Agrippi-


na’s absence is especially noteworthy and likely the result of her condemnation under Nero. Just as her mother Agrippina Maior had been denied burial in the Mausoleum of Augustus, Agrippina Minor’s remains were never given a proper internment in Rome during Nero’s reign; subsequently, a tomb was constructed near the site of her death along the road to Misenum in the environs of a villa which had belonged to Julius Caesar.138 The great number of portraits of Agrippina which survive from Rome and elsewhere in the Empire may be partially the result of the warehousing of her images after her death, but they ultimately indicate that the destruction of her likenesses was short-lived and necessarily limited in scope to the period shortly after her death; later in Nero’s principate, Agrippina’s memory is actually rehabilitated and games held in her honor.139 Moreover, Dio praises Galba for re-erecting representations of members of the imperial family who had been murdered under Nero, and this would likely have included images of Agrippina; in addition, he indicates that Galba also had murdered family members’ remains interred in the Mausoleum of Augustus, which may indicate that Agrippina’s ashes were ultimately transferred there.140 Posthumous images may also have been created for Agrippina.141

The dedication may have been associated with either the temple to the Curiae Veteres or the Palatine birthplace of Augustus. 136 (body)Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori (Centrale Montemartini 2.43), inv. 1.882, h. 2.12 m.; E. Talamo in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 599-600 (with earlier literature); (head) Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 634, inv. 753; h. 0.30 m.; F. Johansen (1994) 152-3, with figs. (with earlier literature). The portrait represents Agrippina in her fourth and final Neronian portrait type, in use from Nero’s accession in 54 until Agrippina’s death in 59. At some point, the head was slightly modified by cuttings for anchoring additional headgear. The modifications to the portrait have led E. Talamo to suggest that the image has been refashioned from a portrait of Messalina, in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 599-600, with figs. The adjustments are minor, however and are essentially limited to cuttings fro the attachment of a diadem or priestly crown and the coiffure lacks the indications of substantial reworking or traces of Messalina’s coiffure that the Naples portrait contains. The statue was, in fact, created ex novo as an important part of the sculptural decoration of the Temple of Divus Claudius. 137 Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 5609; and Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 5602.

Tac. Ann. 14.9.2-5; A. Barrett (1996) 190. Dio 61.17.1; A. Barrett (1996) 194. 140 63(64).3.4c; C. W. Hedrick (2000) 127. 141 A portrait in Cologne, the birthplace of Agrippina, may also be posthumous, Romisch-Germanisches Museum, inv. 564; S. Wood (1988) 425-6, n. 47. A colossal head from the Forum of Trajan has also been associated with Agrippina: Mercati Traianei, Magazzini, without inventory number; Fittschen-Zanker III, 6, no. 5, pl. 6; L. Ungaro and. M. Mielella, eds. (1995) 124 (with figs.); J.E. Packer 1 (1997) 781-2, no. 191, fig. 58; S. Wood (1999) 302-4, figs. 143-4. However, D. Boschung and W. Eck have suggested that the colossal image, together with a related portrait in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, may, in fact, represent Trajan’s mother (1998) 73-81. The head exhibits strong stylistic and physiognomical similarities to Trajan’s sculpted portraits.


100 Claudia Octavia

chapter four notwithstanding, Octavia’s portraits must have been removed from public display following her banishment and execution, out of fear of offending Poppaea or the emperor who had divorced her and ordered her execution.149 After death, public thanksgiving was decreed to celebrate the emperor’s escape from Octavia’s treasonous plot.150 Significantly, in the historical drama which bears her name, Nero declares his wife a hostis a term associated almost always with male traitors to the state, but her downfall is also thematically linked to the condemnations of several earlier Julio Claudian women, including Agrippina Maior, Livilla, Julia Minor, Messalina, and Agrippina Minor.151 The Octavia itself stands as a post-Neronian resuscitation of Octavia’s memory. As noted for Agrippina, Dio records the reerection of portraits of those murdered under Nero and the reburial of some of his victims remains in the Mausoleum of Augustus and these measures would almost certainly have included Octavia.152 Octavia’s likeness was represented on coins minted in the east.153 One childhood portrait of Octavia has survived from the Claudian group dedications at Baiae,154 and two additional repC.B. Rose (1997) 49. Tac. Ann. 14.63-4; S. Wood (1999) 271-2. 151 Octavia 865-6 (Nero: Quod parcis hosti/Praefectus: Femina hoc nomen capit); and 932-57; R.A. Bauman (1996) 8990. Cleopatra seems to be the only woman for whom there is historical evidence for a declaration as a hostis. Dio 50.4.4.; Plut. Ant. 60.1; see also supra. 152 63(64).3.4c. S. Wood also entertains the idea of posthumous, post-Neronian images for Octavia, analogous to the possibly posthumous portrait of her mother-in-law, Agrippina Minor in Köln (1999) 303, although there are no clearly identifiable images of Octavia which have survived. 153 Two Alexandrian coins depict Octavia with curls massed well over the top of the head and the plaits on the back of the head drawn up into a small chignon; both numismatic images portray Octavia with very prominent ears, often a feature of her father’s iconography as well, A. Geissen (1972) 52, no. 138, 54, no. 147. See also a coin from Corinth, which depicts Octavia with a hairstyle similar to Livia’s centrally parted type and a coin from Sinope whose hairstyle is very similar to Agrippina Minor (J.J. Bernoulli [1886] 415, pl. 35,17, 18). 154 Museo dei Campi Flegrei, h. 1.20 m.; T. Mikocki (1995) 188, no. 252; C.B. Rose (1997) 72, 82-3, cat. 4, pls. 62-3 (with earlier literature); B. Andreae (1998) 32-4, with
150 149

In A.D. 62, Nero divorced and banished his wife, Claudia Octavia on contradictory charges of infertility and adultery with the flute-player Eucaerus.142 Subsequently Octavia was accused of plotting with Anicetus to overthrow the emperor.143 Octavia was finally relegated to Pandateria where she was executed.144 Octavia’s corpse was beheaded and the head brought to Rome where Poppaea is reported to have viewed it (Additurque atrocior saevitia, quod caput amputatum latumque in urbem Poppaea vidit: and an even more atrocious brutality was added, that is, her head, having been amputated and taken to the city, Poppaea viewed it).145 This act of poena post mortem has extraordinary political implications as it was almost exclusively perpetrated on male corpses of overthrown emperors (Galba, Macrinus, Diadumenianus, Maximus, Maximinus, and Maxentius), failed rivals for imperial power (Clodius Albinus), or defeated foreign foes (Decebalus).146 As the daughter of the deified Claudius, Octavia was extremely popular with the plebs and a public outcry ensued in Rome at the initial news of her divorce and banishment.147 Demonstrators who supported Octavia decked her portraits with flowers and paraded them around Rome and at the same time attacked and overturned the images of her rival Poppaea.148 Her popularity
142 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)223-4, no. 246; for Octavia’s alleged involvement with Eucaerus, see Tac. Ann. 14.60; Oct. 107. The accusations of adultery and sexual impropriety with a lower class male were intended to destroy Octavia’s reputation; M.P. Vinson (1989) 440-43. 143 Tac. Ann 14.63. Suetonius also reports that Nero bribed Anicetus to confess to committing stuprum with Octavia, Nero 35.2. 144 Suet. Nero 35.2, 57.1; Tac.Ann. 14.64; Dio 62.13.1; Plut. Galba 19. 145 Octavia, Tac. Ann. 14.64.2. 146 J.L. Voisin (1984) 250-252; E.R.,Varner (2001b) 5758. 147 Tac. Ann. 14.60-61. 148 Tac. Ann. 14.61; Octavia’s significance is, naturally, stressed in the Octavia, where the fire of 64 is depicted as Nero’s response to Octavia’s partisans’ attempt to burn the imperial palace (801, 831-3, 851-52). See also, G. Williams in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds, (1994) 188-89; S. Wood (1999) 271.

other julio-claudians licas are in Trieste and a Spanish private collection.155 A headless togata from the Claudian phase of the portrait cycle at and Rusellae also presumably represented Octavia as a child.156 Octavia’s condemnation has made the identification of her mature portraits extremely difficult, and there are no securely recognizable extant images which date from the time of her marriage to Nero.157 R. Bol has recently attempted to identify a series of marble portraits as Octavia, but these portraits are more plausibly associated with Agrippina Minor’s third (Ancona) type.158 A portrait in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme which includes a diadem (suggesting that the woman portrayed is an Augusta) and displays a physiognomy strongly resembling that of Claudius has the most likely claims to being a mature likeness of his daughter, Octavia.159 The head is worked for insertion and very well preserved. If it does, in fact, represent Octavia, it was likely


removed from public view and warehoused after her downfall. A second replica of the same type, in Barcelona, also worked for insertion, may have been similarly removed and stored and would then attest to the perpetuation of Octavia’s damnatio in the provinces.160

Claudia Antonia The half-sister of Octavia, Claudia Antonia, daughter of Claudius and Aelia Paetina, was executed for her involvement in the Pisonian conspiracy of A.D. 65.161 After the murder of Octavia, Antonia was the last surviving child of Claudius and the most prominent living female member of the imperial family. Antonia had previously been married to Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, as well as to Faustus Cornelius Sulla. After the death of Poppaea, Antonia refused to strengthen Nero’s political position by marrying him. Indeed, Antonia seems to have been actively involved with the anti-Neronian factions of the aristocracy, and Suetonius confirms her condemnation on charges of sedition (Antoniam Claudi filiam, recusantem post Poppaeae mortem nuptias suas, quasi molitricem novarum rerum interemit).162 Furthermore, Tacitus, in his account of the Pisonian conspiracy, refers to Pliny’s report that Antonia intended to accompany Piso in public after the planned assassination of Nero in order to secure for Piso the approval of the masses (comitante Antonia, Claudii Caesaris filia, ad eliciendum vulgi favorem, quod C. Plinius memorat).163 As with the images of Agrippina Minor and Octavia Claudia, portraits of Antonia would have been removed from public display after her execution. Although she is attested in portrait inscriptions, her condemnation has made identification of her portraits difficult and none can be attributed to her with certainty.164 Again, Dio’s statements

figs.; S. Wood (1999) 283-4. 155 S. Wood (1999) 283-4; for the Trieste and Spanish portraits, see R. Amedick (1991) 378-80, pls. 99-100. T. Mickocki has tentatively identified a sardonyx cameo which represents a young girl as Minerva as a Claudian representation of Octavia, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, 21, Mickoki (1995) 188, no. 251, pl. 24. This identification is far from certain, however, as the physiognomy is not sufficiently specific, and the helmet masks the coiffure. 156 Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma; C.B. Rose 72, 116-8, cat. 45; S. Wood (1999) 2834. 157 On the difficulties of identifying mature likenesses of Claudia Octavia, see D. Boschung (1993b) 75-76 and C.B. Rose (1997) 72. 158 A marble portrait discovered in Rome on the Via Varese has been associated with Octavia; Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 121316; Fittschen-Zanker III, 7, no. 5, n. 4. For the identification as Octavia, see R. Bol (1986) 289-307. B. Di Leo, MusNazRom 1.9.1, 155-6, no. R 111, with figs; and M.L. Anderson in M.L. Anderson and L. Nista, eds. (1988) 74, no. 14, with figs. 159 Inv. 124129, h. 0.35 m.; V. Picciotti Giornetti, MusNazRom 1.1 286-7, no. 178, with fig. (with earlier literature); S. Wood (1999) 313-4. The shape of the mouth, chin, and fleshy underchin conform well with Claudius’s more realistic images, including the statue depicting him as Jupiter in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, and the portrait recut from Caligula (no. 550, inv. 243) now in the Centrale Montemartini 2.74 (cat. 1.31).

Museo de la Historia de la Ciuidad, inv. 7440; see Fittschen-Zanker III, 48, no. 61, n. 1. 161 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)202-3, no. 217. 162 Nero. 35.4. 163 Tac. Ann 15.53; see also V. Rudich (1993) 136-7. 164 C.B. Rose (1997) 72; E.R. Varner (2001a) 72.



chapter four Julia Drusilla, the daughter of Julia Minor and Drusus Minor, and wife of Rubellius Blandus was murdered, supposedly another victim of Messalina, in A.D. 43.169 Lollia Paulina, briefly the wife of Caligula from A.D. 38-39, was also condemned, exiled and eventually murdered in A.D. 49; Paulina may have posed a serious threat to Agrippina as she was strongly considered as a possible wife for Claudius after the death of Messalina and Agrippina was alleged to have arranged for the execution of her rival.170 In any case, Paulina’s legendary wealth and her position as the surviving wife of a former emperor made her potentially dangerous.171 Paulina’s head was severed from her body in a blatant political act of poena post mortem and her corpse abuse may have provided a precedent for that of Octavia.172 They are the only two imperial women whose remains are known to have been desecrated in this fashion. After the downfall of Agrippina in 59, Paulina’s memory was rehabilitated when Nero allowed Paulina’s ashes to be returned to Rome and a tomb erected for their interment.173 In 54, Agrippina may also have engineered the destruction her former sister-in-law, Domitia Lepida who was executed after being condemned on maiestas charges which included allegations that she had employed magic in an attempt on Agrippina’s life; at her trial, Nero testified agains his aunt. As the mother of Messalina and grandmother of Britannicus, Nero’s principal rival as heir to Claudius, Lepida may have been a real threat to her nephew’s succession and, as a result, she was

concerning rehabilitation already mentioned in conjunction with Agrppina Minor and Octavia Claudia, may equally apply to Antonia.165

Julia Livilla, Julia Drusilla, Lollia Paulina and Domitia Lepida Three other imperial women were also executed in the later Julio-Claudian period, and their images are likely to have been treated similarly to those of their more prominent relatives. During the reign of Claudius, Messalina secured the exile of Julia Livilla, the sister of Caligula and husband of Marcus Vinicius on charges of adultery with Seneca and she was later executed.166 C.B. Rose has persuasively identified the eight surviving replicas of the Lepcis Malta type as Julia Livilla. 167 There are, however, serious problems in assigning all eight of the surviving replicas to the reign of Caligula, as Julia Livilla was banished in 39 and portraits are unlikely to have been created for her after this date. Nevertheless, Julia Livilla’s memory may have been revived by her sister Agrippina once she had replaced Messalina as the wife of Claudius and, as a result, some of her surviving portraits in Julio-Claudian group dedications may in fact be posthumous.168

63(64)3.4c. Suet. Claud. 29.1; Tac. Ann 14.63.2; Sen. Apocol. 10.4; Dio 60.4.1-2, 8.5; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)380-81, no. 443; Levick (1990) 56; S. Wood (1999) 214, 238. On the charges of adultery being substitutions for maiestas, see R.A. Bauman (1974) 177 and A. Barrett (1996) 81-2. 167 (1997) 68-9. Algiers, Musée; Berlin, Staatliche Museen, inv. 1802; Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma, inv. 97740; Malta, La Valett; Munich, Residenz, inv. 85; Palermo, Museo Nazionale, inv. 705; Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 620; Rome Musei Vaticani, Ingresso 5, inv. 103; Spoleto, Collezione Antonelli, Tripoli, Museum; and formerly art market. D. Boschung’s attempts to associate a group of three portraits in Naples, Warsaw and Rome as Julia Livilla are not convincing (1993b) 69 S 168 Wood has rightly pointed out that it is odd that Julia Livilla would have more surviving portraits than Caligulan images of her more prominent sisters, Drusilla and Agrippina Minor (type 1), ([1999] 195). However, if some of Julia Livilla’s surviving portraits were actually posthumous and part of a concerted effort on the part of Agrip166


pina to rehabilitate the sister who was killed by her rival Messalina, it would help to explain the apparent discrepancies. Wood also underscores the difficulties present in identifying Julia Livilla as part of the Julio-Claudian group dedication at Lepcis since there is no inscriptional evidence for Caligulan additions, but these objections can be dispensed with if her portrait from Lepcis is actually part of Claudian activity at the site ([1999] 194-5). 169 Suet. Claud. 29.1; Sen. Apoloc. 10.4; Dio 60.18.4; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)360-61, no. 422. 170 Tac. Ann.4.20.1-2; 12.22; Dio 60(61) 32.4; A. Barrett (1996) 132. 171 On Lollia Paulina’s wealth and her celebrated pearls, see Pliny, HN 9.35.117-8. 172 Dio 60.32.4. 173 Tac. Ann. 14.12.

other julio-claudians eliminated.174 All four of these women appear to have been executed because their positions within the Julio-Claudian dynasty gave them the power of legitimizing, either through marriage or by using their poliitical influence and connections, rival claimants to the principate, which consequently made them potentially serious threats to the reigning emperor or empress.


Rome in the Vatican,178 Villa Albani,179 and Woburn Abbey180 which may have been warehoused following Ptolemy’s downfall. Portraits from Ptolemy’s capital, Cherchel, in Paris181 and Cherchel,182 were also likely removed from public view after the annexation of the province, as was a bronze bust of unknown provenance.183 Damaged, weathered, and fragmentary portraits from Cherchel may have been also disposed of in a more violent or summary fashion.184

Ptolemy of Mauretania As the grandson of Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius, the last of the Ptolemies, Ptolemy of Mauretania was related to the final three JulioClaudian emperors, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. Ptolemy was the son of Cleopatra and Antonius’s daughter, Cleopatra Selene and Juba II of Mauretania. Ptolemy succeeded his father as king of Mauretania in 23. Ptolemey’s sculpted images, especially those of his first portrait type created during the reign of his father, visually stress his links to the Julio-Claudians in the youthful physiognomy and the arrangement of comma shaped locks over the forehead. 175 Ptolemy’s distant cousin, Caligula, however, apparently grew suspicious of the young king and his ties to the JulioClaudian dynasty and had him executed on charges of treason in 40; the kingdom of Mauretania was then promptly annexed as a province of the Roman Empire.176 Indeed, Ptolemy may have been involved in the conspiracy of 39, which also included Caligula’s sisters (and Ptolemy’s cousins) and Ptolemy also had connections with Gaetulicus, another of the conspirators.177 After his execution, images of Ptolemy would likely have been destroyed or removed from public display. This would be especially true of wellpreserved type 2 likenesses from the environs of Conclusions: Established Mechanisms of Political Repression A review of the condemnations enacted in the first century reveals that the political repression of memory was by no means limited to emperors and empresses. Indeed, at least eleven additional members of the imperial family (including Sejanus) were exiled or executed and their memories and monuments condemned. All of these individuals were damned because of their actual or potential political influence in opposition to the regime. As with emperors and empresses, commemorative monuments and inscriptions were the targets of the condemnations. Coins could also be included in the sanctions, and the


Tac. Ann. 64.4-6; 65.1; Suit. Nero 7.1; Barrett (1997) K. Fittschen (1974) 169-73; R.R.R. Smith (1988)


176 Sen. Tranq. 11.12; Suet. Cal 35.1; Dio 59.29.1; A. Barrett (1989) 116-8. 177 A. Barrett (1989) 118.

178 Braccio Nuovo 65, inv. 2253; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180, no. 130.1 (with earlier literature). 179 inv. no. 58, h. 0.25 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180, no. 130.4; P.C. Bol (1990) 181-2, no. 205, pls. 118-19 (with earlier literature). 180 h. 0.34 m.; E. Angelicoussis (1992) 56, no. 24, figs. 117-20, 127 (with earlier literature). 181 MA 1888 (type 2), h. 0.28 m.; K. de Kersauson (1986) 126-7, no. 57, with figs. (with earlier literature); R.R. R. Smith (1988a) 179, no. 129.3, pls. 69.1-2. MA 1887 (type 2), h. 0.37 m.; K. de Kersauson (1986) 128-9, no. 58, with figs. (with earlier literature); R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180, no. 130.5, pl. 69.3-4. 182 Museum 52; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 179, no. 129.2 (with earlier literature). 183 Sweden, private collection; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 179, no. 129.1 (with earlier literature). 184 Louvre, MA 3183, h. 0.19 m.(type I); K. de Kersauson (1986) 130-31, with figs. (with earlier literature); R.R. Smith (1988a) 179, no. 129.4; Cherchel, Museum; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180, no. 130.3 (with earlier literature); Cherchel, Museum 40; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180, no. 130.6 (with earlier literature).


chapter four Julia Minor, Agrippina Maior, Livilla, Valeria Messalina, Julia Drusilla, Julia Livilla, Lollia Paullina, Domitia Lepida, Agrippina Maior, Claudia Octavia, and Claudia Antonia were condemned. Although their condemnations were often cloaked in charges of sexual misconduct, the underlying motivations were actual conspiracies against the reigning emperor or their potential to disrupt the regime. Just as the images of these women were often integral and prominent components of dynastic visual propaganda, so too were they liable to repression as a result of condemnation.

issues from Bilbillis in Spain which originally honored Sejanus are the first attested examples of numismatic damnatio in the imperial period. Because many of these individuals were not commemorated with portraits on the scale of emperors and empresses, the repression of their memory and monuments has resulted in a lack of securely identifiable extant sculpted portraits in marble or bronze. What is even more striking in the Julio-Claudian evidence is the preponderance of condemnations aimed against imperial women, not men. During this period twelve women, Julia Maior,

a.d. 69



A.D. 69
Galba Servius Sulpicius Galba was the son of Gaius Sulpicius Galba and Mummia Achaica, both of renowned patrician families. Born in 3 B.C., Galba held a number of important positions during the course of his career, including the governorship of Aquitania, the consulship (A.D. 33), the command of Upper Germany, the proconsulship of Africa, and eventually the governorship of Hispania Tarraconensis. While governor of Spain, Galba allied himself with Gaius Julius Vindex, after the latter revolted against Nero’s authority in 68 and it was Galba whom the Senate confirmed as emperor following Nero’s death. Although initially supported by the praetorians, Galba dismissed Nymphidius, their praefect, and refused to pay out promised bonuses. Consequently, the praetorians quickly grew dissatisfied with Galba. Additional resentment existed among the first and fifth legions stationed in Germany and soldiers actually hurled stones at Galba’s statues when asked to renew their oath of allegiance to him (primani quintanique turbidi adeo ut quidam saxa in Galbae imagines iecerint).1 The fourth and twenty-second legions in upper Germany expressed their anger against the emperor by attacking his images and smashing them to pieces (At in superiore exercitu quarta ac duetvicensima legiones, isdem hibernis tendentes, ipso kalendarum Ianuariarum die dirumpunt imagines Galbae).2 Finally, the troops in Lower Germany repudiated Galba’s authority entirely and declared Vitellius emperor on 2 January 69. Meanwhile in Rome, Otho successfully plotted Galba’s overthrow and the emperor was murdered in the Forum Romanum, together with his adopted son and heir Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, by members of the praetorians on 15 January. The corpses of both Galba and Piso were denigrated and their heads cut off, and the head of Galba may have been further abused by being thrown into the Sessorium, a place of execution for condemned criminals.3 Otho was subsequently proclaimed emperor by the praetorians and their choice was quickly ratified by the Senate. Visual images of Galba continued to be intimately involved in the events surrounding his overthrow. Just prior to his murder, his imago was ripped from a military standard and thrown on the ground as a signal of the soldier’s rejection of Galba in favor of Otho (vexilarius...dereptam Galbae imaginem solo adflixit).4 After his murder, Galba’s portraits in the capital were destroyed.5 Although almost certainly a literary construct and not strictly historical, it is also tempting to associate Juvenal’s description of an earless and noseless portrait of Galba with his intentionally disfigured images (Galbam auriculis nasoque carentem).6 Ultimately, following Otho’s own overthrow, Tacitus records that images of Galba were paraded through the city and garlands were piled over the Lacus Curtius, the site of his murder in
Tac. Hist. 1.41; Plut. Galb. 28.2-3. Suetonius mentions that the head was cut off, placed on a spear and mocked, but eventually buried together with the body, Galba 20.2; J.L. Voissin (1984) 251; D.G. Kyle (1998) 221, 233, n. 40, 235, n. 54; E.R. Varner (2001b) 57. 4 Tac. Hist 1.41.1; see also A.F. Gregory (1994). 5 Plut. Galb. 26.7; Plut. Galb. 22. 6 8..5; Flower (1996) 295-6.

1 “Members of the first and fifth legions were so agitated that they even hurled stones at the images of Galba,” Tac. Hist. 1.55. 2 “And in the upper army, the fourth and twenty second legions, who were spending the winter together in the same place, smashed the images of Galba to pieces on the first day of January,” Tac. Hist. 1.55.3, and also 1.56; Elsewhere, soldiers loyal to Galba attempted to protect his portraits, Tac. Hist. 1.56


chapter five racy, decisively differentiates representations of the new emperor from those of his condemned predecessor Nero.13 An overlifesized marble portrait head deliberately removed from a relief has convincingly been associated with Galba and reproduces several physiognomical details present in his numismatic likenesses (fig. 102).14 Chisel marks around the back edge of the head document the portrait’s removal from its relief background.15 A hole over the forehead and one at the back of the head which still contains the remnants of a metal dowel confirm that the portrait was completed with a metal wreath. Although the baldness of the Getty head conflicts with Galba’s numismatic portraits which depict him with a short military coiffure, it is consonant with Suetonius’s literary depiction of the emperor as quite bald (capite praecalvo).16 The scale, quality, and metal head ornament of the Malibu portrait suggest that it is an imperial image from an official monument. If the portrait does indeed depict Galba, as seems highly likely, then it was removed from the monument in response to his damnatio memoriae. Galba may also be represented in a small silver bust from Herculaneum, which might reflect the kind of imagines attached to military standards which were attacked during his overthrow.17 In addition to the Getty and Naples portraits, a cameo in Paris depicts Galba with corona civica
13 On the iconographic importance of the verism in Galba’s numismatic portraits, see D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 168-9. 14 Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 74.AA.37, h. 0.29 m.; J. Frel (1981) 59, no. 32, with figs., 124, no. 32 (with earlier literature); J. Chamay and J.L. Maier (1982) 101, pl. 17. The marble used in the portrait is from Asia Minor and may indicate that it was discovered in the east. The brows, eyes, nose, lips, chin and ear are damaged. The portrait agrees with the coin images in the deep set eyes, the wrinkled cheeks, the naso-labial lines, the thin, downturned lips, the jowls and fleshy underchin. Although the nose is missing, it is apparent that the nose was indented at the bridge and it may have been hooked. 15 J. Pollini (1977) 63. 16 Suet. Galb. 21. In addition, it is possible that the metal head ornament attached to the Malibu head masked the top of the head, thus eliminating the necessity of indicating a coiffure. 17 Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico 110127; F. Johansen (1995a) 8, fig. 2.

the Fourm.7 Galba’s rehabilitation continued after Vespasian’s accession to the principate when one of his generals, Antonius Primus, ordered statues of Galba to be re-erected, providing important substantiation that images were still accessible and well preserved, presumably in warehouses or storerooms.8 The Senate also voted to restore Galba’s honors 9 and even desired to erect a memorial to him where he was murdered in the Forum “as soon as it was lawful (ut primum lictum est),” underscoring that official sanctions against Galba’s memory and portraits had been enacted after his assassination.10 However, Vespasian may not have wholeheartedly supported Galba’s rehabilitation, as he refused to allow the proposed monument in the Forum.11 Identification of sculpted portraits of Galba is complicated by the damnatio and his relatively short duration as princeps.12 Coin portraits portray Galba with aged, fleshy facial features and a coiffure of fairly thin, short locks. His forehead is furrowed, and the eyes are deeply set beneath the brows. The nose is hooked. His cheeks are wrinkled and jowls are usually indicated. The emperor is depicted with deep naso-labial lines and a mouth with thin lips turned down markedly at the corners. He has a fleshy underchin and the neck is wrinkled. The pronounced verism in Galba’s images, clearly intended to evoke republican precedents and appeal to the aristoc7 Tac. Hist. 2.55 (populus cum lauru ac floribus Galbae imagines circum templa tulit, congestis in modum tumuli coronis iuxta lacum Curtii, quem locum Galba moriens sanguine infecerat). 8 postquam Galbae imagines discordia temporum subversas in omnibus municipiis recoli jussit Antonius (Afterward, Antonius commanded that images of Galba which had been overturned in every municipality during the discord of the times be honored again) Tac. Hist. 3.7; see also L. Fabbricotti (1967) 54, n. 48 and A.F. Gregory (1994) 95. 9 Tac. Hist. 4.40. The restoration of Galba’s honors was proposed by Domitian (Referente Caesare de restituendis Galbae honoribus...Patres...iussere). J. Gagé (1952) 290-315; C. W. Hedrick.(2000) 126. 10 Suet. Galb. 23, Senatus, ut primum licitum est, statuam ei decreverat rostratae columnae superstantem in parte Fori, qua trucidatus est. 11 Suetonius suggests that Vespasian denied the Senate’s request because he believed that Galba had sent assassins against him while he was in Judaea; Galba 23. 12 The major study of Galba’s career and portraiture remains L. Fabbricotti (1967).

a.d. 69 and aegis (cat. 2.14; fig. 74), reconfigured from a pre-existing likeness of Nero’s third type.18 The previous reworking obviously precluded any further attempt at recarving. Moreover, the cameo’s inherent value as a gem, as well as Galba’s rehabilitation under Vespasian helped to further ensure the survival of the Paris cameo. The recutting of the gem may even have been carried out under Vespasian, as part of Galba’s rehabilitation. As already noted, the full coiffure and divine attribute of the aegis, which are remnants of the Neronian image, are inconsistent with Galba’s iconography and may support a posthumous date for the recarving. Other unaltered glyptic representations of Galba include cameos in Florence19 and Naples.20 A headless, seated togatus in the Villa Massimo presents strong claims as a representation of Galba.21 C.F. Konrad has suggested that the reliefs on the sella curulis and the toga itself, make it highly probable that this statue commemorates Galba’s proconsulship in Africa of 44-45.22 As a monument honoring Galba’s early career, this image would not have remained on public display during the reigns of his predecessors Otho and Vitellius. Indeed, the portrait features may have been intentionally vandalized, or simply removed and the statue reused with the addition of a new head. Alternatively, the statue could have been removed, warehoused, and returned to public display under Vespasian.


Otho Marcus Salvius Otho, born in A.D. 32, was the second husband of Poppaea Sabina. After Nero became interested in Poppaea, he appointed

Otho governor of Lusitania in order to remove him from the capital. In the final days of Nero’s reign, Otho supported Galba, hoping to be named his successor. But Galba repudiated Otho and named L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus as his heir, with the result that Otho arranged the murder of Galba and Calpurnius Piso on 15 January 69. Otho’s accession was immediately challenged by Vitellius who eventually defeated Otho’s forces outside Cremona, causing Otho to take his own life on 16 April 69. Otho’s memory was condemned under his successor and his name eradicated from inscriptions.23 Otho’s birthday was clearly declared a dies nefastus, for, under Domitian, Salvius Cocceianus was executed for celebrating the birthday of his uncle, Otho.24 Otho also suffers a kind of literary damnatio in Juvenal’s Satires, where his memory and reputation are denigrated.25 Upon his accession, Otho presented himself as the new Nero and his coin portraits alternately recall Nero’s second type and his final types with their elaborately waved coiffures and heavier facial features.26 Although surviving portraits with such elaborately waved hairstyles, strongly reminiscent of Nero’s coma in gradus formata arrangement have been identified with Otho, no replica series can be securely established and most of these represent private individuals.27 Nevertheless, persuasive evidence for the destruction of Otho’s images is provided by a deliberately damaged colossal portrait in Ostia (cat. 4.1; fig. 103).28 The waved coiffure, short broad forehead, fairly small eyes, and heavy facial features are closely paralleled in Otho’s numismatic likenesses.29 The portrait was discovered in 1938 in a sewer near
R. Cagnat (1914) 173. Suet. Dom. 10.3. 25 See, E.S. Ramage (1989) 679-80. 26 On Otho’s presentation of himself as a new Nero, see, Suet. Otho 7.3, 10.2; Tacit. Hist. 1.78; Plut. Otho 3. 27 For instance, the well-known portrait in the Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori, no. 19, rejected by K. Fittschen and P. Zanker in their catalogue of the male imperial portraits in the Musei Capitolini. 28 Ostia, Magazzini, inv. 446. 29 In addition, the colossal scale of the portrait indicates that an emperor is intended. Nero and Domitian are the only two emperors to wear similar hairstyles, and the Ostian
24 23

Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles, inv.

19 Museo Archeologico inv. 14543, onyx, 1.1 x 0.8 cm; A. Giuliano, ed. (1989) 242, no. 173 (with figs) (with earlier literature); Museo Archoleogico, inv. 14656, carnelian cameo, 4.7 x 3.1 cm.; A. Giuliano, ed (1989) 244, no. 174 (with figs)(with earlier literature). 20 Museo Nazionale Archeologico 11021. 21 T. Schäfer (1989) 149-50; T. Schäfer (1990) 187-94; C.F. Konrad (1994) 151-62. 22 C.F. Konrad (1994) 151-62.


chapter five tellius, himself, held a consulship under Claudius in 48, and was later named proconsul to Africa. In 68, Galba appointed him to the command of the restive troops stationed in Lower Germany. On 2 January 69, shortly after assuming command, Vitellius was saluted as emperor by his new forces. After Galba’s murder, Vitellius’s troops, under the command of Fabius Valens and Aulus Caecina Alienus, marched into Italy and defeated Otho and his troops north of Cremona. As a result, Otho committed suicide and the soldiers and Senate at Rome formally recognized Vitellius as the new emperor. However, troops stationed in the east refused to recognize Vitellius as the legitimate princeps and instead declared in favor of Vespasian. Vitellius managed to hold the capital for some time, but his forces ultimately were either defeated by or defected to Vespasian’s cause.33 On the 20th of December 69, Vitellius was dragged to the Forum and forced to suffer the indignities of a common criminal (ceu noxii solent): he was insulted by the populace, forced to watch his statues overturned (cadentes statuas suas)34 pelted with dung, and finally tortured to death on the Gemonian steps;35 his corpse was mutilated36 and then dragged by a hook and thrown into the Tiber (unco tractus in Tiberim), a fate reserved for the bodies of traitors, capital offenders and victims of the arena (noxii).37 Vitellius is the first
33 During this period, Tacitus records the overturning and removal of Vitellius’s portraits set up in the camps of troops which were considering defecting to Vespasian’s side: simul Vitelli imagines dereptae (Hist. 3.13); these portraits were subsequently reerected: Haec singuli, haec universi, ut quemque dolor impulerat, vociferantes, initio a quinta legione orto, repositis Vitelli imaginibus (Hist. 3.14). 34 Tac. Hist.3.85. 35 veste discissa seminudus in Forum tractus est inter magna rerum verborumque ludibria per totum viae Sacrae spatium, reducto coma capite, ceu noxii solent, atque etiam mento mucrone gladii subrecto, ut visendum praeberet faciem neve summitteret; quibusdam stercore et caeno incessentibus, aliis incendiarium et patinarium vociferantibus, parte vulgi etiam corporis vitia exprobrante; Suet. Vit.17.1-2; see also Aur.Vict. Caes. 8.6. 36 Tac. Hist. 3.85; Et vulgus eadem pravitate insectabatur interfectum qua foverat viventem (And the common people attacked his dead body with the same depravity with which they had cherished him while living). 37 Suet. Vit. 17.2; D.G. Kyle (1998) 219; see also J. Scheid (1984) 181-82, 185.

the Temple of Hercules and has sustained considerable injury, including damage to both eyes, most of the nose and the lips.30 The portrait must have been attacked and damaged after Otho’s suicide and subsequent senatorial and praetorian recognition of Vitellius as emperor. After its destruction, the portrait was doubtless thrown in the sewer in a vehement gesture of poena post mortem and denigration of Otho’s memory. The disposal of the image in the sewer also recalls a relatively rare form of the abuse of corpses of condemned criminals and others who were stuffed into the drains leading to the Tiber.31 In the politically uncertain and chaotic year of the four emperors, it would have been especially expedient to disavow public honors and support given an overthrown princeps and simultaneously affirm loyalty to the newly recognized regime. The intentional damage and degraded form of disposal inflicted on the Ostian portrait effectively fulfills both purposes.32

Vitellius Aulus Vitellius was born in A.D. 15. His father, Lucius Vitellius, was an important advisor to Claudius and held three consulships. Aulus Vi-

head is not a replica of any of their well-established portrait types. 30 Although she identified the portrait as Domitian, R. Calza suggested that fragments of a colossal statue discovered in the Temple of Hercules originally belonged with this head, and that together they formed a statue of the emperor in the guise of Hercules (1964) 47. 31 The portrait’s disposal recalls that of the miniature busts of Caligula and Domitian in the Tiber, the portrait of Nero from the Alde, or the portraits of Caligula and Domitian found in wells. In addition, the Ostian images disposal in a sewer predicts the reported abuse of the corpses of Elagabalus and Julia Soemias , which were thrust into the sewers which led to the Tiber; HA.Elag. 17.4-7, 23.7; Dio 80.20.2; Herod. 8.8.9; or the inscription of Diadumenianus discovered in the latrine of the barracks belonging of the Vigili in Ostia (ILS 465). D.G. Kyle (1998) 223-4; E.R. Varner (2001b) 58-9. 32 As was the case with other condemned emperors of the first century, the destruction of Otho’s portraits in antiquity led to the creation of modern portraits of the emperor, such as an example the Uffizi (inv. 1914.111).

a.d. 69 Roman emperor whose corpse was publicly desecrated in this way and it most have been a fairly shocking act of denigration intended to assert loyalty to his victorious rival, Vespasian.38 Vitellius’s violent and bloody end is symptomatic of his damnatio memoriae, as is the destruction of his images.39 As troops defected to Vespasian’s side, Vitellius’s portraits were destroyed and replaced with representations of Vespasian.40 Furthermore, Vitellius’s character and reign are consistently vilified by the ancient authors, and in the Historia Augusta, he is firmly linked with other condemned emperors, including Nero, Domitian, and Elagabalus.41 Vitellius’s numismatic images depict him with a short coiffure and decidedly corpulent physiognomy. His forehead is low and bulges out over the nose. The eyes are deep set, with full pouches beneath them. The nose is aquiline. The cheeks are very wide and fleshy and naso labial lines are indicated. Both the mouth and chin are small. The emperor is depicted with a substantial underchin and exceedingly thick neck. Rolls of flesh appear on the back of the head and nape of the neck. A colossal portrait of Vitellius in Copenhagen agrees closely with the details of his numismatic images (fig. 104).42 The head is worked for in-


38 As mentioned earlier, certain members of the Senate wished to throw the body of Julius Caesar in the Tiber (Suet. Iul. 82.4) and the mob had threatened to throw Tiberius’s corpse in the Tiber (Suet. Tib. 75.1). Later, the Senate wished to drag the body of Commodus by a hook and throw it in the Tiber (HA Comm. 17.4; 18-19, quoting Marius Maximus; Dio 74.2.1); Elagabalus’s corpse was, in fact, thrown in the Tiber (HA. Elag. 17.4-7; 23.7; Epit.Caes. 23.5-7; Dio 80.20.2; Herod. 58.9). 39 Indeed, Vespasian may have felt especially virulently towards his defeated rival, since Vespasian’s brother Sabinus, the praefectus urbi, was killed during the siege of the Capitoline by Vitellian partisans in December of 68. 40 Vitelli imagines dereptae, Tac. Hist.3.13; repositis Vitellii imaginibus, Tac. Hist. 3.14; Primores castrorum nomen atque imagines Vitellii amoliunutr, Tac. Hist. 3.31.2; 6"Â J`Jg :¥< JVH Jg

sertion. It reproduces the short coiffure, low forhead, deep set eyes, heavy facial features, double chin, thick neck and rolls of fat at the back of the neck of the coin portraits. Although the Copenhagen head is not well preserved, with damage to the brows, nose, lips and ears and general corrosion of the surfaces, there are no signs of deliberate defacement. The portrait is alleged to have been discovered near the Piazza Colonna in Rome. Once Vespasian’s partisans had gained control of the capital, the image was removed from public display in the Campus Martius and warehoused or buried. The statue into which it had been inserted was probably reused, through the addition of a new portrait of Vespasian or one of his sons. As strong indications of the Flavian tendency to appropriate and recarve the images of condemned predecessors, three portraits of Vitellius, in Hannover (cat. 4.2; fig. 105a-b),43 Thessalonika (cat. 4.3; fig. 106a-c)44 and Trier (cat. 4.4; fig. 107a-b)45 were refashioned into likenesses of Vespasian. All three retain the rolls of flesh on the nape of the neck which betray their origins as images of the corpulent Vitellius. The Hannover and Thessalonika portraits have been recut into replicas of Vespasian’s main, older type. The Thessalonika head attests to the production of Vitellius’s portraits in Greece, as well as to their reworking after his assassination. The Trier portrait is also worked for insertion into a draped statue or bust and has been recut into Vespasian’s more youthful portrait type. Not surprisingly, the portrait confirms the dissemination of images of Vitellius in the geographical region of his initial support. All three portraits provided important evidence for the repudiation of Vitellius and his reign following his defeat by Vespasian. As with Caligula and Nero, the scarcity of extant unaltered representations of Vitellius as a result of his condemnation, has spawned numerous post an-

J@Ø ?Û4Jg88\@L gÆ6`<"H •BÎ Jä< F0:g\T< 6"2gÃ8@< 6"Â ßB@ J@Ø ?ÛgFB"F4"<@Ø •DP2ZFgF2"4 ê:@F"<, Dio 64(65).10.3.

For example, Car. 1.3 and Elag. 1.1. 42 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 655a, inv. 3167; V. Poulsen (1974) no. 1, pls. 1-2 (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 346, 349, fig. 23c. N. Hannestad (1988) 328; D.E.E. Kleiner, (1992) 169, fig. 137. Kreiken-

bom 210, no. 3.82; F. Johansen (1995a) 24, no. 1, with figs; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 98, fig. 44; H. Meyer (2000) 63. 43 Kestnermuseum. 44 Archaeological Museum, inv. 1055. 45 Rheinisches Landesmuseum, ST 5223.


chapter five commemorative monuments which were attacked and destroyed. In addition, portraits of Vitellius were also recycled into images of his immediate successor, Vespasian. Written accounts of the downfalls of all three regimes stress the prominent roles which artistic representations played in these periods of violent political transition. Legionaries are recorded to have destroyed and hurled stones at Galba’s images to express their dissatisfaction with his regime. Moreover, just before his assassination, his imago was ripped from a military standard to visually signal his overthrow. Later in A.D. 69, Vitellius would be forced to watch the destruction of his portraits prior to his murder. Like Sejanus, Vitellius is forced to witness the mutilation of his own images as a kind of artistic preenactment of the desecration of his corpse, which was abused by the populace and eventually thrown into the Tiber.

tique portraits. The Grimani “Vitellius,” which may be a work of the 16th century, exists in several modern copies.46

Conclusion: Condemnation and Violent Political Transitions Not surprisingly, the condemnations of Galba, Otho and Vitellius followed the precedents set by those of Caligula and Nero. Although the principates of all three were brief, they generated

46 Venice, Museo Archeologico, inv. 20, h. 0.48 m; G. Traversari (1968) 63-64, no. 43, figs. 44a-d; S. Bailey (1975) 105-22, and n. 22; I. Favoretto and G.L. Ravagna, eds. (1997) 156, no. 18; J. Fejfer (1997) 10-11, fig. 12. See also a modern copy in the Palazzo Colonna (fid. no. 15); F. Carinci, H. Keutner, L. Musso, M.G. Picozzi, eds. (1990) 133-5, no. 71, with fig.




Domitian follows Nero as the second emperor to suffer an officially mandated damnatio memoriae. Titus Flavius Domitianus was born on 24 October A.D. 51 on the Quirinal in Rome, the second surviving son of the future emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Flavia Domitilla Maior.1 During the reigns of his father Vespasian (69-79) and brother Titus (79-81) Domitian held prestigious, though largely ceremonial positions: caesar, princeps iunventutis; consul ordinarius (73 and 80) and consul suffectus (71, 75, 76, 77 and 79).2 Domitian succeeded to the principate after the premature death of Titus on 13 September 81.3 Domitian was a gifted administrator and capable general, but his reign, like those of Caligula and Nero, was marred by serious conflicts with the Senate exacerbated by his increasingly autocratic behavior.4 Overt signs of Domitian’s more monarchical approach to the principate included his assumption of the title censor perpetuus in 85, his salutation as dominus et deus,5 and the renaming of September and October as Germanicus and Domitianus in his honor.6 As a result of his despotic behavior and ruthless persecution of the senatorial aristocracy, Domitian was assassinated on 18 September 96.7 His own wife, Domitia Longina, was implicated in the plot.8 The soldiers, with whom he had remained popular, called for Domitian’s immediate deification and the punishment of his assassins, but the Senate defied their wishes and instead voted to erase his inscriptions and abolish his memory: novissime eradendos ubique titulos abolendamque omnem memoriam decerneret.9 By the fourth century, Domitian had become the paradigm of the condemned tyrant, and Lactantius categorically states that even the memory of Domitian’s name was erased (memoria nominis eius erasa est) and supplies a powerful motivation for Domitian’s condemnation, stating that the Senate intended that absolutely no vestige of the emperor’s images or titles would remain: neque imaginum neque titulorum eius relinqueret ulla vestigia.10 Despite the damnatio, Domitian’s nurse, Phyllis, cremated his body at her villa suburbana on the Via Latina and secretly deposited the ashes at the temple of the Flavian gens on the Quirinal adjacent to the house where Domitian had been born.11 The burial of Domitian’s corpse by his nurse directly recalls the burial of Nero by his nurses, Alexandria and Eclogue.

Suet. Dom. 1.1. On Domitian’s career under Vespasian and Titus, see B.W. Jones (1992) 18-21. 3 Suet. Titus 11. Domitian was not officially acclaimed by the Senate until 14 September, CIL 6.2060 and B.W. Jones (1992) 20-21. 4 On Domitian’s relations with the Senate, see, B.W. Jones (1979). 5 censor perpetuus: Dio 67.4.3-4; B.W. Jones (1992) 76, 106-7; dominus et deus: Suet. Dom. 13.2; Dio 67.13.3-4; Dio Chrys. 45.1; Aur.Vict. Caes. 11.2; Epit.Caes. 11.6; Eutr. 7.23; Orosius 7.10; and B.W. Jones (1992) 107-9, suggesting that the term was not official (it is not attested epigraphically), but used by flatterers and perpetuated by later hostile sources. 6 Suet. Dom. 13.3.


Domitian’s Portrait Typology Suetonius records the following details of Domitian’s physical appearance:
Suet. Dom. 17; J.D. Grainger (2003) 1-3. Suet. Dom. 14.1; see also E.R. Varner (1995) 202-3. 9 Suet. Dom. 23.1. 10 De Mort.Pers. 3.2-3. See also P. Stewart (1999) 181. 11 Suet. Dom. 17.3. Remains of both the house and the temple have been identified beneath the modern Caserma dei Corazzieri on the Via XX Settembre, F. Coarelli (1997) 273 and P. Davies (2000) 2, 24, 27, 104, 150-58.
8 7


chapter six
Statura fuit procera, vultu modesto ruborisque pleno, grandibus oculis, verum acie hebetiore; praeterea pulcher ac decens, maxime in iuventa...postea calvito quoque deformis et obesitate ventris et crurum gracilitate, quae tamen ei valitudine longa remacruerant.12 His stature was tall, and he had a modest demeanor, with a ruddy complexion. His eyes were large, but, in fact, his vision was rather weak. Moreover, he was fair and handsome, especially in his youth...later, he suffered the deformities of baldness, a protruding stomach, and skinny legs, which had indeed grown thin as a result of protracted sickness.

As in his unflattering descriptions of Caligula and Nero, Suetonius’s inclusion of unpleasant physical details such as weak eyes, bloated stomach, baldness and skinny legs, rely heavily on contemporary physiognomical theory and are carefully constructed as negative physical reflections of the princeps’ flawed moral character. In contrast, numismatic and sculpted portraits, as officially sanctioned works commissioned during Domitian’s lifetime, portray him with handsome facial features. Domitian’s later portraits do, however, include a coiffure in which the hair is combed directly forward from the occiput, perhaps in an effort to cover the baldness mentioned by Suetonius. Domitian’s sculpted and coin portraits can be divided into three types.13 His earliest portrait type appears on coins from A.D. 72-75, intended to celebrate his position as Caesar under Vespasian. Domitian is depicted with a full, curly coiffure. The curving locks over the forehead are combed from right to left, and a portion of these locks sometimes reverse their orientation over the right eye. Domitian’s nose is hooked like that of his father and the face is broad. The mouth is long, with a full slightly receding lower lip. The chin is firm and square A second portrait type is attested on coins from 75 until Domitian’s accession in 81. In this type, the coiffure is similar to that of the first, but the
12 13

hair is curlier over the forehead and recedes slightly at the temples. Some of these locks are often treated as full corkscrew curls. The hair over the forehead maintains the right to left orientation of the first portrait type, but, in sculpted examples, any locks which reverse their orientation appear over the left eye instead of the right. The facial features are somewhat heavier and generally more mature. The third and final type first occurs on coins in A.D. 81 and was conceived to mark Domitian’s accession to the principate. Long strands of hair are now brushed forward from the occiput and are arranged in a series of waves over the top of the head, recalling Nero’s coma in gradus formata hairstyles. The curving locks over the forehead retain the right to left orientation of the first types, but they are much more meticulously arranged and the hair over the left temple reverses its direction. The artful arrangement of this coiffure evokes Nero’s last two hairstyles with their strong associations with luxuria and may also reflect the treatise Domitian is known to have written on hair care.14

The Mutilation and Destruction of Domitian’s Portraits Pliny the Younger provides a vivid and dramatic description of the destruction of Domitian’s portraits.
Illae autem aureae et innumerabiles strage ac ruina publico gaudio et litaverunt. Iuvabat illidere solo superbissimos vultus, instare ferro, saevire securibus, ut si singulos ictus sanguis dolorque sequeretur. Nemo tam temperans gaudii seraeque laetitiae, quin instar ultionis videretur cernere laceros artus truncata membra, postremo truces horendasque imagines obiectas excoctasque flammis, ut ex illo terrore et minis in usum hominum ac voluptates ignibus mutarentur.15 However, his [Domitian’s] countless golden statues, in a heap of rubble and ruin, were offered as fitting sacrifice to the public joy. It was a delight to smash those arrogant faces to pieces in the dust, to threaten them with the sword, and savagely
14 15

Suet. Dom. 18.1. On Domitian’s portrait typology see, M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 30-42, 97-108; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 349-70; Fittschen-Zanker I, 35-37, nos. 31-33; W. Grünhagen (1986) 312-21.

Suet. Dom. 18.2. Pan. 52.4-5.

attack them with axes, as if blood and pain would follow every single blow. No one controlled their joy and long awaited happiness, when vengeance was taken in beholding his likenesses hacked into mutilated limbs and pieces, and above all, in seeing his savage and hideous portraits hurled into the flames and burned up, in order that they might be transformed from things of such terror and menace into something useful and pleasing.


Pliny’s account is striking for its anthropomorphic depiction of Domitian’s images as living beings capable of suffering pain; their savage mutilation represents the collective destruction of the emperor himself in effigy. Pliny also emphasizes the transformation of Domitian’s images into useful and pleasing objects. Pliny’s account, however, is hardly unbiased and is embedded within the framework of a panegyric to Trajan who is depicted by contemporary authors as the direct antithesis of the tyrannical Domitian. As a member of the senatorial aristocracy, Pliny is presumably writing for an elite, primarily male audience, many of whom would have had family members, or been themselves persecuted under Domitian. Pliny represents the entire Roman populace as willing participants in the destruction of Domitian’s monuments, when, in fact, certain segments of the society, including the military, and lower class inhabitants of Rome, did not perceive Domitian in the same negative light as the elite. The Equus Domitiani, a colossal bronze statue located at the western end of the Roman Forum between the Basilica Aemilia and the Basilica Julia, was the most celebrated and prominent of Domitian’s public images.16 Memorialized by Statius as one of the great artistic achievements of the reign, the portrait, dedicated in 91, depicted Domitian with his right hand outstretched in a gesture of clementia (dextra vetat pugnas), while his left hand supported an image of his patron deity Minerva holding the head of Medusa.17 The horse’s foreleg was raised over a personification of the Rhine, in commemoration of Domitian’s German victories. As a colossal monument to Domitian’s accomplishments in the heart of the
16 C.P. Giuliani in E. Steinby, ed. (1995) 228-9 (with earlier literature); F. Coarelli (1997) 83. 17 Stat. Sil. 1.1.32-60.

Roman Forum, the statue must have been one of the first portraits to be melted down in the destruction of images recorded by Pliny.18 As was the case with Caligula and Nero, archaeological evidence for the intentional mutilation of Domitian’s images is rare. However, two little known Domitianic reliefs in the Antiquarium of the Villa Barberini at Castel Gandalfo (cat. 5.2; fig. 108a-b)19 and Anacapri (cat. 5.1)20 appear to have been deliberately vandalized in antiquity. The Castel Gandalfo relief preserves the upper sections of a cuirassed torso, including a mutilated head, whose facial features have been entirely disfigured by a claw chisel. Despite its destruction, surviving remnants of the coiffure on the side of the head secure an identification of the figure as Domitian, in a reflection of his third portrait type.21 The background of the relief contains indications of wings, likely belonging to a figure of victory. The combination of victory figure with cuirassed emperor raises the strong possibility that the relief is historical, commemorating the military achievements of Domitian’s reign.22 The relief and the monument it originally decorated almost certainly derive from the Villa of Domitian located in the grounds and substructures of the modern Villa Barberini at Castel Gandalfo.23 At the proper right of the Anacapri relief, a figure dressed in the garb of the traveling imperator (tunica and paludamentum) gestures with his outstretched right hand. This figure’s larger scale and his costume identify him as an emperor.

18 Archaeological evidence suggests that the Domitianic base may have remained in place after the emperor’s overthrow, perhaps supporting a subsequent equestrian monument of Septimius Severus, the Equus Severi; C.P. Giuliani in E. Steinby, ed. (1995)228-9. 19 Antiquario. 20 Museo della Torre. 21 F. Magi (1968-69) 140-41. P. Liverani has suggested that the destruction of the portrait features was more practical in nature and may have been occasioned by the block’s reuse as building material, (1989a) 17. 22 P. Liverani (1989a) 17-18. F. Magi has suggested a ceiling panel in the bay of an arch dedicated to Domitian and cites the panel from the Arch of Trajan at Benevento as a possible parallel (1968-69) 144. 23 See P. Liverani (1989a).


chapter six depicts the goddess Fortuna and Domitian, dressed in a tunica and paludamentum.30 In a potent act of denigration, the emperor’s portrait features have been almost entirely removed, as has the head of his tutelary goddess. Although they do not contain portraits of Domitian, the reliefs decorating the cuirasses in Princeton and Osimo have also been deliberately disfigured. The Princeton torso depicts an iconographically complex scene of two Victories crowning a trophy with a bound German captive, referring to Domitian’s victory over the Chatti.31 As a way of posthumously disparaging Domitian’s military triumphs, the heads of both Victories on the Princeton torso were attacked with chisels, as well as some or the figures on the lappets.32 The heads of the victories on the Osimo cuirass have also been similarly removed. The disfigurement of the Victories strongly recalls the similar mutilation under Marius of the monument of Sulla set up by the Mauretanian king Bocchus on the Capitoline.33 The vandalization of these three cuirasses is all the more striking in that it rendered them unsuitable for future reuse and were thus economically expensive expressions of dissatisfaction with Domitian’s regime. None of Domitian’s sculpted portraits exhibit the kind of systematic and intentional mutilation of the facial features seen in the images of Nero in Cagliari and Cos (cat. 2.1-2). However, the fragmentary nature of the portrait of Nero reworked to Domitian and later incorporated into a modern representation of Nero (cat. 2.51), suggests that it was attacked in much the same manner as the fragmentary portrait of Caligula in Aquileia (cat. 1.1; fig. 3), or the fragmentary images of Nero in Syracuse (cat. 2.3; fig. 43) and Vienne (cat. 2.5; fig. 44).34
K. Stemmer (1978) 113. For an explication of the imagery, see R. Gergel (1986) 3-15. 32 R. Gergel (1986) 7. 33 Palazzo dei Conservatori (Braccio Nuovo, inv. 2750). 34 Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 14, inv. 427. As mentioned above, the ancient fragment consists of the forehead, eyes, nose, left cheek and upper lip.
31 30

Minerva stands to his right, glancing back at him. At the emperor’s left is a lictor in tunic and mantle and to the lictor’s left, is the goddess Roma, flanked by a second lictor, followed by the front half of a horse and a cuirassed soldier. Strong correspondences with frieze A of the Cancelleria Reliefs (cat. 5.17), the prominence Domitian’s patron deity Minerva, and the full, curly coiffure of the lictor at Roma’s left suggest a Domitianic date for the Anacapri relief and an identification of the imperial figure as Domitian himself.24 After Domitian’s damnatio, the relief appears to have been vandalized and the head of Domitian destroyed. The original context of the relief is unknown, but it may be from the vicinity of Naples. If so, the relief would be consonant with other important public monuments celebrating Domitian on the bay of Naples including the bronze equestrian statue reconfigured as Nerva at Misenum and the honorific inscription from Pozzuoli (cat. 5.7).25 Other Domitianic monuments were intentionally mutilated and include cuirassed torsos in Rome (cat. 5.3),26 Princeton (fig. 109),27 and Osimo.28 Like the Castel Gandalfo and Anacapri reliefs, the torso in Rome contains a damaged relief portrait of Domitian. The unusual gorgoneion and aegis on the upper section of the cuirass indicate that the statue was originally combined with a likeness of Domitian.29 The cuirass

24 The relief is too poorly preserved to determine whether it reproduces the scene represented in Frieze A (Domitian’s dedication of weapons to Jupiter Optimus Maximus after the Sarmatian campaign in 93) or whether it is a scene of imperial adventus, as F. Magi has suggested (1954-55) 47-54. 25 On these monuments, see infra. 26 Rome, Art Market. 27 The Art Museum, inv. 84-2, h. 1.2 m.; Sotheby’s, London, Catalogue of Antiquities (15 July 1980) lot no. 207; Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 44.1 (1985) 4546, with figs.; R. Gergel (1986) 3-15, figs. 1-4, 7-9, 14-18; R. Gergel (1994) , fig. 12.11; E.R. Varner in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 162-63, no. 36, with figs; E.R. Varner (2001) 49, fig. 1; H. Meyer in J.M. Padgett, ed. (2001) 27-33, no.7. 28 Commune, K. Stemmer (1978) 174, no. 328. 29 The aegis and gorgoneion have close parallels to the bronze equestrian statue of Domitian reworked to Nerva from Miseno (Baia, Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei nel Castello di Baia, 155743).

domitian Domitian’s portrait, name and titles have also been attacked and effaced from an as from Cibyra in Phrygia (fig. 110).35 The obverse originally depicted facing busts of Domitian and Domitia. Domitian’s image and identifying legend (DOMITIANOS KAISAR) have been removed from the coin with a chisel and stands in stark contrast to the untouched portrait of his wife. The Phrygian coin is a unique example of the defacement of Domitian’s numismatic likenesses. As with the earlier defaced coins of Caligula and Nero, and later with those of Geta, the Domitianic coin was likely altered by a private individual or soldier. Like the mutilated coinage of Caligula and Nero, the defacement of the Cibyra as is probably an isolated and spontaneous act, expressive of discontent with the overthrown emperor and support of the new regime.


The Transformation of Domitian’s Images Domitian/Nerva Continuing the patterns of reuse established for representations of Caligula and Nero, images of Domitian were commonly transformed into likenesses of his immediate successors Nerva and Trajan. Fourteen of Domitian’s portraits, a substantial majority, were altered to represent Nerva. The number is all the more startling in that it represents approximately 82% of Nerva’s extant images, standing as a salient reminder of the iconographic impact of sculptural reuse. Nerva enjoyed only one portrait type during his brief reign. Nerva was 66 at the time of his accession; coins and his three unreworked marble portraits reflect his age and depict him with a full head of hair with thick, curling locks.36 The coiffure is arranged over the forehead in three

Berlin; R. Mowat (1901) 450-51, pl. 10.1; K. Regling (1904) 144; K. Harl (1987), pl.12.1 . 36 The three unreworked portraits are in Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 668, inv. 772 (F. Johansen [1995a] 88, no. 31, with figs); Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi, inv. 1914.132 (G.A. Mansuelli [1961] 77, no. 79, fig. 75; Rome, Musei Vaticani, Cortile Ottagono 101a, inv. 975 (G. Spinola [1996] 47-8, no. PE 40).


distinct sections, with the locks usually parted over both the left and right eye. The forehead itself is unusually high and narrow, with hollow temples. Nerva’s distinctive nose is long and hooked. Strong naso-labial lines further emphasize his maturity. In addition to a basic discrepancy in age (Nerva was approximately twenty years older than Domitian), Nerva’s physiognomy differs radically from that of Domitian, diverging in almost every particular: Nerva’s face is long and thin, where Domitian’s is more full and square; Nerva’s eyes are small, where Domitian’s are long and wide; Nerva’s nose is thin and includes a very pronounced hook, whereas Domitian’s is wider, less hooked and tends to be more aquiline; and Nerva’s neck is long and thin, with a pronounced Adam’s apple, where Domitian’s neck is shorter and stockier, often without any adam’s apple indicated. Despite the enormous technical problems which the differing facial structures presented to sculptors, Domitian’s images were nonetheless routinely altered into images of the new princeps. Portraits of Nerva which have been reworked from Domitian’s likenesses naturally contain details of physiognomy, coiffure, or even style which differentiate them from the unreworked images. In a full length statue of Nerva as Jupiter in Copenhagen, Domitian’s type 3 coiffure has been only slightly modified through the addition of a second row of locks over the forehead (cat. 5.9; fig. 111a-e).37 The statue is carved from a single block of marble and depicts the emperor standing with hip mantle. Although naso-labial lines have been added to the face, and the chin has been substantially cut down to endow it with Nerva’s narrower, more pointed shape, the resulting image is a youthful and idealized depiction of the emperor. A portrait of Nerva in Berlin, part of a colossal seated image of the emperor as Jupiter also retains recognizable elements of the original Domitianic coiffure (cat. 5.8).38 Both sculptures bear witness to the production and

37 38

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 542, inv. 1454. Schloss Klein-Glienicke, inv. G1 324.


chapter six is reputedly from sixteenth century excavations at Tivoli. The Palazzo dei Conservatori portrait also has retained much of the character of the original Domitianic likeness. Remnants of Domitian’s type 3 coiffure are evident at the back of the head and the forehead, brows, and eyes essentially remain intact from Domitian’s portrait. Very light crows’ feet have been added at the outer corners of both eyes. Like the Holkham Hall head, the square shape of the face is uncharacteristic of Nerva’s portraits and is a stark reminder of the limitations imposed by the original likeness of Domitian. All three portraits are from the environs of Rome and underscore the frequency with which Domitian’s images were refashioned into youthful representations of Nerva in the capital. The recutting of a fifth portrait from Rome, now in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme has resulted in a more emphatically modeled likeness which exhibits stylistic features foreign to Nerva’s other images (cat. 5.15; fig. 116a-d).43 The head is well over life-sized and is worked for insertion into a togate statue. In an effort to obliterate all trace of Domitian’s coiffure, the individual locks of Nerva’s hair have been dramatically undercut and deeply drilled, resulting in an exuberant play of light and shadow. The recarving of the brows has given them a more emphatic, calligraphic curve, and has caused deep pockets of shadow to surround the eyes. The resulting sculptural effects are reminiscent of later baroque sculpture and have led the portrait to be incorrectly condemned as a modern. Although their provenances are unknown, two additional recarved likenesses of Nerva in Stuttgart (cat. 5.21)44 and formerly in Leipzig (cat. 5.11; fig. 117)45 achieve only superficial signs of aging. The Stuttgart portrait is said to be of Greek marble; Domitian’s type 3 hairstyle has survived behind both ears and the eyes have retained their length from the original likeness. The bust with

dissemination of representation of Domitian as Jupiter (recalling Statius’s evocation of Domitian as Jupiter Ausonius), as well as Nerva’s willingness to appropriate such divine imagery.39 Other recarved marble representations of Nerva also exhibit a more idealizing, less idiosyncratic handling of the facial features when compared to his numismatic and unaltered portraits and have clearly retained physiognomic and stylistic aspects of the Domitianic originals. Indeed, a recut portrait in the Sala dei Busti of the Vatican is the most idealizing of Nerva’s surviving sculpted images (cat. 5.18; fig. 112a-b).40 Domitian’s type 3 hairstyle, swept forward from the occiput is clearly visible on the back and sides of the head. Very shallow naso-labial lines have been added and modifications to the eyes, nose, and mouth have resulted in certain asymmetricalities endowing the portrait with faint traces of verism, but the smoothly modeled surfaces and crisply delineated details of the likeness, combine to make this Nerva’s most classicizing and youthful image. Although not as idealized as the Sala dei Busti head, recut portraits in the Museo Capitolino (cat. 5.14; fig. 113a-d),41 Holkham Hall (cat. 5.10; fig. 114), and the Palazzo dei Conservatori (cat. 5.20; fig. 115a-e)42 are remarkable for their youthful portrayal of the elderly emperor. The portrait in the Museo Capitolino is unusual in that it has been recut from a replica of Domitian’s first portrait type, retaining much its youthfulness. Evidence of Domitian’s first hairstyle is still visible at the back of the head. Signs of aging which have been added to the portrait are superficial and consist of light furrows on the forehead and naso-labial lines. The square shape of the Holkham Hall head and the portrait’s smooth, classicizing aspect are also clear indications of its origins as a representation of Domitian. The head

39 Silv. 4.18. The literary reference may, however, be ironic, intended for an audience hostile to Domitian. On the problems of interpretation see: B.W. Jones (1992) 312 and E.R. Varner, (1995) 201, n. 73. 40 Sala dei Busti 317, inv. 674. 41 Stanza degli Imperatori, inv. 417. 42 Sala Verde, inv. 423.

Inv. 318. Württembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. arch. 68/3. 45 Archäologisches Institut der Universität (now destroyed).


domitian paludamentum formerly in Leipzig preserves the deep waves of Domitian’s type 3 coiffure almost in their entirety. In fact, only the hair immediately over the forehead has been recconfigured. As in the other recarved youthful images of Nerva, signs of aging are limited to the naso-labial lines. An additional full length portrait of Nerva in Parma stands as an extremely unusual example of an image subjected to two separate stages of recutting (cat. 2.50; cat. 5.13; fig. 61a-e).46 As already noted, this cuirassed statue originally represented Nero and came from the cycle of portraits decorating the Julio-Claudian Basilica at Velleiea. After Nero’s death, the image was recarved into a likeness of Domitian. Subsequent to Domitian’s damnatio, the portrait features were again recut, this time into Nerva’s likeness. The double recarving has resulted in an awkward and aberrational likeness of Nerva. As a result of the substantial reduction in sculptural volume, the current modeling of the likeness fails to give a coherent sense of the organic structure underlying the face. In its final form as an image of Nerva, the portrait stands in striking contrast to the classicizing and naturalistic handling of the cuirassed body into which it is inserted. The hair of the portrait has been overworked to such an extent that only the faintest trace of Domitian’s coiffure remains, likely from his first portrait type.47 Further support for an identification of the secondary likeness as a type 1 replica of Domitian is provided by a fragmentary inscription from the Basilica originally honoring Domitian as princeps iuventutis and subsequently recut to commemorate Divus Nerva.48 The recutting of the inscription parallels the recarving of the image and Nerva’s commemoration as divus in the inscription indicates that, if the recutting of the inscription and portrait are contemporary, then the alterations took place no earlier than 98, at least seventeen
46 Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 146 (1870), inv. 827 (1954). 47 A majority of Domitian’s type I portraits have been recarved from portraits of Nero. 48 CIL 11.1172, 1173; C.C. Vermeule (1959) 47, no. 113; H. Gabelmann (1971) 733; K.P. Goethert (1972) 245; C. Saletti (1972) 188; H. Jucker (1977) 212-3.


months after Domitian’s assassination. Because of its sculptural anomalies the Parma image insists on its identity as a reconfigured likeness and it may have been deliberately conceived as a recognizable sculptural record of two phases of political transformation and transition. The enigmatic appearance of a seated statue of an emperor as Jupiter in Lucera is also likely the result of multiple reworkings, one of which may have been a transformation from Domitian to Nerva (fig. 118a-b).49 The statue preserves the upper torso and left arm, but all of the portrait features, including the coiffure, ears and face, have been entirely eradicated and all that remains of the head is a cylinder of marble roughly worked over with a point. The treatment of the musculature and drapery has similarities with the seated Jupiter statues from Caere and may indicate that piece was originally created in the later Julio-Claudian period.50 Scant traces of a curls still visible just above the remains of a fillet at the back of the head, however, are not consonant with the comma-shaped locks which make up Julio-Claudian hairstyles, but are more characteristic of Flavian coiffures. Perhaps like the Parma statue, the original image represented Nero and was subsequently reworked to Domitian. If so, after Domitian’s overthrow, the available marble in the area of the head may have been deemed insufficient to recarve into Nerva, and so the head was roughened for the adherence of new stucco facial features. This solution would be unique among refashioned imperial images and may be the result of the paucity of marble in the area around Lucera.51 The sculpture was discovered in the remains of baths, and evidently continued to be displayed there after its transformation. Sculptors could also choose to suppress the youthful, classicizing aspects of the original Domitianic portrait and create supra-realistic

Lucera, Museo Civico, inv. 25, h. 1.64 m.; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 318, fig. 1; G. Legrottaglie (1999) 123-29, pl. 35 (with earlier lieterature). 50 C. Maderna (1988) 175; G. Legrottaglie (1999) 1257. 51 G. Legrottaglie (1999) 127-8.



chapter six Domitian’s type 3 coiffure are discernible behind the left ear. In order to imbue the portrait with emphatic signs of aging, the temples have been drastically recut, making them exaggeratedly hollow, and deep furrows have been added to the forehead.54 Again, the classicizing, youthful elements of the Domitianic likeness have been entirely obliterated by the new veristic indications of aging. The portrait juxtaposes Nerva’s realistic, middle aged physiognomy with the divine body type of Jupiter and, like the portraits in Copenhagen and Berlin, attests to the dissemination of images of Domitian as Jupiter, and their subsequent expropriation by Nerva. Another recarved portrait of Nerva now in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, from Tivoli, emphasizes realistic details of aging (cat. 5.16; fig. 121a-d).55 Traces of Domitian’s third coiffure, combed forward from the occiput, are clearly visible on both sides of the head. Horizontal furrows have been added to the forehead and vertical creases carved above the nose. In addition, deep naso-labial lines have been carved around the mouth. Like the Getty image, this exaggerated realism underscores the care which was taken to obliterate all trace of Domitian’s more youthful and classicizing countenance from the recarved likeness. The portrait was discovered at the Temple of Hercules Victor complex at Tivoli in the excavations of an apsidal hall originally dedicated to Augustus.56 This find-spot suggests that the reworked image, and perhaps the Domitianic original, should be associated with the imperial cult. The political implications inherent in the reworked veristic representations of Nerva are clear. Not only do they visually distance Nerva from his condemned friend and predecessor, effectively subsuming the classicizing and youthful aspects of the Domitianic originals, but they also play to senatorial sympathies for the republican
54 Deeply hollow temples are a hallmark of Nerva’s three unreworked likenesses and are especially apparent in the replicas in the Cortile Ottagono of the Vatican (101 a, inv. 975) and the Uffizi (inv. 1914.132). 55 Inv. 106538. 56 On the portrait’s discovery, see V. Pacifici (1920) 913, figs. 8-9.

likenesses of the aged Nerva. It is not surprising, then, that Nerva’s most veristic image, in Los Angeles, has been recut from a representation of Domitian, recalling the realistic portraits of Claudius recut from Caligula, and of Vespasian recut from Nero (cat. 5.12; fig. 119a-d).52 The hair over the forehead has been recarved, as evidenced by the sharp straight line which runs along the current hairline. Domitian’s type 3 coiffure remains above the left temple, behind the right ear, and on the top of the head and below the occiput. The striking asymmetricalities present in the facial features have resulted from the image’s extensive sculptural alterations. Accentuated indications of age added to the portrait include heavy pouches beneath both eyes, conspicuous crow’s-feet wrinkles and substantial naso-labial lines. Even the neck has been refashioned and a deep furrow added on the right side and Nerva’s adam’s apple carved into the existing mass. The transformation of the Getty portrait has resulted in a veristic image of Nerva remarkable for its exaggerated effects of aging. Nevertheless, recognizable signs of the image’s previous identity are still strongly present in the reconfigured likeness, most notably in the coiffure, and the relatively smooth and unlined forehead which contrasts with the emphatic signs of age in the lower face. The portrait is constructed of three pieces of marble, with the back and top of the head separately attached. Significantly the artist who refashioned the image did not choose to replace these pieces, which are essentially unaltered segments of Domtian’s coiffure. A heavily restored statue of Nerva in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, reworked from an earlier representation of Domitian, achieves similar veristic effects of aging (cat. 5.19; fig. 120a-b).53 The ancient sections of the statue, consisting of the head and torso belonged to a seated image depicting the emperor as Jupiter. Although the hairline over the forehead has been recarved so that it recedes as in Nerva’s coiffure, individual details are not well articulated. Remnants of

52 53

J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 83.AA.43. No. 548, inv. 246.

domitian past. Nerva’s former position as an imperial amicus of Domitian certainly necessitated his repudiation of Domitian’s memory, and is expressed in visual terms by the revival of republican verism evident in many of his reworked images.57 Verism had been used in exactly the same way by Claudius and Vespasian to visually distance themselves from Caligula and Nero. Certainly the most well documented image of Nerva to have been refashioned from a preexisting likeness of Domitian is that from frieze A of the Cancelleria reliefs (cat. 5.17; fig. 122a-b).58 Given the unknown (and probably unknowable) fate of Julia on the Ara Pacis, as well as the lack of iconographic context for the Neronian relief portraits recarved to Domitian (cat. 2.54) and Augustus (cat. 2.8), the Cancelleria reliefs provide the first unambiguous evidence for the reconfiguration of imperial likenesses on Roman historical reliefs. Domitian’s deeply waved hairstyle is still strikingly visible in the frieze and has only been cursorily altered. The facial features have also been modified; as in the three-dimensional portraits, a naso-labial line has been added as an indication of Nerva’s age. Nevertheless, the likeness retains much of the fuller, more rectangular facial structure of Domitian. The overall reduction in the volume of the head has rendered it disproportionately small in comparison the emperor’s body and illustrates the great difficulties peculiar to recutting portraits in relief. Although the Cancelleria reliefs are much larger in scale, they present similar problems to those of cameos: namely, that the surfaces available for recarving are extremely limited. The interpretation of the relief, and even its date, have proven problematic. The emperor, dressed in the tunic and paludamentum of the traveling Roman general, appears together with Minerva, Mars, Roma, Victoria, the Genius Senatus, the Genius Populi Romani, lictors and soldiers with ceremonial shields and spears.


Minerva’s gesture of touching Domitian’s elbow has led to the predominant interpretation of this scene as an imperial profectio with Minerva urging the reluctant Domitian to leave the city and set out for his German campaigns. However, this interpretation is extremely unsatisfactory as it is highly unlikely that Domitian would have been portrayed in so unflattering a light. Rather, F. Ghedini’s proposal that the scene depicts Domitian’s reditus from the Sarmatian campaign in A.D. 93 is surely correct.59 At that time, Domitian refused a triumph, but made a dedication (dona militaria) to Jupiter Capitolinus in gratitude for his military victories. The ceremonial nature of the spears and shields which the soldiers carry underscore that the occasion depicted is the impending donation to Jupiter Capitolinus rather than an emperor and his army setting out for battle.60 In fact, Ghedini has plausibly suggested that the figures move towards Jupiter himself who would have completed the relief in the missing right section. Thus, the relief is a commemoration of Domitian’s actual return to Rome in 93 and a subtle and symbolic celebration of the emperor’s victories, his modesty in refusing a triumph, and his pietas as evidenced by the dona militaria. The deities who accompany Domitian further underscore his imperial virtues and his exalted status. Domitian’s reditus and his refusal of honors have striking, and deliberate, parallels in the two reditås of Augustus in 19 and 13 B.C.61 Domitian, in this case not recarved, also appears in Frieze B, the companion relief to Frieze A. This panel is more fragmentary than its counterpart, but Domitian, in a replica of his first portrait type, is depicted together with his father Vespasian.62 Behind Vespasian appears the god(1986) 292-97. F. Ghedini (1986) 294. 61 For a full explication of Domitian’s adoption of Augustan propaganda and models, see F. Ghedini (1986) 300-302. 62 The most recent suggestions concerning the content of frieze B rest on the hypothesis that the portrait of Vespasian has been recut from an original representation of Domitian. In order to maintain this hypothesis, the figure of the youth cannot be identified as Domitian. The exact correspondences of the youth’s physiognomy and coiffure with Domitian’s first portrait type, as well as the
60 59

57 On Nerva’s prominent position at the court of Domitian and his pro-Domitianic sympathies, see B.W. Jones (1992) 52-3. 58 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano.


chapter six iconography of both friezes, strongly suggests that they were intended for the Temple of Fortuna Redux, which Domitian vowed at the time of his return from the Sarmatian campaign in 93 and which was constructed in the Campus Martius.65 However, they may not have been in place at the time of Domitian’s assassination in 96. The recarving of Nerva’s portrait was never completed, as evinced by the unarticulated locks over the forehead. The recutting was likely interrupted by Nerva’s own death in 98. Clearly, there was no longer enough marble to recarve the portrait features a second time. In addition, the specificity of the events portrayed, as well as the prominence of Minerva, Domitian’s protectress in Frieze A, may have added further conceptual difficulties to reusing these pieces. However, the reliefs are of the highest artistic quality and appear to have been preserved in the sculptor’s depot as examples of extremely fine workmanship or with the hope that sections of the relief may have been able to be reused at a later date. An equestrian portrait of Nerva from the sanctuary of the Augustales at Misenum is the only surviving bronze imperial image to exhibit signs of reworking and furthermore is one of only three bronze imperial equestrian statues to have survived from antiquity (cat. 5.7; fig. 123a-c).66 The statue depicts the emperor in cuirass and paludamentum. Domitian originally held a lance in his raised right hand while the left hand pulled sharply back on the horse’s reigns. The head and torso are turned to the right. The partially preserved horse rears up on its hind legs.67 The
F. Ghedini (1986) 298-300. Baia, Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei nel Castello di Baia, inv. 155743. The other surviving equestrian statues are the Augustus discovered in the Aegean (Athens, National Museum), and the Marcus Aurelius, on the Campidoglio. The Misenum portrait differs significantly from the other two in both gesture and costume. Augustus and Marcus Aurelius both wear the tunic and paludamentum of the traveling Roman general and raise their right hands in gestures of clementia, while Domitian/Nerva wears a cuirass and brandishes a lance. 67 The composition must have been completed with some supporting element beneath the horses raised forelegs, perhaps a foreigner. the figure of Oceanus, or a decorative support; see R. Cantilena in Domiziano/Nerva 37-8: D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 201.
66 65

dess victory, crowning the emperor, and surrounded by soldiers and lictors. Between the imperial pair, the Genius Populi Romani stands on a square plinth, and behind Domitian are the Genius Senatus, lictors, soldiers, and finally vestals. Vespasian’s gesture of greeting confirms that the scene depicts his initial entry into Rome which did not occur until September of 70. Domitian welcomes his father, having acted as a kind of legate at the capital from December to September. Frieze B forms a perfect complement to Frieze A. Both depict the triumphant returns of the princepes to Rome and underscore the virtus of the Flavian gens and the parallel positions of father and son. In frieze A, foreign conflicts have been successfully overcome, and in frieze B, civil strife brought to an end. There are no clear indications that the Cancelleria reliefs were ever set up. They were discovered in 1937 leaning against a wall of the tomb of Aulus Hirtius, together with other sculptural fragments beneath the Palazzo della Cancelleria. The area may have been used in antiquity as storage for a sculptor’s workshop, which often occur in close proximity to burial sites or in populous urban areas.63 Indeed, this entire area of the city has been described by A. Claridge as a “marble workers’ quarter.”64 The
hierarchic prominence of the figure in the frieze, ensure that this figure must be Domitian. Evidence for the recarving of the portrait of Vespasian is also scanty, especially in comparison to the indisputably recut features of Nerva in Frieze A. The portrait of Vespasian does not exhibit the overwhelming discrepancies of scale, asymmetricalities and wholesale retention of Domitianic elements, like the deeply waved coiffure, that are apparent in the recarved portrait of Nerva on Frieze A. The relief portrait of Vespasian does contain striking resemblances to likenesses of Domitian, especially in the full head of hair, the smoother facial features, and the slightly receding underlip. However, the portrait is clearly recognizable as Vespasian and resemblances to Domitian must have been intentional and designed to stress the similarities between the father and son. Thus, they are the product of the Domitianic artist originally responsible for the sculpture and not the result of recarving under Nerva. See F. Ghedini (1986) 297-300. 63 For the sculptor’s workshop at Aphrodisias located near the city’s Odeum and which functioned both as a working studio and storefront, see P. Rockwell, in R.R. Smith and K.T. Erim (1991) 127-43. 64 (1998) 180.

domitian statue’s dynamic disposition indicates that it is ultimately derived from equestrian representations of Alexander the Great.68 If the statue also included a fallen enemy in front of the horse’s raised forelegs, its aggressive military composition would have recalled similar depictions of the emperor on Domitianic coin reverses.69 In an extremely effective and practical gesture of reuse, Domitian’s facial features have been cut from the head and removed as if they were a mask.70 A clearly visible line runs beneath the chin, along the jaw line, behind the ears, and over the forehead, documenting the removal of Domitian’s face. The coiffure which lies behind this line belongs to the original likeness, a replica of Domitian’s third portrait type. In front of the line are the new coiffure and facial features belonging to Nerva. Naturally, individual locks in the two coiffures do not match along the line of removal. However, Nerva’s coiffure over the forehead is relatively full and strategically masks these discrepancies when the statue is viewed frontally and from below.71 Nevertheless, the position of the new face of Nerva does not accurately reflect the torsion of the neck and torso; consequently, and perhaps not surprisingly, the face appears curiously static and mask-like when compared to the fluid motion of the body. Ancient repairs in lead to the statue suggest that the image was attacked and damaged prior to its reuse and Domitian’s portrait features may have been vandalized at this time.72 In any case, the
68 As preserved in a bronze statuette from Herculaneum, now in Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico. The statuette may be based on the equestrian portrait of Alexander by Lysippus from the Granikos Monument, which was transported to Rome by Metellus in 146 B.C.; see J.J. Pollitt (1986) 43, n. 41, fig. 36, and R. Cantilena in Domiziano/ Nerva 32-33, fig. 30a-c. 69 As, for instance a sestertius from Rome, BMCRE 409; RIC 361; American Numismatic Society, inv. 1957. 172.1603; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 154-55, no. 34, with figs. 70 A colossal marble statue of Elagabalus has undergone the same form of reuse, in which the facial features were removed, and a new face, belonging to Severus Alexander was attached, Naples Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 5993, here, cat. 7.17. 71 The statue would presumably have been mounted on a base, insuring that the statue was viewed from below. 72 R. Cantilena in Domiziano/Nerva 36; S. Adamo Muscettola in P. Miniero, ed. (2000) 31.


method of recycling adopted for the statue was certainly more economical than replacing the head in its entirety and, more importantly, the image maintains deliberately readable signs in the coiffure of its original Domitianic identity. The figural decoration of the cuirass includes a variety of marine creatures, an aegis and gorgoneion on the breast, and a representation of the infant Hercules strangling snakes on the left shoulder. Domitian’s preparations for a campaign against the Parthians at the end of his principate may have inspired the imagery on the cuirass.73 Domitian intended to embark on this campaign from Puteoli, and the marine creatures on the breastplate refer to the emperor’s coming sea voyage, as well as his dominion over the ocean.74 A fragmentary Domitianic inscription from the Augustales complex, which was reinscribed under Nerva may have been set up in conjunction with the statue between December of 94 and September of 95, which would further suggest that the image commemorates the completion of the Via Domitiana linking Rome with the port of Puteoli;75 the new road facilitated transport of troops and supplies from the capital to the port and would have been crucial for the coming Parthian expedition.76 Fragments of the statue were excavated in 1968 in Building B of a complex associated with the Augustales of Misenum. The statue is likely to have been displayed within the complex, whose main temple contained heroic nude statues of Vespasian and Titus.77 Despite its specifically Domitianic connotations, as expressed in the

S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 54-65; B.W. Jones (1992) 159. 74 Ibid. 75 S. Adamo Musecettola (2000) 89; S. Adamo Musecettola in P. Miniero, ed. (2000) 34. 76 S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 65. 77 Alternatively, the statue may have fallen into this area during seismic disturbances which destroyed the complex and other sections of the city at the end of the second century since no base for the statue has been discovered supports this idea. M. Borriello in Domiziano/Nerva 18-19; S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 63. For the portaits of Vespasian and Titus, see Domiziano/Nerva figs. 9-10; S. Adamo Muscettola in P. Miniero, ed. (2000) 347, figs. 2a-b.



chapter six time, the statue must have been warehoused out of public view. In addition to the Sabratha statue, a second provincial image of Trajan was recut from a portrait of Domitian. This recarved head was discovered in two fragments near the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (cat. 5.22.).81 The locks over the forehead are a variant Trajan’s (fourth) Opferbildtypus.82 However, traces of Domitian’s type 3 hairstyle are clearly visible at the back of the head. The use of the Opferbildtypus, (which appears on the Column of Trajan and is clearly in use by the time of the Column’s dedication on 12 May 113), suggests that a considerable lapse of time (perhaps as many as 17 years) occurred between Domitian’s damnatio and the reuse of the portrait. A third provincial portrait of Trajan in Split has also been reconfigured from a likeness of Domitian (cat. 5.28; fig. 125a-b).83 The overlifesized head is worked for insertion and may originally have formed part of a Flavian dynastic group decorating the Fourm at Issa in Dalmatia. Domitian appears to have initially been depicted together with his father Vespasian. After Domitian’s assassination, Trajan usurped Domitian’s role in the paired portraits and linked himself to the revered founder of the Flavian dynasty. The Olympia, Sabratha and Split portraits are all important testaments to the recarving of Domitian’s portraits in the provinces.84 Many vestiges of Domitian’s third portrait type are also present in a head of Trajan formerly in Ostia (cat. 5.25).85 Like the portrait in Sabratha, the hair was recarved into Trajan’s second type (Bürgerkronen-Typus), but traces of the original Domitianic coiffure are visible above the ears and

reliefs on the cuirass, the image was nevertheless refashioned as a representation of Nerva, a further example of the rampant visual cannibalism which characterized Nerva’s short reign. Domitian/Trajan Nerva reigned approximately seventeen months, and at the time of his death, the fund of Domitianic images available for reuse was by no means exhausted, as evidenced by the numerous portraits recarved into likeness of Nerva’s successor, Trajan. Although many of these reworked images have gone unrecognized, most of Trajan’s portrait types are attested among the altered representations, and indicate that the sculptural transformation of Domitian’s portraits was carried out throughout Trajan’s reign. Most of the likenesses recut to Trajan retain strong aspects of Domitian’s more youthful and idealized physiognomy, as is especially apparent in a full length togate statue in Sabratha, refashioned from a provincial variant of Domitian’s third portrait type (cat. 5.27; fig. 124).78 A stylized version of Domitian’s coiffure is visible at the back of the head. The coiffure at the front of the head has been largely recut to reflect Trajan’s second type (Bürgerkronen-Typus) in which the locks over the forehead are combed from proper left to right. This type may have been introduced in 103 to commemorate Trajan’s first Dacian Triumph.79 The statue was discovered during excavations of the Forum at Sabratha, together with a cuirassed portrait of Titus, suggesting the possibility of an original Flavian group dedication consisting of the two brothers.80 The use of Trajan’s second type with its likely date of A.D. 103, indicates that a minimum of seven years elapsed between the time of Domitian’s damnatio and the portrait’s eventual reuse, during which

Museum. W.H. Gross (1940) 75-77; W.H. Gross (1965) 110910; K. Fittschen (1977a) 71. 80 Sabratha, Museum; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop and U. Hausmann (1966) 26-7, 29, 95-6, pls. 21c-d, 22b; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 404.


Olympia, Museum, inv. A 129. The Olympia portrait introduces a part over the left eye; on the Opferbildtypus, see W.H. Gross (1940) 105-7. 83 Archaeological Museum, inv. C 271. 84 H.R. Goette and K. Hitzle mention two additional portraits of Trajan which may be recarved from likenesses of Domitian; both are unpublished: a portrait of Trajan from the theater at Corinth, and a portrait in Larissa, Archaeological Museum, inv. no. 802 + 825 (1987) 292, n. 59. 85 Now lost, formerly Museo, no. 24.


domitian at the back of the head. Despite the addition of vertical furrows above the nose and deep nasolabials, the facial features of the Ostia head, which are relatively smooth and youthful, are remnants of the underlying representation of Domitian. A second head from Ostia also exhibits clear signs of reworking (cat. 5.24).86 The eyes and mouth have retained their Domitianic configuration and there are traces of Domitian’s type 3 hairstyle on the nape of the neck at the left. Like the Olympia portrait, the image is a replica of the Opferbildtypus (type 4), introduced by 113, which again suggests that as many as 17 years had elapsed before the portrait was recut. A portrait of Trajan in Oslo, reportedly acquired in Rome, has also been reworked from an image of Domitian (cat. 5.23).87 Domitian’s coiffure has been entirely worked away, but strong traces of his facial features remain including the large eyes and shape of the lower lip, which is long, full, and flat along the bottom. In its current incarnation, the likeness is a variant of Trajan’s decennalia type, introduced in 108 and provides further evidence for the storage of Domitian’s images prior to reworking, in this instance for a period of at least twelve years. Several atypical elements of coiffure and physiognomy of a portrait of Trajan in Venice betray its origins as a likeness of Domitian (cat. 5.29; fig. 126a-c).88 The hair over the forehead has been recut into an arrangement resembling that of Trajan’s first portrait type, nevertheless the steep arc of the coiffure over the forehead is uncharacteristic of Trajan’s portraiture, as is the fullness of the coiffure over both ears. Remnants of Domitian’s type 3 coiffure are also visible at the back of the head. No overt signs of aging have been added to the face, and, with its very full head of hair, this representation of Trajan is extremely youthful and among the most idealized of Trajan’s images. A basalt head of Trajan in the Terme altered


from a preexisting likeness of Domitian stands as the only instance of a recarved imperial image in a colored or hard stone (cat. 5.26; fig. 127ad).89 The portrait is again a variant of Trajan’s fourth Opferbildtypus but contains several elements of Domitian’s coiffure and iconography such as remnants of his type 3 hairstyle at the back and top of the head. The large eyes and hooked nose are additional remnants of the Domitianic image. The Terme portrait’s status as the only recarved basalt image underscores enormous technical difficulties inherent in recutting hard stones. Domitian/Titus In contrast to the numerous portraits recut to represent Nerva or Trajan, only two portraits of Domitian were recarved into the images of his brother and predecessor, Titus. These reworked likenesses were intended as posthumous commemorations of Divus Titus and are likely to have been recut shortly after Domitian’s overthrow, either in the reign of Nerva or early in the reign of Trajan as the result of Titus’s enormous popularity during his lifetime and subsequent deification. By celebrating the memory of Titus through recarved portrait dedications, Domitian’s successors could reaffirm the continuity of the principate, and concomitantly dishonor the memory of the condemned brother Domitian.90 The well known portrait of Titus inserted into a togate statue in the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican originally depicted Domitian (cat. 5.5).91 The reconfigured likeness combines elements of both Titus’s Erbach and Herculaneum types, but several traces of Domitian’s coiffure are still evident: the locks over the left temple have been almost entirely retained, as have the orientation and shape of the locks over the forehead. However, the facial features have been substantially adjusted. Exaggerated veristic effects in the new image of Titus, such as the deep furrows in the
Inv. 61160. Just as Vespasian honored the memory of Claudius, while dishonoring that of Nero. 91 26, inv. 2282.
90 89


Museo, inv. 14. 87 Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. SK 1154. 88 Museo Archeologico, inv. 249.


chapter six Domitian/Constantinian Emperor The late recarving, over two hundred years after Domitian’s assassination, of a head in Boston (cat. 5.30; fig. 129a-d) confirms the warehousing of the emperor’s images.94 As with the late recarved portraits of Caligula and Nero, this portrait was clearly well-preserved and accessible to fourth century sculptors who reworked it into the likeness of a Constantinian emperor (perhaps one of the sons of Constantine). Although the portrait has been subjected to a substantial modern cleaning and retouching in the area of the face, likely carried out in the eighteenth century, the generally classicizing tone of the image, as well as the handling of the iris and pupils as a two connected dots within semi-circles secures a Constantinian date for the recarving.95 Although the coiffure has been altered, especially over the forehead, the coma in gradus formata arrangement on the top of the head and the orientation of the locks over the forehead, which are parted over the right eye, have been retained from a type 3 portrait of Domitian. The coiffure finds compelling parallels in a portrait of Constantine in Madrid96 and a portrait of one of Constantine’s sons in Rome, although the locks in these portraits are not as dramatically undercut as in the Boston head.97 The new identification of the recarved portrait was undoubtedly secured by an accompanying inscription. As part of the Ludovisi collection, the piece may have been discovered in the area of the Villa Ludovisi. If so, the portrait’s reuse and display may be considered within the context of the imperial gardens of the Horti Sallustiani.

forehead and the emphatically modeled surfaces of the face, distance the portrait from more idealizing representations of Domitian, and associate Titus with the more realistic likenesses of his father Vespasian, as well as the veristically handled portraits of Nerva. Although its volume has been reduced, the head still appears to be too large for the togate body (proportions of roughly 1:6), which suggests that this statue body was not the one on which the original portrait of Domitian was displayed. The portrait of Domitian must have been removed from its original context, recarved, and ultimately reused on the current togate body. The statue’s discovery in 1828, together with a representation of Julia Titi,92 in gardens near the Lateran Baptistery suggests that it may have been displayed on the imperial properties which had been expropriated under Nero in this area of the city. A second portrait of Titus, in the Galleria Chiaramonti of the Vatican, was also refashioned from a likeness of Domitian (cat. 5.6.; fig. 128ad).93 Remains of Domitians’s type 3 coiffure are clearly visible on each side of the head. The treatment of the hair on the back of the head, with its cluster of curls on the nape of the neck is a standard feature of Domitian’s sculpted type 3 images but not of those of his elder brother. As with the Braccio Nuovo portrait of Titus, the waved arrangement on the top of the head has been partially worked away, giving the head a flat appearance when seen from behind. The Chiaramonti likeness eschews the more pronounced realism of the Braccio Nuovo togatus and retains more of the classicism of the original Domitianic image. Both of these reworked portraits are posthumous likenesses of Titus and attest to his abiding popularity and importance for the continuum of imperial authority and legitimacy. The sculptural reconfiguration of the Vatican portraits was greatly facilitated by the strong resemblances in physiognomy and coiffure which existed between the brothers.

92 Musei Vaticani, Braccio Nuovo 108, inv. 2225; M. Donderer (1991-92) 244, no. 27. 93 31.20, inv. 1687.

Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 89.6. For instance, a portrait of Constantine in Schloss Fasanerie, FAS. ARP. 54, (H.P. L’Orange [1984] 70, 11819, pl. 49a-b, and a Constantinian portrait in New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 67.107, (H.P. L’Orange (1984) 87, 133, pl. 58a-b. 96 Prado, inv. 125-E; S.F. Schröder (1993) 296-8, no. 89, with figs. (with earlier literature). 97 Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala dei Magistrati 1, inv. 843; Fittschen-Zanker I, 155-56, no. 124, pl. 155 (with earlier literature).


domitian Domitian/Augustus Two of Domitian’s gem portraits were also recut in antiquity, including a sardonyx head refashioned retrospectively into a representation Augustus, which was discovered in 1980 at Saragoza in Spain (cat. 5.47). 98 The head is worked for insertion into a miniature bust, perhaps of marble or bronze.99 Remnants of Domitian’s type 3 coiffure are still clearly visible over both ears and at the back of the head. The locks over the forehead have been recarved into a version of Augustus’s Prima Porta hairstyle. As with the portraits of Caligula and Nero refashioned to Augustus, overt signs of aging, which can be a feature of Augustus’s posthumous images, have been added to the gem and consist of vertical furrows over the nose and naso-labial lines. Again, the emphatic verism of the portrait, differentiates it stylistically from the images of Domitian. Furthermore, the head evinces stylistic affinities with portraits of Trajan which suggests a Trajanic date for the recutting.100 Because of its small scale and the use of precious stone, both the original and recarved likenesses were likely displayed in public or private shrine associated with the imperial cult.101 The skill necessary for recarving such a small portrait worked in a semi-precious stone suggests that the reworking may have taken place at Rome.102 Domitian/4th Century Emperor Yet another of Domitian’s gem portraits was recarved in the fourth century. A sardonyx bust of an unidentified fourth century emperor in Paris contains several details of physiognomy and coiffure which indicate that it originally conformed to Domitian’s third portrait type (cat. 5.31; fig.


130a-b).103 The shape of the brows, nose, and mouth are also clear remnants of the original portrait. Like the marble portrait in Boston, the Paris gem attests to the preservation of Domitian’s images, in this case glyptic, prior to their recarving in the fourth century.

The Removal of Domitian’s Images Like the portraits of condemned emperor’s before him, Domitian’s images were systematically removed from public display and many were destroyed. But the removal of Domitian’s representations was also affected by the highly unusual circumstance that so many of his own images had in fact been reworked from likenesse of Nero. They must have been removed from public display and warehoused, their further recarving precluded by the fact that they had already been reconfigured. Three of the images reworked from Neronian likenesses are full length portrait statues, including the two cuirassed portraits in the Vatican (cat. 2.53; fig. 59)104 and Vaison (cat. 2.58; fig. 60ab),105 and the statue as Diomedes in Munich (cat. 2.46; fig. 60a-c).106 The Vatican statue is from Rome or its environs and was certainly removed from display following Domitian’s overthrow. Likewise, there is no archaeological evidence that the Vaison statue continued to be displayed in the theater and it is likely to have been buried or stored in a structure associated with the theater. The Munich portrait, heavily restored in the eighteenth century by Bartolommeo Cavaceppi, is reported to have been discovered in the ruins of a villa belonging to one of Domitian’s freedmen at Labicum. Political expediency would have dictated that former supporters or associates of Domitian remove his images from their homes, so the Munich portrait must have been stored at the villa following Domtian’s damnatio. The prior

Museo de Zaragoza en Tarazona 80-5-1. M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 128. 100 M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 120-23. 101 M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 128-29, also discusses the magical properties, which the Romans associated with sardonyx. 102 M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 133.


103 104

Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles. Braccio Nuovo 126, inv. 2213 (Domitian, type 1). 105 Musée Lapidaire (Domitian type 1). 106 Glyptothek 394 (Domitian type 1).


chapter six images’ previous recutting precluded further reconfiguration. Additionally, representations of Domitian reworked from likeness of Nero were removed from public display in Spain and Germany as attested by portraits in Cologne (cat. 2.42),117 Madrid (cat. 2.43)118 and Sevilla (cat. 2.56).119 The Madrid portrait was discovered at Almendilla near Cordova. Like the other portraits of Domitian recarved from Nero, the image was removed from its original context and stored or buried and the prior reworking prevented a second alteration. In contrast, the likeness from Munigua was apparently disposed of more savagely. The head was discovered with other marble fragments in an ancient well.120 The likeness may have originally pertained to a group dedication in the city’s Forum, which also honored Titus and Vespasian.121 Like the portrait of Caligula from Huelva, Domitian’s image was thrown into the well in a deliberate act of denigration with further intimations of post mortem corpse abuse.122 The reworked relief portrait in the Vatican must also have been removed from public view (cat. 2.54; fig. 68).123 Its isolated context suggests that the head was removed from the monument to which it belonged. Alternatively, the entire monument may have been dismantled or destroyed. Naturally, Domitian’s unreworked likenesses were also removed and warehoused in great numbers. A well preserved bust formerly in the Palazzo dei Conservatori was discovered along the Via Principe Amadeo on the Esquiline during excavations carried out between 1894 and 1904.124 The portrait’s find-spot suggests that it

reworking of all three portraits undoubtedly prevented them from being altered a second time. Other likenesses of Domitian reworked from Nero include two portraits in Naples (cat. 2.49; cat. 2.48; fig. 66a-b),107 and likenesses in the Terme (cat. 2.52; fig. 63a-d),108 the American Embassy in Rome (cat. 2.55; fig. 67),109 the Prado (cat. 2.44),110 Boston (cat. 2.41; fig. 64a-c),111 Vasto (cat. 2.59; fig. 65),112 Munich (cat. 2.47),113 and Stuttgart (cat. 2.57).114 One of the busts in Naples is a type 3 replica from the Farnese Collection which strongly suggests a provenance of Rome or its immediate environs.115 The portraits in the Terme, the American Embassy, and in the Prado all provide additional evidence for the removal and storage of Domitian’s images at the capital.116 The second Naples bust, a type 2 replica, is presumably from the environs of Naples. The Boston image, a replica of Domitian’s first portrait type, was discovered at the ruins of his villa in Tusculum and is likely to have originally been displayed, and ultimately warehoused on the imperial property. The statue to which it initially belonged was likely reused via the insertion of a new portrait likeness. As noted above, the stylized and linear quality of the Vasto head indicates that the original likeness and the subsequent recutting are products of a local workshop. The head attests to the removal and storage or burial of Domitian’s images in Apulia. Both the Munich and Stuttgart heads are exceedingly well preserved and provide additional evidence for the removal and storage of Domitian’s images. Like the three full-length statues, these

107 Museo Nazionale Archeologico, 6061 (Domitian type 3); and Museo Nazionale 5907 (Domitian type 2, see cat. 2.48). 108 Inv. 226. 109 Domitian type 3. 110 321-E (Domitian type 1). 111 Museum of Fine Arts 88.633 (Domitian type 1). 112 Museo Civico (Domitian type 1). 113 Glyptothek, inv. 418 (Domitian type 1). 114 Württembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. 64/28 (Domitian type 1). 115 The head is worked for insertion and is currently displayed on a modern bust. 116 All three portraits are substantially intact.

117 118

Römisch-Germanisches Museum (Domitian type 1). Museo Arqueológico Nacional, 2770 (Domitian type

119 Museo (Domitian type 1). The head is worked for insertion into a togate statue. 120 See supra. 121 W. Grünhagen (1986) 321-23. 122 The togate statue body to which the likeness belonged was undoubtedly reused. 123 Museo Gregoriano Profano 644, inv. 4065. 124 Museo Nuovo, VII.24, Inv. 1156 (Centrale Monte-

domitian may have been originally displayed in the context of the imperial gardens and residences which covered the hill.125 The Conservatori bust is one of four well-preserved images of condemned emperors discovered on the Esquiline where they were buried or stored following their removal.126 The unusual find-spot of a portrait of Domitian in Ostia suggests a rather different scenario for its preservation (fig. 131).127 This type 1 replica was discovered in the tomb of Julia Procula at Isola Sacra in March of 1938.128 Other pieces
martini 2.76), h. 0.35 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 36-37, no. 33, pls. 35, 37 (with earlier literature); C. Häuber in M. Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 177, n. 25 (with earlier literature); A.M Leander Touati (1987), 94, pl. 43.12; S.Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 52, figs. 52a-c; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 177, fig. 145; F. Johansen (1995a) 10, fig. 9. C. Häuber suggests that the Conservatori portrait is identical with the Domitian mentioned in BullCom 26 (1898) 350, no.4 and 351 and in Nsc (1898) 391 (op.cit.). The back of the head and sides of the bust form have been broken off and there are abrasions to the tip of the nose, the chin and damage to the upper edge of the right ear. If the damage to the bust form and back of the head occurred in antiquity, it would have rendered the portrait unsuitable for reuse. 125 The head is turned sharply to the left, which may indicate that the portrait originally had a pendant piece perhaps depicting Domitian’s wife, Domitia Longina; his niece, Julia Titi; his brother, Titus; or his father, Vespasian. 126 The other images represent Commodus as Hercules (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Avazzi, inv. 1120) Carinus (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 2.83, inv. 850) and Nero/Domitian, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 226 (cat. 2.52). 127 Museo, inv. 19, h. 0.30 m.; R. Calza (1964) 46-7, no. 64, pl. 37 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 33, 104, pl. 24a-b; K.T. Erim (1973) 139, figs. 10-11; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 358 (not Domitian); C. Pavolini (1983) 90; J. Pollini (1984) 548, n.7. M. Donderer (1991) 225, fig. 5. The back of the head and the lower right corner of the face of the portrait are missing and there is damage to the tip of the nose, the bottom of the left ear and the top of the right ear. A light crack runs from the right side of the lower lip through the lower left side of the face. 128 As the only surviving type 1 replica that has not been recarved from a preexisting likeness of Nero, the portrait differs slightly from the other replicas in the arrangement of the hair over the forehead, which is treated as fuller curls comparable to the portrait in Boston. The hair is generally more curly than in other examples and omits the part over the right eye. The curls are slightly parted over the outer corner of the left eye. The discrepancies of the hairstyle led M. Bergmann and P. Zanker to reject this image as a likeness of Domitian, (1981) 358. However, the portraits which they accept as Domitian’s first type vary greatly


of sculpture were uncovered in the excavations, including a portrait statue identified by inscription as Julia Procula in the guise of Hygeia, and a herm portrait of Hippocrates.129 Julius Proculus came to public prominence late in the reign of Domitian, and the tomb at Isola Sacra may belong to freedmen associated with the family.130 The representation of Domitian was possibly placed in the tomb while the family enjoyed emperor’s favor, or removed and stored there following his damnatio.131 Additionally, the removal and storage of Domitian’s images in Rome and Italy in sizable numbers is corroborated by likenesses in the Centrale Montemartini,132 the Uffizi,133 two portraits in Naples,134 and representations in Berin the arrangement of locks over the forehead and the coiffure of the Ostia head is close enough to other replicas, especially over the left temple (i.e.. Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 226 and Munich, Glyptothek, inv. 418) that it should be considered a variant of type I. In addition, the physiognomy is unmistakably Domitianic. 129 C. Pavolini (1983) 90. 130 Julius Proculus was ab actis under Domitian, and consul in 109. His sister, Julia Procula married M. Flavius Aper, consul c. 103. On Procula, see M. T. RaepsaetCharlier (1987) 390-91, no. 455; and B.W. Jones (1992) 176. 131. The Trajanic hairstyle of the Isola Sacra statue indicates that it represents a contemporary of the elite Julia Procula, who is also known to have been the Domina figlinarum Viccianarum Tonneianarum under Trajan and Hadrian, if not that woman herself; see M. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 390. 132 (Type 3), Braccio Nuovo III.12, inv. 2451 (Centrale Montemartini 2.75), h. 0.46 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 35-36, no. 32, pls. 34, 36 (with earlier literature); W. Grünhagen (1986) pl. 316, 318, 52c-d; H. Meyer (2000) 128, figs. 2356, 241. The head was formerly displayed on a togate statue, to which it did not belong, in the Villa Borghese. It has suffered minimal damage, including abrasions to the brows, eyes, cheeks, lips and chin. In addition, most of the nose has been broken off and there is slight damage to the top of the right ear. The occiput is also missing; regular chisel marks and an iron dowel in this area are indicative of a modern, rather than an ancient repair. 133 (Type 3), inv. 1914.130 h. 0.25 (head); G. Mansuelli (1961) 75, no. 74, with fig. (with earlier literature); M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 100 (modern); L. de Lachenal and B. Palma in MusNazRom 1.6, 103 (ancient). From the Ludovisi Collection. A section of the right eyebrow, the nose, upper lip, chin, and ears are modern restorations. 134 (Type 2), Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 150216, h. 0.245 m.; M. Wegner, Flavier 24, 29, 89, pl. 17ab (Titus) (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann and P.


chapter six nally dedicated to Domitian at Ephesus.138 After Domitian’s assassination, the temple was rededicated to Vespasian.139 The head was discovered broken in four pieces, together with a left hand and forearm, during excavations carried out in 1930.140 Based on the accumulated fragments, R. Meriç has suggested that the statue was a cuirassed standing portrait of the emperor.141 The acrolith may have been overturned as a result of Domitian’s damnatio, thus damaging the head and other body parts, which would then have been stored, with several fragments eventually being reused in the later wall.142 The statue was definitely not reused as a likeness of Vespasian as has been suggested. Within the temple itself, Domitian’s name was also erased on statue bases which had been dedicated by various cities in Asia Minor and Vespasian’s name was substituted.143 Ironically, the storage and eventual reuse of the fragments from Domitian’s portrait insured their survival when the rest of the temple

lin,135 Cambridge,136 and Chatsworth House137 which are all substantially well preserved and exhibit no evidence of deliberate vandalization. The Conservatori image, worked for insertion into a cuirassed statue, would have been yet another militaristic representations of the emperor, underscoring their importance in Domitianic visual propaganda. Domitian’s representations were also removed from public display and warehoused throughout the provinces, as attested by four type 3 portraits. A colossal image from Ephesus was originally inserted into an acrolithic statue and subsequently stored in the cryptoporticus of the temple origi-

Zanker (1981) 360-63, figs. 35a-d. The portrait was discovered at Minturno. A crack runs through the head and the portrait has suffered severe damage to the left side of the forehead, the left eye, the nose, lips and lower left section of the face. However, the random nature of this damage indicates that it is not the result of intentional mutilation. The portrait is worked for insertion and was removed from its original context as a result of Domitian’s condemnation; its bust or statue was then reused with the addition of a new portrait head. (Type 2), Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 6058; h.; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 103 (with earlier literature); B. Candida (1967) 33, r. 2, figs. 3-4; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 360, fig. 33a-d; W. Grünhagen (1986) 315, pl. 52b; A. Amadio, in MusNazRom 1.9.1, 199;H. Meyer (2000) 136, fig. 255. As part of the Farnese Collection, the piece is from Rome or its environs. The portrait includes a corona civica. The head has undergone extensive modern cleaning. Only the tip of the nose has been restored. 135 (Type 3) Staatliche Museen, R 28 (351), h. 0.495 m.; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 37, 98 (with earlier literature); A. Amadio, MusNazRom 9.1, 198; The portrait allegedly comes from Sans Souci, and was part of the Polignac Collection and is likely to have been acquired in Italy. The head has been inserted into a bust to which it does not belong. 136 (Type 3), Fitzwilliam Museum, GR 14.1850, h. 0.309 m.; L. Budde and R. Nicholls (1964) 68, no. 108, pl. 36 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 99; Fittschen-Zanker I, 36, no. 32, n. 4. The portrait was presumably acquired in Italy. It has undergone a harsh modern cleaning. The nose of the portrait is lost and the tenon has been cut down for insertion into the bust form. 137 C.C. Vermeule (1995) 132, pl. 41.3; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 99-100 (with earlier literature); D. Boschung, H. Von Hesberg and A. Linfert (1997) 55-56, no. 49, pl. 45.

138 Museum, inv. 670. h. 1.20 m.; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 26, 86, pl. 15b (with earlier literature); J. Inan and E. Rosenbaum (1966) 6768, no. 27 pl. 16.1; H. Blanck (1969) 85; H. Vetters (197275) 59-60; D.E. Strong (1976) 136, fig. 75; S.R.F. Price (1984) 129, 140, 178, 182, 255, cat. no. 31. R. Meriç (1985) 239-41, pls. 20-23; S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 49; N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 137, fig. 5.22; D. Kreikenbom (1992) 213-5, no. 3.93, pl. 19. Although this portrait has been identified with Titus, the hairstyle is clearly a colossal interpretation of the coiffure of Domitian’s third portrait type. In addition, inscriptions from the site mention only Vespasian and Domitian. 139 S.R.F. Price (1984) 140, 255, cat. no. 31. 140 The fragments had been incorporated into later masonry work. Further excavations in 1969-70 uncovered other fragments of the statue also used as spoilia in a later wall at the west of the cryptoporticus; among the new fragments were: the right hand and forearm, the right knee and shin, the left knee, the right foot and the left foot; see, R. Meriç (1985) 239-40, pls. 22-23. 141 R. Meriç (1985) 240. 142 R. Meriç (1985) 240. The image was definitely not reused as a likeness of Vespasian as suggested by S.R.F. Price (1984) 255, (with earlier literature). The portrait bears no resemblance to images of Vespasian, and its survival suggests that it was in a secure location during the Arab destruction of iconic images. In addition, fragments of a colossal hand, which does not belong to the statue of Domitian, were discovered in 1969-70, and they may belong to an image of Vespasian, R. Meriç, op.cit. 240. 143 S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 49.

domitian and its sculpture were destroyed during the Arab conquest of the city. A likeness from Pergamum provides additional testimony for the removal of Domitian’s images in Asia Minor,144 while heads in Constantine145 and Kotor146 attest to the removal and storage of portraits in North Africa and Dalmatia (Montenegro). Both the Pergamum and Constantine portraits are worked for insertion, and the busts or statues to which they originally belonged were undoubtedly reused through the addition of new portrait likeness, likely of Nerva or Trajan. A portrait in Munich is a provincial variant in dark local stone of type 3.147 The unusual stone used for the image suggests that it was of local craftsmanship and provides evidence for the removal of Domitian’s images in Germany, an area which had formerly witnessed his most important military exploits. Although poorly preserved and badly weathered, a head in the Getty also exhibits no indications that it was intentionally vandalized (fig. 132).148 At some point subsequent to its creation, the portrait was retrofitted with two square mortises over each temple in order to anchor


some type of headgear. The portrait is likely to have been removed from its original context following Domitian’s assassination. Two pharaonic basalt images in Mantua149 and the Louvre150 were also removed from public display. The pharaonic imagery, as well as the hard stone from which these Egyptianizing statues were carved may have mitigated against their reworking.151 The provenance of the Louvre head is unknown, but the Mantua statue, as part of the Gonzaga Collection, is likely from Italy, perhaps displayed in a temple dedicated to Isis or Serapis; the cults of both deities were promoted by Domitian.152 The archaeological contexts of two other representations of Domitian, in the Terme (fig. 133)153 and Copenhagen (fig. 134),154 indicate that they were disposed of in a much more violent fashion with overtones of poena post mortem accorded the corpses of condemned criminals. The

144 Now lost; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 38, 105, pl. 33a-b (with earlier literature). The head is worked for insertion. Although the back of the head has been sheared off, the portrait was remarkably wellpreserved. The nose was entirely intact and there was only minor damage to the surface of the face. 145 Musée Gustave Mercier; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 38-9, 102, fig. 33c; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 366, figs. 38a-b (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 35. S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 51; H. Meyer (2000) 128, fig. 238. The portrait is worked for insertion and has suffered only minimal damage; the nose and parts of the rims of both ears have broken off. 146 Lapidarium, h. 0.52 m; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 38-39, 101, pl. 33d; O. Velimiroviƒðiñiƒ in N. Cambi et al. (1988) 89- 90, no. 82, with figs. (with earlier literature). The portrait was discovered at Kumbor in in 1951. The tip of the nose is broken and there are slight abrasions to the left brow. 147 Residenz, Antiquarium, inv. 271, h. 0.265 m.; E. Weski in G Hojer, ed. (1987) 229-30, no. 110, pl. 150; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 99, fig. 47. 148 Inv. 76.AA.72, h. 0.40 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1986) 5978, figs. 1.a-d; R.R.R. Smith (1988) 163, no. 41, pl. 29.34 (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann (1998) 242, pl. 44.36.

149 Palazzo Ducale; Z. Kiss (1975) 293ff, pls. 84, 88c; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 350, fig. 24. The arrangement of comma shaped locks over the forehead reflect Domitian’s type 1 coiffure. 150 Départment des Antiquités Egyptiennes A. 35 (N. 36); h. 0.316 m.; H. Kyrieleis (1975) 177, no. H12; R. Bianchi in R. Bianchi, ed. (1988) 249-50, no. 137, with figs. The pattern of locks over the forehead, with part over the right eye and a section of locks reversing direction over the left eye, clearly places this portrait within Domitian’s second type. The arrangement of locks strongly recalls that of the type 2 portrait in Naples with corona civica. The shape of the mouth, with thin upper lip and fuller lower lip, are also paralleled in other sculpted portraits which are not egyptianizing in character. 151 Several relief representations of Domitian as Pharaoh in purely Egyptian style, identifiable by cartouche, survive from Egypt: Edfu, Esna, Dendera, Kom, Omblo, Philae, and Dêt-esch-schelwît, M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 39, ns. 29, 30, 98. 152 And also by Vespasian and Titus, see B.W. Jones (1992) 100-101. 153 Inv. 115191, h. 0.42 m.; A.A. Amadio, MusNazRom 9.1, 198-99, no. R 150, with figs. (with earlier literature). The portrait is worked for insertion but into a draped bust or statue. The nose appears to be an ancient repair. 154 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 664, inv. 768; B. Andreae (1977) fig. 67; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 365-66, figs. 36a-c; W. Grünhagen (1986) 315, n. 13; A. Amadio in MusNazRom 1.9.1, 199. F. Johansen (1995a) 38, no. 8, (with figs., with earlier literature); The portrait is a conflation of Domitian’s second and third types and includes an acanthus leaf motif at the base of the bust form.


chapter six eliminated the need for their completion. A type 3 portrait from Athens is only blocked out on the top and back of the head and never received the final surface finish for the face and neck.158 Similarly, work on a portrait from Asia Minor, now in Los Angeles, must have been interrupted by Domitian’s overthrow (fig. 136a-d).159 Although it is only summarily blocked out, the portrait reproduces physiognomical details of Domitian’s third portrait type, including the shape of the mouth and chin. Like the Athenian portrait, the completion of the Getty head was forestalled by Domitian’s assassination.160 Numerous extant cuirassed statue bodies are dated to the Flavian period and many must have originally belonged to images of Domitian. Cuirasses in the Vatican,161 the Palazzo Farnese,162 the Louvre,163 London,164 Auch, 165 Boston,166 Los Angeles,167 and Merida168 either lack their
158 National Museum, inv. 345, h. 0.35 m.; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 37-38, 97, pl. 32cd (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 365; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker assign this head to Domitian’s second portrait type. However, the mature physiognomy of the portrait. as well as the locks which have been carved over the right temple and behind the right ear, clearly mark the portrait as a replica or variant of Domitian’s third type. The section over the left eye which reverse the right to left orientation of the locks over the forehead may simply be a provincial variant or a contamination from Domitian’s second portrait type. 159 J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 75.AA.26, K.P. Erhart, J. Frel, Sandra Knudsen Morgan, and S. Nodelman (1980) 46-49, with figs.; J. Frel (1981) 50, no. 34, 124, with figs.; J. Chamay and J.L. Maier (1982) 111, pl. 20. 160 For unfinished Roman sculpture, see also H. Blanck (1966) 171-4. 161 Galleria delle Statue, 248; K. Stemmer (1978) 80, no. VII 10; C. Vermeule (1980b) 4; R. Gergel (1994) 199203. 162 K. Stemmer (1978) 94, n. 244; C. Vermeule (1980b) 4. 163 Inv. MA 1150; R. Gergel (1994) 199; K. de Kersauson (1996) 76-79, no. 28, with figs. 164 British Museum, inv. 1895 (currently displayed at Hampton Court); R. Gergel (1994) 203. 165 Inv. MA 1154, Cliché Samuel, dépôt du Musée du Luovre au Musée des Jacobins; R. Gergel (1994) 199; K. de Kersauson (1996) 80-83, no. 29, with figs. 166 Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 99.346; K. Stemmer (1978) no. VII 11, pl. 54.2; C. Vermeule (1980b) 4. 167 J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 71.11.436; K. Stemmer (1978) no. VII 12, pl. 55.3-5; C. Vermeule (1980b) 4. 168 Museo Arqueologico, inv. no. 1.138; K. Stemmer (1978) no. III 6, pls. 18.2-19.1; C. Vermeule (1980b) 5, fig. 40.

under life-sized bronze bust of Domitian in Copenhagen was reportedly found in the Tiber in 1891 and consequently recalls the derogatory treatment of the miniature bronze and marble images of Caligula from the Tiber, or the bronze portrait of Nero from the River Alde. Like the miniature busts of Caligula, the small-scale of the image suggests that it was originally associated with a public or private shrine dedicated to the imperial cult. The Terme portrait, which includes a corona civica is severely corroded. It was discovered at the mouth of the Rio Martino (near Lake Fogliano and Lake Monaci), into which it may have been thrown in response to the damnatio. A well preserved bust in Toledo also depicts Domitian and, if ancient, must have been warehoused or buried after Domitian’s condemnation (fig. 135).155 The image is a replica of Domitian’s third portrait type and presents many highly polished surfaces, especially in the area of the face. The bust form itself is somewhat unusual for the Flavian period, as is the handling of the baldric and the drapery covering the left shoulder.156 The marble is likely to be Parian which would accord well Domitian’s known predilection for Greek marble.157 Two marble portraits of Domitian were never finished, presumably because his assassination
155 Museum of Art, 1990.3, h. 0.596 m.; R.M. Berkowitz (2001) 258, fig. 111; S.E. Knudsen, C. Craine and R. H. Tykot (2002) 237-38. 156 The baldric is wider than most and the fold at the bottom is unusual although it does occur in a portrait of Trajan (Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 22, inv. 276). The coiffure also does not exactly correspond to any other type 3 likenesses. The Toledo portrait includes a clump of locks which reverse direction over the inner corner of the left eye which occurs in no other Domitianic portraits except the type 1 likeness from Ostia (inv. 19). The hair at the back of the head also omits the swirl of curls that appear in the altered bronze equestrian portrait from Misenum and the head worked for insertion from the Villa Borghese (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Braccio Nuovo 3.12, inv. 2451, Centrale Montemartini 2.75) or the Domitian/ Titus in the Galleria Chiaramonti of the Vatican, 31.20., inv. 1687 (cat. 5.6). In general, the hair is also more exuberantly modeled than in most of the other replicas. 157 Suet. Dom. 8.5 records the Pentelic marble used in Domitianic constructions including the Arch of Titus, the Temple of the Flavian Gens, and the reconstruction of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus; S. E. Knudsen, C. Craine, and R.H. Tykot, (2002) 237-38.

domitian portrait heads entirely, or have had new portraits added. It is reasonable to assume that these statues were eventually reused after the original likenesses of Domitian were removed, and images of one of his successors, most probably Nerva or Trajan, were substituted.169 The upper section of a cuirassed statue in the Vatican which includes a representation of Romulus and Remus with the she wolf also originally seems to have been combined with a portrait of Domitian and formed a pendant with a cuirassed statue likely representing Titus or Vespasian.170 The Domitianic portrait must have been transformed immediately after Domitian’s condemnation and eventually reused in the early third century at the baths of Caracalla where both cuirass fragments were found. The heroic nude statue popularly identified as Pompey in the Palazzo Spada may provide additional evidence for the removal of Domitian’s images.171 It essentially reproduces the same fourth century statuary type of Diomedes as the portrait of Nero reworked to Domitian in Munich (cat. 2.46; fig. 62a-c).172 The current head is a modern restoration or ancient and doesn’t belong. The unusual and elaborate fibula with a gorgoneion placed on the drapery of the Palazzo Spada statue is likely intended as a deliberate reference to Minerva, Domitian’s patron goddess. D. Facenna has persuasively argued that the gorgoneion, taken in conjunction with the statues strong Flavian stylistic traits, argue for an identification of the piece as a portrait of Domitian.173 The statue was discovered near the Theater of Pompey in the Campus Martius, an area


of extensive Domitianic building activity. The statue may have originally been displayed in the Theater. As a result of Domitian’s damnatio, the original portrait features of the statue may have been deliberately damaged, or alternatively, the head may have been removed from the statue.174 Like the Cancelleria Reliefs, the body itself may have been stored in a sculptor’s workshop in the Campus Martius or in structures associated with the Theater. Five gem portraits of Domitian have survived.175 All are type 3 likenesses created during Domitian’s tenure as Augustus. A sardonyx cameo, formerly in the Ponsonby Collection, depicts busts of Domitian and Domitia or Julia Titi in profile being carried aloft on the back of an eagle.176 The imagery of apotheosis and the inclusion of Domitia or Julia Titi precluded the recutting of the piece. Furthermore, the overlapping portraits would have made recarving extremely difficult. Similarly, the highly unusual transgendered iconography of three gem portraits in Paris, which depicts Domitian in the guise of his protectress Minerva, undoubtedly prevented their recutting.177 A sardonyx bust, again in Paris, also represents Domitian.178 As noted above, the
In either case, reworking of the statue would have been difficult. If the features were intentionally mutilated, recarving would have been ruled out, and any attempt to replace the head entirely would have been visually unsatisfactory as the join of head to neck, or neck to torso would have been easily discernible as a result of the statue’s nudity. 175 In addition to the gem portraits, Domitian’s likeness has been preserved on terracotta lamps, H.G. Bucholz (1961) 176, figs. 4-5. 176 Whereabouts currently unknown, h. 10 cm.; Exhibition of Ancient Greek Art, Burlington Fine Arts Club (London 1904) 62, no. 101, pl. 64; W.R. Megow (1987) 220, no. A 108, pl. 36.5. The published photograph of the gem is not clear enough to permit secure identification of the female figure; see E.R. Varner (1995) 202, n. 77. 177 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles 22; Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles 26, 12.0 x 5.5 cm.; Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles 128, 13.4 x 8.1 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 108, 124 138, 143, 221-24, nos. A 110-111, 113, pl. 37.1-2,4 (with earlier literature); H. Guiraud (1994) 94, fig. 2. The identification of emperors with female deities is unusual, but not unique, see for instance the reverse of an aureus which may depict Diana with the portrait features of Augustus (J. Pollini (1990) 353-4, fig. 29b). 178 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, inv.

D. Gergel (1994) 203-4, Galleria Chiaramonti, 5.5, inv. 1254; P. Liverani (1989), 20; P. Persicce (2000) 39, no. 13 (with earlier literature). 171 C. Fea (1812) 12-13; J.J. Bernoulli (1891) 61-62; F. Magi (1945) 104-5; D. Facenna (1956) 173-201., pls. 4146; H. von Heintze in Helbig4II, no. 2008; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 107; H. Niemeyer (1968) 111, no. 114; K. Fittschen (1970) 551, no. 114; F. Coarelli (1971-72) 31, pl. 38b; C. Maderna (1988) 79, 170, 199, 217-18, no. UD 4, 219, 221. 172 Glyptothek 394. 173 D. Facenna (1956).



chapter six while Domitian attended his father and brother riding on a horse.183 The statue of Domitian depicted in the relief is far too emblematic to have been included in the destruction of Domitian’s portraits or the removal of his images from public display. However the actual bronze statue depicted in the relief, which decorated Vespasian’s arch would certainly have been removed and melted down. Domitian’s inscriptions and commemorative monuments were also included in his damnatio. Domitian’s name is erased approximately 40% of the 400 surviving texts and inscriptions which mention him, and stands as a major attempt to eradicate his memory directly comparable to the removal of his portraits from public display.184 Three honorific inscriptions from Olympia were reused as architectural blocks in a building associated with the athletes’ guild.185 Indeed, Domitian’s name may even have been erased in a manuscript of Plutarch’s De Pythiae oraculis.186 As for architectural monuments, several arches are known to have been erected by Domitian in Rome, so many in fact, that a pasquinade was inscribed •kPgà (enough) on one of the emperor’s arches as a pun on arcus (arch).187 According to

cameo in Minden has been recarved from a likeness of Nero, which surely prevented a second reworking (cat. 2.45; fig. 69).179 All four of these gem portraits may have been preserved in ancient collections as much for their value as semiprecious stones as for their value as curiosities, representative of an emperor who had been overthrown and whose memory had been condemned. A type 3 portrait of Domitian is also preserved on a silver mirror cover in Karlsruhe.180 A small armed figure of Minerva, intended as a representation of the palladium, is shown in front of Domitian’s neck. Beneath the bust form “+KA?C?K” has been stamped, indicating that the cover belonged to or was created by Euporos. The Greek name of the owner or artist suggests an eastern provenance for the piece. The intrinsic value of the silver probably prevented Euporos from destroying the cover, and, as a private person, it may have been too much trouble to have the piece melted down and recast. In addition to the sculpted, bronze, and glyptic portraits of Domitian which survived destruction, more emblematic representations of the emperor may still be extant on the Arch of Titus. An arch is depicted on the panel from the interior bay which represents the spoils of Jerusalem being carried in the joint triumph of Vespasian and Titus. The relief arch is probably a representation of an actual arch dedicated to Vespasian in honor of the victories in Judaea.181 It is topped by statuary which includes two quadrigae with single riders (evidently Titus and Vespasian) and a single rider on horseback (Domitian).182 Josephus’s account of the triumphal procession confirms that Vespasian and Titus rode in quadrigae

no. B 11318, 5.1 x 4.6 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 110, 121, 220-21, no. A 109, pl. 37.2. 179 Minden, Domschatz, cat. 2.X. 180 Badisches Landesmuseum; M. Taddei (1967) 41; M.R.-Alföldi (ND) 15-22.; K. Vierneisel and P. Zanker (1979) 20, with fig.; Fittschen-Zanker, I, 36, n. 4, 37, n. 5; W. Sch?rmann (1985) 41, pl. 3; W.R. Megow (1989) 44647, fig. 4. 181 F.S. Kleiner (1990) 129-130. 182 F.S. Kleiner (1990) 129.

Bell.Iud. 7.152. On Domitian’s inscriptions see, RE 6 (1909) 2580, 2593: A. Martin (1987); E.S. Ramage (1989) 703-4, and n. 172; J.M. Paillier and R. Sablayrolles (1994) 16-17; on the erasure of Domitian’s name in Spain, see B.W. Jones (1992) 112-3, n. 86; H.I. Flower (2001) 630. The majority of erased inscriptions are from Rome, Spain, and the eastern half of the empire, see S. Levin (1985) 285, n. 15. The Domitianic obelisk now incorporated into Bernini’s Four Rivers Fountain in Piazza Navona in Rome does not have Domitian’s cartouch erased, almost certainly because audiences in Rome would have been unable to read it and those in charge of erasing his name in inscriptions at the capital may not have even recognized the significance of the cartouche(s) on the obelisk, J.M. Paillier and R. Sablayrolles (1994)16. 185 AE (1995) 1082, 1406; H.I. Flower (2000) 60, n. 19; H.I. Flower (2001) 627, n. 12. 186 S. Levin (1985) 285-7. Although it is highly implausible that the erasure was carried out by Plutarch himself, as suggested by Levin, it does, however, seem likely that the erasure was effected by a librarian or the owner of the manuscript. 187 Suet.Dom. 13.2; F.S. Kleiner (1985) 90, n. 85; F.S. Kleiner (1990) 127, n. 1.


domitian Dio, these numerous arches were torn down as a result of Domitian’s condemnation by the Senate.188 The foundations of one of these arches, which spanned the Clivus Palatinus, are preserved and some of its sculptural decoration was also recovered.189 The arch served as a monumental entrance to the Domus Flavia and does not appear to have been entirely dismantled after Domitian’s downfall as there are post-Trajanic modifications to its foundations. Any dedicatory inscription or imagery explicitly associated with Domitian, however, must have been altered. The Domitianic trophies reused by Severus Alexander in his monumental nymphaeum on the Esquiline and currently displayed on the balustrade of the Campidoglio may also derive from one of Domitian’s dismantled arches.190 An honorific inscription now in Philadelphia set up by the inhabitants of Puteoli has been entirely obliterated.191 The dedication likely formed part of a statue base for portrait of Domitian and enough traces of the original lettering have been preserved to allow H.I. Flower to reconstruct its text: IMP CAESARI DIVI VESPASIANI F DOMITIANO AVG GERMAN PONT MAX TRIB POT XV IMP XXII COS XVII CENS PERPET P P COLONIA FLAVIA AVG PUTEOLANA INDVLGENTIA MAXIMI DIVINIQVE PRINCIPIS VRBI EIVS ADMOTA192


68.1; F.S. Kleiner (1985) 94; F.S. Kleiner (1990) 128. A female torso, often identified as an aura, Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 124697; E. Paribeni (1953) 15, nor. 5; H. von Steuben, Helbig4 III, 165-166, no. 2256; J. Papdapoulos, MusNazRom 1.1, 204206, no. 127; S. de Maria (1988) 292; two fragments of a triumphal procession, Rome, Vatican, Cortile Belvedere 88, inv. 1022, and Galleria Chiaramonti 46.1, inv. 1936; G. Koeppel(1984) 4, 22-24, nos. 3-4; on the arch, see also F. Villedieu in F. Villedieu, ed. (2001) 67-68. 190 J.M. Pailler and R Sablayrolles (1994) 42. 191 Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Museum, inv. MS4916, h. 1.63 m; M. Cagiano de Azevedo (1939) 45-56; K.A. Waters (1969) 397; C.C. Vermeule (1981) 231, no. 192 (with figs.); D. Kinney (1997) 143-4, fig. 18; H.I. Flower (2000) 60-61, figs. 1-2; H.I. Flower (2001).


Early in Trajan’s principate, the erased inscription was subsequently reused with its back carved with reliefs of praetorians, two of which are preserved. A second relief in Berlin, belongs with the Philadelphia relief and together they formed part of a Trajanic monument, perhaps the Porta Triumphalis, celebrating Trajan’s completion of the Via Antiniana in 102, which extended and coopted the Via Domitiana.193 The total eradication of the original Domitianic inscription, rather than just the emperor’s names or titles is highly unusual and suggests that the inhabitants of Puteoli wished to cancel all trace of their homage for and relationship to the overthrown emperor.194 In addition, the gap of time which occurred between the erasure of the inscription, which is likely to have taken place shortly after Domitian’s assassination, and the carving of the Trajanic reliefs indicates that the erased inscription may have remained on public display during Nerva’s principate as a visual marker of Domitian’s posthumous humiliation and repudiation. Whether the obliterated inscription continued to be displayed with a disfigured or altered portrait of Domitian, or if it was entirely deprived of its original statue is impossible to know. Domitian built on a scale reminiscent of Nero, and like Nero, Domitian’s major building programs are often characterized in negative terms as the excessively ambitious work of an autocrat.195 Nevertheless, his public projects were certainly expropriated by his successors. Most notably, the forum, which he built to link the Forum Romanum, the fora of Caesar and Augustus and his father’s Templum Pacis, was renamed in honor of Nerva, despite the fact that it retained all of its Domitianic character, such

(2000) 61; (2001) 629. Pergamonmuseum, Sk 887; no. 127, with fig.; H.I. Flower (2001) figs. 4-5. 194 M. Cagiano de Azevedo (1939) 51; H.I. Flower (2001) 630. 195 See, for instance, Plut, Pub.15.5. B.W. Jones has noted that these characterizations have been continued by modern scholars (London 1992) 96, and n. 129.



chapter six several fragments, together with its inscribed base, between 1966 and 1971. The work is a provincial variant of Domitian’s first type and includes a light beard.202 It is significant that inscription on the base of the statue was not erased in antiquity; it reads:
[A]ŒJ@6[V]J[@D]" 5"\[F"D"] )@:4J4"<Î< Eg$"FJÎ< 'gD:"<46Î< Ò *0:@H 6"24 y XDTFg< ¦B4:g802X<J@H )4@(X<@L J[@]Ø +Û68X@LH J@Ø )4@(X<@L.203

as the temple dedicated to Domitian’s protectress Minerva and the reliefs of the colonnade which refer to Miverva, Domitian’s virtus and attempts at moral reform.196 In addition, Domitian may have initiated the plans which culminated in Trajan’s major building projects, including his forum, markets and baths.197 It has also been suggested that the great Trajanic frieze reused on the interior bay and the attic of the Arch of Constantine is in fact a Domtianic monument.198 However, A.M. Touati has shown that the recut portrait from the adventus section of the Frieze has certain correspondences with Trajan’s portraiture, in particular the Opferbildtypus which also occurs on the Column of Trajan.199 In addition, a Domitianic dating of the Frieze seems highly unlikely given the sculptural style of the monument and the programmatic nature of the reuse on the arch which is intended to link Constantine with esteemed emperors of the second century.200

The Continued Display of Domitian’s Images In contrast to the statues of Domitian which were warehoused, or the images thrown into the Tiber or the Rio Martino, a togate portrait from the theater at Aphrodisias was never removed from public display.201 The statue was discovered in
196 Nerva completed the forum which was unfinished at Domitian’s death, Suet.Dom.5.2. The dedicatory inscription on the temple read: Imp. Nerva Caes. Aug. pont. max./ trib. pot. II cos. IIII [p.p. aedem Mi]nervae fecit (CIL 6.953); L Girard (1981) 23 J. 6-7. On the iconography of the reliefs, see E. D’Ambra (1993)and (1991) 243-48, esp. 248 for Domitian’s moral legislation. 197 Aur.Vict. Lib.Caes. 13.5; J.C. Anderson (1983) 1024; J.E.Packer 1 (1997) 3-4. 198 W. Gauer (1973); A. Claridge (1998) 274. 199 A.M. Touati (1987) 91-5. 200 J. Elsner (2000). 201 Formerly, Geyre (Aphrodisias) depot, 2.11 m.(total), 0.30 m. (head); K.T. Erim (1973) 135-42, figs. 1-9; J. Inan and E. Alföldi-Rosenbaum (1979) 89-91, no. 38, pls. 30.2, 32; 32, 271.1; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 350; K.T. Erim (1986) 84; H.R. Goette (1988) 449-64; H.R. Goette (1989) 128, under no. 314 (possibly a private portrait); K.T. Erim in C. Roueché and K.T. Erim, eds (1990) 153, fig. 1; K.T. Erim in R.R.R. Smith and K.T. Erim, eds. (1991) 82, no. 17, fig. 17. The head is not completely finished at the back and it is likely that the statue was

The statue itself is badly weathered and its fragments were excavated together with other sculptural and architectural debris from the original scaenae frons decoration indicating that the image was not removed from the theater after Domitian’s overthrow, but rather remained on public display until the theater’s final destruction in an earthquake which occurred probably during the reign of Heraclius (A.D. 610-41).204 The survival of this statue strongly suggests that Domitian’s damnatio was not actively pursued at Aphrodisias, in contradistinction to the evidence for Nero’s damnatio from the Sebasteion. The exemption of Domitian’s statue from the destruction, removal, or recarving which generally befell his images elsewhere, underscores the autonomy which individual cities enjoyed in responding to damnationes, as well as Domitian’s genuine popularity in Greece and Asia Minor.205

Conclusion: Entrenched Practices and a new Paradigm Domitian’s condemnation was officially mandated by the senate, as Nero’s had been previdisplayed in a niche located in the scaenae frons or all of the theater complex, K.T. Erim (1973) 138. 202 M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 350. 203 K. T. Erim suggests that this might partly be a result of the inadequate prominence which is accorded Domitian’s name in the inscription (1973) 138. 204 The destruction is dated by K.T. Erim to the reign of Heraclius (A.D. 610-41)(1986) 87. 205 One city in Asia Minor, Sala, even issued coins under the name Sala Domitianopolis; on Domitian’s popularity in the East, see B.W. Jones (1992) 110-12.

domitian ously. The widespread nature of the surviving evidence for Domitian’s portraits into images primarily of Nerva and Trajan indicates that sculptural recycling had become an entrenched response to imperial damnationes by the end of the first century. Almost every single one of Nerva’s extant marble and bronze images have, in fact, been reworked from Domitianic representations. The reconfigured portraits continued to exert an important stylistic impact and the Getty Domitian/Nerva stands as one of the most uncompromising examples of verism from the end of the first century. As with the early condemnations, especially that of Nero, the responses to, and even acceptance of Domitian’s damnatio were by no means universal, as the army apparently resisted his condemnation and insisted that his assassins be brought to trial; some of his images, such as that at Aphrodisias, may have remained on public view.


Domitian’s images were also repressed through destruction and mutilation. The anthropomorphic rhetoric which is a centerpiece of Pliny the Younger’s description of the demolition of Domitian’s bronze portraits stands out in the literary sources surrounding condemned emperors and Pliny consciously employs it to illustrate the public’s disaffection with the murdered emperor’s personality and policies. Even more than Nero, Domitian becomes the paradigm of the overthrown tyrant in later historical sources.206 It was Domitian’s ill fortune that his regime was almost immediately succeeded by that of the Optimus Princeps, Trajan, and the two emperors were often presented as polar opposites of imperial behavior.

J.M. Pailler and Sablayrolles (1994) 23-40; P. Stewart (1999) 183.



chapter seven


Almost one hundred years intervened between the damnationes of Domitian and Commodus, and this period witnessed a profound change in the physical impact that condemnation had on imperial images.1 While removal and destruction of portraits continued, recarving of sculpted likenesses ceased to be practiced on a wide scale. Indeed, in marked contrast to the treatment of the images of Caligula, Nero, and Domitian, none of Commodus’s marble portraits were recut at the time of his condemnation.2 Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus was born on 31 August 161 at Lanuvium, the eldest surviving son of the emperor Marcus Aurelius and Annia Galeria Faustina Minor.3 In 177, Commodus was elevated to the position of co-Augustus with his father and accompanied him on his campaigns against the Marcomanni.4 Commodus succeeded Marcus Aurelius on 17 March 180 and assumed the name Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus. After his accession, Commodus brought the war with the Marcomanni to a close by signing a treaty which thus insured a period of relative peace on the German frontier. Commodus returned to Rome in October of 180. Opposition to Commodus surfaced early in his reign. Already in 182, his sister Lucilla and his wife Crispina were implicated in a plot to overthrow him.5 Commodus’s ruthless persecution of the senatorial aristocracy and his erratic and megalomaniacal behavior contributed to a growing sense of instability at the capital and throughout the empire. Commodus further scandalized the elite by performing publicly as a gladiator or charioteer and often forced members of the Senate to attend his performances.6 Much of his imperial propaganda was intended to promote his identification with Hercules.7 Rome was renamed Colonia Commodiana, Carthage renamed Alexandria Commodiana Togata, and the months of the year were also renamed to reflect Commodus’s names, titles and stress his affiliation with Hercules.8 In addition to the conspiracy involving Lucilla and Crispina, a number of other unsuccessful attempts were made to overthrow Commodus. Finally, on 31 December 192, Commodus was strangled in his bath by his wrestling companion,

Prior to the condemnation of Commodus, the Senate formally declared Avidius Cassius a hostis and confiscated his property for the public treasury (HA Marc. 24.9: sed per senatum hostis est iudicatus bonaque eius proscripta per aerarium publicum; HA Av.Cass. 7.7: qui eum hostem iudicaverant bonis proscriptis). Avidius Cassius had been proclaimed emperor in opposition to Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 175. After Cassius was defeated and killed, his head was cut off in an act of poena post mortem which apparently greatly grieved Marcus, who ordered its immediate burial (HA Marc. 25.3; Dio 71[72].27.31). Representations of Cassius would have been included in the sanctions against his memory passed by the senate. 2 Because of the hiatus in imperial condemnations during the second century, it is an exaggeration to claim, as P. Stewart does, that from the first century B.C. through the fourth century A.C. no generation had not witnessed the destruction of statues; in addition, while there is continuity in the processes associated with damnatio, as Stewart notes, there is also development over time and a shift in emphasis from sculptural recycling to disfigurement, (1999) 161, 164. 3 A twin brother, Antoninus, died at the age of four, HA Comm. 1.4. 4. HA Comm. 2.4-5; Dio 71(72).22.2; A. Birley (1966) 270. 5 On Lucilla and Crispina see, infra.


6 7

HA Comm. 2.9, 11.10-12 See W.H. Gross (1973); C.C. Vermeule (1977) 289-

8 Dio 72(73).15.1-5; HA. Comm. 8.5-9; 11.8-12.9; F. Grosso (1964) 360-63, 365-67, 369-71;A. Birley (1988) 8. The months were called: Amazonius, Invictus, Pius, Felix, Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Hercules, Romanus, Exsuperatorius.

commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina the athlete Narcissus, at the instigation of a group of conspirators which included the emperor’s mistress Marcia, his chamberlain Eclectus, the Praetorian Praefect, Quintus Aemilius Laetus, and Commodus’s successor, Publius Helvius Pertinax.9 Pertinax immediately convened the Senate and they affirmed his position as augustus and voted to abolish the memory of Commodus (impuri gladiatoris memoria aboleatur).10 Commodus was declared a public enemy11 and his honors were revoked.12 His name was erased in inscriptions, especially on buildings which others had actually constructed but for which he took credit (sed nomen eius alienis operibus incisum senatus erasit).13 His statues were to be pulled down (detrahantur)14 and abolished (abolendas statuas).15 On the 2nd of January, Commodus’s statues were, in fact, overthrown (deiecerentur).16 In recounting the mutilation of Commodus’s statues, Dio employs a graphic and anthropomorphic rhetoric, emphasizing that they were also torn limb from limb.17 Dio’s treatment of Commodus’s portraits as surrogate bodies directly recalls Pliny’s anthropomorphic description of the destruction of Domitian’s images, or Dio’s own account of the attacks on Sejanus’s likenesses. The Senate and populace wished to desecrate Commodus’s corpse and drag it to the Tiber with a hook, as was custom9 A. Birley (1988) 82-88 reviews the evidence for the conspiracy. 10 HA Comm. 19.1. Earlier in the second century, Antoninus Pius had prevented the Senate from passing official sanctions against the memory of Hadrian, and instead, insisted on his deification; HA Had. 27.1-2.6. 11 B@8X:4@l, Dio 73(74).2.1, as well as hostis patriae...hostis deorum...hostis senatus, HA Comm. 18.3-5. 12 honores detrahantur, HA Comm. 18.3. 13 HA Comm. 17.6. See also HA Comm. 20.5: nomenque ex omnibus privatis publicisque monumentis eradendum and Victor Caes. 17 Commodus: Senatus qui ob festa Ianuariorum frequens primo luci convenerat, simul plebes hostem deorum atque hominum appellavere radendumque nomen sanxere. His name is erased on selected inscriptions, as for instance the partial erasure in line 6 of the Aes Italicense (an edict of A.D. 177 on prices of munera and gladiators) of et Luci Commodi; CIL 2.6278=ILS 5163; D.G. Kyle (1998) 84, n. 52, 240, n. 88. 14 HA Comm. 18.12-14. 15 HA Comm. 20.4-5. 16 HA Pert. 6.3. 17 73.2.1.


ary in the poena post mortem of capital offenders.18 However, the body had been secretly deposited in the Mausoleum of Hadrian19 and a funerary inscription was eventually erected.20 Dio further states that the populace desecrated Commodus’s portraits as they wished to abuse his corpse.21 The Senate also proclaimed that he had been buried wrongfully and without appropriate authority, reinforcing Commodus’s position as hostis and societal outcast with no right to proper burial.22 In addition, the ancient accounts of Commodus’s condemnation consistently employ the language of the arena concerning the disposal and abuse of corpses of noxii.23

Commodus’s Portrait Typology Commodus enjoyed five portrait types during his lifetime.24 His first official type corresponds to the period when he held the rank of Caesar, 175-77. Commodus is depicted as a boy with a full head of curly hair, wide arching brows, heavy lidded eyes, a rather small nose which dips in at the bridge, a full mouth with down turned corners and receding lower lip and a small, somewhat squared chin. Commodus’s type 2 and 3 portraits were not widely disseminated. Commodus’s second type is concurrent with his tenure as co-Augustus with his father from 177-180. This type is similar to the first type, although the coiffure is slightly more full and curly and the facial features older, and the nose is now straight and aquiline. Commodus’s type 3 portraits were intended to com-

18 HA Comm. 17.4; 18-19, quoting Marius Maximus; Dio 74.2.1. 19 HA Comm. 20.1-2 and Dio. 74.2. See alsoA. Birley (1988) 89-90. 20 CIL 6.992. 21 74.2.1. 22 HA. Comm. 20.2..3-4. Families of condemned hostes had to petition for the right of burial and their graves were not protected by the res religiosae; Ulpian Dig. 48.24.1; Paul. Dig. 47.12.4, 48.24.3; C. W. Hedrick (2000) 106-7; E.R. Varner (2001) 59-60. 23 D.G. Kyle (1998) 224-8. 24 For the portrait typology of Commodus, see FittschenZanker I, 81-90, nos. 74-78.


chapter seven Commodus in 197.26 Nevertheless, it is extremely significant that four extant images of Commodus do, in fact, exhibit clear signs of intentional mutilation. Restorations to a bust of Commodus’s first type in the Vatican mask deliberate and severe ancient damage (cat. 6.4; fig. 137).27 The bust is draped with a paludamentum and was reputedly discovered at Ostia.28 The left brow and eye, the nose, the mouth, the ears, and portions of the coiffure have all been restored in marble. The portrait was attacked at Ostia in response to news of Commodus’s overthrow, and, as in the past, its defacement was intended to signal visually the repudiation of Commodus, and support for the new leader, Pertinax. An extremely fragmentary replica of Commodus’s fourth type in the Antiquarium on the Celio, also owes its deplorable state of preservation to deliberate destruction (cat. 6.2.).29 The likeness is badly weathered, the facial features have been entirely obliterated, and the bottom of the head is missing. A second, heavily restored replica of Commodus’s type 4, in the Museo Capitolino, has also been intentionally damaged after his overthrow (cat. 6.3).30 Like the Vatican portrait from Ostia, this image is heavily restored. The entire face is modern, replacing the original portrait features which must have been severely mutilated or completely destroyed. The marked contrast between the severe damage suffered by facial features and the well preserved remainder of the head, including the ears and the deeply drilled coiffure, underscore the intentionality of the image’s destruction. The Caelian and Capitoline portraits further attest to the mutilation of Commodus’s likenesses in the capital and its environs. A type 4 portrait in Phillipi has also been vandalized (cat. 6.1; fig. 138).31 The portrait has
26 HA Did. 2.6-7; HA Comm. 17.11-12; HA Sev. 11.3-5, 12.8; Dio 75(76).7.4, 8.1. A.M. McCann (1968)) 62; M. Hammond (1975) 203-9;A. Birley (1988) 95, 127. 27 Galleria Chiaramonti, 3.13, 706, inv. 1235. 28 C. Fea (1819) 89. 29 Rome, Antiquario Communale sul Celio, without inv. no. 30 Stanza degli Imperatori 30, inv. 445. 31 Museum, inv. 469.

memorate his accession in 180. The hairstyle remains full and curly and generally straight across the forehead. Likenesses of this type include a slight beard and moustache intended to make the young emperor appear more mature. The third type is succeeded rapidly by the fourth, which is the most widely disseminated of his types. On coins, this type replaces Commodus’s third type sometime in late 180, perhaps at the time of his adventus to Rome in October. Again, the coiffure is full and curly, with at least two sections of curls hanging down onto the forehead. Most of the ears are left uncovered. The facial features are slightly heavier and older than the earlier types. The eyes continue to be characterized by heavy full lids. Naso-labial lines often frame the mouth. The beard and moustache are much more luxuriant and curly, and recall those of his father, Marcus Aurelius, his grandfather Antoninus Pius, and his brother-in-law, Lucius Verus. Commodus’s fifth and final type was created late in his reign. It appears on coins from 191192, with the emperor often wearing a lion skin. In contrast to the fourth type, the hair is more upswept and locks no longer hang down on the forehead. The coiffure often covers the tops of the ears. The moustache is generally more full, while the beard slightly shorter. This type, with its shorter, upswept hair emphasizes Commodus’s identification with Hercules, and also recalls the later types of his father, Marcus Aurelius.25

The Mutilation and Destruction of Commodus’s Images The effect of the damnatio on the sculpted portraits of Commodus is complicated by the fact that his memory was rehabilitated under Didius Julianus and Septimius Severus, and that the latter actually compelled the Senate to deify

25 Marcus is the first emperor to wear his hair upswept over his forehead in a kind of anastole intended to recall images of Jupiter, other mature male divinities, and Alexander the Great.

commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina sustained major damage to the forehead, the brows, and both eyes, while the nose and mouth have been almost entirely obliterated. Most of the portraits surviving sensory organs have been attacked in the t-shaped format seen in other intentionally disfigured images. In addition, the other surfaces of the portrait at the side, back and top of the head are well preserved and have not been damaged. One surviving coin of Commodus, from Silandus, has also been attacked and effaced. 32 The Phillipi head, as well as the Silandus coin, are graphic indicators that the deliberate mutilation of Commodus’s images was not limited to the environs of Rome, but extended into the provinces. Commodus’s subsequent rehabilitation and deification suggest that such mutilation of his representations may have been generally confined to the brief three month reign of Pertinax.


The Transformation of Commodus’s Images Unlike the images of the condemned emperors of the first century, Commodus’s portraits were not recarved immediately after his overthrow. Commodus’s rehabilitation and deification under Septimius Severus undoubtedly prevented wholesale reuse of his portraits. Also, Commodus’s immediate successors were bearded which added enormous technical difficulties to the recarving process. Given the hiatus in imperial condemnations between Domitian and Commodus, late second century sculptors would no longer have been as adept at recutting imperial images into convincing new likeness as had their first century counterparts. Commodus/Pupienus? However, two replicas of Commodus’ fifth type, in the Vatican (cat. 6.6; fig. 139a-c)33 and Mantua

(cat. 6.5), were recarved in the third century. The coiffure of the Vatican portrait, which is worked for insertion into a cuirassed statue, has been drastically cut down. Short a penna locks have been incised in place of Commodus’s original full and curly hairstyle. The beard has also been shortened. The combination of short, incised coiffure, with a more plastically modeled beard finds parallels in portraits from the second quarter of the third century, most notably those of the emperor Pupienus.34 The colossal head in Mantua has been similarly altered.35 The portrait is worked for insertion and includes a lion skin. Like the Vatican head, the coiffure, visible beneath the lion skin over the forehead, has been cut back and the beard has been reduced. The reworking of the Mantua likeness is starkly evident when it is compared to the unaltered portrait of Commodus as Hercules in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (fig. 141) which includes a full and curly coiffure beneath the lion’s skin. The striking resemblances between the reworked Vatican and Mantua portraits, as well as the colossal scale, and lion skin of the Mantua head, may indicate that both portraits have been recut to portray the same imperial individual, possibly Pupienus. Pupienus reigned for only four months (April-July 238), together with Balbinus. Six portraits of Pupienus have survived from antiquity.36 Although these portraits depict a man considerably older than the recarved Vatican and Mantua likenesses, there are correspondences in the long oval shape of the face, the way in which the cranium bulges out over the ears, the arch-

K. Regling (1904) 144. Galleria Chiaramonti 27.8, inv. 1613 (formerly Magazzini, 690).


34 As in the examples in the Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 50, inv. 477, Fittschen-Zanker I, 126-27, no. 106, pls. 130-31 and the Musei Vaticani, Braccio Nuovo, 47, inv. 2265, S. Wood (1986) 34, 41, 128, pl. 3.4. 35 inv. G 6812/1. 36 All of the portraits are presumably from Rome. In addition to the portraits in the Museo Capitolino and Vatican already cited, the other portraits are: Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 457, inv. 788, V. Poulsen (1974) 183, pls. 306-7; Oslo, Private Collection, S. Sande (Rome 1991) 85-86, no. 70, pl. 69; Paris, Musée du Louvre, MA 1020, H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 244, pl. 76a; Rome, Museo Torlonia, 588, H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 245.


chapter seven nape of the neck. The head exhibits the long, oval shape which characterizes likenesses of Commodus and would appear to have been retained from the original.40 Like the Chiaramonti and Mantua portraits, Commodus’s rehabilitation complicates the context surrounding its reuse, that is whether it had been retrieved from a warehouse, or was still displayed publicly in the Tetrarchic period.

ing brows and heavy lidded eyes. The addition of an accompanying inscription may have rendered the Vatican and Mantua portraits acceptable likenesses of Pupienus. As a result of the turbulent political situation during the reign of Pupienus and Balbinus, speed may also have been a motivating factor in the reworking. Regardless of whether or not the Vatican and Mantua portraits were recarved to represent Pupienus or a private individual of the third century, their coiffures indicate that they were reused approximately sixty years after the overthrow of Commodus. The portraits may have been warehoused following Commodus’s assassination and never subsequently re-erected after his rehabilitation. Their accessibility and the third century fashion of a short coiffure worn with a full beard, may have further prompted their reworking. Alternatively, the portraits may have never been removed from display, or have been part of the Commodus’s rehabilitation under Septimius Severus. In any case, the reconfiguration of the portraits appears to be entirely a product of practicality or economics rather than ideology. Commodus/Licinius? A fragmentary cuirassed portrait of a tetrarch in Side also contains compelling evidence that it has been recarved from an earlier representation of Commodus (cat. 6.7; fig. 140a-c).37 The head was originally carved in one piece with the torso. The type of cuirass, with double row of straps on the sleeve of the lorica is Antonine in date,38 but details of the portrait head, including the short coiffure with incised locks, the short, incised beard, and the geometric handling of the facial features are clearly Tetrarchic and are perhaps intended as a likeness of Licinius.39 In its initial incarnation, the statue likely depicted one of the Antonine emperors and traces of an original, longer and fuller hairstyle are still visible on the

The Removal of Commodus’s Images Prior to his rehabilitation, images of Commodus were also removed from public display. The great number of portraits of Commodus which have survived from antiquity indicate that his portraits were warehoused and probably re-erected under Septimius Severus. And indeed the archaeological context of the well known portrait of Commodus as Hercules in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, confirms the warehousing of his images after his overthrow (fig. 141).41 Originally part of a sculptural group which included two flanking tritons, the portrait is a replica of Commodus’s fifth and final type and is remarkable for its fine state of preservation.42 The bust is supported on a plinth of alabaster, which is ancient and almost certainly belongs with the portrait. The original, highly polished surfaces of the marble are still preserved. Minimal restorations to the portrait include small

37 38

Museum, inv. 35 (formerly no. 315). J. Inan and E. Rosenbaum (1966) 86. 39 H.P. L’Orange (1984) 117.

J. Inan and E. Rosenbaum (1966) 87. Sala degli Arazzi (ex Galleria degli Orti Lamiani 12), inv. 1120, h. 1.33 m.(excluding alabaster plinth); FittschenZanker I, 85-90, no. 78, pls. 91-94 (with earlier literature); R. Hannah (1986) 357-42, pl. 22.1-2; M. Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 53-55 (M. Cima), 90-91, figs. 58-60 (M. Bertoletti), 173, n. 14, 176-77 (C. Häuber), 202 (C. Usai); N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 216-17, fig. 8.36; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 277, figs. 243-44. The emperor wears a lionskin, knotted on his chest and holds a club in his right hand and the apples of the Hesperides in his extended left. The bust is supported by a pelta shaped shield with a gorgoneion. Two cornucopiae, which rest on a globe with zodiacal signs, surround the shield. Two kneeling amazons, only one of which is preserved, flank the globe and shield. R. Hannah has suggested that the zodiacal signs refer to the month of October, renamed Hercules by Commodus, further reinforcing the Herculean imagery of the portrait, (1986) 337-40. 42 Fittschen-Zanker I, 68.


commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina sections of the lion skin, the index, middle and little fingers of the right hand, and sections of the shield.43 The bust and tritons were discovered on 23 December 1874 in a cryptoporticus of the Horti Lamiani on the Esquiline, together with other pieces of sculpture.44 None of the sculpture found in the cryptoporticus postdates the Commodan period and all of it is remarkably well preserved. It seems likely that the portrait was removed from view and stored in the cryptoporticus after Commodus’s overthrow.45 During Pertinax’s tenure as Augustus, it would have been neither acceptable nor politically expedient to display images of Commodus in the imperial gardens on the Esquiline (now the property of the new emperor), especially a highly charged representation of the emperor as Hercules Romanus. The rest of the statues are not homogenous in style or date and do not form any sort of coherent sculptural program. The cryptoporticus itself was restored and richly decorated under Caligula.46 By Commodus’s reign, the cryptoporticus appears to have been used for the storage of sculpture no longer being displayed in the imperial complex. The latest archaeological find in the cryptoporticus is a fistula with an inscription referring to Severus Alexander.47 Severus Alexander built a bath complex near the cryptoporticus and the discovery of the pipe reinforces the hypothesis of a later more utilitarian function for the structure. The


bust of Commodus as Hercules is one of four portraits of condemned emperors discovered in the area of imperial residences on the Esquiline.48 The well documented archaeological context of the portrait of Commodus provides invaluable information concerning the removal and storage of images on imperial property as a result of damnatio memoriae. Another well-preserved portrait of Commodus, a replica of his first type, was discovered in 1701 with other Antonine portraits near the imperial holdings at Lanuvium.49 The bust length portrait depicts the young Caesar with a paludamentum. Minor sections of the drapery, some of the coiffure, and the tip of the nose have been restored. The bust was found together with as many as six other portraits50 including: a bust of Antoninus Pius;51 a fragmentary bust of Faustina Maior;52 a bust of Marcus Aurelius;53 a bust of Faustina Minor;54 a bust of Lucius Verus;55 and a bust of “Annius Verus.”56 Recent excavations in the area indicate that the ancient structures in which these portraits were discovered were part of a bath complex.57 It is unclear whether the bust of

43 The left Amazon is entirely missing, while the right Amazon lacks her head, right arm and left forearm. The bottom of the right cornucopia is also gone. The Tritons are well preserved from the waist up and their lower bodies may have been executed in a colored marble. Traces of gilding are still detectable on both Tritons. The left arm and right forearm of the right triton are missing, as are the right arm and left forearm of the left triton. 44 On the discovery of the portrait, see, R. Lanciani (1897) 407; R. Lanciani (1901) 220; and C. Häuber in M.Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 173, 176-77. 45 P.E. Visconti first proposed this theory shortly after the sculptures’ discovery, (1875) 3-15. 46 M. Cima in M. Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 54-55. 47 M. Cima in M. Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 54-55. The inscription on the fistula reads: STATIONIS PROPRIAE PRIVATAE DOMINI N. ALEXANDRI AVG.

In addition to the Commodus as Hercules, two portraits of Domitian: Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 226, cat. 2.52, and Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 2.76, inv. 1156, supra; and a portrait of Carinus, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 2.83, inv. 850, infra. 49. Stanza degli Imperatori 60, inv. 454, h. 0.74 m.; ex Collection Albani, A 32; Fittschen-Zanker I, 81-83, no. 74, pl. 86-88, Beil. 96 (with earlier literature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 273, fig. 241; T. Weiss, ed. (1999) 123, no. 26, 150, no. 75. 50. Fittschen-Zanker, I, 65, n. 1. 51 Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 26, inv. 446, Fittschen-Zanker I, 63-67, no. 59, pls. 67-69. 52 Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 27, inv. 447, Fittschen-Zanker III, 13-15, no. 13, pls. 15-16. 53 Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 29, inv. 450, Fittschen-Zanker I, 68-69, no. 62 pls. 69, 71, 73. 54 Perhaps to be identified with Rome, Museo Capitolino, Galleria 56, inv. 250, Fittschen-Zanker III, 21-22, no. 20, pls. 27-29. 55 Probably to be identified with Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 31, inv. 452, FittschenZanker I, 79-81, no. 73, pls. 84-86. 56 Fittschen-Zanker IV, no. 28. 57 N. Cassieri, “La cosidetto Villa degli Antonini a Genzano,” lecture delivered in October 1989 at the Università di Roma.



chapter seven faces stand in stark contrast to the finishes used elsewhere on the relief, but the discrepancy is not visible when the relief is viewed from below.61 The left arm and side of Marcus Aurelius have also been reworked and, as a result, they appear truncated and unrealistically foreshortened. Commodus accompanied his father in the triumphal chariot, as co-celebrant in the triumph of 176 which commemorated the victories over the Marcomanni and Quadi,62 The entire lower half of the second column at the proper right of the temple door has been recut and establishes the height of the missing figure of Commodus.63 Commodus’s image has been entirely chiseled out of the relief. Originally, the goddess Victory extended a laurel wreath in her left hand over Commodus’s head; the wreath was erased together with Commodus, and, as a result, her arm is awkwardly extended over the empty space at Marcus’s left, and the fillets of the excised wreath are left dangling in front of the far right column. The eradication of Commodus from this panel, which was originally designed as an overt glorification of the military achievements of the father and son, constitutes a powerful manifestation of abolitio memoriae.64 Quite literally, all visual trace of Commodus has been removed from this panel, and concomitantly, his military glory and links to his revered father, Marcus Aurelius, have been posthumously canceled and revoked. Commodus has been similarly eradicated from the Liberalitas relief on the Arch of Constantine.65
61 62

Commodus was removed from display after his damnatio, stored, and then returned to display after his rehabilitation or whether, like the portraits of Caligula from Crete and Iesi, and the boyhood portraits of Nero from Velleia and Rusellae, it continued to be displayed as part of the larger group dedication, despite the damnatio. The most compelling and dramatic evidence for the removal of Commodus’s images occurs in the series of relief panels honoring his father, Marcus Aurelius.58 Figures of Commodus have been entirely eradicated in the Triumph panel in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (fig. 142a-c) and the “Liberalitas” (largitio/congiarium) panel from the attic of the Arch of Constantine (fig. 143a-b).59 The triumph panel exhibits numerous signs that it has been extensively recut.60 The two column bases at the proper right of the temple facade in the background of the relief are depicted differently than those at the left; in addition, the steps have been incorrectly extended beyond the front of the building, along its right flank. Chisel marks visible below the steps and to the left of Marcus Aurelius document the removal of the figure of Commodus in this area. These roughened sur-

58 Eight of the panels were reused in the early fourth century on the attic of the Arch of Constantine and three panels were preserved until the early sixteenth century in the church of S. Martina in the Forum Romanum and are now displayed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori. A fragmentary twelfth panel with a portrait of Marcus Aurelius exists in Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (701, inv. 1471). M. Cagiano de Azevedo’s theory that the panels reused on the arch of Constantine all originally honored Commodus instead of Marcus Aurelius is impossible to maintain in view of the fact that the figure of Commodus has been entirely excised from one of these reliefs, the largitio panel (1953-54) 207-10. 59 I.S. Ryberg (1967) (with earlier literature); E. Angelicoussis (1984) 141-205 (with earlier literature); G. Koeppel (1986) 47-76, nos 23-34 (with earlier literature); E. La Rocca, ed.(1986) 38-52, pls. 1-3, pls. 23-47; S. De Maria (1988) 303-5, no. 88, pls. 79-81; A. M. Sommella, ed (1990) 12, with fig. (Triumph panel); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 288-95, figs. 256-62. 60 The panel depicts Marcus Aurelius as triumphator riding in a chariot. A flying Victory crowns the emperor and a trumpet player points to an arch through which the triumphal procession is about to move. A temple, perhaps that of Fortuna Redux, is shown in the background above the emperor’s chariot.M. Cafiero in E. La Rocca, ed. (1986) 39.

E. Angelicoussis (1984) 152, n. 52. On the joint triumph HA Marc. 16.1 and Comm. 2.35; 12.4-5; E. Angelicoussis also supplies numismatic evidence, (1984) 152. 63 As examined by A. Claridge, E. Angelicoussis (1984) 152. 64 See F. Vittinghoff (1936) 64-74. 65 Marcus Aurelius is depicted sitting on a sella curulis. A figure wearing a tunic stands in front of the emperor and assists with the distribution of money. A togate figure stands behind the emperor at his left. Two additional togate figures are represented directly behind the emperor. The base upon which the figure at the proper left stands may indicate that both of these togati are intended to represent statues, although this is far from certain (H. von Heintze [1969] 662-74; E. Angelicoussis, [1984] 158). The emperor and attendant figures are depicted on a raised platform with a colonnade at the back. Garlands are suspended between

commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina A largitio, jointly distributed by M. Aurelius and Commodus in 177, shortly after the joint triumph of December 176, doubled the customary sum of money and was intended as a spectacular celebration of the successful conclusion of the German campaigns, Commodus’s first consulship, and his assumption of the tribunician powers.66 Like the triumph panel, this relief contains clear indications of its alteration. Beside Marcus on the platform is the claw foot of a second sella curulis and the remnants of Commodus’s own foot. In addition, much of the togate figure at the far left of the platform has been recut. The relief height is much lower along the figure’s right side and most of the lower half of the body. The left hand is disproportionately large and the shoulders are too narrow for the size of the head.67 The drapery in the recut areas is also more schematically rendered and more cursorily finished than the rest of the figures in the panel. The togatus in the background behind Marcus Aurelius and to his right has also been recut. The drapery of this figure, below the knees, is in lower relief and more roughly carved. The recut areas of these figures allow the original position of Commodus to be established with some certainty. Marks caused by a small pick-axe between the feet of the figure at the left of the platform, provide further evidence for the excision of Commodus from the relief.68 As with the triumph panel, the remnants of Commodus’s foot and sella curulis, as well as the awkward passages occasioned by the recarving would not have been readily discernible if the relief were seen from below. Again, the complete obliteration of Commodus graphically attests to his abolitio memoriae. In both panels, the visual record of historical events has been entirely rewritten: the joint triumph is altered into a single triumph, and Commodus’s participation in the liberalitas of 177 is effectively rescinded.


Strong evidence exists that portraits of Commodus were also erased from the imperial imagines which decorate military standards in two additional panels from the attic on the Arch of Constantine. Imagines in the Lustratio and “Submissio” (clementia) panels appear to have been deliberately defaced and may originally have represented Commodus as Caesar (figs. 144145).69 In the imago from the Lustratio panel, the bust of Commodus is cuirassed and includes a paludamentum. The bust form in the “Submissio” panel is less well preserved, but also appears to be cuirassed and with a paludamentum. In both cases, the facial features of these imagines have been deliberately obliterated.70 The destruction of Commodus’s imagines additionally underscores the meticulous care which was taken to remove all visual trace of the condemned emperor from the reliefs.71 The nature of the monument or monuments for which the Aurelian panels were originally intended has long been surrounded by scholarly controversy.72 Nevertheless, E. Angelicoussis has clearly demonstrated the difficulties inherent in maintaining that the reliefs came from two separate monuments.73 Almost certainly the reliefs come from a single monument, most likely an arch.74 Antonine column capitals reused on the

the columns. In the foreground of the relief three men, a woman, and two children are represented receiving the emperor’s largesse. 66 HA Marc. 27.4-5,Dio 71(72).32.1, and E. Angelicoussis (1984) 157. 67 E. Angelicoussis (1984) 156. 68 E. Angelicoussis (1984) 156.

69 As first proposed by M. Wegner (1938) 180-86; E. Angelicoussis (1984) 169. J. Ruysschaert (1962-63) 120-21 and I.S. Ryberg (1967) 3, 40-41, 62 and refute Wegner’s theories, but largely on reasons of date and protocol in regard to the use of imperial portraits on standards, rather than the fairly convincing evidence of the imagines themselves. It seems entirely probable that portraits of Commodus as Caesar could have been used, either alone or in conjunction with other imperial portraits, on standards during his father’s reign. Commodus was appointed Caesar in 166. 70 The defacement of these imagines is readily apparent when they are compared to other imagines in which the faces have survived. 71 The defacement of the imagines of Commodus, predicts the treatment of Geta’s imagines on standards depicted on the Arch of the Argentarii. 72 For a review of earlier scholarship on the monument or monuments, see E. Angelicoussis (1984) 159-74. 73 E. Angelicoussis (1984) 159-98. 74 E. Angelicoussis’s theories involving a tetrapylon erected to Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, for which twelve panels honoring Commodus were entirely destroyed


chapter seven literary or archaeological evidence has survived for an arch erected to Marcus Aurelius in Rome.76 The possibility cannot be discounted that, like the Cancelleria Reliefs, the reliefs were never installed on the monument for which they were intended. The reuse of the eight reliefs on the Arch of Constantine indicates that, if the hypothetical arch had been erected it was either in a grave state of disrepair, entirely destroyed, or deliberately denuded of its sculpture at the time of the erection of the Arch of Constantine between 312 and 315. It is just as possible that the panels were taken from a depot in which they had been stored when it became clear that the arch for which they had been created was never going to be completed. The reliefs celebrate events which took place as late as 177 (the joint liberalitas) and the erection of the arch may have been delayed by the return of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus to the German frontier. Upon Marcus’s death in 180 and Commodus’s return to the capital, the function of the reliefs and the arch may have been supplanted by the sculpted column which Commodus posthumously commissioned for his father. Like the reliefs, the column commemorates Marcus Aurelius’s German victories. The Historia Augusta explicitly states that Commodus did not complete building projects initiated by Marcus, and this may be further evidence that the putative arch was never constructed.77 At the time of Commodus’s death, there may have been a renewed attempt to use the panels, thus accounting for the expurgation of Commodus from the reliefs. The political climate under Septimius Severus who fostered the rehabilitation of Commodus’s memory, may have made the expurgated reliefs impossible to reuse. In any case, whether the reliefs were in place on a monument, or in storage, great care was taken immediately after his assassination to remove all visual references to Commodus.

Arch of Constantine and in the Porticus Deorum Consentium in the Roman Forum, as well as the panel reliefs, could have belonged to this putative arch, probably erected in 177 or slightly later.75 If the reliefs were in place on the hypothetical arch, it would have created logistical problems for the artists charged with removing the images of Commodus and recutting the reliefs, thus accounting for the somewhat awkward results on the Triumph and Liberalitas panels. However, no reliable numismatic, epigraphic,

as a result of his damnatio, are unwieldy. Her arguments concerning directional theory do not hold up under close scrutiny. Based on study of the Arch of Trajan at Benevento, she has formulated a strictly symmetrical theory concerning the position of the emperor in relief panels decorating an arch (i.e, for every panel in which the emperor looks towards his right, there should be a corresponding panel in which the emperor looks towards his left). Unfortunately, the Benevento arch is the only preserved arch which follows this theory. Later arches, such as the arches of Septimius Severus in the Forum Romanum, his arch at Lepcis Magna, and the Arch of Constantine do not conform to this theory. In addition, it seems highly unlikely that half of the arch’s relief decoration depicting Commodus would have been entirely destroyed, while that commemorating Marcus Aurelius was left on the monument ( [1984] 174-198). Rather, it seems much more likely that the monument was decorated with twelve panels, for which eleven are preserved intact, and a fragment of the twelfth is in Copenhagen. In nine of the preserved panels, Marcus Aurelius faces the proper left, and in the remaining two, plus the Copenhagen fragment he faces right. The direction which the emperor faces, and the placement of the panels on the putative arch may have been intended to lead the viewer around and through the monument. If a single bayed arch is posited, six of the left hand facing panels could be used in the attic (two on each facade, and one on each short side) encouraging the viewer to follow the emperor’s direction around the arch. Thus the entire attic would be read from right to left, all the way around the arch, recalling a continuous frieze or a line of text. A right hand and a left hand panel would flank each bay, encouraging the viewer to enter the bay. Within the bay itself, a right and a left hand facing panel would decorate each interior wall, inviting entry through the bay from the principal facade. Such a hypothetical reconstruction employs all the preserved relief decoration and does not rely on possibly lost panels. The column of Trajan uses the direction of the sculpture to encourage the viewer to walk around the monument counterclockwise and re-enact the funerary circumabulatio. It is more than likely that the column had some impact on the Aurelian panels. 75 On the column capitals, see P. Pensabene in P. Pensabene and C. Panella, eds. (1999) 33-5.

A problematic and fragmentary inscription which reads: “because, surpassing all the glories of the greatest emperors before him, having wiped out or subjugated...” ILS 374 may refer to or belong to an arch voted by the senate in 176; A. Birley (1966) 271-2. 77 Comm. 17.7 : nec patris autem sui opera perfecit.


commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina Representations of Commodus were also featured on the Column of Marcus Aurelius.78 The Column’s was begun in 180 and completed by 193.79 Although the reliefs refer to Marcus’s German campaigns, they have not been rendered with the same degree of historical specificity as their counterparts on the Column of Trajan. The more generic aspect of the scenes depicted on the Aurelian column make the identification of individual episodes problematic. The reliefs are also not as well preserved as those on the Column of Trajan, which further complicates the accurate identification of specific scenes and figures. However, scene 42 may represent Commodus’s assumption of the toga virilis, which occurred at the battlefront on 7 July 175 .80 Marcus Aurelius is depicted laying his right hand on the head of a smaller figure. The smaller figure may be Commodus. The scene is very badly weathered and it is impossible to determine if Commodus’s portrait features were deliberately defaced, recarved in antiquity, or left intact. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the figure, if Commodus, was not entirely removed, as in the Aurelian panels. A figure of Commodus may also have been represented on the reliefs which originally deco-


78 C. Caprino, A.M. Colini, G. Gatti, M. Pallottino, and P. Romanelli (1955) (with earlier literature); G. Becatti (1957); G. Becatti (1960); G. Koeppel (1981) 501-3 (with earlier literature); E. Angelicoussis (1984) 144; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 295-301, figs. 263-68. 79 CIL 6.1585 = ILS 5920. 80 HA,Marc. 22.12, Comm. 2.2; Dio, 71(72).22.2; J.W. Morris (1952) 41; C.C. Vermeule (1956) 316. This may have been the only scene in which Commodus appeared. The section of the column before this scene probably refers to events prior to Commodus’s joining the campaigns. Vermeule has correctly pointed out that the later scenes on the column, which come after the toga virilis episode are presented more as “mopping up” episodes rather than important victories, (1956) 317. Commodus appears to have deliberately played down the seriousness of the second phase of the war (177-80) in order to justify his own abandonment of the German campaigns after Marcus’s death. For this reason, the scenes from the upper third of the column are not depicted as heroic battles requiring the participation of the emperor(s) but rather as minor skirmishes (and foreign emigrations). Vermeule also points out that imperial portraits would hardly have been visible in the upper sections of the column, ibid.

rated the base of the Column.81 These reliefs were chiseled off the base during the restoration of the Column carried out by Domenico Fontana under Sixtus V. However, the original appearance of the reliefs is preserved in drawings executed by EneaVico, Francisco d’Hollanda, Giovanni Antonio Dosio, and Itienne du PJrac prior to their removal. One side of the base depicted Marcus Aurelius wearing a cuirass and paludamentum receiving or granting clemency to kneeling foreigners. A youthful, beardless figure stands between the emperor and the barbarians, and may be Commodus. The reliefs were not well preserved when Vico recorded them, and his renditions are fairly schematic. As on the column itself, it is hard to determine what, if anything, was done to the putative figure of Commodus as a result of the damnatio. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the figure from the base was not removed in its entirety. In contrast, the conspicuous absence of any mention of Commodus in the portrait dedications from the Caserma dei Vigili at Ostia provides additional confirmation for the removal of his three-dimensional images. The building housed the Vigili of Ostia and included a small room (caesareum) devoted to imperial dedications. The preserved statue bases from this room commemorate Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius (two bases), Lucius Verus, and Septimius Severus (originally dedicated to Commodus).82 It is likely that Commodus’s statue was removed from the series in response to his damnatio and never replaced after the rehabilitation of his memory. Further corroboration for the removal of Commodus’s images is provided by Herodian who records that a statue of Commodus as an archer which had been erected in front of the Curia was replaced with a representation of Libertas.83 As noted earlier, Commodus remodeled the Colossus of Nero into a representation of himself in the guise of Hercules by reconfig-

81 G. Becatti (1962) 51-3, pl. 5; G. Becatti (1972) 6668; A. Bonanno (1976) 139. 82 C. Pavolini (1983) 59. 83 1.14.9-15.1.


chapter seven modus-Hercules.90 The way in which the lionskin is knotted is also similar to the Conservatori bust of Commodus as Hercules, as well as to numismatic representations of the emperor in the guise of Hercules. The imagery on the patera emphasizes aspects of Hercules, namely hunting and athletic prowess, which Commodus particularly promoted. The style of the reliefs is also compatible with a late Antonine date.91 If the bust did represent Commodus as Hercules, then its removal suggests that Commodus’s damnatio was widespread throughout the Empire immediately following his assassination and extended to small scale domestic objects. The removal of Commodus’s sculpted and relief images is paralleled by the erasure of his name in inscriptions. Commodus’s name and titles have been excised in numerous inscriptions, including a dedication to Hercules in the Vatican in which Septimius Severus’s name has been substituted for that of Commodus.92 Severus’s name has also replaced that of Commodus in an inscription at Lepcis Magna which marked the restoration of the Forum Baths.93 The replacement of Commodus’s name with that of Severus is especially unusual in light of Severus’s deification of Commodus, and underscores again the wide variability which existed in responses to any given condemnation on the part of municipalities and individuals. A statue base from Pozzuoli, which was eventually dedicated to Crispus, originally may have honored Commodus and been erased following his damnatio.94 The erasure of Commodus’s name was also carried out in less

uring the existing head with his own likeness (Colossi autem caput demsit...ac suum imposuit); a club, a lion (or lionskin) and an accompanying inscription were also added to the statue, as identifying attributes of Commodus-Hercules.84 The Commodan additions to the colossus were removed as part of the condemnation following his assassination. E. Knauer has suggested that the Campidoglio bronze equestrian portrait of Marcus Aurelius may have had a pendant equestrian portrait of Commodus, and, if so, this likeness also may also have been removed from public view as a result of the damnatio.85 The sharp turn of both the emperor’s and the horse’s heads to the right supports Knauer’s hypothesis of a pendant image. The statue(s) may have originally decorated a complex associated with the equites singulares on the Caelian.86 If the hypothetical statue of Commodus were indeed displayed in such a military setting, it is highly likely to have been removed and melted down immediately after his assassination and damnatio. A portrait of Commodus as Hercules may also have been removed from the handle of a silver patera in Britain.87 The handle was part of a silver hoard discovered in 1747 at Capheaton, Northumberland.88 A relief bust, identifiable as Hercules because of the knotted ends of the lionskin which are still visible, has been deliberately removed from the handle. A skyphus and club flank the space where the bust originally appeared.89 M. Rostovetzeff has suggested that, since the bust had been deliberately removed from the handle, it may have represented Com-

84 HA Comm. 17.9-10; Dio 72 (73).22.3; Herod. 1.15.9; ChronPasch (Bonn ed.I 492) A.D. 187. 85 (1990) 300, n. 88. 86 E. Knauer (1990) 280-81. 87 London, British Museum; M. Rostovtzeff (1923) 100, pl. 5. 88 M. Rostovetzeff (1923) 99. 89 Below the space appear the slain bodies of the Erymathian boar, the Lernaean hydra, and the Stymphalian birds, and the serpent Ladon encircling the tree of the Hesperides, with a burning altar at its base. The medallion which decorated the center of the patera depicts Hercules and Antaeus.

M. Rostovetzeff (1923) 100. In addition a second handle from the hoard has a female bust which Rostovetzeff identifies as an empress, “perhaps Marcia,” in the guise of Juno, (1923) 100, 101, pl. 5.3; If so, this would be a highly unusual representation of a mistress of a Roman emperor, since Marcia was not, in fact, an empress (augusta), nor was she formally married to Commodus. The portrait features of the bust are fairly generic, and it may represent Crispina, rather than Marcia. 92 A.E. Gordon and J.S. Gordon (1965) 159-61, no. 252; A.M. McCann (1968)) 87, n. 16. 93 I.M. Barton (1981) 3-12;A. Birley (1988) 148. 94 Crispus’s name was also erased after his downfall, S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 50.


commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina public dedications, including a Saturn stela from North Africa.95


The Rehabilitation of Commodus’s Memory After the murder of Pertinax on 28 March 193, Didius Julianus, in his bid for imperial power, promised the praetorian guard that he would restore the memory of Commodus (Commodi memoriam resituturum)96 and re-erect the portraits which the Senate had ordered removed.97 Persuaded by Didius Julianus, the praetorians saluted him as emperor and added Commodus to his names.98 The rehabilitation of Commodus’s memory and the restoration of his monuments which took place under Didius Julianus indicate that the removal and destruction of Commodus’s portraits and inscriptions was essentially limited to the three month reign of Pertinax. Septimius Severus, the successor of Didius Julianus, avidly supported the rehabilitation of Commodus’s memory. Septimius Severus had himself posthumously adopted into the Antonine gens as the son of Marcus Aurelius. His promotion of Commodus’s memory was also clearly intended to provoke the Senate, who had failed to initially support Severus’s claims to the principate.99 Not content with merely restoring the memory of Commodus and revoking the damnatio, Septimius Severus forced the Senate to deify Commodus formally in 197, only four years after they had officially condemned him.100 The deification was publicly commemorated on coins with the legend Consecratio.101 In addition, Commodus was voted a flamen Herculaneus Commodianus and his birthday was celebrated.102 In posthumous inscriptions, Commodus is referred to as divus and the frater of Septimius Severus.103
95 96

The rehabilitation insured that many portraits of Commodus were re-erected and help to account for the large number of his extant images.104 Commodus’s name is also restored in inscriptions where it had been erased.105 In addition, stylistic and iconographic analysis suggests that four variants of Commodus’s first portrait type are creations of the Severan period. The linear and schematic treatment of the coiffure of an over life-sized portrait of the young Commodus as Sol in the Terme, is consonant with a Severan rather than an Antonine date.106 Five holes have been drilled in the coiffure, for the addition of the radiate crown of Sol. The physiognomy is also more idealized than most type 1 portraits of Commodus which further supports the identification of the Terme likeness as a divinized image of the emperor. Although badly weathered, an under life-sized head in Ostia is similar to the Terme portrait in its idealizing treatment of the facial features (fig. 146).107 The coiffure is even more schematically rendered than the Terme head and lacks the rich drillwork characteristic of Antonine portraiture. The miniature scale of the head suggests that it was displayed in a lararium.108 Septimius Severus’s promotion of the cult of the deified Commodus would have necessitated the creation of new images of Commodus for display in public or private shrines as demonstrations of loyalty for the reigning dynasty.

M.. Le Glay (1961) 47, no. 35. HA Did. 2.6. 97 Herodian, 2.6.10. 98 Dio, 74(74).12.1; Herodian, 6.11. 99 A.M. McCann (1968) 62;A. Birley (1988) 127-28. 100 HA Sev. 11.3-4; 12.8. 101 Cohen 32 294, no. 61, 359, nos 1009-1010. 102 HA Comm. 17.11-12. 103 For example, the dedicatory inscription from the

theater at Ostia, a statue base in the Cortile della Pigna of the Vatican, and CIL 8.9317. 104 In addition to the numerous sculpted portraits of Commodus which have survived, at least five ancient gem portraits can be attributed to him, W.R. Megow (1987) 23739, nos. A 137 - A 141, pls. 45.12-13, 48.8, 48.7. 105 See, for instance IG 22.1113; D.J. Geagan (1979) 407. Septimius also reinstitued the Komodeia celebrated by the ephebes at Athens, ibid. 406. 106 Magazzini, inv. 56128, h. 0.38 m.; A. Ciofarelli, MusNazRom 1.9.2, 300-303, no. R225, with figs (with earlier literature). The treatment of the coiffure at the back of the head, as long, wavy locks, is also atypical of portraits of Commodus’s first type, but recalls portraits of Geta’s first type, further supporting a Severan date. 107 Museo, Sala 6, vetrina a destra, 2, inv. 270, h. 0.105 m.; R. Calza (1977) 23, no. 21, pl. 17 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner and R. Unger (1980) 86. 108 R. Calza (1977) 23.


chapter seven Another posthumous representation of Commodus has survived in a private funerary context. Commodus appears to be represented in an imago from a standard depicted on a funerary altar of c. 205.113 A centurion of the Praetorian Guard is shown sacrificing on the front of the altar. The two corinthian pilasters which flank the centurion are elaborated with signa. The imago from the left standard apparently depicts Marcus Aurelius.114 The imago on the right is less well preserved, but depicts a male wearing the tunic of the traveling soldier, the paenula. The paenula was a favorite garment of Commodus and it is probable that he is presented in the right imago.115 The appearance of an imago of Commodus on the altar provides evidence for the use of his portraits, in private contexts, in the Severan period.

Two additional portraits, in Florence109 and Venice110 closely resemble the Terme and Ostia heads. The handling of the eyes in the Florence image, with their wide, arching brows and upward gaze strongly recalls the Terme portrait, as does the treatment of the coiffure. The coiffure of the Venice likeness is schematic and not deeply drilled. The bland expression and idealized facial features are similar to the Ostian portrait. The strong similarities in the treatment of the coiffure and youthful physiognomies of the four posthumous type 1 portraits of Commodus visually link them to contemporary type 1 portraits of Caracalla and Geta. Like the names which Caracalla adopted upon his accession as Caesar in 195 (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus), these affinities underscore the forged adoptive ties between the Severan and Antonine dynasties and help to explain the posthumous revival of Commodus’s earliest, most youthful portrait type. An under life-sized replica of Commodus’s fourth portrait type in Ostia appears to have been refashioned as an image of Commodus-Sol in the Severan period.111 Like the Terme portrait, holes have been drilled in the top of the head for the addition of the radiate crown of Sol. Discovered in the Thermopolium on the Via Diana in 1915, the image is in excellent condition and may have been displayed in the Thermopolium, following the rehabilitation of Commodus’s memory.112

Lucilla Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla, the sister of Commodus, was born on 7 March A.D. 149.116 In A.D. 164 she married her father’s co-emperor, Lucius Verus and the couple had one daughter, born in A.D. 166.117 At the time of her marriage, Lucilla received the title of Augusta. After the death of Verus in A.D. 169, Lucilla married her father’s confidant, Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus.118 After her brother’s accession to the principate, Lucilla became involved in a plot to assassinate him (Vita Commodi Quadratum e Lucillam

109 Galleria degli Uffizi, inv. 1914.195, h. 0.27 m. (head); G.A. Mansuelli (1961) 104-105, no. 128 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner and R. Unger (1980) 80. The head is displayed on a bust to which it does not belong. The piece was acquired from the Salviati Collection in 1780. 110 Museo Archeologico, Sala 10, inv. 182, h. 0.39 m.; G. Traversari (1968) 79-80, no. 62, pl. with fig. (with earlier literature); M. Wegner and R. Unger (1980) 97. The portrait is also displayed on a bust form to which it does not belong. The Venice portrait was part of the Grimani Legacy of 1586 and is presumably from Rome. 111 Ostia, Museo, Sala VI, inv. 1128, 0.24 m.; R. Calza (1977) 24, no. 23, pl. 18 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner and R. Unger (1980) 86; Fittschen-Zanker I, 84. The head is worked for insertion into a small bust or statuette. 112 A terracotta and stucco portrait, offered for sale at the Merrin Gallery in New York (June 1992) may be a depiction of Commodus as Sol. If so, its style suggests that it is also a product of the Severan period.

113 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Galleria Lapidaria, 29.163, inv. 9330; D.E.E. Kleiner (1987) 264-66, no. 120, pl. 46.34 (with earlier literature). 114 D.E.E. Kleiner (1987) 265. 115 HA Comm. 16.6; L.M. Wilson (1938) 92; D.E.E. Kleiner (1987) 265. 116 IGR 1.1509; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 67-69, no. 54. 117 Dio 72(73).4.4; Fronto, Ep. 2.4. CIL 6.360=ILS 366; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 140-41, no. 133; although only one daughter is attested historically or epigraphically, K. Fittschen has proposed that Lucilla had another daughter and a son on the basis of numismatic evidence (1982) 74-81. 118 HA Marc. 20.6-7; HA Carac. 3.8; Dio, 72(73).4.5; Herod. 1.6.4; 1.8.3.

commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina compulit ad eius interfectionem consilia inire)119 and she was exiled to Capri where she was eventually executed in A.D. 182.120 Commodus’s wife Crispina was also implicated in the conspiracy and several others co-conspirators were killed including Lucilla’s stepson, Claudius Pompeianus Quintianus and Quadratus.121


The Mutilation and Destruction of Lucilla’s Images As was the case with representations of Messalina in the first century, Lucilla’s sculpted likenesses were also intentionally attacked in response to her condemnation, as attested by a fragmentary statue of Lucilla’s second type in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (Centrale Montemartini 3.85) (cat. 6.10; fig. 147).124 Lucilla is portrayed as Venus Genetrix, with shoulder locks, diadem, and drapery slipping off her right shoulder, imagery especially appropriate after the birth of her daughter. The portrait has suffered considerable damage and is only preserved from the breast up. Modern restorations mask the destruction of the nose, mouth, chin, much of the left side of the face, and the neck. The portrait was discovered in 1901 on the Quirinal and evidence of a lead fistula from the site suggests that by 203-5, the area comprised a domus and gardens belonging to Plautianus, the kinsman and Praetorian Praefect of Septimius Severus.125 The domus contained many other sculptural remains, and the Lucilla was found together with a deliberately damaged portrait of Macrinus. The divine iconography of the image may have rendered it entirely inappropriate for continued display and especially liable to vandalism after Lucilla’s execution. After its destruction, the portrait was apparently stored at the domus. A second fragmentary portrait statue of Lucilla with divine attributes, this one depicting the Augusta as Ceres in Guelma, was also deliberately defaced after her death (cat. 6.8; fig. 148).126 Only the upper section of the statue, a replica of Lucilla’s first portrait type, has been preserved. The facial features have been attacked with a hammer and chisel, obliterating most of the right eye, the nose, mouth, and chin. The remainder of the Guelma statue is well-preserved, underscor-

Lucilla’s Portrait Typology Lucilla’s initial portrait type was probably created at the time of her betrothal in A.D. 162 or at the time of the marriage in 164.122 The type depicts her with youthful facial features and a Melonenfrisur with the hair waved gently around the face, and large, rolled plaits, usually three in number, running diagonally along the side of the head and gathered into a small bun on the nape of the neck. Lucilla’s second type depicts her with more mature facial features, including the heavily lidded eyes common in portraits of her mother, father, and brother. The Melonenfrisur is replaced with a centrally parted and waved hairstyle, drawn into a bun on the nape of the neck, intended to recall the coiffures worn by her mother, Faustina Minor. This type was likely introduced to celebrate the birth of her daughter Aurelia in A.D. 166.123

119 HA.Comm.4.1-2; see also Dio 72(73).4.5; Herod. 1.8.4-6; E.R. Varner (2001b) 120 HA.Comm.4.4, 5.7; Dio 72(73).4-6; Herod. 1.8-9. 121 HA. Comm. 4.4 also mentions Norbana, Norbanus, and Paralius and that the mother of Paralius was exiled with Lucilla. In addition, the author of the Historia Augusta indicates that the praetorian praefect, Tarrutenius Paternus was involved in the plot, Comm. 4.2. and he was also executed, perhaps in A.D. 182, Dio 72(73) 5.1-2; Herod. 1.9.1-9. The wealthy brothers S. Quintilius Condianus and S. Quintilius Valerianus Maximus, were also implicated and their magnificent suburban villa between the Via Latina and the Via Appia was expropriated Comm. 4.2, 4.4.7-10. 122 On Lucilla’s portrait typology, see most recently, K. Fittschen in Fittschen-Zanker III, 24-6, nos. 24-5. 123 Fittschen-Zanker III, 25.

124 Formerly, Museo Nuovo, Sala 1.9, inv. 1781 (Centrale Montemartini 3.85). 125 The inscription on the fistula.reads: C. Fulvius Plautianus praef(ectus) pr(aetorio), v(ir) c(larissius). On Plautinus, see, infra; On the house, see E. Kissi Caronna and W. Eck in M. Steinby, ed. (1995) 105-6; and F. Astolfi (1998) 33-9. 126 Guelma, Museum, inv. M. 396.


chapter seven working into conflations of Helena’s Scheitelzopffrisur and Haarkranzfrisur, clear traces of the deep vertical waves of Lucilla’s second portrait type are still visible in each image.130 The Imperatori portrait has been substantially cut back behind both ears, where roughened surfaces remain as well as on the back of the neck and head. The volume of head has also been drastically reduced, causing it to be too small in proportion to the seated body. As with the fragmentary representation of Lucilla as Venus from the Quirinal, these impressive seated images of the empress in the guise of the goddess would have been wholly unsuitable for display after her condemnation and were undoubtedly warehoused until their reuse in the Constantinian period. Helena’s hairstyles, and Constantinian female coiffures in general, can physically resemble and deliberately evoke both Antonine hairstyles and the perceived “golden age” of the second century. Physical similarities between Antonine and Constantinian hairstyles would have facilitated the sculptural reconfiguration of Lucilla’s images. The actual transformation of Lucilla’s coiffure into Helena’s arrangements with the Haarkranz (hair crown) closely resembles that of the “Poppaea Albani” in the Palazzo dei Conservatori which itself is an Antonine portrait probably recut to represent an empress (Aelia Flacilla or Galla Placidia?) at the end of the fourth century, ca. 400.131 The Lucilla-Helena transformation is also conceptually comparable to the portraits of Marcus Aurelius recut to Constantine on the Aurelian panels from the Arch of Constantine, part of a programmatic attempt to visually link Constantine and his family to the good emperors and empresses of the second century. F.P. Arata has proposed a date of 324, the year in which Helena received the title of Augusta, or 326, the year in which Constantine celebrated his vicennalia in Rome, for the refashioning of the

ing the deliberate nature of its destruction. The image was discovered during excavations of the Forum of Madauros (in Roman Mauretania), where it is likely to have been originally displayed. After its destruction, it may have been buried or stored in the area of the Forum. A colossal portrait from the Forum at Smyrna has been similarly mutilated (cat. 6.9; fig. 149).127 The facial features have been obliterated with a chisel, resulting in the T-shaped damage so characteristic of deliberately disfigured images. The portrait provides important additional evidence for the violent anthropomorphic assaults on portraits as sculptural surrogates for the condemned’s physical body (see especially cat. nos. 1.3; and 7.12). As principal sensory organs especially associated with identity, the eyes have actually been gouged out of the face of the Smyrna image. In both the Smyrna and Guelma likenesses, the obliteration of the sensory organs deprives them of any sentient power as effigies. In addition, both likenesses demonstrate that wide geographical scope of the destruction of her images. Both portraits were situated within the public context of civic fora which may suggest their continued exposition as mutilated images, at least for a time, following Lucilla’s downfall.

The Transformation of Lucilla’s Images Like the portraits of Caligula, Nero, and Domitian which were not reused until the third or fourth centuries, two seated portraits of Lucilla as Venus, not recarved until the fourth century, further confirm the practice of warehousing images. These portraits, in the Museo Capitolino (cat. 6.12; fig. 150a-b)128 and the Uffizi (cat.6.11; fig. 151a-b),129 are well known as representations of Helena, the mother of Constantine, but they have in fact been transformed from earlier likenesses of Lucilla. Although the coiffures in both portraits have undergone a comprehensive re-

127 128

Izmir, Museum, inv. 3694. Stanza degli Imperatori 59, inv. 496. 129 Inv. 1914.171.

130 On Helena’s hairstyles, see most recently F.P. Arata (1993) 190-92. 131 Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala dei Capitani, inv. 404, h. 0.24 m; Fittschen-Zanker III, 118-19, pls. 209-10, color plate (with earlier literature); J. Meischner (1993).

commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina Capitoline statue and the same may be true for the Uffizi image.132


The Removal of Lucilla’s Images During her ascendancy as the wife of Lucius Verus, Lucilla would have been commemorated with numerous sculpted portraits, given her frequent appearance on coins of this period.133 As a consequence of her condemnation, Lucilla’s images were necessarily removed from public display, in addition to being intentionally disfigured. Like her damaged portrait from the house of Plautianus, the archaeological context of a type 1 portrait in the Conservatori further corroborates the warehousing of Lucilla’s images (fig. 152).134 The likeness formed part of a sculptural cache from another important domus near the Colosseum whose pieces were eventually incorporated into a garden wall of the Villa Rivaldi; the cache also included a portrait of Otacilia Severa (fig. 206).135 Other well-preserved por(1993) 200. RIC 3, 275-276, nos. 755-792, 252-55, nos. 17281781, pls. 11.234-38, 13.263; BMCRE 4, 568-81, nos. 11401228, pls. 76.8-13, 77.1-15, 78.1-7; Herodian also records that Marcus allowed her to retain her imperial insignia after the death of Verus and Commodus continued this practice.1.8.4. 134 Palazzo dei Conservatori, Braccio Nuovo 3.25, inv. 2766 (Centrale Montemartini 2.91), h. 0.21; FittschenZanker III, 24-5, no. 24, pl. 33 (with previous literature); K. Fittschen in D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson, eds. (1996) 44, fig. 9. 135 Palazzo dei Conservatori, Braccio Nuovo 3.23, inv 2765 (Centrale Montemartini 2.95). On the discovery of the sculpture, see D. Mustili (1933) 89, 109, no. 15, fig. 14; M. Bertoletti, M. Cima, E. Talamo, eds. (1997) 81; In addition to the portrait of Otacilia Severa, the cache included four other imperial images: Antinous, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Museo Nuovo, Sala X, inv. 2305 (Centrale Montemartini 2.89) (Fittschen-Zanker I, 61-62, no. 56, pls. 63-4); Septimius Severus, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Museo Nuovo, Sala X, inv. 2309 ((Centrale Montemartini 2.92) (Fittschen-Zanker I, 94-5, no. 82, pl. 101-102); and Caracalla, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Museo Nuovo, Sala X, inv. 2310 (Centrale Montemartini 2.93) (Fittschen-Zanker I, 105-8, no. 91, pls. 110-12). Five private portraits were also part of the cache: private male portrait, inv. 2302 (Centrale Montemartini 2.96) (Fittschen-Zanker II, no. 150); a lost Gallienic male portrait (D. Mustili [1933] 100, no. 8, fig 7; late Antonine-early Severan female portrait, Museo
133 132

traits of Lucilla are also likely to have been removed from public display and stored or buried following her condemnation and include likenesses in Dresden,136 [Istanbul,137], London,138 Munich,139 the Louvre,140 Ostia,141the Villa Albani,142 Tripoli,143 and Tunis,144 Dresden,145 and Berlin.146

Crispina The date of Bruttia Crispina’s birth is not known, but she was the daughter of Lucius Fulvius Rusticus Gaius Bruttius Praesens and married

Capitolino, Magazzini, inv. 6268 (Centrale Montemartini 2.90)(Fittschen-Zanker III, 85, no. 117, pl. 148 ); mid-late Severan female portrait, Museo Capitolino, Magazzini, inv. 6259 (Fittschen-Zanker III, 107, no. 158, pl. 185); late Severan female portrait, Museo Capitolino, Magazzini, inv. 6270 (Centrale Montemartini 2.94) (Fittschen-Zanker III, 106-7, no. 156, pl. 184. Other sculpture from the Villa Rivaldi, also presumably from the domus, was acquired in 1780 by Pius VI for the Vatican, see G. Spinola (1996) 72, no. LAO 6, 114, no. PER 7, 133-4, no. 32(?), 158-9, no. 100. 136 Staatliche Skulpturensammlung (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 75-6, no. 1 (with earlier literature). 137 Archaeological Museum inv. 4038 (colossal type 1 fragment from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis); K. Fittschen (1982) 77, no. 1 (with earlier literature). 138 British Museum, inv. 1912 (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 75-6, no. 2, pl. 44.1-4 (with earlier literature). 139. Residenz, inv. 86, h. 0.255 m. (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 75-6, no. 3, pl. 46.3-4; H. Frosien Leinz in G. Hojer, ed. (1987) 343-45, no. 211, pl. 240 (with earlier literature). 140 MA 1171 (type 1, from Carthage); K. Fittschen (1982) 76, no. 8, pl. 47.1-2 (with earlier literature); K. de Kersauson (1996) 280-281, no. 127 (with figs.). 141 Museo, inv. 27; h. 0.31 m. (type 1, from the Tempietto Tetrastilo, perhaps originally representing the empress as Hygeia); K. Fittschen (1982) 76, no. 4; T. Mickoki (1995) 207-8, no. 395 (with earlier literature). 142 inv. 745 (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 76, no. 6 (with earlier literature). 143 Museum (type 2, from Lepcis Magna); K. Fittschen (1982) 76, no. 9 (with earlier literature) 144 Musée du Bardo 3655(2), (Ceres statue from the Theater at Bulla Regia); K. Fittschen (1982) 76, no. 10; T. Mickoki (1995) 207, no. 391, pl. 7 (with earlier literature). 145 Staatliche Skulpturensammlung (type 2 Venus statue); K. Fittschen (1982) 78-9, no. 1, pl. 48.1-2 (with earlier literature). 146 Staatliche Museen (type 2); K. Fittschen (1982) 79, no. 3, pl. 48.3 (with earlier literature).


chapter seven and are drawn up into a large bun which covers much of the back of the head. The ears are left uncovered. Crispina’s forehead is straight, her eyes long and almond shaped, her nose short, and her mouth is small and full. The coiffure is a precursor to the coiffures of the wife and daughter of Didius Julianus, Manlia Scantilla and Didia Clara, as well as the Helmfrisuren of Julia Domna and Plautilla. Crispina’s second type marks Commodus’s accession in A.D. 180. The Stirnrollen-melonenfrisur is replaced by an entirely new coiffure in which the hair is gently waved, parted in the center, and again drawn up into a large bun. The hair descends low on the nape of the neck and entirely covers the ears. The physiognomy is comparable to the first type.

Commodus in A.D. 178, after the latter had been raised to the rank of Augustus by Marcus Aurelius.147 At the time of her marriage, Crispina received the title of Augusta,148 but by A.D. 182 Crispina was exiled to Capri on charges of adultery.149 Although Dio indicates that she was executed that same year, epigraphic evidence suggests that she may not have been murdered until A.D. 187 or as late as 191/92.150 Crispina was banished in the same year and to the same island, Capri, as Lucilla. Although he does not connect the two events, Dio mentions Crispina’s exile and execution in his account of Lucilla’s plot, which strongly suggests that Crispina herself was implicated in the conspiracy to overthrow her husband Commodus.

Crispina’s Portrait Typology The Mutilation and Destruction of Crispina’s Images As Augusta, Crispina was extensively honored with public images, during the last two years of Marcus’s reign and the initial years of her husband’s.151 Crispina’s images fall into two portrait types, in use during the four year period before her exile.152 The first type commemorates her marriage to Commodus in A.D. 178. The coiffure of this type is the Stirnrollen-melonenfrisur which combines the typical Melonenfrisur with a heavy rolled plait which is parted over the center of the forehead and surrounds the face. The plaits on the side of the head are four or five in number
147 HA. Marc. 27.8; Comm 5.9; Dio 71(72).33.1; Herod. 1.8.4; CIL 8.2366 = ILS 405; CIL 10.408 = ILS 1117; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 249-50, no. 149. E.R.Varner, (2001 2) 76-78. Crispina came from an illustrious aristocratic family, which gained prominence under the Flavians, see B.W. Jones (1992) 176. 148 CIL 3.12487; CIL 8.2366 = ILS 405; CIL 8.16350 = ILAlg 3032; CIL 8.22689 = IRT 2; CIL 10. 408 = ILS 1117 = II 3.3.18; IGR 4.935. 149 HA.Comm. 5.9; Dio 72(73).4.6. 150 CIL 3.12487; CIL 8.16530 = ILAlg 3032; CIL 22689 = IRT 2. 151 See Herod. 1.8.4 on Crispina taking precedence over Lucilla; For Crispina’s coinage see: BMCRE 4, 765-69, nos. 406-441, pl. 102.1-15. 152 Type 1: K. Fittschen (1982) 82-86, nos. 1-11, pls. 49-52; Type 2: K. Fittschen (1982) 86- 88, nos. 1-6, pls, 53-6.

Crispina’s images were attacked and damaged after her downfall, either at the time of her banishment, or at the time of her death. The facial features of a type 1 portrait from Rome have been substantially obliterated (cat. 6.17)153 as have those from a type 1 portrait from Ostia (cat. 6.15).154 Modern restorations to portraits in the Uffizi (cat. 6.14)155 and Castle Howard (cat. 6.13) appear to mask intentional ancient mutilation. The eyes, nose, mouth and chin the bust length type 2 replica in the Uffizi have all been restored. The eyes, nose and portions of the mouth in the type 1 Castle Howard portrait have also been similarly restored. Excluding the deliberate disfigurement of the facial features, the remaining elements of both portraits are very well preserved. The fragmentary state of another likeness from Ostia, a replica of Crispina’s Type 2, were probably caused by blows dealt to the portrait during demonstrations against Crispina’s images (cat. 6.16; fig. 153).156 The damaged likeness was

153 154

Formerly in the Magazzini of the Domus Aurea. Magazzini, Sala 1, inv. 452. 155 Inv. 1914.13. 156 Magazzini, Sala 7, inv. 1954.

commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina reused as construction material near the Capitolium at a later period.157 Similarly, the rear section of another Type 2 portrait from Rome is possibly a surviving fragment from a vandalized likeness (cat. 6.18).158 As was the case with Messalina and other imperial women of the first century, the vehement destruction of Crispina’s images at Rome and Ostia suggests that her exile and execution were the result of political intrigues against her husband, the reigning emperor, rather than adultery. As in the past, allegations of adultery or sexual misconduct continued to be leveled against imperial women who exercised political power and influence against the reigning emperor.


Borghese,169 and Tunis,170 The type 1 portrait in the Terme was discovered at the Heliocaminus baths of Hadrian’s Villa and would likely have been removed from display at the Villa after Crispina’s condemnation.

Annia Fundania Faustina A cousin of Marcus Aurelius, Annia Fundania Faustina and her daughter Vitrasia Faustina were also both executed during the principate of Commodus.171 Vitrasia appears to have been killed in A.D. 182, the same year that witnessed the downfall of Lucilla and Crispina and it is possible that Vitrasia was also involved in the conspiracy against Commodus.172 Ten years later, her mother, Annia Fundania Faustina was executed in Achaea, in A.D. 192.173 An intentionally mutilated statue with an erased inscription on its plinth from Ostia probably depicts Annia Fundania Faustina (cat. 6.19; fig. 154a-b).174 The physiognomy of the portrait recalls that of other female members of the Antonine dynasty, especially in the handling of the heavily lidded eyes. The hairstyle also closely resembles coiffures worn by Faustina Minor.175 The right eye, nose, mouth

The Removal of Crispina’s Images Other well preserved portraits of Crispina are likely to have been warehoused after her fall from power: Alexandria,159 Berlin,160 Copenhagen,161 Cos,162 Cyrene,163 the Louvre,164 Petworth House,165 two portraits in the Terme,166 the Museo Torlonia167 the Vatican,168 the Villa

D. Vaglieri, NSc (1913) 210. Museo Capitolino, Magazzini, inv. 2106/S. 159 Graeco-Roman Museum, inv. 23862 (type I); K. Fittschen (1982) 85, no. 10, pl. 52.3-4 (with earlier literature). 160 Staatliche Museen (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 84, no. 4, pl. 51.1 (with earlier literature). 161 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 725, inv. 801 (type 2); K. Fittschen (1982) 87, no. 4, pl. 55.1-4; F. Johansen (1995a) 236, no. 98 (with figs.) (with earlier literature). 162 Museum (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 85, no. 11 (with earlier literature). 163 Museum, inv. C 17008 (type 2); K. Fittschen (1982) 87, no. 5 (with earlier literature). 164 MA 1138 (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 87, no. 7, pl. 50.1-2; K. de Kersausson (1996) 331-2, no. 151, with figs. (with earlier literature). 165 Leconfield Collection (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 85, no. 8, pl. 51.4 (with earlier literature). 166 (type 1) inv. 108601, h. 0.27 m.; A. Cioffarelli, MusNazRom 1.9.2, 324-25, no. R243, with figs. (with earlier literature); K. Fittschen (1982) 84, no. 1, pl. 49.1-4; J. Raeder (1983) 77, no. I 59; (type 2) inv. 1224, h. 0.265 m.; A. Cioffarelli, MusNazRom 1.9.2, 327-8, no. R245, with figs. (with earlier literature). 167 570 (type 1) (ex Cavaceppi Coll.); C. Gasparri and


I Caruso (1980) 222, no 570 (Plautilla) (with earlier literature); K. Fittschen (1982) 84, no. 3. 168 Galleria Chiaramonti 15.8, inv. 1415 (type II); K. Fittschen (1982) 86, no. 2, pl. 54.1-4; P. Liverani (1989) 37 (with earlier literature). 169 Portico 31 (type 1); K. Fittschen (1982) 84, no. 2, pl. 51.3 (with earlier literature). 170 Musée du Bardo, 3656 (2) (type 1 Ceres Statue from Bulla Regia); K. Fittschen (1982) 85, no. 9, pl. 52.1-2; T. Mickoki (1995) 208-9, no. 402, pl. 7 (with earlier literature). 171 Annia Fundania Faustina: CIL 6.1540 = ILS 11121; CIL 12.361 = ILS 1114;CIL 15.520; II 5679 = ILS 1113; HA.Comm.5.8, 7.7; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 76-77, no. 60. Vitrasia Faustina: HA.Comm. 4.10; Dio 72(73) 5.1; CIL 10 4625 = ILS 1115; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 642-43, no. 820. 172 HA.Comm.4.10; Dio 72(73) 5.1. 173 HA.Comm.7.7. The Historia Augusta also alleges that Commodus had an affair with Fundania, Comm 5.8. 174 Museo, Sala 6.2, inv. 1123. 175 The hairstyle further suggests that the subject should be woman like Annia Fundania Faustina who was closer in age to Faustina Minor, rather than a younger woman


chapter seven recut for almost fifty years and over one hundred years respectively, when they appear to have been reused as images of Pupienus and possibly Licinius. This change in practice further signals a see change in intention and emphasis from recycling and a kind of visual cannibalism to disfigurement and visual denigration. In the past, new images of victorious successors or revered predecessors subsumed the original identities of portraits, but now, the original images are vandalized in order to degrade the memory of the condemned. After a nearly century long hiatus in imperial damnationes, the technical expertise in recutting the images of overthrown emperors and empresses may have been in decline. In addition, the long elaborate beards worn by Commodus in his mature portraits may have provided further technical obstacles for sculptors attempting physical recutting. Patterns of mutilation which were apparent in the first century are fully confirmed by the wealth of evidence from the end of the second century. The sensory organs of eyes, ears, nose and mouth are the principal targets in attacks against the images Lucilla, Crispina, Annia Fundania Faustina and Commodus. In particular, the colossal damaged portrait of Lucilla from Smyrna with its gouged out eyes perfectly illustrates the phenomenon of mutilation in effigy. Lucilla’s portrait has been traumatized as a surrogate for an attack against her living person or corpse. The savage mutilation of the eyes, as windows onto the soul and seats of individual identity, serve further to deprive the portrait of its own identity as an artistic effigy of Lucilla. The numerous damaged likenesses of Lucilla and Crispina provide additional evidence for the political influence and power of political disruption wielded by imperial women and stands in the tradition provided by the multitude of evidence for mutilated, destroyed or missing female images from the Julio-Claudian period. Commodus’s eradication from the relief panels honoring his father Marcus Aurelius provide crucial testimony for the process of historical emendation through erasure. Indeed, these are

and chin of the Ostia portrait have all been intentionally vandalized with a chisel, and a one line inscription, undoubtedly giving the name of the woman, has also been eradicated from the statue’s base. As with other deliberately mutilated images, the remainder of the statue is well preserved. The portrait was discovered in 1913 near the Horrea of Hortensius, where it may have been buried after its defacement.176 If the statue does indeed represent Annia Fundania Faustina, it must have been attacked after her murder in A.D. 192. The defacement of images of Annia Fundania Faustina and Crispina at Ostia would have been effective ways for the inhabitants of the city to manifest their support of Commodus who took an avid interest in their city throughout his principate.177 The mutilation and removal of images of Lucilla, Crispina, and Annia Fundania Faustina also affirms the continued political significance of imperial women in the second century and their willingness to use their influence and positions against the reigning emperor.

Conclusion: Changing Practices The condemnations enacted against the memories of Lucilla, Crispina, and Annia Fundania Faustina, as well as that against Commodus after his assassination mark a decided conceptual shift in the practices of repressing commemorative monuments. In particular, sculpted images were no longer routinely recycled, but disfigurement emerges a much more common response. Indeed, none of the portraits from this period were reconfigured immediately following condemnations. Two portraits of Lucilla were not recut for almost 150 years, when they were refashioned as representations of Constantine’s mother, Helena. Only three likenesses of Commodus have been refashioned, and these were not
like her daughter Vitrasia, or Annia Aurelia Cornificia Faustina, the sister of Commodus, as R. Calza has suggested (1977) 21. 176 D. Vaglieri, NSc (1913) 178. 177 Ostia was briefly renamed colonia felix Commodiana. On Commodus’s building activities in Ostia, see C. Pavolini (1983) 32.

commodus, lucilla, crispina, and annia fundania faustina the first surviving examples of erasure as a result of damnatio in Roman historical relief sculpture. Two of the panels document known historical events, namely the triumph of 176 and the congiarium of 177. Commodus’s relief portraits have been obliterated from these panels and the visual record of the events rewritten. Commodus’s participation in the triumphal procession and distribution of money has been posthumously and categorically negated. Commodus’s condemnation is further complicated by his rehabilitation and ultimately his deifi-


cation under Septimius Severus in 197. As with Nero, the conflicting assessment of Commodus is amply reflected in the rehabilitation and Commodus’s case is even more extreme in that he is both damned and deified. The contradictory treatment of Commodus’s memory and monuments underscores both the flexible nature of the processes associated with both condemnation and apotheosis and also that these practices were highly susceptible to, if not entirely the result of, manipulation as the result of current political exigencies.


chapter eight


The Severan period marks a critical juncture in the history of damnatio memoriae. During the fortytwo year reign of the dynasty (A.D. 193-235), damnationes memoriae were enacted against numerous members of the imperial family as well as rival emperors. Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus, Plautianus, Plautilla, Geta, Macrinus, Diadumenianus, Elagabalus, and Julia Soemias all suffered some form of official sanctions after their deaths. In addition, portraits and inscriptions honoring Severus Alexander and his mother Julia Mammaea were deliberately defaced as a result of isolated and spontaneous demonstrations against their memories. In certain respects, the condemnations which occurred under the Severan emperors recall the previous practices of the first and second centuries A.C. As in the past, portraits of condemned individuals were often removed or destroyed. Major monuments of the period, such as the arches honoring Septimius Severus in the Forum Romanum and at Lepcis Magna, the Arch of the Argentarii and the Palazzo Sachetti Relief were also irrevocably altered as a direct result of posthumous condemnations. However, as was already apparent in the treatment of Commodus’s portraits, Severan imperial images, with the exception of representations of Elagabalus altered to Severus Alexander, were no longer routinely reworked as an immediate result of damnatio. Instead spontaneous acts of violence, such as those carried out against the monuments of Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea, neither of whom received official post mortem sanctions, as well as a substantial increase in the number of deliberately mutilated portraits, constitute significant shift in focus and praxis which would continue unabated for the remainder of the third century. The founder of the dynasty, Lucius Septimius Severus was born into an aristocratic family of Italian origins on 11 April A.D. 145 at Lepcis Magna in Tripolitania.1 Septimius Severus rose to prominence in the Senate under Marcus Aurelius and attained the consulship in 190 under Commodus. He held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis, Sicily, and Upper Pannonia, where, shortly after the murder of Pertinax in 193, Severus was saluted as emperor by his troops at Carnuntum. He spent the next four years subduing the forces of rival claimants to the throne and established his sole authority by 197. Having consolidated his power, Severus waged a successful campaign against the Parthians, culminating in the capture of the Parthian capital, Ctesiphon, in 197-8. He continued to defend and expand the borders of the Empire until his death at York on 4 February 211. Severus had intended that after his death, his two two sons, Caracalla and Geta, would rule as co-Augusti. However, the two brothers apparently hated one another and their enmity culminated in Caracalla’s murder of Geta on 26 December 211.2 Caracalla ruled alone until he himself was killed, at the instigation of his Praetorian Praefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus, on 8 April 217. Macrinus declared himself emperor, but his claim to the throne was contested by Caracalla’s maternal cousin, Varius Avitus Bassianus, popularly known as Elagabalus. The
1 There is confusion in the ancient sources surrounding the exact date of Septimius Severus’s birth, and it is possible that the emperor himself may have falsified the date in order to make the year of his birth more astrologically favorable; see Z. Rubin (1980) 34-38. However, Dio (76.[77].17.4) seems reliable; see A. Birley (1988) 220, no. 27. 2 There is conflicting evidence concerning the exact date of Geta’s murder. T.D.Barnes, has demonstrated that 26 December is almost certainly correct, (1978) 51-2. See also, A. Birley (1988) 189, n. 3.

the severans troops supporting Elagabalus were successful in defeating those loyal to Macrinus who was eventually captured and executed. Significantly, the accession of Elagabalus had been engineered by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, the sister of Severus’s powerful and influential wife Julia Domna; this essentially matrilineal succession recalls that of Tiberius, son of Livia and stepson of Augustus, at the beginning of the Empire. Elagabalus ruled as Augustus under the name of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the same name which had been used by Caracalla, but the Praetorian Guard grew so disgusted with his excesses that they assassinated him along with his mother, Julia Soemias, in the Praetorian Camp at Rome on 12 March 222. The Praetorians acclaimed Elagabalus’s young cousin, Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (born M. Iulius Gessius Alexianus [Bassianus] in 208) as emperor and he ruled under the close supervision of his mother Julia Mammaea; the Severan dynasty ended on 22 March 235 when both mother and son were murdered by their own troops at Vicus Britannicus where the young emperor had been preparing a campaign against the German tribes.


The Rivals Of Septimius Severus: Didius Julianus, Clodius Albinus, and Pescennius Niger Immediately following the assassination of Commodus on 31 December A.D. 192, a chaotic period of civil war ensued in which several prominent men vied for control of the Empire. The situation finds compelling parallels in the events of A.D. 68-69 when Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian contended for supreme authority. Publius Helvius Pertinax, praefectus urbi, was saluted by the Praetorians as Commodus’s immediate successor. Pertinax, the son of a freedman, had enjoyed a distinguished military and civil career, holding the consulship twice. He came to the throne well respected by the soldiers, Senate and common people. However, in an effort to replenish the imperial treasury which had been drastically depleted under Commodus, Pertinax adopted strict fiscal measures which proved so unpopular that he was murdered on 28 March by

the Praetorian Guard for failing to pay them their promised bonuses in full and his corpse was abused through decapitation.3 According to Dio, Marcus Didius Julianus attained the principate after the death of Pertinax because he was able to offer the praetorians more money than the rival claimant, Sulpicianus.4 Although the civil and military career of Didius Julianus had also been distinguished, he was not universally supported and on 9 April A.D. 193, only 11 days after Julianus had been declared the new Augustus in Rome, Septimius Severus was saluted as emperor by his own troops in Carnuntum. At approximately the same time, Gaius Pescennius Niger, the governor of Syria, was likewise acclaimed emperor at Antioch. In order to strengthen his position, Septimius formed an alliance with the governor of Britain, Decimius Clodius Albinus, to whom he awarded the rank of Caesar. Severus advanced towards Rome, and the Senate and plebs repudiated their support of Didius Julianus in favor of Severus. The Senate formally condemned Didius Julianus to death on 1 June, after a reign of only sixty-six days. As was customary with capital offenders, sanctions against the memory and monuments of Didius Julianus were swiftly enacted after his execution and Dio records the destruction of a bronze statue that had earlier been voted by the Senate (Ò (•D
*@2gÂH "ÛJè P"86@ØH •<"4Dg2X<J@H "ÛJ@Ø 6"2®DX20).5 His wife Manlia Scantilla and daughter

Didia Clara were spared, but they were stripped of their rank of Augusta.6 Septimius Severus consolidated his power and moved against Pescennius Niger, who was declared a hostis and his monuments were subjected to destruction; Niger was eventually captured and killed at Antioch in April of 194.7 Niger’s corpse was decapitated and the severed head paraded
Dio 73(74).10.2; J.L. Voisin (1984) 252. 73(74).11.2-6; Didius Julianus offered each member of the praetorian guard 25,000 sestertii and eventually had to pay 30,000. 5 73(74).14.2a; A. Birley (1988) 102. 6 HA.Did.Iul. 3.4; 4.5; 8.9-10; Herod. 2.6.7; Zos. 1.7.2. For Manlia Scantilla, see M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 439, no. 520; for Didia Clara, see M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 276, no. 312. 7 HA.Sev.8.13 and Pesc.5.7; A. Birley (1988) 112.
4 3


chapter eight mature men with curly coiffures, full beards and moustaches, furrowed foreheads, and prominent noses. However, Didius Julianus usually appears with a longer beard and fuller coiffure than either Septimius Severus or Clodius Albinus who are virtually indistinguishable on many of the coins minted during their alliance (A.D. 19395).14 The similitudo evident in the coin portraits of Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus functioned as a visual expression of their concordia and their political and military alliance, all concepts which were widely stressed in the numismatic propaganda of 193-95. The resemblances present in the coin portraits cause enormous difficulties in the identification of contemporary sculpted representations of the three rivals.15 Although twenty- three related marble portraits have generally been recognized as either portraying Didius Julianus, Clodius Albinus or Septimius Severus in his first portrait type, specific identifications remain controversial.16 The remarkable iconographic similarities among this group of images reproduce the correspondences of the numismatic likenesses, including: a curly coiffure worn fairly close to the skull; a full, beard of medium length; a somewhat bulging forehead; and prominent nose. Based on the distinguishing features present in the coin portraits, the twenty-three marble images can be separated into three groups. Three of the sculpted portraits have been tentatively assigned to Didius Julianus. The dis-

on a pole and eventually sent to Rome for public display.8 Niger’s wife and children were also executed.9 Somewhat later, in A.D. 195, Clodius Albinus, no longer content with his secondary position as Caesar, was proclaimed Augustus in his own right by his troops. Severus, having secured his position in the east, moved against Clodius Albinus in the west and declared him a hostis.10 After several skirmishes in Gaul, the forces of the two rivals met at Lugundum on 19 February 197.11 Clodius Albinus was defeated and committed suicide. His head was cut off and sent to Rome and, in an additional, merciless act of poena post mortem, Septimius allegedly ordered the headless corpse be laid out in front of Clodius Albinus’s house, where Severus trampled it with his horse; the body was also exposed as carrion for dogs before being thrown into the Rhone along with the remains of Albinus’s wife and sons.12 As defeated rivals of Septimius Severus, the memories of Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger, and Clodius Albinus were condemned, their names and titles obliterated from the epigraphic record, and their portraits destroyed or removed from public display. In the west, the sculptural evidence for the damnationes of Didius Julianus and Clodius Albinus is complicated by the difficulties inherent in identifying their portraits in the round. The problems of recognizing sculpted portraits of Didius Julianus and Clodius Albinus arise primarily from the striking similarities evident in their numismatic likenesses, which, furthermore, strongly resemble the earliest coin portraits of Septimius Severus. The numismatic portraits of all three are derived from those of Pertinax.13 The coins depict the three rivals as

8 HA Pesc. 6.1 (huius caput cirumlatum pilo Romam missum); Dio 74.8.3; J.L. Voisin (1984) 252. 9 HA Pesc. 6.1-2. 10 HA.Sev.10.2, Clod.9.1 and A. Birley (1988) 121. 11A. Birley (1988) 125. 12 Herod.3.7.6-7; Dio 75(76).7.1-8; HA.Sev.11.6-9;J.L. Voisin (1984) 252; A. Birley (1988) 124; C. Wells (1992) 283. 13 The portraits of Pertinax recall the images of Marcus Aurelius, whose virtues and policies Pertinax tried to emulate. Although his reign was brief, the memory of Pertinax

was held in high esteem by the Senate and populace and he remained an important link with the Antonine dynasty. Septimius Severus portrayed himself as the avenger of Pertinax; he disbanded the praetorian guard for his predecessor’s murder and adopted the name of Pertinax on coins issued from A.D. 193-96. 14 The fuller hair and beard in Didius Julianus’s coin likenesses may deliberately evoke the portraits of Commodus, whose avenger Didius Julianus claimed to be; H. Mattingly, BMCRE 5, lxix; Didius Julianus promised to rehabilitate the memory of Commodus (HA, Did. 2.6-7); on the rehabilitation of Commodus see supra. 15 A. M. McCann (1968) 62. 16 This confusion was recognized by J.J. Bernoulli who found it difficult to distinguish between the early portraits of Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus, (1894) 19, 34; A. M. McCann (1968) 40, 88-89; K. Fittschen and P. Zanker (1985) 91-95, nos. 80-82.

the severans tinguishing characteristics which unite these three portraits are: a longer beard, fuller coiffure, and a nose with a pronounced bridge.17 Nine of the marble portraits can plausibly be attributed to Clodius Albinus on the basis of his individualized traits, i.e., a coiffure that consists of rather flat curls combed forward which recede at the temples and curve over a slightly bulging forehead, a bushy moustache and a full beard worn close to the chin, a tuft of hair beneath his lower lip and a decidedly hooked nose.18 The remaining eleven portraits constitute Septimius Severus’s first official portrait type and contain the following details: a coiffure of scattered curls worn relatively straight across the forehead, a full moustache and short full beard with curls combed forward, and a fairly straight and aquiline nose.19 Clodius Albinus


Didius Julianus The brevity of the reign of Didius Julianus, as well as the destruction of his monuments occasioned by his downfall, account for the scarcity of his portraits. However, the three surviving likenesses are well enough preserved to suggest that they may have been removed from public display and warehoused following his death. Portraits in the Palazzo dei Conservatori,20 in Los Angeles,21 and the Vatican,22 are all preserved together with their ancient bust forms and probably attest to the removal and storage of his image in the environs of the capital.

Fittschen-Zanker I, 93. A. M. McCann (1968) 40, 88-89; Fittschen-Zanker I, 91-92. 19 Fittschen-Zanker I 94-5. 20 Sala Verde, inv. 235; H. 0.725 m; ex Collection Albani (A 17); Fittschen-Zanker 1, 93, no. 81, pls. 99-100 (with earlier literature). 21 Private Collection; A. M. McCann (1968) 131-32, no. 9, pl. 28 (with earlier literature); D. Soechting (1972) 136, n. 10; Fittschen-Zanker, 1, 93. Presumably from Rome. 22 Sala dei Busti 291, inv. 710, h. 0.67 m.; A. M. McCann (1968) 130, no. 7, pl. 26 (with earlier literature); D. Soechting (1972) 144, no. 20; P. Zanker (1983) 29, n. 88, pl. 26.3-4; Fittschen-Zanker 1, 93, beil. 65. From Otricoli.


Clodius Albinus’s images were intentionally mutilated as a result of the damnatio memoriae enacted against him. A head of Clodius Albinus which was discarded in a cistern near the Temple of Saturn at Dougga has been cut or broken from a statue or bust.23 The head exhibits extensive damage to the forehead, nose, and right cheek.24 The disposal of the portrait in a cistern recalls the images of Caligula and Domitian which were recovered from wells at Huelva and Munigua in Spain. The portico of the Dougga temple, completed in A.D. 195, contained a dedicatory inscription which honored both Severus and Albinus.25 Albinus’s name and titles were erased from the dedication at the same time the portrait was attacked and thrown into the cistern.26 Born at Hadrumentum, not far from Dougga, Clodius Albinus was undoubtedly honored extensively with portraits in his native province of Africa Proconsularis. Destruction of Albinus’s monuments in Africa would have been a way of disavowing former support and celebration of the native emperor, as well as demonstrating loyalty to the victorious Septimius Severus, himself a native of neighboring Tripolitania. A portrait of Albinus in the Vatican has also been attacked and damaged.27 The least well preserved of all Albinus’s likenesses, the nose, both brows, the right eye and right cheek have largely been destroyed. The badly weathered surfaces of the head suggest that it was not stored but disposed of in a more destructive fashion. The portrait, provides important evidence for the violent disposal of Clodius Albinus’s representations in the capital.

23 Tunis, Musée du Bardo, A.M. McCann (1968) 202 H. pl. 105. 24 The Dougga portrait is compatible with numismatic likenesses of Albinus which show him with shorter beard and a more closely cropped coiffure than contemporary portraits of Septimius Severus; see A. M. McCann (1968) 202. 25 A. M. McCann (1968) 202; C. Poinssot (1983) 65. 26 On the erasure of Albinus’s name in inscriptions, see also R. Cagnat (1914) 172. 27 Sala dei Busti 322, inv. 682; Fittschen-Zanker I, 91, no. 6, Beil. 682.


chapter eight furrowed forehead, prominent, slightly bulbous nose, and protruding lips. His coiffure is relatively short, usually with straight locks combed forward from the occiput. His moustache is long as is his beard which consists of lengthy rolled curls. Although Pescennius Niger was popular among the plebs in Rome, it is unlikely that any official portraits of him were produced in the capital since his tenure as Augustus was spent entirely in the east.35 The situation in the eastern portion of the empire was chaotic largely as a result of the campaign which Septimius immediately began against Pescennius Niger in 193 and, in fact, certain eastern mints may have issued coins in honor of Septimius Severus as early as A.D. 193 while nominally under Niger’s control.36 Political instability in the east probably precluded production of Pescennius Niger’s sculpted portraits in significant numbers.37 Indeed, no marble images can be securely associated with Pescennius Niger, despite his distinctive physiognomy and coiffure.38 After his defeat and death, portraits honoring Pescennius Niger were destroyed as a consequence of his proclamation as a hostis.39 Because of their early support of Niger, many cities of the eastern empire must have been especially anxious to demonstrate their loyalty to the victorious Septimius Severus by vigorously pursuing a damnatio against his defeated rival’s monuments, further accounting for the lack of surviving portraits.
35 On Pescennius Niger’s popularity in Rome see Herod.2.7.6, 2.8.7 and Z. Rubin (1980) 93. 36 Coins may have been struck in Septimius Severus’s honor as soon as it was realized that he was the likely victor in the struggle against Niger. The coins are from Laodicea, Alexandria; BMCRE cxii, cxiv, 83-84, 105-106, 109, 110, nos. *+*, +, *; Z. Rubin (1980) 14, 202-6. 37 Pescennius Niger’s sphere of influence was limited to the east. His failure to capture Rome, the center of imperial portrait production, also undoubtedly contributed to a reduced output of his sculpted images. 38 In the past, attempts have been made to identify a portrait in the Stanza degli Imperatori of the Museo Capitolino (no. 36, inv. 460) with Pescennius Niger. However, this portrait has been convincingly identified as Macrinus (cat. 7.13). Similarly, a cuirassed statue in the Palazzo Altieri was identified as Pescennius Niger (D. De Rossi [1704], pl. 110), but should be associated with Septimius Severus, A.M. McCann (1968) 173-4, no. 86, pl. 75. 39 See supra.

In contrast to the Dougga and Vatican portraits, Albinus’s remaining likenesses are generally well preserved and were likely warehoused after his condemnation. Three of these portraits, in Bloomington,28 the Museo Capitolino,29 and Saalburg30 are extraordinary for their fine states of preservation and survive together with their original bust forms. Although not as well preserved, images in Mantua, 31 the Prado, 32 and Petworth House33 also present no indications of deliberate defacement. The Prado portrait preserves its original bust form. These portraits, from Rome and elsewhere in Italy were undoubtedly removed from public view and stored for eventual reuse. Albinus’s images in North Africa could also be similarly removed and stored as attested by another portrait in Tunis which was discovered at Gouraya near Cherchel.34 Pescennius Niger During his brief reign as rival Augustus in the east, Pescennius Niger minted coins bearing his likeness and was presumably honored with portraits in the round. His numismatic representations are distinctive and cannot be confused with the images of his three rivals, Didius Julianus, Clodius Albinus, and Septimius Severus. Coins issued by Pescennius Niger depict him with a
28 Indiana University Art Museum, Inv. 47401, h. 0.63 m.; A. M. McCann (1968) 198-99, pl. 102 (with earlier literature); D. Soechting (1972) 131, no. 3; Fittschen-Zanker 1, 91, beil. 63. From Rome. 29 Stanza degli Imperatori 37, inv. 463; h. 0.67 m.; ex Collection Albani (A30); Fittschen-Zanker 1, 91-92, no. 80, pl. 97-99 (with earlier literature). From Anzio. The bust is unusual in that it portrays Albinus in mailed armor which is often associated with the Praetorian Praefect; see Fittschen-Zanker, 1, 91-2. 30 Museum, inv. 869, h. 0.663 m; M. Bergmann and G. Lahusen (1982) 16, fig. 6; Fittschen-Zanker I, 91. 31 Palazzo Ducale, inv. 6916; A. M. McCann (1968) 199, C, pl. 104 (with earlier literature); D. Soechting (1972) 138, no. 12 (Septimius Severus); Fittschen-Zanker I, 91. 32 Inv. 187 E, h. 0.88 m.; S.F. Schröder (1993) 256-8, no. 73, with figs. (with earlier literature). 33 No. 37; H. 0.30 m.; A. M. McCann (1968) 199-200, pl. 103 (with earlier literature); D. Soechting (1972) 14041, no. 16 (Septimius Severus); C.A. Picon (1983) 75, no. 74; Fittschen-Zanker I, 91, Beil. 62. 34 Musée du Bardo, inv. 1050; Fittschen-Zanker I, 91 (with earlier literature).

the severans Plautianus Like his kinsman Septimius Severus, Gaius Fulvius Plautianus was a native of Lepcis Magna.40 He was singled out for distinction under Pertinax and his career naturally flourished during the principate of Septimius Severus.41 As a result of his enormous influence with the first Severan emperor, Plautianus became praefectus praetorio on 1 January 197.42 Although he was indispensable to the emperor and unrivaled in influence, in 202 Plautianus further strengthened his ties to the imperial family by marrying his daughter Plautilla to Septimius Severus’s eldest son and co-Augustus, Caracalla.43 Caracalla was resentful of Plautianus’s unprecedented power as well as his public opposition to the empress Julia Domna. Caracalla’s arranged marriage to Plautilla apparently served to further increase the hostility he felt towards Plautianus. In January of A.D. 205, Plautianus was accused of plotting the murder of both Septimius Severus and Caracalla.44 Plautianus was immediately executed and his corpse thrown into the street and publicly desecrated in an act of poena post mortem.45 His extensive domus on the slopes of the Quirnal in Rome, was also confiscated.46
40 Plautianus was related to Septimius through the emperor’s mother, Fulvia Pia, A. Birley (1988) 93, 220-21. The date of his birth is not known. 41 Dio 73(74).15.4; Plautianus was honored by Pertinax despite the fact that Pertinax, while proconsul of Africa, had condemned him for unspecified, yet serious offenses in A.D. 188 or 189, A. Birley (1988) 221. 42 AE 1935.156; see F. Grosso (1968) 14-17. 43 Plautianus was not the first powerful Praetorian Praefect who attempted to enhance his position by marrying a female relation into the imperial family: Sejanus brought about the marriage of his kinswoman Aelia Paetina to the future emperor Claudius; Sejanus also betrothed his daughter to Claudius’s son by Plautia Urgulanilla; B. Levick (1990) 25. 44 Dio 76(77).4.1-4; Herod. 3.11.4-12.12. While Dio claims that Caracalla engineered the charges against Plautianus, Herodian maintains that there actually was a plot. The catalyst for these accusations seem to be the deathbed allegations against Plautianus made by Septimius Severus’s brother, Publius Septimius Geta, late in 204 (Dio 76[77].2.4). 45 Herod. 3.12.12. 46 The house is identified on the basis of an inscription on a lead fistula. See recently, F. Astolfi (1998) 34-5; For


No securely identified likenesses of Plautianus have survived, despite Dio’s contemporary account that statues of the Praefect were produced in such great numbers that they outnumbered the portraits of both Septimius Severus and Caracalla.47 Dio further states that these statues were set up in Rome and elsewhere by individuals, communities and the Senate.48 A colossal representation of Plautianus was also erected at Athens, commemorating his position as patronus of the city.49 In 203, the vast quantity and public prominence of Plautianus’s images so infuriated Septimius Severus that he declared his Praefect a hostis and ordered his bronze portraits to be removed from public display and melted down.50 Subsequently, Septimius reconciled with Plautianus and rescinded the sanctions against him. After his execution, representations of Plautianus were again subject to destruction, as Dio makes explicitly clear: "Ê gÆ6`<gH "ÛJ@Ø Fb:B"F"4 *4gN2VD0F"<.51 Indeed Plautianus’s images and inscriptions have been thoroughly and severely eradicated in an attempt to obliterate all trace of him from the public consciousness. Surviving dedicatory inscriptions from which Plautianus’s name and titles have been erased simultaneously document his damnatio as well as his former portrait honors.52 The extraordinary importance of Plautianus insured the inclusion of his likenesses in the major monuments and statuary cycles erected during the years of his ascendancy. One of the most significant commissions from this period was the triple-bayed triumphal arch erected in the northwest end of the Forum Romanum to celebrate Septimius Severus’s tri-

the sculpture discovered at the domus, including warehoused portraits of Lucilla and Macrinus, see cat. 6.10 and cat. 7.14. 47 Dio 75(76).14.7. 48 Ibid. 49 D. J. Geagan (1979) 408. 50 Dio 75(76).16.2-5 and HA Sev.14.7. Dio also records that, when certain cities and official’s heard of Severus’s anger they demolished Plautianus’s portraits, but were subsequently punished for their hasty action. 51 Dio 75(76).16.4. 52 On the career and inscriptions of Plautianus see F. Grosso (1968) 7-59.


chapter eight emperor was deliberately removed and replaced in antiquity. The neck has been carefully carved out, the surface roughened, and an iron dowel inserted for the attachment of a new head; the remnants of the iron dowel are still preserved.57 This constitutes persuasive testimony for the removal and replacement of the portrait head of Plautianus following his damnatio in 205.58 A second Severan arch in Rome, the privately dedicated Arch of the Argentarii, furnishes further dramatic evidence for the removal of Plautianus images (fig. 157).59 This trabeated arch was erected in the Forum Boarium by the argentarii, a guild of silversmiths or bankers 60 and marked the boundary between the VIII, X, and XI Augustan regions of the city.61 The arch, dedicated between 10 December 203 and 9 December 204, honors the family of Septimius Severus, and functioned as a gateway.62 It is richly ornamented with relief sculpture and the interior bay is decorated on each face with a panel depicting members of the imperial family. A togate portrait of Caracalla’s first type is the sole figure preserved in the western panel of the arch (fig. 158). He is represented frontally at the far left of the relief. He holds a patera in his right hand over a flaming altar and grasps a rotulus in his left hand. The relief is entirely blank to Caracalla’s right and the slightly raised and roughened surface of the marble in the vacant areas attest to the removal of two figures.

umph over the Parthians (figs. 155-156).53 The eastern and western facades of the monument, dedicated in A.D. 203, are decorated with relief panels depicting scenes from the Parthian campaigns. A portrait of Plautianus seems to have originally been present in the upper right hand corner of the northwestern panel, which represents events from the attack and surrender of Seleucia (fig. 156).54 In the culminating scene of the panel, the headless figure of Septimius Severus, identifiable through his larger scale and prominent position, receives the submission of the Parthian city.55 Because of its close proximity and nearly commensurate scale to the portrait of Septimius Severus, the figure to the emperor’s proper right should represent his elder son, Caracalla and the two figures form a closely linked pair. A third figure, just behind the emperor’s left shoulder, is also differentiated from the rest of the emperor’s retinue by position and scale. Like Severus and Caracalla, he wears a tunica, paludamentum, and calcei and probably held a rotulus in his left hand. Because this figure is placed slightly behind the figures of Caracalla and Septimius Severus, his position is subsidiary to the imperial pair; however, he is nearly the same height as the emperor and slightly taller than Caracalla. The greater height and subsidiary placement of this figure indicate that he is older and, at the same time, less important than Caracalla, the emperor’s heir; thus, this figure cannot be identified with the emperor’s younger son, Geta.56 Unlike the figures of Septimius and Caracalla, whose heads have deteriorated naturally, the portrait head of the figure behind the

53 R. Nardi (1983-84) 299-312; S. De Maria (1988) 3056, no. 89 (with earlier literature); F. Coarelli (1997) 57, 61, 67, 69-73, 75, 117, 182-3; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 329-32, figs. 293-98; R. Brilliant in E.M. Steinby, ed. (1993) 1035. 54 R. Brilliant (1967) 195. 55 R. Brilliant (1967) 201. 56 Both L. Budde (1955) 3, n. 7, and A. Bonanno (1976) 144 identify this figure as Geta; Budde suggests that the bearded figure behind the emperor and the headless figure is Plautianus, (1955) 3, n. 7. The features of this figure are similar to many others on the arch’s reliefs and are too generic to be considered a portrait of Plautianus.

R. Brilliant (1967) 181, n. 62, 206. R. Brilliant (1967) 207. If this is indeed the case, the artist’s placement of Plautianus just behind the emperor in a scene of submissio directly recalls the position of Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, also son-in-law and close advisor to an emperor, in the three scenes which depict the emperor’s clementia towards foreigners in the panel reliefs honoring Marcus Aurelius. 59 F. Ghedini (1984) 27-53; S. De Maria (1988) 307-9, no. 90 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 138, no. 152, pl. 25.4-5; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 334-37, figs. 300303; S. Diebner in E.M. Steinby, ed. (1993) 105-6, fig. 57; F. Coarelli (1997) 362-64. 60 On the argentarii see S. De Maria (1988) 308. 61 S. De Maria (1988) 308; F.Coarelli (1997) 363. 62 The date of the monument is based upon the titles of Septimius Severus given in line 2 of the inscription: PONTIF. MAX. TRIB. POTEST. XI IMP. XI COS. III PATER PATRIAE; S. De Maria (1988) 308.


the severans The taller of the two excised figures depicted Caracalla’s father-in-law, Plautianus while the shorter figure represented Plautilla, the wife of Caracalla and daughter of Plautianus.63 The initial composition of the western panel, with its three closely linked family members, would have complemented the original threesome of the corresponding eastern panel, Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, and Geta (also subsequently erased).64 Caracalla originally appeared capite velato, like his father in the opposite relief. Traces of his veil are still quite visible above his right shoulder and indications of recarving are clearly evident above his head.65 The effacement of Plautianus, immediately to the right of Caracalla damaged the mantle which initially covered Caracalla’s head, necessitating its removal. As a result, Caracalla appears in a manner highly inconsistent with Roman religious as he sacrifices with unveiled head (capite aperto), while Septimius Severus in the corresponding panel sacrifices in the normal manner with veiled head (capite velato). The inscription preserved on the attic of the southern face of the Arch of the Argentarii was altered at least twice in antiquity (fig. 160).66 The fifth line, the only line to be entirely erased and recarved, now honors Caracalla and reads: PARTHICI MAXIMI BRITANNICI MAXIMI. Abrasions are clearly visible beneath the letters and spaces of this line, which is shorter than the other five lines and contains considerably fewer characters.67 It is likely that this line originally honored Plautianus as comes augustorum and as the


father of the new augusta Plautilla.68 The fifth line was erased after Plautianus’s death in 205 and remained blank for several years, since its recarving could not have occurred prior to A.D. 210, the year in which Caracalla received the title of Britannicus Maximus.69 In all likelihood, this line was recut when the lines honoring Plautilla and Geta were transformed in 211 or 212 following their damnationes. This line, standing in rasura for over six years would have been a prominent visual reminder of Plautianus’s downfall, directly echoing his conspicuous absence from the interior western panel. Both eradications served as graphic expressions of Plautianus’s abolitio memoriae which mandated the destruction of his portraits and inscriptions.70 An attempt was also made to erase Plautianus’s name from a marble inscription plaque reused as a shelf in the Thermopolium on the Via di Diana at Ostia.71 The humble and utilitarian reuse of this inscription is an additional reminder

line line line line

2 6 1 4

(not altered in antiquity) (altered in antiquity) (not altered in antiquity) (altered in antiquity)

= = = =

47 57 81 84


See infra for the removal of Plautilla from this monu-

64 F. Coarelli, following a theory first proposed by J. Madaule (1924) 130-31, entertains the possibility that Geta appeared in the western panel with Caracalla and Plautianus, while Plautilla appeared in the eastern panel with Septimius and Julia, (1997) 364. However, it seems much more probable that Plautilla appeared in the same panel as her husband Caracalla. See infra. 65 H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 77; A. Bonanno (1976) 148. 66 CIL 6.1035; D. E. L. Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 3-13; M. Pallotino (1946) 37-8. 67 Line 5 currently contains 30 characters. In ascending order, the rest of the line counts are as follows:

68 The most widely accepted reading of the original line is: VXORI FILLIAE PLAUTIANI PONTIFICIS NOBILISSIMI PR. PR. COS. II NECESSARII ET COMITIS AVGG; D. E. L. Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 5-6, n. 10. 69 D.E.L. Haynes and P.D. Hirst (1939) 6. 70 Tentative attempts have also been made to identify portraits of Plautianus in two Severan reliefs from the provinces: a relief panel from the pulpitum of the theatre at Sabratha (H.R. Goette [1989]138, no. 154 [with earlier literature]; D.E.E. Kleiner [1992] 344-45, fig. 312) and a section of the dextrarum iunctio scene from the Arch of Septimius Severus at Lepcis Magna (see infra). The Sabratha relief depicts Septimius Severus sacrificing in the presence of the goddess Roma and other personifications. The togate figure of Septimius is flanked on his left by Caracalla and a camillus and on his right by a bearded togate figure. This bearded figure has been identified as Plautianus, but the facial features are generic and resemble those of many of the subsidiary figures from the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum. Although A. Birley has identified two figures from the Lepcis arch as the consuls of A.D. 203, Plautianus and Septimius’s brother Publius Septimius Geta, the arch was probably not constructed until after Plautianus’s downfall in 205 (A. Di Vita [1982] 553, n. 85;A. Birley [1988] pl. 19, caption. 71 1.2.5. C. Pavolini (1983) 83, C. FV[LVIVS] PL[AUTIANUS].


chapter eight replaced with new titles for Caracalla or Julia Domna.75

of Plautianus’s precipitous fall from power and recalls the similar utilitarian reuse of the panel honoring Nero and Agrippina Minor as a paving stone in the Sebasteion at Aphrodisias (fig. 91).

Plautilla’s Portrait Typology Although Plautilla remained at the imperial court as Augusta for less than three years, she enjoyed an unprecedented number of portrait types.76 Her numismatic representations encompass five distinct types, differentiated on the basis of coiffure and physiognomy.77 Plautilla’s name is rendered in the dative on her earliest coins, indicating that they have been issued in her honor, rather than Plautilla minting coins in her own right.78 On these earliest coins, the empress wears a version of the Melonenfrisur in which the hair is parted in the center and braided horizontally, with the braids, usually five to seven in number drawn into a bun at the back of the head.79 Individual curls often escape the coiffure on the forehead, temples and in front of the ears. The facial features are childish and pump and include a sloping, slightly rounded forehead, wide eyes beneath arching brows, a somewhat snub nose, fleshy cheeks, protruding upper lip over a full lower lip and small, rounded chin.

Plautilla Plautilla’s commemorative portraits and inscriptions were subjected to the same systematic eradication as those of her father. At the time of her marriage to Caracalla in 202, Plautilla was awarded the title of Augusta, yet the contemporary historians Dio and Herodian record Caracalla’s feelings of repugnance towards his young bride.72 Plautilla shared in her father’s downfall and at the time of his death in A.D. 205, she was exiled together with her brother Plautius to the island of Lipari and perhaps divorced at that time as well. While still alive, Septimius Severus protected Plautilla from the harshest penalties, but Caracalla did not hesitate to order her execution after his accession, sometime in 211 or 212.73 Plautilla’s damnatio, as visually expressed in the destruction of her public images and the erasure of her name in inscriptions, was not enacted until after her death in 211/212,74 when her name and titles in group dedications were often recut and

Dio 76(77).2.5-3.1; Herodian 3.10.8. 73 Septimius had refused to permit the execution of Plautilla while he remained alive. On her possible divorce at the time of her exile; A. Birley (1988) 220, no. 29. 74 It would have reflected badly on the Severan dynasty to enforce sanctions against the monuments of a living Augusta, especially in view of the numismatic propaganda of 202-5 which had forcefully proclaimed the concordia of the imperial couple. BMCRE 5, 206-7, pl. 33.16, 20; 235ff., pls. 37.18, 20, 38.6; and F.S.Kleiner in D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson, eds. (1996) 89, no. 52.. The message of imperial concordia which was broadcast on the coins may have been intended to counteract the widespread perception that there was discord between the imperial couple; both Dio and Herodian claim that Caracalla despised Plautilla and would not consent to eat or sleep with her, Dio 76(77).2.5-3.1 and Herod. 3.10.8. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that, in 204, Plautilla bore a child who did not survive; J. Gagé (1934) 33-5; D. E. L. Haynes and P. D Hirst (1939) 5, n. 5. Gagé asserts that the celebration of the Ludi Saeculares in 204 was occasioned by the birth of this child.


75 This also supports the later date for her damnatio; since her inscriptions are not recut to honor Septimius Severus or Geta, the erasure likely took place after their deaths. 76 S. Nodelman points out that the great number of numismatic portrait types of Plautilla issued during her brief reign as Augusta is unparalleled in the history of imperial iconography and must be a reflection of the enormous influence and power which her father Plautianus wielded during this period, (1965) 227 and in P. Erhart, J. Frel, S. Knudsen Morgan and S. Nodelman (1980) 81. 77 P.V. Hill (1964) 8. For a review of earlier scholarship on Plautilla’s portrait types, see E. Fileri in MusNazRom 1.9.2, 357-60. 78 As is naturally the case with her later emissions, S. Nodelman (1965) 227-28, n. 272. 79 The placement of the bun is subject to slight variation: it is either directly at the back of the head or tucked slightly under the mass of the coiffure. As a coiffure associated with Diana and popular with young girls throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the Melonenfrisur is particularly appropriate for the first portrait type of Plautilla who was no more than fourteen at the time of her marriage.

the severans In Plautilla’s later types, her facial features are less childish and fleshy, and her nose is noticeably more aquiline. A modified version of the Plautilla’s first Melonenfrisur appears on the coins with dative legends, but also continues on later issues with her name and titles in the nominative. In the modified coiffure, the braids run more vertically or diagonally, as opposed to the strictly horizontal orientation of the first hairstyle.80 Plautilla’s third portrait type is marked by the appearance of an entirely new hairstyle, the Scheitelzopf, in which the individual braids are drawn together to form a broad, flat band of hair that is folded over on the nape of the neck and then pulled up the back of the head. Plautilla, the first of the Roman empresses to wear this distinctive coiffure, appears to have introduced it and versions of the hairstyle remained popular into the fifth century.81 As in the first two coiffures, curls can be shown on the forehead, temples, and in front of the ears. Plautilla’s final two arrangements are radical departures from the first three braided hairstyles. In the new coiffures, the hair is parted in the center and gently waved around the face. The first of these coiffures is a version of the Nestfrisur in which the hair lies close to the skull and descends fairly low on the nape of the neck, where a small bun is inserted into the mass of the coiffure. The waves of hair are arranged diagonally and a loose curl is shown in front of the ears which are left uncovered as in the three previous coiffures. Plautilla’s fifth coiffure is the Helmfrisur with waves of hair descending vertically to a position very low on the nape of the neck and completely covering the ears. This coiffure is
80 The number of plaits can vary. The bun rests at the back of the head, usually tucked up under the mass of the hair. On the earliest coins with dative legend, the bun is full and round, and is comparable to those of the first coiffure. The bun tends to be flatter on the subsequent coins in which Plautilla’s name and titles appear in the nominative. The new direction of the plaits and the lower position of the bun lend a more rounded and less elongated profile to Plautilla’s head than that of the first horizontal Melonenfrisur. Individual curls are sometimes used to frame the face. 81 Other Augustae to wear the Scheitelzopf include: Julia Cornelia Paula, Tranquillina, Otacillia Severa, and Herennia Etruscilla.


comparable to that worn by her mother-in-law, Julia Domna.82 The extraordinary appearance of five numismatic portrait types for Plautilla within the space of three years does not simply document rapidly changing fashions in contemporary hairstyles, but publicly signals the enormous influence of her father and her own pivotal position as the potential producer of Severan heirs who would have ensured the continued stability of the dynasty and the empire.83 Sculptural replicas exist for the first three numismatic types. Because of her exile in January of 205, there may not have been sufficient time for the wide production and dissemination of the last two types (with nest and helmet hairstyles) which were probably not introduced before 204.

The Mutilation and Destruction of Plautilla’s Images Graphic evidence for the intentional mutilation of Plautilla’s visual images is provided by portraits in the Vatican (cat. 7.2; fig. 161a-b)84 and Houston (cat. 7.1; fig. 162a-b).85 The Vatican likeness, a replica of the first type, has been attacked with a hammer or chisel in the areas around the eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, and ears. The resulting depredations to the likeness recall the defacement of representations of Commodus, Crispina, and Lucilla, as well as the emperors of the first century. The Houston portrait has been mutilated in a more unusual manner: the eyes and right cheek have been violently gouged with a large
82 The change from the Melonenfrisur to the Nest or Helmfrisuren may have been engineered in order to make Plautilla appear more mature and emphasize her position as the potential producer of Severan heirs; Plautilla wears the Helmfrisur on a gem in Berlin which depicts the young Augusta with Caracalla in his second portrait type which was not introduced before 204, thus this hairstyle must have been current at the time of her exile in January of 205; S. Nodelman (1965) 229-230. 83 S. Nodelman (1965) 227, and supra. 84 Magazzini, 731, inv. 4278. 85 Museum of Fine Art, inv. 70-39. The portrait is a replica of the third portrait type with Scheitelzopf. This type has been referred to as the Malibu-Houston-Torlonia type after its three surviving unreworked examples, see S. Nodelman (1982); N. Cambi (1988) 221.


chapter eight tilla, the oval shape of the face has been reduced and squared off in the area of the chin, causing the neck to be thicker and more heavyset and adding a fleshy underchin in profile. The eyes of the new portrait have been emphasized through enlargement and the addition of deeply drilled irises and pupils. The recut pupils are distinctively heart shaped, a hallmark of many Tetrarchic and Constantinian portraits.89 The reworking of the eyes has caused them to be set more deeply beneath the brows, resulting in a heavy contrasting shadow above each eye. The new accentuation of the eyes is consonant with a fourth century date for the recarving. The coiffure has also been refashioned. The shallowly carved, naturalistic waves of hair which frame the face in unaltered replicas have been replaced by deeply carved locks which create an abstract, linear pattern. Further linear patterning is evident in the cris-cross design carved into the plaits covering the head and the braids of the Scheitelzopf.90 The abstract, linear treatment of hair is also consonant with a Tetrarchic or Constantinian date for the reconfiguration.91 The continued popularity of the Scheitelzopf would have rendered the Irvine portrait particularly wellsuited for reuse during these periods. The portrait’s diadem suggests that the new image was intended as a likeness of an empress. However, the use of the Scheitelzopf by many of the imperial women of the Tetrarchic and Constantinian period, and the fairly generic nature of the retouched portrait features make a more specific identification difficult.92 Like the portraits of

claw chisel or other clawed metal implement. As with the vandalized portrait of Lucilla from Smyrna, the gouging out of Plautilla’s eyes is an anthropomorphic attack against the person of the empress in effigy, intended to obliterate the essence of the image. The remainder of the Houston portrait is very well preserved, underscoring the purposeful nature of the image’s destruction. These two defaced portraits represent approximately one third of Plautilla’s surviving sculpted likenesses, and strongly suggest that mutilation of her images was widely pervasive, perhaps motivated in part by the hatred Caracalla apparently felt for his young wife. In addition, K. Fittschen has associated a badly deteriorated portrait in the Museo Capitolino with Plautilla’s second portrait type.86 The portrait is too badly weathered in details of coiffure and physiognomy for a secure identification, but if it is indeed Plautilla, it may be yet another intentionally mutilated image. The disfigurement of Plautilla’s images also recalls in effigy the public abuse of her father’s corpse.

The Transformation of Plautilla’s Images Plautilla/Tetrarchic or Constantinian Empress As with Lucilla and Commodus, no images of Plautilla were recarved immediately after her damnatio. However, a portrait of Plautilla worked for insertion, now part of a private collection in Irvine, California, was refashioned sometime in the fourth century A.C., confirming that some of the empress’s portraits were stored to await reuse at a later period (cat. 7.3; fig. 163a-b).87 The coiffure and general physiognomic details conform to Plautilla’s third portrait type with Scheitelzopf.88 Like portraits in the Sala dei Busti and Museo Torlonia, the Irvine head is diademed. However, in an effort to make the subject of the reworked head appear more mature than Plau-

86 Magazzini, inv. 79, h. 0.19 m.; Fittschen-Zanker III 30, no. 32, pl. 40. 87 Irvine, California; Collection of Mr. Robert K. Martin. 88 S. Nodelman (1982) 110, n. 14.

89 F. Yegul (1981) 66, n. 11. Yegul cites the portrait identified as Constans in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Rogers Fund, 67.107); See also Fittschen-Zanker I, nos. 122-26; and III, nos. 38, 173, 175, 178, 179. 90 This cris-cross pattern is evident in the plaits of the unrecarved Scheitelzopfen of the Los Angeles, Houston, and Torlonia portraits, as well as in the Scheitelzopfen of contemporary Severan private portraits, but is not seen in the plaits which cover the heads. 91 F. Yegul (1981) 65, n. 10. 92 For instance, Helena, Fausta, and Glaeria Valeria all wear modified versions of the Scheitelzopf in some of their numismatic portraits, H.P. L’Orange and M. Wegner (1984) pl. 72.a, g, h and i.

the severans Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Lucilla, and Commodus which were not recut until the third or fourth centuries, the Irvine Plautilla provides invaluable evidence for the prolonged storage of imperial images following their removal from public display.


The Removal of Plautilla’s Images Two remarkably well preserved bust length portraits of Plautilla, in the Vatican93 and the Museo Torlonia94 further attest to the warehousing of Plautilla’s images after her condemnation. Neither bust exhibits any signs of deliberate defacement. The Vatican portrait is preserved together with most of its bust form,95 while the Torlonia portrait is entirely in tact. The Vatican image was discovered during the excavations of the so-called Basilica at Otricoli, between 1778-79, which also yielded the colossal Caligula/Claudius (cat. 1.30). As it is unlikely that Plautilla’s likeness would have continued to be exhibited publicly in a structure dedicated to the imperial cult following her exile and subsequent condemnation, the bust must have been stored at the “basilica.” The fine state of preservation of a third likeness in Naples is also likely the result of its storage in a secure location.96 All three images are from Rome or its vicinity and were undoubtedly removed from display as a result of Plautilla’s downfall. In contrast, a portrait in the Getty museum has
Sala dei Busti, no. 300, inv. 687; J. Meischner (1964) 83, no. 65, fig. 59. H. B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971)119, 128, pl. 29 c-d (with earlier literature); FittschenZanker III, 30, no. 32, n. 1, 93, n. 11; G. Spinola (1999) 120, no. 95. The portrait is a replica of the second type with diagonally braided Melonenfrisur. 94 609; C. Visconti (1883) 305, no. 609; C. Visconti, I monumenti del Museo Torlonia (Rome) pl. 158, no. 609; J. Meischner (1964) 86-7, no. 67; I Caruso in C. Gasparri (1980) 228, no. 609; S. Nodelman (1982) 110, n. 13, fig. 10. The portrait is a replica of the third portrait type with Scheitelzopf. 95 The right side of the bust from is a restoration. 96 Museo Nazionale Archeologico 6189 (1057); measurements unavailable; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 124; MNA 166, no. 95, (with fig.,with earlier literature). The portrait is a replica of type I.

been cut from the statue to which it originally belonged and its eroded surfaces, especially at the right side of the head, suggest that it has suffered long period of partial immersion in water (fig. 164).97 The likeness may have been hacked from its statue and thrown in a body of water in an act of denigration and poena post mortem, recalling the numerous images of earlier emperors and empresses which were similarly decapitated and disposed of in bodies of water. Traces of the statue’s drapery are still visible at the right of the neck, near the clavicle. The portrait is of Italian marble, and its fine workmanship may indicate a metropolitan Roman provenance. The most striking and persuasive testimony corroborating the obliteration of Plautilla’s public images and inscriptions is provided by the Arch of the Argentarii. Abrasions in the surfaces at the proper right of the western interior panel mark Plautilla’s initial position next to her father Plautianus (fig. 159). Furthermore, Plautilla’s commemoration in line four of the attic inscription has been erased and replaced with a new title awarded to Julia Domna in A.D. 211, Mater Senatus et Patriae.98 It has been suggested, quite plausibly, that the arch originally supported a bronze statuary group of the imperial family, and if so, Plautilla’s portrait was certainly removed (and melted down) at the same time that her image was eradicated from the relief and her name obliterated in the inscription.99 As with her father, all trace of Plautilla has been effectively eliminated from the arch. Plautilla’s abolitio memoriae strongly resembles that of Commodus on the

97 72.AA.118; h. 0.305 m.; J. Frel (1981) 93, no. 76, 130 (with earlier literature); F. Yegul (1981) 65-66, figs. 8-10; S. Nodelman (1982). The head is a type 3 portrait with Scheitelzopf. 98 This line originally read: IVLIAE AVG. MATRI AVGG. ET CASTRORVM ET FVLVIAE PLAVTILLAE AVG. IMP. CAES. M. AVRELI ANTONINI PII FELECIS AVG. HaynesHirst 4-5 and S. De Maria (1988) 308. 99 S. De Maria (1988) 308; Because of the prominence of his name on the inscription and the inclusion of his portrait in the interior relief panels, a portrait of Plautianus may also have appeared in the statuary group which is likely to have adorned the attic. If so, it would have been removed after his death in 205.


chapter eight records that Caracalla vented his anger even on the stones which had supported Geta’s statues and caused the coins that bore his image to be melted down: 6"Á J@ÃH J•H gÆ6`<"H "ÛJ@Ø $"FJVF"F4 8\2@4H éD(\.gJ@, 6"Á JÎ <`:4F:" JÎ BD@NXD@< "ÛJÎ< FL<gPf<gLFg< .108 Furthermore, it became a capital offence to speak or write Geta’s name,109 and a man was reportedly put to death for paying honor to a portrait of Geta after the damnatio.110 Geta’s name and titles have also been erased in numerous papyri.111 Geta’s name remains noticeably unmentioned in a papyrus dated to 212 in which the prefect of Egypt, Baebius Iuncius relays the senatorial instructions concerning the condemnation.112 Caracalla abolished the celebration of Geta’s birthday and took the extraordinary step of instituting annual sacrifices to Geta’s manes in the underworld, thus emphasizing Geta’s absolute exclusion from the company of divi, the officially consecrated emperors and empresses.113 Perhaps out of deference to his mother, Geta’s corpse was not subjected to the public indignities of a poena post mortem.114 On the contrary, his body was cremated, he enjoyed an elaborate funeral and his ashes were placed in a tomb modelled on the Septizonium which Septimius Severus had constructed at the southeastern corner of the Palatine.115 Eventually Julia Maesa, the sister of Julia Domna, deposited Geta’s remains, together with those of his mother, in the Mausoleum of Hadrian.116
77(78).12.6. Dio 77(78).12.5 includes the information that the name of Geta, which had been a popular name for slaves in Latin and Greek comedies, was no longer used by the playwrights after the damnatio. 110 HA.Carac. 3.5. 111 P. Mertens (1960) 541-52. E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876. 112 BGU 2056 in H. Maehler (1968) 77-8; E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876; T. Pekáry (1985) 137; P. Stewart (2000) 163. 113 Dio 77(78).12.5-6; S.R.F. Price (1987) 91. 114 As the Senate wanted to do with the body of Commodus (HA.Comm. 17.4; 18-19; Dio 73[74].2.1) and as was done with the bodies of Vitellius (Suet. Vit. 17.2), Elagabalus and Julia Soemias (Dio 80.20; Herod. 5.8.9; HA.Elag. 17.47, 23.7). Geta’s corpse may have been spared this fate out of respect for Julia Domna. 115 HA.Geta 7.1-2; this account may be fictitious since the author of the HA suggests that Geta was deified HA 2.7-9; see S. Nodelman (1965) 294, n. 233. 116 Dio 78(79).24.3., who refers to the Mausoleum as
109 108

panel reliefs of Marcus Aurelius and is the only documented instance of the erasure of an imperial female portrait from a Roman relief, further underscoring the exactitude with which her damnatio was pursued under Caracalla.100

Geta Publius (or Lucius) Septimius Geta, the younger son of Septimius Severus, was born on 7 March 189.101 He was granted the title of Caesar on 28 January 198 at the same time that Caracalla was proclaimed Augustus, the date of their elevation being carefully chosen to coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of Trajan’s accession.102 Geta held the consulship in 205 and again in 208. He was officially designated Augustus sometime in 210, although many inscriptions, including that from the Arch of the Argentarii in Rome, refer to him as Augustus much earlier.103 Although Septimius Severus fully intended that his sons should rule jointly after his death, they were incapable of sharing power and their enmity finally culminated Geta’s murder on 26 December 211.104 Caracalla attempted to justify the execution on the grounds that Geta was involved in a conspiracy to murder him.105 Consequently Geta was posthumously declared a hostis by the army on Caracalla’s orders, ensuring the destruction of Geta’s images and inscriptions.106 Geta’s partisans at Rome were ruthlessly hunted down and killed.107 Indeed, Dio, a contemporary witness,

100 As noted earlier, Julia Maior’s portrait has almost certainly been removed or altered on the Ara Pacis. 101A. Birley (1988) 218. Geta is given both the praenomen Lucius and Publius. It is possible that Lucius was used on certain occasions in order to avoid confusion with Septimius Severus’s brother, also named P. Septimius Geta. 102 A. Birley (1988) 130. 103 Ibid. 104 T.D. Barnes (1968) 522-24;A. Birley (1988) 218. 105 Dio 77(78). 3.1-2. 106 Herodian 4.8; HA, Carac., 1.1; Eutr. 8.19. 107 Dio records the number killed as 20,000, 77(78).3.4; on the damnatio and the murder of Geta’s supporters, see D.C. MacKenzie (1949) 29-33.

the severans Geta’s Portrait Typology Much of the propaganda disseminated during the reign of Septimius Severus concentrated on the emperor’s dynastic ambitions. His retroactive adoption into the Antonine family provided a fictive link with the previous ruling family, while the elevation of Caracalla to the rank of Augustus in 198 established the succession and future continuity of the Severan dynasty. As the second male heir, only slightly younger than Caracalla, Geta was crucial to the Severan dynastic stability. He was frequently honored with portraits and his likeness was included in the major commemorative relief monuments of the period. In his roles as Caesar and Augustus, Geta minted coins in his own right and also appeared on special issues which celebrated the imperial family. Although the identification of Geta’s sculpted portraits is partially complicated by his physiognomical resemblance to his brother Caracalla, Geta’s first official portrait type, celebrates his elevation to the rank of Caesar in 198 and is easy to distinguish from Caracalla’s contemporary type 1 portraits.117 Geta’s earliest official likenesses in marble and on coins depict him with a coiffure of full, wavy locks; the bangs over his forehead are parted in the center; the hair on the side of the head is characterized by long, tousled S-shaped locks, with the hair on the nape of the neck combed forward; the ears are generally left uncovered or only partially covered; his eyes are wide and almond shaped with prominent lids, a slightly snub nose, full cheeks, a relatively small mouth with a full underlip, and a rounded chin;


the z!<JT<\<@L J,:X<4F:”. Dio says that Julia’s ashes were transferred from the monument of Gaius and Lucius, where they may have been originally interred because of her claims of descent from the Julii. This monument is either the Mausoleum of Augustus or a tomb of his two grandsons for which this is the only ancient literary testimony. 117 Caracalla’s contemporary portraits show him with similar facial features, but Geta’s eyes are generally wider and his eyebrows often heavier, like those of his mother Julia Domna. Caracalla’s type I coiffure is also very different from that of Geta, being generally more full and curly and lacking a central part. On Caracalla’s first portrait type, see Fittschen-Zanker I, 98-100, no. 86.

sometimes a full underchin, reminiscent of baby fat, can be detected.118 In 205, a new type was created to commemorate Geta’s joint consulship with Caracalla and it deliberately emphasizes Geta’s physical resemblance to his brother. Contemporary coin images depict the two brothers with virtually indistinguishable facial features that include a forehead with a single furrow, wide eyes beneath arching brows, an aquiline nose, a small mouth, and rounded chin. Likewise, their new closely cropped coiffures are nearly identical, with a series of short comma shaped locks arranged across the forehead. Nevertheless, Caracalla’s hairstyle is occasionally differentiated from Geta’s by the addition of a short curl extending onto his upper right cheekbone, or a single longer curl which reverses the right hand direction of the bangs over the right eye.119 The length of the side whiskers of both princes gradually increases on coins of 205209, eventually reaching the line of the jaw, and by 209/210 both wear a full beard.120 The similitudo of the brother’s numismatic portraits is intended to promote the concept of imperial concordia, as well as to evoke associations with Rome’s twin protectors, the Dioscuri.121 Twenty-one marble portraits, replicas or variants of a single prototype, closely resemble the coin portraits of Caracalla and Geta from 205211. These sculpted likenesses depict a youth with a closely cropped coiffure which is slightly fuller and more curly over the temples. The hair is arranged in short, comma-shaped locks over the forehead, usually with a slight part over the inner corner of the left eye. The locks on the nape of the neck are generally brushed forward. The face is oval shaped, tapering at the chin, the eyes are wide and almond shaped beneath arching

118 For Geta’s type I see, Fittschen-Zanker I, 100-102, no. 87. This type is sometimes referred to as the MunichToulouse type after two well-preserved replicas. 119 See H. Mattingly, BMCRE 5 250, no. 476, 272, no. 576. 120 BMCRE 5, 359, pl. 53.8-9; P.V. Hill (1964) 8, figs 10-16, 22-26; S. Nodelman (1965) 221-22; Fittschen-Zanker I, 103-15. 121 S. Nodelman (1965) 204.


chapter eight portraits must, in fact, be representative of Geta’s second and final type, which would bring the total number of his extant sculpted and bronze portraits to thirty-five, a number not inconsistent with surviving portraits of the condemned emperors of the first century (Caligula, Nero, and Domitian). Additional evidence for the identification of this group as Geta and not Caracalla occurs on two gems, in New York125 and Rome.126 Both gems depict bust length portraits of Caracalla and Geta together with Septimius Severus and Julia Domna; in both gems Caracalla is fully bearded whereas Geta is beardless. These gems would seem to indicate that Caracalla adopted a beard earlier than Geta. The intaglio in New York was certainly used as a seal and when stamped, the positive impression depicts the parting of locks over the inner corner of Geta’s left eye.

brows, there is a slight bulge in the forehead in profile over the bridge of the nose. The nose itself is fairly straight and aquiline.122 The mouth usually turns slightly up at the corners with a very full, receding lower lip. The chin is rounded. While the coiffure and physiognomic details remain consistent, the length of sideburns and facial hair are variable. Like the numismatic portraits, the sculpted type can appear without sideburns, with short sideburns, with long sideburns down to the jawline, and with a beard or small moustache. The facial hair is obviously used to indicate the advancing age and maturity of the subject. Because the numismatic evidence is inconclusive, the marble images of this type have been assigned by some scholars to Caracalla, and by others to Geta.123 However, the portrait of Geta from the dextrarum iunctio panel of the Arch of Septimius Severus at Lepcis Magna, which includes the slight part in the hair over the inner corner of the left eye, is clearly of this type. The evidence from the arch would seem to confirm incontrovertibly the identification of the twentyone sculpted portraits as Geta.124 These marble

The Mutilation and Destruction of Geta’s Images Portraits of Geta’s first and second types were intentionally vandalized in response to the damnatio memoriae. The only surviving full length portrait of Geta, an over-lifesized cuirassed statue in the Villa del Poggio Imperiale near Florence, has been savagely mutilated (cat. 7.5; fig. 165ab). The image reproduces Geta’s first type and depicts him wearing a laurel crown, cuirass, paludamentum, and boots. A captive foreigner in reduced scale crouches by Geta’s right leg. As with the deliberately defaced statues of Lucilla in Guelma and Izmir and Annia Fundania Faustina from Ostia, the damage to the Poggio image is confined to the facial features. The upper brow, most of the left eye and cheek, nose, mouth and chin are entirely destroyed and a section of the laurel crown on the left side of the head is also

122 As seen in the coin profiles and the two heads which preserve their original nose: Paris, Musée du Louvre, MA 1076 and Pegli, Museo Civico. 123 Identified as Caracalla, Typus Gabii, by H. Wiggers (1971) 22-28; identified as Geta, L. Budde (1951) 33-39; and S. Nodelman (1965) 212-23. 124 H. Wiggers rejected this identification on the basis of Geta’s damnatio and assigned the portraits to Caracalla, claiming that so many replicas would not have survived the destruction of his images, (1971) 22-28. This cannot be used as an argument against an association of these portraits with Geta, since portraits of condemned emperors do escape destruction, largely as a result of warehousing or storage following their removal from public display. K. Fittschen’s suggestion that the artists of the Lepcis arch confused the portraits of the two brothers because of their strong similarity and that the portrait of the figure in the center of the imperial group is actually Caracalla, although intended to represent Geta, is equally unconvincing, FittschenZanker I, 103. It seems highly unlikely that the artists responsible for such an important monument at the seat of the Severan gens would have made so careless an error, or that, once the relief was executed the mistake was not recognized and rectified. In addition, Caracalla is given more prominence in the scene via his position, his dextrarum iunctio with Septimius and his more massive and mature portrait features.

125 Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. no. 40.143, l. .0002 m.; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 71 (not antique?) (with earlier literature). 126 Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 72147, 0.0002 m. x 0.0012 m. (glass paste); H. von Heintze (196667) 199, n. 49; D. Soechting (1972) 67, 241, nr. 12; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 80 (with earlier literature).

the severans missing. The remainder of the statue is generally well-preserved, again underscoring the intentional nature of its mutilation. Formerly part of the Della Valle collection, the portrait is from Rome or its environs and attests to the rigorous pursual of the damnatio in the capital in conjunction with Caracalla’s violent persecution of Geta’s supporters there.127 The extraordinary triumphal imagery of this representation of the young prince may have made it especially liable to mutilation. Nevertheless, the well-preserved condition of the statue’s body suggests that it was stored (or buried) following its defacement. Two other fragmentary type 1 replicas in Venice (cat. 7.8; fig. 166)128 the Museo Capitolino (cat. 7.7)129 have also been vandalized. The entire face of the Venice portrait has been disfigured through repeated blows from a chisel. The destruction is limited to the area of the face and Geta’s distinctive type 1 coiffure remains intact. The ears have also suffered no damage. The Capitoline portrait consists of the upper portion of the head, all that survives from an image violently attacked with a hammer or chisel. The forehead and eyes exhibit clear traces of the blows they have sustained, while the coiffure and tops of the ears have not been damaged. Two portraits of Geta’s second type have also been attacked and disfigured. Modern restorations to the brows, eyes, nose, and mouth conceal the ancient mutilation of a likeness in the Palazzo Pitti (cat. 7.4; fig. 167).130 The rest of the head is fairly well preserved, confirming that the portrait’s defacement was deliberate. The Tshaped disfigurement of the likeness recalls the similar defacement of Geta’s cuirassed portrait from the Villa del Poggio Imperiale as well representations of Nero, Lucilla, and Commodus (cat. 2.2; cat. 6.1,8-9). A head of Geta from Guelma in North Africa has suffered severe blows from a chisel, removing the nose and damaging the brows and eyes in a nearly identical T-shaped


fashion (cat. 7.6; fig. 168).131 This portrait’s mutilation provides compelling evidence for the destruction of Geta’s images in the provinces. Because Geta’s damnatio was enacted on so vast a scale, the army may have been instrumental in the destruction of his images, like the Guelma portrait, either following directives from the capital or acting on their own initiative in order to spontaneously express their loyalty to the victorious Caracalla by deprecating the memory of his hated brother. Geta’s type 1 likenesses survive in significantly fewer numbers than Caracalla’s contemporary type 1, eleven vs. forty, which provides additional confirmation for the destruction of Geta’s images.132 The great discrepancy in the number of portraits of the two brothers may partially result from the greater production of Caracalla’s type 1 because of his more prominent position as elder son and co-Augustus, but this cannot entirely account for the fact that there are nearly four times as many extant replicas of Caracalla’s first type.133 Dio records that Caracalla melted down Geta’s coinage at the same time he destroyed his sculpted portraits, but Geta’s issues survive in sufficient quantities to suggest that such numismatic destruction was limited in scope.134 However, Geta’s name and portrait have been obliterated on certain issues in the east. Geta’s name has been erased on coins from Ephesus and Isaura and his name and portraits have been deliberately effaced on issues from Clazomenae, Miletus, Nicea, Pergamum, Perperene, and Smyrna (figs. 169-70).135 Geta’s image has been obliterated on issues from Pergamum and Stratonicea (figs. 171-72).136 The obverses of the
Musée Archéologique. Excluding the deliberately damaged type 1 replicas in the Capitoline and Venice. Caracalla’s type 1 replicas are listed in Fittschen and Zanker I, 99-100, no. 86; see also S. Nodelman (1965) 212. 133 S. Nodelman (1965) 212. 134 Dio 77(78).12.6. Perhaps Dio is recording Caracalla’s intention of melting down the coins. 135 R. Mowat (1901) 448, 452-60; K. Regling (1904) 137-9. 136 K. Regling (1904) 139-42; K. Neugegauer (1936) 162, fig. 5; K. Harl (1987) pl. 12.4-5;
132 131

U. Aldovrandi (1563) 220; V. Saladino (1980) 434, Museo Archeologico, inv. 79. Magazzini, inv. 2519. Museo degli Argenti, Sala I, inv. 1036.

n. 11.
128 129 130


chapter eight closely follow the contour of the skull. This combination of slightly fuller, plastically rendered locks over the forehead with an incised coiffure is characteristic of portraiture from the middle of the third century.141 Geta’s portrait must have been fairly easily accessible, perhaps in a sculptural depot thirty or forty years after his damnatio.142 As with the representation of Plautilla reworked in the Tetrarchic or Constantinian period, the rather generic character of the recut coiffure and physiognomy hinder a specific identification. It is unclear whether the image has been altered into a private or imperial individual. Geta’s image has also been radically transformed on a rock crystal intaglio in the Michael C. Carlos Museum (cat. 7.9; fig. 174).143 As preserved, the gem originally depicted Septimius Severus and Caracalla sacrificing, with Geta standing behind Geta and the goddess victory crowning Septimius from behind. The surviving letters +IKC have been inscribed on the reverse of the intaglio. Geta has been refashioned into a second figure of Victory and the recut sections are noticeably deeper than the untouched figures. Nevertheless, the profile of Geta, as well as sections of his drapery and the rotulus he originally held are still plainly visible. The difficulties inherent in recutting an intaglio of such small dimensions are nearly insurmountable and posed far more technical challenges even than the recutting of cameos, which were at least executed in relief. As the only surviving intaglio to be reconfigured, the Carlos rock crystal is yet another visual testament to the pervasive nature of the condemnation of Geta’s monuments.

Pergamum coin initially depicted facing portraits of Geta and Caracalla, while those from Stratonicea depicted Geta and Septimius Severus or Geta and Caracalla. Another example from Stratonicea, formerly on the art market, depicted facing portraits of Geta and Caracalla.137 In the Stratonicea issues, Geta’s portrait features and name and titles have been entirely obliterated and the resulting void spaces often countermarked with the profile busts of a helmeted female figure, either Roma or Minerva and sometimes the inscription 2g@L (of the god, likely referring to Caracalla’s status as the son of the deified Septimius Severus).138 The unprecedented number of disfigured or countermarked coins stands as an impressive testament to Geta’s numismatic damnatio memoriae and further suggests that such erasures and countermarkings were seen as a practicable alternatives to the total recall and melting down of Geta’s issues that had been mandated by Caracalla.139 As in the past, countermarking or erasure inflicted on Geta’s coinage is limited to bronze or brass issues.

The Transformation of Geta’s Images As with the images of Commodus and Plautilla, Geta’s sculpted likenesses were not recut immediately after his condemnation. Nevertheless, a type 2 portrait in the Museo Capitolino, was refashioned in the mid third century and, like the representations of Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Commodus, Lucilla, and Plautilla which were reused at much later periods, provides compelling evidence for the warehousing of imperial images (cat. 7.10; fig. 173).140 The recarving has left the facial features and the hair over the forehead and temples intact, securing the identification as Geta. However, Geta’s short, plastically modeled hair on the top, sides, and back of the head has been cut down and replaced by incised locks which
(M&M list 561 (January 1993) no. 15. R. Mowat (1901) 454-55; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 186-8, nos. 45-47, with figs. 139 R. Mowat (1901) 447. 140 Salone 51, inv. 675.
138 137

141 Fittschen-Zanker, I, 105. For example, see three portraits of Gordian III in the Musei Capitolini: Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 53, inv. 490, FittschenZanker I, 127-28, no. 107, pls., 131-32; Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Orti Mecenaziani, inv. 995, Fittschen-Zanker I, 128-29, no. 108, pl. 133; Palazzo dei Conservatori, Museo Nuovo, Sala I, inv. 479, FittschenZanker I, 129-30, no. 109, pls. 134-35. 142 Its good state of preservation, as well as a correspondence of the locks over the forehead to contemporary mid third century fashions, would have rendered the portrait especially suitable for reuse. 143 Atlanta, Emory University, inv. 2003.25.2.

the severans The Removal of Geta’s Images As in the past, Geta’s sculptural images were removed from public display, and the many surviving well-preserved portraits must have been warehoused or buried. A portrait of Geta’s second type, in Oslo, confirms such warehousing of his likenesses.144 The portrait was discovered in Rome, together with a portrait of Elagabalus, also in Oslo and similarly removed from its original context.145 The representation of Elagabalus has not been finished and its completion must have been interrupted by his condemnation. Both images may have been stored in a sculptor’s workshop or depot, securing their preservation for posterity. Numerous representations of Geta from Rome or its environs, with no signs of deliberate defacement, were stored or buried following his condemnation. Six of these portraits, in the Louvre,146 the Terme,147 the Vatican (fig. 175),148 Castle Howard,149 and two likenesses in the Museo Capitolino,150 survive together with their


original bust forms, or sections of their original bust forms. The Terme portrait was discovered during excavations for the foundations of the Ministero delle Finanze on the Quirinal. The Louvre bust, one of the best preserved of Geta’s likenesses, was discovered at Gabii together with portraits of Septimius Severus151 and Julia Domna.152 The portrait is entirely intact and still preserves its ancient surface. In addition to the bust length portraits, an imago clipeata in Spoleto is likely to have been removed and stored.153 Other well preserved likenesses from Rome or its surroundings include representations in the Vatican154 and Munich.155 The Vatican portrait was discovered at Ostia. Like the bust from Gabii, the Munich head is extremely well preserved and retains much of its ancient finish. The portrait comes from the Palazzo Bevilacqua in Verona, and its extremely high artistic quality that it is a product of a metropolitan Roman workshop.

Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet 600, inv. 1433, h. 0.253 m.; S. Sande (1991) 77-8, no. 63, pl. 62 (with earlier literature). The upper right portion of the head is missing and there is damage to the nose and lips, but no indications that this damage is deliberate. 145 Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. SK 1434; See infra. 146 Inv. MA 1076 (2282) h. 0.66 m.; S. Nodelman (1965) 216, 219, pls. 126-27; H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 22-24, 44, 52, pl. 5c, 8a-b, 22a; D. Soechting (1972) 19697; Fittschen-Zanker I, 102. K. de Kersauson (1996) 3945, no. 181, with figs. (with earlier literature). 147 Magazzini, inv. 88; h. 071 m.; A. Cioffarelli in MusNazRom I.9.2 (Rome 1988) 345-49, no. R264, with figs. (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 149-50, no. 33, pl. 52.4; The portrait has received damage to the ears, nose, mouth, and chin. There is some chipping to the drapery and the head has been broken off the neck and reattached. 148 Galleria Chiaramonti 3.16, inv. 1238 (Type 1); S. Nodelman (1965) 207, 210-11; H. von Heintze (1966-67) 195, n. 30 (Caracalla); H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 98-100, 111-12; pl 27a-b (with earlier literature); FittschenZanker I, 101; P. Liverani (1989) 17. Restorations in marble include the nose and sections of the bust. 149 Fittschen-Zanker I, 102, Beil. 69c; A. Cioffarelli in MusNazRom I.9.2 (Rome 1988) 348; H.R. Goette (1989) 149, no. 32, pl. 52.3. 150 Stanza degli Imperatori 41, inv. 468, h. 0.68 m. (Type 2); ex-Collection Albani?; Fittschen-Zanker, I, 102-


104, no. 88, pls. l06-7 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 67, n. 328, 151, no. 50, pl. 54.1, 94.12. Salone, no. 40, inv. 660, h. 0.615 m. (Type 2); exCollection Albani ?; Fittschen-Zanker I, 104-5, no. 89, pls. 107-108 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 150, no. 34. 151 Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv. MA 1118; A.M .A. M. McCann (1968) 192, pl. 97 (not antique); D. Soechting (1972) 196-97, no. 92; K. de Kersauson (1996) 354-55, no. 162. 152 Paris, Louvre, MA 1109; J.J. Bernoulli (1894) 39, pl. 16; J. Meischner (1964) 30, nr. 2; Fittschen-Zanker III, 28, no. 14, n. 1; K. de Kersauson (1996) 364-65, no. 167. 153 Seminario (type I); Fittschen-Zanker I, 100. 154 Galleria Chiaramonti 23.9, inv. 1551 (type 1); H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 99-100, 112, pl. 26ab (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 101; P. Liverani (1989) 51. The nose, parts of the neck and bust form are restorations in marble, and chips in the area of the brows, cheeks and mouth have been filled with plaster. 155 Glyptothek, F.352, h. 0.XX m. (type I); H. B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 97-99, 108, pl. 25 (with earlier literature); L. Franzoni (1978) no. 16; FittschenZanker, I, 101; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 325, fig. 289. Damage is limited to very slight chips to the tip of the nose, to the left side of the mouth, and to a few locks of the coiffure; a crack runs through the neck, and the rims of the ears have been restored. The shape of the tenon indicates that the head was originally intended for a draped statue.


chapter eight and a fragmentary bronze portrait in Hamburg.171 Both of the Tunisian likenesses are from Thuburbo Maius and one, a head worked for insertion, was discovered in the remains of an aedicula near the forum. The portrait was likely removed from its statue and stored in the area of the Forum. Likewise, the other portrait which was discovered near the Summer and Winter Baths, must have been removed and stored in the vicinity of the Baths. The Toulouse portrait was part of a late antique collection of sculpture displayed at the Roman villa of Chiragan in France. In preparation for its display at the Villa, Geta’s portrait head was mounted on a bust of eastern Roman provenance to which it did not originally belong. The entire sculptural collection at Chiragan was formed in the fourth century and is largely composed of reworked or modified earlier sculpture.172 Geta’s bust was included in a cycle of imperial images representing Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Sabina, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus and Caracalla, among others.173 At the time of the collection’s formation, Geta’s image may have been acquired from a sculptural depot or other secure location where it had been warehoused following his condemnation.174 As

Additional portraits in Florence;156 Munich;157 Vienna;158 ex Vienna, Palais Lanckoronski (fig. 176);159 Caltanisetta;160 Catania;161 Geneva;162 the Louvre;163 the Prado;164 Pegli (fig. 177);165 the Museo Torlonia,166 and Stuttgart 167 are all likely to have been removed from display and stored or buried following Geta’s condemnation. An underlifesized bronze bust, a replica of type 1, has also have escaped the destruction of Geta’s images.168 Images of Geta were also removed in the provinces, as attested by well preserved likenesses in Toulouse169 two portraits in Tunis (fig. 178),170
156 Museo Archeologico, inv. 13791 (type 1); FittschenZanker I, 100. 157 Residenz inv. 271 (type 1), h. 0.13 m.; FittschenZanker I, 101; E. Weski in G. Hojer, ed. (1987) 251-2, no. 136, pl. 176. 158 Kunsthistorisches Museum, I 237, h. (type 1); Fittschen-Zanker I, 101. 159 (type 1); Fittschen-Zanker I, 101 (with earlier literature). 160 Museo Civico, h. 0.50 m. (type 2); E. de Miro (1972) 242, fig. 11; N. Bonacasa Carra (1977) 25-28, pls. 12-13; Fittschen-Zanker I, 102. 161 Museo Communale 226, h. (type 2); N. Bonacasa (1964) 107; no. 138, pl. 63; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 105; Fittschen-Zanker I, 102. 162 Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, inv. MF 1347, h. 0.35 (type 2); I. Rilliet-Maillard (1978) 66, no. 21, with figures (with earlier literature); J. Chamay and J. L. Maier (1982) no. 64, with figure; Fittschen-Zanker I, 104. 163 Louvre, Mag., MA 2315 (type 2), h. 0.255 m.; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 75; Fittschen-Zanker I, 102, Beil. 67; K de Kersauson (1996) 396-7, no. 182, with figs., (with earlier literature). 164 inv. 197 E, h. 0.885 m. (type 2); S.F. Schröder (1993) 264-66, no. 76, with figs. (with earlier literature). From Italy. 165 Museo Civico (type 2); Fittschen-Zanker I, 102, Beil. 68.c-d. 166 Museo Torlonia 575 (type 2); H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 81; C. Gasparri and I Caruso (1980) 223, no. 575 (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 102. 167 Württembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. Arch. 68/ 1 (type 2), h.0.345 m.; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 86 (with earlier literature); U. Hausmann (1975) 51-3, no. 17, 128, figs. 52-4; Fittschen-Zanker I, 102. 168 H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 99-100, 114; Fittschen-Zanker I, 101, n. 4. 169 Musée St. Raymond 30109 (type 1); H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 97-98; 113; pl. 26.c-d (with earlier literature); V. Saladino (1980) 436, pls. 81.4, 83,3; FittschenZanker I, 101; N. Hannestad (1994) 132; K. Fittschen (1999) ns. 316, 455, pl. 128. The tip of the nose and most of the chin have been chipped off. The left half of the rear of the head has broken away and been reattached.

170 Musée du Bardo C 1397 (type 2), h. ; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 90, 199 (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 102. Tunis, Musée du Bardo, inv. C 1347; S. Nodelman (1965) 218, 220-221, pls. 132-33; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 12, 53-54, 90, pls. 7, 8D (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker, I, 102.The portrait is very well preserved; the major damage to the head has been sustained in the area of the nose and upper lip and there is incidental damage to the lower lid of the left eye and the back of the right ear. 171 Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, inv. 1971.3, h. 0.141 m., W. .087 m; “Erwerbungen des Museums für Kunst und Gewerbe,” (W.H. Gross) AA (1974) 69-71, figs. 28a-b; Fittschen-Zanker I, 101, n. 4. 172 On the collection, see N. Hannestad (1994) 127-44. E. Bartman also discusses the collection (1991) 73. 173 N. Hannestad (1994) 128-9. 174 N. Hannestad has suggested that the imperial portraits were acquired from an Augusteum. Most of the imperial portraits appear to have been fairly poorly preserved at the time of their acquisition for the villa and required extensive restoration. Nevertheless, the portrait of Geta is much better preserved than the other imperial

the severans might be expected, Geta’s damnatio was no longer enforced in the fourth century and clearly the owner of the Villa wished to have a representative cycle of imperial images. Additional evidence for the treatment of Geta’s representations in the provinces is provided by the fragmentary bronze portrait from Egypt, now in Hamburg. A badly weathered under life-sized representation of Geta in Ostia attests to the more cursory and destructive disposal of his images.175 Seven holes drilled in the top and sides of the head for the attachment of metal rays indicate that the likeness depicted Geta with the radiate crown of Sol.176 The small scale of the head and its divine attributes further suggest that it was originally displayed in a public or private lararium, from which it was removed as a consequence of the damnatio. The most spectacular and persuasive evidence for the removal of Geta’s images occurs on the major Severan relief monuments from Rome and Lepcis Magna. As with Plautianus beforehand, every epigraphic or visual reference to Geta has bee ruthlessly expunged from the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum. As the preeminent commemorative monument in the capital celebrating the Severan victory in Parthia, the arch’s placement diagonally across the Forum from the Parthian Arch of Augustus was deliberately intended to link Severus’s achievements with those of Rome’s first emperor.177 Further-


more, the inscription of the arch acknowledged Severan dynastic claims by honoring Caracalla and Geta together with their father.178 This inscription originally read:

As an essential part of the monument, the inscription is repeated on both the eastern and western attic facades, and its importance was further enhanced in antiquity by the addition of gilded bronze letters.180 Geta’s commemoration has been obliterated from the inscription: the ET which ends line three was recarved to P.P. in order to refer to Caracalla as Pater Patriae, and line four was entirely recut to refer to Severus and Caracalla as: OPTIMIS FORTISSIMISQUE PRINCIBVS.181 At the same time the inscription was altered, representations of Geta were also removed from the bronze statuary group which crowned the arch and the reliefs which decorated the facades.182 Although the portrait heads are no longer preserved in the badly weathered reliefs, the figure of the emperor is consistently recognizable in eight scenes as a result of his larger scale and central position. In two of these scenes,

images, especially a type 1 portrait of Caracalla which has been cut down from a statue and whose facial features have been largely recut. Geta’s features have not been recut, the only modification to the image being its attachment to the bust form to which it did not originally belong. It is likely that the image of Geta had been stored in a secure location following his condemnation, accounting for its better state of preservation in contradistinction to the other portraits which remained on public display in the context of the Augusteum, (1994) 132-33. 175 Magazzini, vetrina 1, inv. 282; h. 0.08 m. (type I); R. Calza (1977) 51-2, no. 64, pl. 51. Although the head is very poorly preserved, the central part of the coiffure can still be discerned and the hair partially covers the ears, as in the Munich portrait. The oval shape of the face and general outline of the mouth also recall Geta’s first type. 176 A. Alföldi (1935) 107-8, fig. 9; R. Calza (1977) 52. 177 The arch is securely placed within the predominantly Julio-Claudian fremework of the Forum, reinforcing the

Severans’ link to the first dynasty. 178 On the dynastic implications of the monument see R. Brilliant (1967) 92. 179 CIL 6.1033, ILS 425; R. Brilliant (1967) 91-95; A. Claridge (1998) 75. 180 R. Brilliant (1967) 91. 181 Line four of the inscription stands in rasura and the attachment holes for the bronze letters of the original inscription are still visible, providing incontrovertible evidence for the initial appearance of the dedication. Although highly visible now, the erasure and recutting would have been substantially masked in antiquity, and, as a result, C.W. Hedrick’s claims about the legibility of the erasure are somewhat overstated (2000) 108. 182 Just as Plautianus’s portrait was removed from the northwestern panel.


chapter eight from the mint of Rome dated to 204-7 depict the arch topped by a six-horsed chariot, driven by a single person, and flanked by two standing figures and two horsemen at the outside.189 The two equestrian figures are likely to be Caracalla and Geta.190 As a consequence of his damnatio, Geta’s image would have been removed from the attic group and melted down following his death. Every visual or epigraphic reference to Geta has also been eradicated from the Arch of the Argentarii (figs. 157, 180-82) in precisely the same manner as those of Plautianus and Plautilla. Line three of the dedication, honoring both Caracalla and Geta, originally read (fig. 160):

Geta was depicted next to his father.183 The southeastern panel (scene I C) depicts an adlocutio at Nisibis (fig. 156).184 Septimius Severus, flanked by Caracalla and Geta, is identifiable as the central figure at the front of the suggestum.185 Geta, represented as shorter than his brother Caracalla, appears to Septimius’s left.186 Geta’s head and upper torso have been sheared off. Geta appears in the same position, at the emperor’s proper left, in a scene of adlocutio at Ctesiphon, on the southwestern panel (fig. 179).187 Although these two figures of Geta are badly damaged, no evidence for the replacement of the portrait heads exists, in contrast to the iron dowel which documents the replacement of Plautianus’s portrait in the northwestern panel. In addition, a portion of the right jaw of the figure in the Nisibis adlocutio is still extant, confirming that Geta’s portrait features are likely to have been intentionally severed from the relief.188 The mutilated state of Geta’s relief portraits would have been graphic public reminders in the Forum Romanum of his downfall. Geta’s image was also undoubtedly removed from the gilded bronze statuary group which originally decorated the top of the arch. Denarii

183 A. Bonanno (1976) 143-44; S. De Maria (1988) 306; Geta was represented in conjunction with Septimius Severus in the both triumphal scenes and the dextrarum iunctio scene from the attic reliefs of the arch at Lepcis Magna, the southeastern panel of the interior bay of the Arch of the Argentarii, and the Palazzo Sachetti Relief. See infra. 184 R. Brilliant (1967) 186. 185 The emperor is distinguished by his larger scale and his footgear which consists of calcei without braccae, instead of the caligae which the common soldiers wear; R. Brilliant (1967) 187. 186 R. Brilliant (1967) 187-88. 187 Scene IV B; R. Brilliant (1967) 217. 188 Both scenes in which Geta appeared, occur in the upper registers of the relief panels, near the architrave which encircles the arch. The top of architrave was reached through an interior stairway and was enclosed by a metal parapet, allowing it to function, like the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, as a kind of belvedere from which to view the Forum, the Capitoline, and Palatine. Thus, the parapet could have made the upper portions of the reliefs more accessible to anyone wishing to damage the portraits of Geta. Additionally, it would have facilitated the recutting of the inscription. On the bronze railing, see R. Nardi (1983-84) 303.

The reference to Geta as Nobilissimus Caesar was expunged and replaced by new titles for Caracalla, III P.P. PROCOS. FORTISSIMO FELICISSIMOQVE PRINCIPI.192 The reference to Caracalla as Fortissimvs Princeps directly recalls the recutting of the inscription from the Arch in the Forum Romanum in which both Septimius and Caracalla are called fortissimi principes. A second reference to Geta has also been erased from the inscription. In line four, Julia Domna was originally referred to as “Mother of the Augusti and the camps” (MATER AVGG. ET CASTRORUM).193 Following Geta’s damnatio the plural
189 BMCRE 5, cxlix, 216, 320-21, pl. 35.5; 252 n. *; 342 n. *; 344 n. +; S. De Maria (1988) 306. 190 Caracalla and Geta were often assimilated to the Dioscuri; if, in fact, the emperor’s two sons did appear as the equestrian figures on the arch, a reference to the Dioscuri may have been intended; G. T, Grisanti (1975) 295; F. Ghedini (1984) 101, n. 175; Fittschen-Zanker I, 103. Alternatively, Caracalla and Geta may have been depicted in the chariot with their father, and the horsemen are soldiers, A. Claridge (1998) 77. 191 D. E. L Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 4-6; M. Pallotino (1946) 37-38; S. De Maria (1988) 308. 192 Following COS, the line stands in rasura. Caracalla’s third consulship began on 1 January 208 and his fourth on 1 January 213. Since the reworked inscription refers to him as COS. III, the recutting is securely dated to 208-213, and must certainly have taken place in 212 following Geta’s murder and damnatio. See D. E. L Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 4. 193 D. E. L Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 4; M. Pallotino (1946) 31; S. de Maria (1988) 309; Although Geta

the severans reference to both Caracalla and Geta as Augusti (AVGG.) was changed to the singular; Julia’s new title was given as “Mother of our Augustus and the Camps” (MATER AVG.N. ET CASTRORUM).194 Such a minute alteration in the inscription testifies to the meticulous care which has been taken to remove any epigraphic reference to Geta. Geta’s relief portraits have also been painstakingly removed from the monument. Already in 1690, Giovanni Bellori recognized that the low relief and clumsy carving of Julia Domna’s left side in the eastern panel of the arch’s interior bay were the result of restorations following some kind of erasure (figs. 180-81).195 As preserved, the proper right of this panel depicts Septimius Severus, capite velato, sacrificing over an altar placed to his left. Julia Domna, veiled, stands to the emperor’s left and raises her right hand over the altar in a gesture of dextra elata and holds her left hand stiffly


did not receive the title of Augustus until 211, he is frequently called Augustus prior to that year; D. E. L Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) n. 8; M. Pallotino (1946) 31.. F. Ghedini has recently questioned the viability of reading AVGG. in the original inscription. She prefers to see AVG.N. as the original rendition. She bases her claims chiefly on the fact that the stone beneath the N does not appear have been abraded as much as in the other recut portions of the inscription. She suggests that MATER AVG.N. was substituted for Julia Domna’s more common title during these years, MATER AVGVSTI ET CAESARIS, for which there was not sufficient room in the inscription; (1984) 27-28. However, it is highly unlikely that Caracalla would have been called Augustus Noster while Septimius Severus was still alive, D. E. L Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 4. 194 New references to Caracalla and Julia Domna resulting from the recutting of the dedications to Geta and Plautilla have rendered the inscription redundant. Caracalla is called felix in lines three and four and felicissimus, making him simultaneously happy and most happy. In line four, Caracalla’s names and titles are rendered in the genitive, originally referring to Plautilla as his wife. However, when Plautilla’s name was removed and replaced by additional titles for Julia Domna, Caracalla’s names and titles must be read with Julia Domna, who is now honored as “Mother of our Augustus (Caracalla) and the camps and the Senate and the fatherland and Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix Augustus (Caracalla)”: IVLIAE AVG. MATRI AVG. N. ET CASTRORVM ET SENATVS ET PATRIAE ET IMP. CAES. M. AVRELI ANTONINI PII FELICIS AVG. Thus Julia Domna is twice refereed to as Caracalla’s mother. 195 G. Bellori and J. Rubeis (1690) 11, 20-21.

at her side.196 The upper portions of a caduceus are visible in the top left hand corner of the panel. The rough surfaces of the stone in the empty space below the caduceus confirm that a shorter figure, representing Geta, originally completed the relief at the proper left.197 Geta may have been depicted as a camillus assisting his father at the sacrifice.198 Geta’s removal has resulted in the awkward recarving of Julia Domna’s left side which is rendered in considerably lower relief than her upper torso, head, and right hand. In addition, her left arm and hand are noticeably shorter and smaller than her right arm and hand or the arms and hands of Septimius.199 The inconsistencies occasioned by the recarving of the Argentarii relief recall the illogical extension of the temple steps in the Aurelian triumph panel, from which the figure of Commodus was effaced (fig. 142a-c). Geta’s abolitio memoriae on the arch also encompassed four smaller bust length images which originally decorated the principal southern facade. Each pier of this facade is framed by richly ornamented pilasters filled with military insignia including the imperial imagines. The signa from each of the three visible pilasters contain two imagines.200 The upper portraits from two of the pilasters are clearly identifiable as Septimius Severus and Caracalla (fig. 182). The pendant imag-

196 F. Ghedini (1984) 33-43, interprets this gesture (dextra elata) as an eastern innovation in imperial iconography. 197 Geta was fourteen or fifteen years at the time of the monument’s dedication in 204, accounting for his shorter stature; D. E. L Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 20-22; M. Pallotino (1946) 79-80; L. Budde (1957) 6; A. M. McCann (1968) 73; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 110; A. Bonanno (1976) 148; F. Ghedini (1984) 29; S. De Maria (1988) 307; F. Coarelli (1997) 364. 198 D. E. L Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 22; M. Pallotino (1946) 80; L. Franchi (1960-61) 10; A.Bonanno (1976) 147; F. Ghedini (1984) 29, n. 21. 199 The left side of her tunica and palla have been unnaturalistically extended to the left in an effort to fill up the empty space in this section of the relief. The absence of sufficient marble for recarving has caused the lower part of the empress’s drapery to be recut with much more shallow and sketchy folds than drapery elsewhere on the relief. 200 The easternmost pilaster has been incorporated into the west wall of San Giorgio in Velabro.


chapter eight of the facade, as well as the awkward reworking of the left side of the figure of Julia Domna. Geta’s portrait features have been also been excised from the Palazzo Sachetti relief (fig. 183).202 The scale and quality of this relief suggest that it derives from an officially sponsored monument, and its imagery indicates that it was designed to commemorate the joint consulship of Caracalla and Geta in 205. Septimius Severus, now headless, seated on a sella curulis which rests on a suggestum, presents his two sons to the Senate as the new consuls for 205, a politically significant event given the princes’ youth. Septimius is flanked by two other headless figures and the shorter of these seems to have represented Geta as the head has been intentionally cut from the relief. Whereas the necks of the headless figures of Septimius and the figure in front of Caracalla are substantially preserved, that of Geta has been cut off at the base. There is no evidence that Geta’s portrait features were ever replaced and his figure seems to have remained decapitated. Because of the specificity of the event commemorated, the joint consulship for 205, it would have been impossible to replace Geta’s features with those of someone else. However, it is important to keep in mind that Geta’s figure was not removed in its entirety, as in the Arch of the Argentarii; the headless representation of Geta functioned as yet another highly visible manifestation of his posthumous disgrace. As is to be expected, Geta’s images have also been entirely obliterated in the Severan quadrifrons arch at Lepcis Magna,203 which commemo-

ines from the inner pilaster of the western pier are badly weathered, but identical to those of the other piers. Wreaths encircle the standards below each of the portraits of Septimius and Caracalla. Sections of the relief directly below the imagines of Septimius Severus have been drastically recut as a result of the removal of Geta’s likenesses from the signa.201 The background has been carved out to form a curve and the bare poles of the standards now rise from the wreaths which originally enlivened the bottom of Geta’s imagines. The bare poles are not consistent with representations of signa with portraits on earlier monuments, such as the Great Trajanic Frieze, the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, and the Aurelian panels and together with the blank background, they stand out as anomalies within the decorative system of the elaborately carved pilasters. Indeed, the monument as a whole exhibits a horror vacui in which virtually every surface is decorated with exuberantly articulated architectural details and figural relief panels. The gaping voids resulting from Geta’s removed representations, as well as Plautianus and Plautilla, stand in stark contrast to the rest of arch’s elaborate decoration and are eloquent testimonials of abolitio memoriae. As with Plautilla, Geta’s portrait would have been removed from the bronze statuary group which probably surmounted the arch. The conspicuous absence of Geta, Plautilla and Plautianus from the relief decoration of the monument, the erasure of their names and titles in the inscription, and the removal of any portraits from the attic comprise a forceful reminder of the reigning emperor’s power to rewrite Roman history by obliterating all trace of his enemies from the visual record. No reminders of them have been allowed to remain for posterity. The ideological considerations implicit in the erasure of the figures and inscriptions clearly took precedence over any aesthetic concerns about the drastic alterations to the monument, including the blank stretches in the interior reliefs and the pilasters

201 D. E. L. Haynes and P. D. Hirst (1939) 39; A. Bonanno (1976) 148.

Palazzo Ricci-Sachetti, Via Giulia 66, h. 1.575 m., w. 2.335 m.; G. Koeppel (1986) 82-84, no. 44 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989) 55, 142, no. 31, 157, no. 68, pl. 35.1-2; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 332-33, fig. 299. 203 The reliefs are now preserved in the Tripoli Museum; in general, see: R. Bartocini (1931) 116-152; I. S. Ryberg (1955) 135-6, 161-2, figs. 73a, 89a; R. Bianchi Bandinelli, E. Vergara Caffarelli, G. Caputo (1967) figs. 33-47; V.M. Strocka (1972) 147-72; F. Ghedini (1984) 5510; H.R. Goette (1989) 44, n. 212 e, 51-52, 54, n. 278, 60, n. 300, 138, no. 153, 144, nr. 22, pls. 25.6, 381-2; N.B. Kampen (1991) 218-48. N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 2257, figs. 9.8-12; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 340-43, figs. 307-310. Because it lacks a dedicatory inscription, the date of the arch is controversial. The core of the arch itself may be


the severans rates a visit that the Severan family made to Lepcis likely in 206-207.204 The principal reliefs decorated the four attic facades, and represent scenes of sacrifice (northeast), a dextrarum iunctio between Caracalla and Septimius Severus (southwest), and mirror triumphal processions (northwest and southeast). Geta’s likeness has been eradicated from all four scenes. The scene of dextrarum iunctio symbolizes the concordia augustorum of Septimius Severus and Caracalla, which guarantees the concordia of the empire (fig. 184a-b).205 At the center of the relief Septimius and Caracalla clasp right hands, while Geta, depicted between them, glances towards his father. Julia Domna stands to the right of her husband and sons. Assorted divinities, personifications, citizens and soldiers witness the central scene.206 Geta’s portrait head has been


Trajanic or Hadrianic; see A. M. McCann (1968) 74, n. 7; F. Ghedini (1984) 109, n. 328. 204 The reliefs refer to the successful conclusion Septimius Severus’s second Parthian campaign so they cannot be earlier than 202 and they originally included Geta, so they cannot be later than December of 211; A. Birley (1988) 150, n. 8 prefers 202-3 for the visit to Lepcis and for the arch, but does not discount the possibility of a second visit in 206-7; for numismatic evidence for a visit of 206-7, see H. Mattingly, BMCRE V, clix, P.V. Hill (1964) 6, 33-35 and H. Halfmann (1986) 222-23; V.M. Strocka dates the arch to 205-9 (1972), 169-70; A.M. McCann suggests a date for the Arch of 207-9, based on the evidence of imperial portrait types, as well as the conspicuous absence of Plautianus from the monument, (1968) 7478. A later dating is also favored by G. Säflund (1968) 121ff.; F. Ghedini reviews the literature and bibliography surrounding the dating controversy and favors a date of 209, (1984) 88-90, n. 327. Indeed, the absence of both Plautianus and Plautilla on the arch suggests a date after January of 205, the date of Plautianus’s damnatio and Plautilla’s banishment. The inclusion of Geta’s second portrait type in the dextrarum iunctio scene, which was not introduced on coins prior to 205, also indicates that the reliefs should not predate that year. 205 Tripoli, Archaeological Museum, V.M. Strocka (1972) 157-160 (with earlier literature); H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 88-89, 113, pls.6.a-b, 8c, 24a-b; A. Bonanno (1976) 150-55 (with earlier literature); C. Walters (1979) 271-83; P. MacKendrick (1980) 159; F. Ghedini (1984) 6368; Fittschen-Zanker I, 102-105. 206 The divinities and personifications include Concordia, above and behind Geta, Hercules behind Caracalla, Liber Pater in the background behind Septimius Severus’s left shoulder, Minerva above and behind Julia Domna, and Roma to Julia Domna’s proper right.

carefully sawn off the relief and then buried near the arch where it was discovered during excavations earlier in this century.207 No new likeness was ever attached to Geta’s togate body, and, as with the Arch in the Forum Romanum and the Palazzo Sachetti Relief, his figure remained headless for as long as the arch continued to stand.208 Geta’s decaptitated figure, positioned at the very center of the dextrarum iunctio scene, would have stood as a prominent and ever present testimonial to the inhabitants of Lepcis of his denigration and damnatio memoriae and ultimately the profound lack of concordia within the Severan family. Geta’s likeness has been similarly shorn off of the northwestern relief (fig. 185).209 In this frieze Septimius Severus and his two sons, shown frontally in a quadriga, participate in a triumphal procession.210 All three imperial figures wear togae and wreaths. Enough of the portrait features of the central figure is preserved to identify him as the emperor. The taller figure to the emperor’s left clearly represents Caracalla, while the headless shorter figure at the emperor’s right is Geta. Geta’s portrait features have been excised from the relief in a manner identical to the despoliation of his likeness in the dextrarum iunctio scene. Again, his headless presence in the quadriga would have been a powerful statement of disparagement.
207 P.W. Townsend (1938) 517-18; P. MacKendrick (1980) 159. The head currently displayed on the reconstruction of the relief is a plaster cast, the original having been stolen by an allied soldier during World War II, A. Di Vita (1982) 553, n. 85; M. Donderer (1991-2) 250-51, no. 40. 208 No attempt was made to remove the entire figure of Geta from the relief, as had been done in the western interior panel from the Arch of the Argentarii in Rome. The risk of damage to the clasped right hands of the two Augusti, the focal point of the entire relief, may have precluded such an attempt to remove the portrait of Geta in toto. 209 Tripoli, Archaeological Museum; V.M. Strocka (1972) 149-54, (with earlier literature); D. Soechting (1972) 168-9, no. 63; A. Bonanno (1976) 150-55, pls. 290-91 (with earlier literature); G. Hanfmann (1975) 117, fig. 127; F. Ghedini (1983) 68; F. Ghedini (1984) 69, 70, 73; A. Birley (1988) Severus 150, fig. 20; 210 Although the ferculum, captives, and chariot clearly mark this procession as triumphal in content, its location is much debated; Lepcis, Rome and Ostia have all been proposed. For a review of the debate, see F. Ghedini (1984) 69.


chapter eight and personifications are shown at the left and right of the scene. Julia Domna stands to the proper left of the missing section of the frieze which presumably depicted Septimius Severus, assisted by his two sons, officiating at the altar. Another fragmentary head, also depicting either Caracalla or Geta, has been restored to this relief.215 Like the lost head from the southeastern triumph frieze, if it was intended as a portrait of Geta, its removal and damage can be attributed to the damnatio. Geta’s images have also been eradicated from at least two of the vertical panels which decorated the internal faces of the arch’s four piers.216 Geta’s head has been cut from a scene in which the goddess Victoria crowns him with a wreath.217 Like his portrait from the dextrarum

The northeastern and southeastern friezes are much less well preserved than the dextrarum iunctio and triumph friezes. Julia Domna is the only imperial figure preserved from these two friezes, but Septimius Severus, Caracalla and Geta undoubtedly appeared in them as well. The preserved sections from the southeastern frieze indicate that its composition closely paralleled that of the northwestern triumph relief and functioned as a complementary reference to the victorious imperial family.211 A head, with traces of a corona visible above the right temple was discovered during the excavation of the arch and is often assigned to the missing section of the southeastern triumph frieze.212 This head, now lost, was clearly intended as a portrait of Caracalla or Geta, but lacks sufficient iconographic details to permit secure identification.213 If it is a likeness of Geta, it is highly probable that it was detached from the frieze in the same manner as his other portraits in the southwestern and northwestern friezes. The central slab from the northeastern attic relief, depicting a sacrifice, also does not survive.214 Victimarii, a popa, soldiers, citizens, deities

Tripoli, Archaeological Museum; R. Bartoccini (1931) 138-45, figs. 101-105; P.W. Townsend (1938) 516; G.C. Picard (1957) 457, pl. 27-30; R. Brilliant (1967) fig. 51; V.M. Strocka (1972) 154-57 (with earlier literature); A. Bonanno (1976) 150-55, pls. 298-99 (with earlier literature); F. Ghedini (1984) 69-74, fig. 8. In fact, a slab from the central section of the relief, depicting the frontal portions of three horses, exactly duplicates the three foremost horses of the quadriga from the northwestern triumph frieze indicating that the quadriga itself and the imperial threesome were likewise duplicated in the missing slab of the southeastern panel. Julia Domna, with the attributes of the goddess Victory, looks toward the central slab in which the quadriga would have been depicted. Because of the presence of divinities, personifications, and Julia Domna representation as Victory, the southeastern panel may have been designed as an allegorical reference to the emperor’s virtus rather than a representation of a specific procession, F. Ghedini (1984) 74. 212 R. Bartoccini (1931) 142-43, fig. 106; L. Budde (1951) 12, pl. 6a; H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 88, 113; A. Bonanno (1976) 152, pl. 295; Fittschen-Zanker I, 104, no. 88, n. 6, 104, no. 89. 213 H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 88, 113; A. Bonanno (1976), 152 and infra. 214 R. Bartoccini (1931) 129-38, figs. 95-100; W.


Technau,(1932) 533, fig. 33; J.B. Ward-Perkins (1948) 77, pl. 11.1; J.B. Ward-Perkins (1951) 286, 290, pl. 14.2; L. Budde (1955) 32, fig. 23; I.S. Ryberg (1955) 160-61, pl. 57, figs. 89a-b; L. Budde (1957) 15 pl. 36, fig. 40; A. Frova (1961) 692, 694, figs. 599, 601; D.E. Strong (1961) 63, 101, fig. 116; M. Vilimkova (1963) fig. 87; R. Bianchi Bandinelli, E. Vergara Caffarelli, and G. Caputo (1966) 33, 67-70, figs. 37-41; M. Floriani Squarciapino (1966) 66 figs. 8, 10; G. Säflund (1968) 124, fig. 4; R. Bianchi Bandinelli (1970) 2712, fig. 247; V.M. Strocka (1972) 160-72, figs. 2-4, pl.; A. Bonanno (1976) 150-55, pls. 293 a-b, 294; R. Turcan (1978) 1038; F. Ghedini (1984) 57-63. 215 V.M. Strocka (1972) 162, fig. 3. 216 The five panels appear to depict the following scenes: 1) upper register: Septimius Severus as Juppiter, Julia Domna as Juno, Minerva and a female divinity or personification (Concordia, Tyche of Lepcis, etc); lower register 2) upper register: Julia Domna in a scene of dextrarum iunctio or sacrifice; lower register??? 3) upper register: Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Geta(?), and Julia Domna (?), Hercules, Liber Pater, Concordia (?) and Jupiter Dolichenus (?) in front of a temple; lower register: scene of sacrifice; 4) upper register: Victory crowning Geta; lower register: Apollo, Vertumnus (?), seated female divinity, and Diana; 5) upper register: Victory crowning Caracalla; lower register: divinities; on the interpretation and significance of the smaller panels see: R. Bartoccini (1931) 74-88, figs. 44-55; I.S. Ryberg (1957) 134-6; A. Bonanno (1976) 150-55, pls. 30009; M. Floriani Squarciapino (1967) 85-6; A. M. McCann (1968) 77; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 88-89. 113, pl. 27c; M.C. Parra (1978) 807-28; F. Ghedini (1984) 7488, figs. 9-11; N.B. Kampen 236-40; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 340-3. 217 R. Bartoccini (1931) 87, fig. 52 (without portrait features reattached); H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 113, fig. 27c; A. Bonanno (1976) 153, pls. 307-8. Although the portrait is badly weathered, the treatment of the hair

the severans iunctio scene, the detached head was discovered during the arch’s excavations.218 This relief parallels a similar relief in which Caracalla is crowned by Victoria.219 The upper register of a second, fragmentary interior panel depicts the imperial family and deities arranged in front of a temple facade, while a scene of sacrifice occupies the lower register (fig. 186).220 Septimius Severus, capite velato, stands at the center of the relief and looks to his right. Caracalla, also capite velato, is at the emperor’s left and glances in the same direction as his father. There is a gap in the relief near the center, but the lower portions of drapery from a female figure indicate that Julia Domna occupied this position.221 A third veiled male figure, whose portrait head does not survive, stands to Julia’s right. By virtue of its position in the composition of the relief, which corresponds exactly to Caracalla’s position at the proper left, this figure must represent Geta.222 Like Geta’s other portraits on the Arch, his head has been deliberately cut from the relief. 223 The goddess Roma, a statue of
and facial features recall Geta’s likeness from the dextrarum iunctio scene. 218 A. Bonanno (1976) 153. 219 Although headless, this figure is clearly taller than the corresponding figure of Geta, and as a result has been plausibly associated with Caracalla.H. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 89; A. Bonanno (1976) 152, fig. 309. 220 R. Bartoccini (1931) 74-83, figs. 44-47; W. Technau, 529-30; fig. 31; P.W. Townsend (1938) 522; I.S. Ryberg (1955) 134-36, pl. 67.73a-b; R. Bianchi Bandinelli, E Vergara Caffarelli, and G. Caputo (1964); A. M. McCann (1968) 77, pl. 18; R. Bianchi Bandinelli (1970) 271-72, fig. 249; D. Soechting (1972) 233, n. 142; M. Floriani Squarciapino (1974) 50; A. Bonanno (1976) 151, pls. 30001; M.C. Parra (1978) 807-28, figs. 1-2; F. Ghedini (1984) 76-80, fig. 10. 221 This figure has most plausibly been identified as Julia Domna by I.S. Ryberg, (1957) 134-36 and followed by M.C. Parra (1978) 813, and F. Ghedini (1984) 76-80. R. Bartocini originally identified the figure as the Tyche of Lepcis (1931) 74-83 and followed by A. Bonanno (1976) 151; A.M. McCann suggested one of the three Tychai of Tripolitania (1968) 77. 222 F. Ghedini (1984) 77. 223 Whereas Geta’s head has been entirely shorn off the relief, the head of the deity to his left (Liber Pater?) has sustained damage which has left the chin intact. Thus the damage to Geta’s head appears to be the result of the deliberate defacement of his portraits everywhere on the arch, while the damage to the deities head is likely the result of


Silvanus, Hercules and two unidentified deities complete the composition.224 The removal of Geta’s heads in these smaller reliefs is consonant with the obliteration of his features in the four attic friezes, and his headless representation transformed the arch from a commemoration of the virtues of the Severan family, into an enduring monument of his downfall and disgrace. In view of the persecution of Geta’s followers at Rome, it must have seemed especially expedient to destroy his images in the dynasty’s hometown in order to disavow any semblance of partisanship for the murdered Augustus. Thus, the obliteration of Geta’s portrait features from the reliefs of the arch served to powerfully affirm the loyalty of the citizens of Lepcis Magna to Caracalla. Geta’s portrait features have also been ruthlessly effaced from a painted tondo discovered in the Fayum (fig. 187).225 The tondo is the only securely identified painted imperial portrait to have survived from antiquity and depicts Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, Caracalla, and Geta.226 Geta’s facial features have been entirely erased leaving a large gap in the composition, but the

the destruction of the arch over time. 224 The deity between Julia and Geta is almost certainly Liber Pater. His position would correspond to that of Hercules, the other patron god of Lepcis, between Septimius and Caracalla. Caracalla and Geta were often assimilated to Hercules and Liber Pater, respectively, and the position of the two deities behind the princes may be a reference to this. In view of the veils worn by the emperor and his sons, the sacrifice from the lower register must be taking place in their presence and, consequently, the entire panel evokes the pietas of the imperial house, see F. Ghedini (1984) 77-9. 225 Berlin, Staatliche Museen, inv. 31.329, diam. 0.305; A. Datsuli-Stavridis (1976) 228-9, fig. 4; K. Parlasca (1977) 64-5, no. 390, pl. 95.1 (with earlier literature); V. Saladino (1980) 437; H. Heinen (1991) 263-298, color pl. 68; N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 222, fig. 9.2; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 321-22, fig. 284; E. Doxiadis (1995) 88, fig. 25; E. La Rocca in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 11-13, fig. 10. A bust length portrait of Septimius Severus is depicted at the proper left of the tondo. He wears an elaborate tunic, jeweled laurel crown and is shown with a scepter. Julia Domna wearing tunica, palla, and jeweled diadem is at emperor’s right. Caracalla, in front of Septimius Severus, is depicted, like his father, with a tunic, jeweled corona, and scepter. 226 Painted with tempera on wood, the tondo was created by a local artist trained in the techniques of contemporary mummy portraits; see D.L. Thompson (1982) 26.


chapter eight tondo would continue to serve its function as a private expression of loyalty, no longer to the imperial family as a whole, but to the new victorious emperor, Caracalla and his parents. The Berlin tondo vividly illustrates that Geta’s damnatio was not limited to major public monuments such as the arches in the Forum Romanum or at Lepcis, or important private commissions like the Arch of the Argentarii, but also occurs on more modest private objects. Just as Geta’s images were routinely removed from display and relentlessly effaced from relief monuments, so, too have his name and titles been erased from virtually every inscription in which he was honored.232 Of the 174 extant inscriptions in which Geta’s name originally appeared, it has survived intact in only thirty-seven (approximately twenty-one percent).233 In addition to the obliterated dedications from the monuments in Rome (the Forum Arch and the Arch of the Argentarii) erased inscriptions occur from almost every region of the Empire including Sagalassos (milestone); Dura Europas (Mithraeum);234 Sardis (Marble Court);235 Dougga (Arch of Septimius Severus);236 Lambeisis;237 Great Britain;238 and numerous instances at Lepcis Magna.239 The erasure of Geta’s name was also vigorously carried out in papyri.240 In fact, the damnatio memoriae

tunicate bust form, scepter and remnants of his corona clearly indicate his original position. Geta’s image was not merely subjected to erasure, but it has also been smeared with excrement in an excessive act of further denigration.227 The Berlin tondo is the only preserved portrait which physically attests to the smearing of images or inscriptions as a way of dishonoring an individual, but the denigration and disfigurement of images with offal, mud or paint is confirmed in the ancient sources. The Historia Augusta records that Elagabalus ordered that the inscriptions of the portrait statues of Severus Alexander in the Castrum Praetorium be coated with mud, as was the custom in denigrating the memory of a tyrant: ut fieret solet de tyrannis.228 And in the fourth century, Eusebius chronicles the smearing of painted portraits of Maximinus Daia and his children with dark colored paint in order to render them useless.229 The very youthful features of Caracalla suggest that the tondo was painted prior to the introduction of his more mature portrait type in A.D. 205.230 The association of the tondo with the artists of the Fayum mummy portraits, places it within the realm of art produced for the prosperous middle class inhabitants of Roman Egypt, whose origins were often mixed Egyptian, Greek and Roman.231 The tondo is likely to have functioned as an icon for display in a public or domestic setting, perhaps pertaining to the imperial cult. The piece would have demonstrated the owner’s loyalty and pietas towards the ruling dynasty. Following his damnatio memoriae, the defacement of Geta’s portrait ensured that the

227 K. Parlasca (1977) 64; M. Donderer (1991-92) 224, n. 140. 228 Elag.13.7; see infra. 229 Ecc.Hist.9.11.2; see also P. Stewart (1999) 179. 230 Attempts to date the tondo on the basis of Septimius Severus’s portrait type have proved inconclusive for two reasons: 1) there is disagreement over whether the three corkscrew curls of Septimius Severus’s Serapis type are discernible in the tondo; 2) the date of the Serapis type itself is controversial, see A. M. McCann (1968) 79-80; in addition, the Serapis type was probably in use for the entire first decade of the third century, Fittschen-Zanker I, 8384. 231 S. Nodelman (1965) 242.

A. Mastino (1981) 177, n. 1. Based on A. Mastino’s indices (1981) 175-77. Many of the inscriptions in which Geta’s name survive are from fistulae aquariae, water pipes, which were already in the ground; Geta’s name is even erased on some of the fistulae, certainly before they were used, A. Mastino (1981)177, n. 1. 234 Collection of Dura Inscriptions, Yale University Art Gallery. 235 G.M.A. Hanfmann (1975a) 52, note 48. 236 C. Poinssot (1983) 61. 237 Paris, Musée du Louvre, MA 2044; dedicated by the Legio III Augusta to Septimius Severus, Caracalla, and Geta. 238 RIB 722; CIL 7.269; The inscription was dedicated by the cohors VII Nerviorum. Now lost, it was discovered between the Bain and Ure Rivers near Richmond, England. 239 IRT 433, 435, 437, 438, 439, 440, 441, 443, 444; IRT 440 is dedication from the Severan baths. After their erasure, eight of the inscriptions (433, 435, 437, 438, 439, 440, 443, 444) were reused in a later wall, thus ensuring their survival, I.M. Barton (1977) 8. 240 P. Mertens (1960) 541-52; E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876.


the severans was so diligently pursued that the name of Geta’s homonymous uncle, P. Septimius Geta, was often erroneously effaced from inscriptions.241 The erased inscriptions were generally recut to honor Caracalla, Julia Domna or Septimius Severus.242 In a few instances, Lucius or Septimius is not erased from Geta’s trianomina, out of respect to Septimius Severus, whose names they also were.243 The remarkably widespread occurrence of Geta’s erased and recut inscriptions again strongly suggests that the army was instrumental in facilitating the epigraphic as well as artistic damnatio. In this regard, it is significant to note that it was the army whom Caracalla initially ordered to declare Geta a hostis, not the Senate.244 Indeed, the decree of the praefect Baebius Iuncinus already mentioned mandates the implementation of Geta’s damnatio.245 At least seventeen portraits of Geta on gems or seals also escaped destruction caused by the damnatio. Only four of these gems depict Geta alone, two in Paris,246 one in Vienna,247 and one in a private collection,248 whereas on the remaining twelve he appears with other members of the imperial family, which may account for their survival. The four gems on which Geta appears alone depict him with imperial or divine attributes. On the two Paris cameos, Geta is portrayed laureate, in his first portrait type. Both depict him with nude busts, one draped with a paludamentum, the other with an aegis. The gem in the private collection depicts Geta in his second type with laurel crown, cuirass, and paludamentum, and the gem in Vienna, also of the second type, with a corona civica. Like the inscrip-


tions which give Geta the title of Augustus long before he officially received it in 210, or the cuirassed statue in the Villa del Poggio Imperiale, the two Paris cameos, which employ his first portrait type of 198-205, indicate that Geta was portrayed with imperial insignia well before his official acclamation. As with other surviving gem portraits of condemned emperors, their intrinsic value may have precluded outright destruction. Additionally, the small scale of these pieces makes recarving or the removal of Geta’s portraits difficult, if not impossible, especially in the three gems which present overlapping portraits of the imperial family, in New York,249 Paris,250 Rome,251and the art market,252 and the cameo in Paris which depicts a complicated scene of sacrifice.253 Similarly, a bronze ring with facing boyhood of Caracalla and Geta in Split has not been altered or mutilated and may have simply been discarded after Geta’s murder.254 The Historia Augusta states that after the murder of Geta, Caracalla wept whenever he saw his brother’s image or statue, which suggests that

Mastino (1981) 177, n. 1. Almost always recut to honor Caracalla; A. Mastino (1981) 137-42, provides a list of these inscriptions. 243 A. Mastino (1981) 177, n. 1. 244 Herod. 4.8. 245 E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876. 246 Paris, Bibliothéque National, Cabinet des Medailles, sardonyx cameo, H. 0047 m., L. 0037 m.; M. Vollenweider (1988) 100-101, n. 32, fig. 19 (Geta; with earlier literature). Both gems seem to follow Geta’s type 1 fairly closely with uncovered ears and S-shaped curls over the temples. A cameo in Chatsworth House which M. Vollenweider also identifies as Geta cannot possibly represent him since the


portrait lacks the S-shaped curves of type 1, has long sideburns and shorter hair on the nape of the neck than any attested examples of type 1; in addition the coiffure is much too long to include it in type 2; see M. Vollenweider (1988) 101, n. 35, fig. 22. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, sardonyx cameo, h. 42. cm., l. 2.1 cm.; M. Vollenweider (1988) 100-101, n. 31, fig. 18 (Caracalla,with earlier literature). 247 Kunsthistorisches Museum 22 (inv. IX a 76), h. 6.4 cm, l. 4.5 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 241, no. A 146, pl. 49.3 (with earlier literature). 248 Cast of an intaglio, h. 00185 m., L. 0015 m.; M. Vollenweider (1988) 101, n. 35, fig. 21. 249 Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 40.143. 250 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, 300, 7.5 x 11.2 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 239-40, no. A 143, pl. 48.11 (with earlier literature). 251 Museo Nazionale Romano 72147. 252 New York, formerly Antiquarium, Ltd. 253 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, inv. 301, 3.1 x 3.2 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 240, no. A 144, pl. 49.2 (with earlier literature); M. Vollenweider (1988) 101, n. 36. 254 Archaeological Museum, H 5504, 25 mm; Antike Porträts aus Jugoslawien 165, no. 185, with fig. (with earlier literature).


chapter eight melting down of his gold and silver statues.259 But any destruction of Caracalla’s monuments occasioned by de facto measures or spontaneous demonstrations against Caracalla’s memory was very limited in scope; Caracalla’s name is only rarely erased in inscriptions, and then almost certainly not as a result of damnatio, but rather through error or later reuse.260 In fact the Historia Augusta records that Macrinus honored Caracalla’s memory by erecting portraits to him.261 Furthermore, Caracalla was deified under Macrinus (or perhaps slightly later) and commemorated on coins as Divus Antoninus. 262 Indeed, none of Caracalla’s images created during his reign as sole emperor exhibit any signs of intentional mutilation.

some likenesses of Geta could have been visible following the damnatio: “mirum sane omnimibus videbatur quod mortem Getae totiens etiam ipse fleret quotiens nominis eius mentio fieret, quotiens imago videretur aut statua.”255 Although the Vita Getae in the Historia Augusta is notoriously unreliable, this passage may refer to gem portraits or images kept privately in the imperial palace by Julia Domna, who seems to have preferred Geta over her elder son.

Caracalla During his five year reign as sole emperor, Caracalla alienated the senatorial aristocracy by abrogating much of their remaining authority and prestige, but he secured his popularity with the common people through lavish building projects, like his baths in Rome, and his extension of the benefits of Roman citizenship to all free male inhabitants of the empire. Nevertheless, Caracalla was murdered by some of his own soldiers at the instigation of his Praetorian Praefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus on 8 April 217. Despite he Senate’s dislike of Caracalla, he did not receive an official damnatio memoriae after his assassination. Because of his popularity with the soldiers, neither the new emperor, Macrinus, nor the Senate wished to openly declare him a hostis.256 However, in an effort to placate the Senators who had reviled Caracalla as a tyrant upon news of his murder,257 Macrinus secretly ordered that certain statues of Caracalla in Rome be removed from public display: 6"Â :V84F2z ÓJ4 Jä< •<*D4V<JT< J4<" H Jä< ¦< J± {Cf:® ßBz "ÛJ@Ø x z!8g>V<*Då 6"Â "ÛJä ¦6g\<å FJ"2X<JT< 8V2D‘ | 6"2®DZ6g4 . 258 After his death, Caracalla was

Macrinus and Diadumenianus Born in 164 in Mauretania, Marcus Opellius Macrinus was of undistinguished origins. Nevertheless, he attained prominence as a jurist under Septimius Severus, and Caracalla appointed him Praetorian Praefect, together with Oclatinius Adventus, in 212. Macrinus accompanied the emperor on his expedition against the Parthians and he later engineered Caracalla’s assassination near Carrhae on 8 April 217. Macrinus immediately proclaimed himself Augustus and his young son, Diadumenianus, Caesar.263 Although initially supported by the troops and the Senate, Macrinus was unable

compared with previous condemned emperors and there were public calls for the abolishment of a horse race celebrating his birthday and the

Geta 7.5. Dio 78(79).17.2-4-18.1. 257 HA.Macr.7.4. 258 Dio 78(79).19.2, this secret decree also included some of the statues which Caracalla had set up to Alexander the Great.


Dio 78(79).17.4-18.1. A. Mastino (1981) 78-79, n. 401, lists erased or recut inscriptions; CIL 8.7974 has been recut to honor Constantine. 261 Macr. 6.8, Diad. 3.1. 262 HA. Mac. 6.8; RIC 4.1 128, nos 717-720; BMCRE 531, nos. 7, 8, pl. 85.4, 589; K. Schulten (1979) 115-16, nos. 300-303, pl. 6; D. Salzmann (1989) 564, n. 29. Caracalla is of course given the title Divus in inscriptions dated to the reigns of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander, A. Mastino (1981) 78-79, n. 401. 263 Diadumenianus also receives the title of Augustus on coins minted at the end of his father’s reign, although the title does not seem to have been ratified by the Senate, BMCRE V, 511, no. 95.


the severans sustain their loyalties. The soldiers grew dissatisfied with the hardships of the Parthian war and their extended stay in the east. During his fourteen months as emperor, Macrinus never left the eastern half of the empire, and his absence from Rome certainly contributed to his diminishing popularity. At the capital, the Plebs manifested their increasing dissatisfaction with their new emperor very publicly: at games celebrating the birthday of Diadumenianus (14 September 217), they steadfastly refused to honor Macrinus and his son, and, thenceforth, acted “as if they did not exist.”264 Elagabalus, a maternal cousin of Caracalla, had been declared emperor in opposition on 16 May 218 by the Legio III Gallica at Raphaneae near Emessa in Syria. The troops of Macrinus were defeated by those of Elagabalus in several skirmishes and Macrinus was finally forced to flee his headquarters at Antioch, disguised as a commoner. He was captured and executed; Diadumenianus was likewise apprehended and killed after attempting an escape to Parthia and both corpses were beheaded and the severed heads paraded by the soldiers.265 When news of the deaths of Macrinus and Diadumenianus reached Rome, the Senate swiftly declared them hostes in an official demonstration of loyalty and support for the new emperor, Elagabalus.266 As a result of the Senate’s decree, the portraits of Macrinus and Diadumenianus were destroyed and their names erased in inscriptions and papyri. 267 The memory of Diadumenianus was further denigrated in a graphic manner when one of his honorific inscriptions was thrown into a latrine at the barracks of the Vigili at Ostia,268


thus closely recalling an Suetonius’s anecdote concerning Nero’s alleged disposal of the images of artistic rivals in latrines during his Greek tour.269 Furthermore, the soldiers are reported to have destroyed Macrinus’s writings and possessions after his death, evoking some of the earliest Republican sanctions associated with damnatio memoriae.

Macrinus’s Portrait Typology The numismatic portraits of Macrinus can be separated into two types.270 The earliest type depicts the emperor as a mature man, with short military coiffure and beard. His forehead is furrowed, his nose aquiline or slightly hooked, and the mouth is wide, with a thin upper lip and full lower lip. In certain variations of the first type, Macrinus’s coiffure and physiognomy are made to closely resemble those of Caracalla. The second type is very different. While it maintains the short military coiffure of the first type, the beard is considerably longer and fuller and often characterized by individual ringlets in conscious imitation of Marcus Aurelius.271 The shape of the face has been lengthened and Macrinus appears older, the forehead is still furrowed, but the nose can be slightly longer in keeping with the longer proportions of the face, the mouth remains wide, with the thin upper lip and fuller lower.

Dio 78(79).20.1-3. HA Diad. 9; Herod. 5.4.11. 266 Dio 79 (80).2.6; P. Cavuoto (1983) 42-8, 61. 267 For erased inscriptions and payri, see SEG 12.516 (Anazarbos); SEG 17.505 (Ephesus); R. Cagnat (1914) 172; P. Sijpesteijn (1974) 219-27. In the papyri, Antoninus is sometimes allowed to remain, while Opellius and Macrinus are eradicated; E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876; It is unclear whether a partially preserved inscription of Macrinus from the Odeum at Troy has been erased or intentionally damaged, C.B. Rose (1998) 96-7. 268 ILS 465; AJA 45 (1941) 456; AEpigr (1947) 7; T.


Pekáry (1985) 134, n. 11; M. Donderer (1991-2) 224-25; P. Stewart (1999) 164. 269 Ac ne cuius alterius hieronicarum memoria aut vestigium exstaret usquam, subverti et unco trahi abicique in latrinas omnium statuas et imagines imperavit (And, lest any memory or vestige of any other victors in the sacred games might be prominent, he [Nero] commanded that all their statues and portraits be overturned, then dragged by a hook and hurled into latrines, Nero 24.1); see also E. Gowers (1995) 28. 270 D. Salzmann has proposed four distinct prototypes for Macrinus, but this seems highly unlikely in view of the brevity of his tenure as Augustus; Salzmann’s types 1 and 2 are very similar and should be considered variations of a single prototype, as should his types 3 and 4; (1983) 35181. 271 Herodian quips that Macrinus might have been able to defeat Elagabalus and maintain the loyalty of the troops if he hadn’t spent all of his time at Antioch cultivating his beard and attempting to imitate Marcus Aurelius, 5.2.3.


chapter eight preserved and damaged surfaces pronounces the deliberate nature of the portrait’s mutilation, made that much more emphatic by the evident artistic quality of the work. Although modern restorations have masked its ancient disfigurement, a portrait of Macrinus’s second type with longer beard in the Museo Capitolino has also been vandalized (cat. 7.13; fig. 190a-c).276 Extensive marble restorations include the right brow and eye, the nose, the lower lip and portions of the beard, and disguise the T-shaped damage suffered by the face. In all three instances, it is again the vital sensory organs of eyes, nose, mouth and ears which have been attacked depriving the images of any metaphorical power to see, speak, or hear as effigies. These three defaced images provide compelling physical evidence of the Senate’s sanctions against Macrinus’s monuments, and further attest to his unpopularity with the inhabitants of Rome. All three likenesses are from Rome or its vicinity. The mutilation of these portraits acted to further repudiate the murdered emperor and his policies and simultaneously confirmed loyalty to the restored Severan regime.277 The destruction of Macrinus’s portraits must have been especially pleasing to Elagabalus who is recorded to have made repeated attacks on the reputations (fama) of both Macrinus and Diadumenianus.278 Like the marble images, a sardonyx cameo which depicts facing likenesses of Macrinus and Diadumenianus has been intentionally mutilated (cat. 7.11; fig. 191).279 The face of Diadumenianus, at the proper left of the cameo, has been almost entirely chipped away, revealing the dark blue level of the sardonyx beneath. The features of Macrinus have also been damaged; the brow, eye and nose are now missing. This cameo is one of the rare examples of deliberate defacement of
Stanza degli Imperatori 36, inv. 460. Since Elagabalus did not reach Rome until well over a year after Macrinus’s death, it is possible that these mutilated portraits remained on public display as a mark of Macrinus’s disgrace and in order that the new emperor could witness the posthumous degradation of his rival; S. Wood (1983) 495. 278 HA.Elag. 8.4. 279 Bonn, Rheinisches Landesmuseums, inv. 32300.
277 276

The Mutilation and Destruction of Macrinus’s Images Four sculpted portraits, three of marble and one of bronze, have been identified as Macrinus on the basis of close parallels with the numismatic likenesses.272 Significantly, all of Macrinus’s marble images have been intentionally mutilated and firmly attest to the increasing frequency of mutilation as a response to damnationes memoriae in this period.273 Two of the marble portraits, replicas of type 1 the Centrale Montemartini (cat. 7.14; fig. 188a-c)274 and the Sackler Museum at Harvard (cat. 7.12; fig. 189a-b)275 have been systematically attacked with hammers and flat chisels, severely disfiguring the facial features. Damage to the Montemartini portrait is limited to the face, where repeated blows have removed the nose, destroyed both the eyebrows and the upper lip and gouged the left cheek. The right eyeball has been chiseled away and the rims of both ears are chipped. The portrait’s intentional mutilation parallels the T-shaped damage present in earlier defacements, as in the portraits of Nero (cat. 2.2), Lucilla (cat. 6.8-9; figs. 148-49), Commodus (cat. 6.1; fig. 138), and Geta (cat. 7.46; figs. 166-68), and the gouging of the left eyeball signals the anthropomorphic nature of the attack. As already noted, the portrait was discovered together with a mutilated portrait of Lucilla as Venus Genetrix in a domus on the Quirinal which may have at one time belonged to Plautianus (cat. 6.10; fig. 147). Both portraits appear to have been warehoused following their destruction. The Harvard head of Macrinus exhibits identical T-shaped destruction of the facial features and the nose, eyes, brows and lower lip have been entirely chiseled away. The ears have also been attacked and are largely missing. In contrast to the mutilated facial features, the finely sculpted details of hair and beard are left untouched and the skin preserves its ancient highly polished surface. The stark contrast between
As published by D. Salzmann (1983) 351-81. S. Wood (1983) 495. S. Wood (1986) 71. 274 Museo Nuovo, Sala 7, 21, inv. 1757 (Centrale Montemartini 3.82). 275 Harvard University, Arthur M. Sackler Museums, inv. 1949.47.138.
273 272

the severans a gem portrait, and its mutilation recalls the earlier vandalization of the cameo of Diva Poppaea in Bonn (fig. 98). Gems were almost always left undisturbed, or, in rare instances recarved. The intentional mutilation of this cameo bears further witness to the virulence with which the damnatio of Macrinus and Diadumenianus was pursued under Elagabalus and, like the Diva Poppaea cameo, may also reflect an attempt to destroy any supernatural properties of the gem-stone itself. Coins of Macrinus and Diadumenianus also appear to have been destroyed as a result of the damnatio. Although Diadumenianus was proclaimed joint Augustus with his father on 16 May 218, the same day on which Elagabalus was acclaimed Augustus, coins which give Diadumenianus this title are extremely rare. C. Clay has speculated that the eastern mints had sufficient time to mint coins for Diadumenianus as Augustus between his declaration in May and Macrinus’s final defeat on 8 June, but that these issues were never released, and subsequently melted down after Elagabalus’s victory.280


age of Macrinus may have been displayed in one of the villas belonging to an aristocratic supporter of the emperor before being beheaded. After Macrinus’s overthrow, the image was apparently decapitated and the head stored or buried in a manner similar to the gilded bronze head of Nero (fig. 87a-b). Macrinus’s likeness is also preserved on six additional gems which exhibit no signs of intentional mutilation.283 On one of these, a fragmentary carnelian intaglio in Hannover, Macrinus’s portrait features have been carved on the reverse of a gem whose obverse depicts facing portraits of Julia Domna and Caracalla.284 The hair, eye, and pupil of the portrait of Macrinus are handled very differently than those of Julia Domna and Caracalla confirming that Macrinus’s likeness has been added to a gem originally created during Caracalla’s reign as sole emperor.285 The addition of the portrait of Macrinus was clearly intended to link him with the previous dynasty and legitimize his rule.286 The portraits of Julia Domna and Caracalla which appear on the obverse may have further contributed to its survival.

The Removal of Macrinus’s Images Diadumenianus’s Portrait Typology A bronze portrait of Macrinus in Belgrade has been severed from its original statue body as a consequence of the damnatio.281 The head, a replica of his second type reproduces the slit left earlobe characteristic of his Mauretanian origins and has been severed from the portrait statue to which it originally belonged.282 The portrait was discovered near Belgrade, along the Roman limes of Upper Moesia. In antiquity, this area was known for its wealthy villas and the bronze imDiadumenianus’s numismatic images represent him with a closely cropped coiffure with lightly raised locks which leaves his ears uncovered. The hairstyle is distinguished by a continuous curving segment which runs from the sideburns to the forehead. His physiognomy consists of a straight, aquiline nose, wide eyes, full lips, and a rounded chin.
283 St. Petersburg, Ermitage, aquamarine intaglio, inv. 1454, D. Salzmann (1983) 376-77, fig. 36; Zurich, art market, carnelian intaglio, D. Salzmann (1983) 376-77, fig. 35; three from the Lippert Daktyliothek: sardonyx intaglio, D. Salzmann (1983) 376-79, fig. 33; carnelian intaglio, D. Salzmann (1983) 376-77, fig. 34; chalcedony intaglio, D. Salzmann (1983) 376-77, fig. 37; and Hannover, KestnerMuseum, carnelian intaglio, D. Salzmann (1989) 559-68. 284 Kestner-Museum, 31.3 x 14 x 3.5 mm; D. Salzmann (1989) 559-68, figs. 1a-b, 2a-b. 285 D. Salzmann (1989) 564-59. 286 D. Salzmann (1989) 564-9.

(1979) 33, n. 57. City Museum, inv. 2636, h. 0.33 m.; V. Kondic (1973) 47-8, pls. 5-7; D. Salzmann (1983) 362-65; 371-79, figs. 13, 17, 21, 28-30; Fittschen-Zanker I, 113, n. 2; S. Wood (1986) 30-31, 123. I. Popovic in N. Cambi et. al. (1988) 153-4, no. 171, with figs. (with earlier literature); D. Salzmann (1989) 351-83, figs. 13, 17, 21; A. Oliver (1996) 149; M. Donderer (1991-2) 274, no. 8. 282 Dio (78)79.11.1; D. Salzmann (1989) 371-76; A. Oliver (1996) 149.



chapter eight mias, niece of Julia Domna. Elagabalus’s maternal grandmother, Julia Maesa, cleverly engineered his accession by claiming that Bassianus was the illegitimate son of Caracalla. Elagabalus was formally saluted as Augustus by the Legio III Gallica at Raphanae near Emessa on 18 May 218. The young emperor ruled under the same name as his fictive father, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.288 At the time of his elevation, Bassianus was the hereditary high priest of the Emessene sun-god Elagabal, providing him with his nickname, Elagabalus. After the execution of Macrinus in 218, Elagabalus, together with his grandmother and mother, who had both been awarded the title of Augusta, journeyed to Rome, arriving in the capital in the autumn of 219. Elagabalus showed more concern for establishing the rites of Elagabal in the capital than in ruling the empire, which he largely left to the governance of Julia Maesa and Julia Soemias. The orgiastic rites of Elagabal, often performed publicly by the emperor, disgusted and alienated the senatorial aristocracy as well as the soldiers. As a result of his increasingly erratic and unreliable behavior, Elagabalus was slain along with his mother, Julia Soemias on 11 March 222 by the Praetorians. Julia Maesa’s younger grandson, Gessius Alexianus Bassianus, who had been adopted by Elagabalus and named Caesar in 221, was declared the new emperor. Like the corpse of Vitellius, Elagabalus’s body was subjected to the traditional indignities reserved for hostes and capital offenders ( poena post mortem) and the corpse was desecrated, the head cut off, and the body dragged by a hook through the streets of Rome as well as through the Circus Maximus and ultimately thrown into the sewers which ran to the Tiber.289 The disposal

The Mutilation and Destruction of Diadumenianus’s Images Sculpted portraits representing the young Caesar Diadumenianus would naturally have been included in the destruction which befell his father’s images. A cuirassed bust of Diadumenianus in the Vatican, has been violently attacked (cat. 7.15; fig. 192a-b).287 On stylistic grounds, this portrait has long been recognized as belonging to the Severan period, but has been variously identified as Caracalla, Geta, Severus Alexander, or a private person. Although the bust is severely damaged, it conforms to Diadumenianus’s numismatic portraits in the configuration of the coiffure, shape of the face, lips and chin. The curving segment of the coiffure from the sideburns to the forehead which the portrait exhibits in profile is not a feature of any other imperial portraits of the Severan period but does occur on the coinage of Diadumenianus and helps to secure the identification of the Vatican bust. The face has been severely disfigured with a point, causing damage to the brows, eyes, nose, upper lip, chin, and deep gashes to the left cheek; both ears have been almost entirely broken off. The method of the portrait’s mutilation recalls that of the damaged likeness of Plautilla in Houston (cat. 7.1; fig. 162a-b). The portrait was discovered in the area of the castrum for the equites singulares constructed by Septimius Severus and the display and subsequent mutilation of Diadumenianus’s image likely occurred within the military context of the castrum. The severe defacement of this portrait, possibly carried out by the equites is linked conceptually to the disposal of Diadumenianus’s inscription in the latrine of the Ostian vigili, and bears further witness to the fury with which the damnatio of the father and son was pursued at the capital. Elagabalus and Julia Soemias Varius Avitus Bassianus, was born in 204, the child of Sextus Varius Marcellus and Julia Soe287

Museo Gregoriano Profano, 651 (10135)(10075).

288 Dio 78(79).31.3, 79.32.2-3; Herodian, 5.4.3, 5.3.10; HA, Car. 9.2, Macr. 9.4, 14.2, 15.2, Elag. 1.4; E. Kettenhoffen (1979) 23-28;A. Birley (1988) 224, no. 49. An eastern tetradrachm, went so far as to proclaim Elagabalus the legitimate son of Caracalla and Plautilla; H. Mattingly, BMCRE cliv, n. 3. 289 Dio 79(80). 20.2; Herodian, 5.8.9; HA, Elag 17.4-7, 23.7; Epit.Caes. 23.5-7. Alternate versions of the story recount the sewer drain was too small for the corpse, and as a result the body was thrown into the Tiber from the Pons

the severans of his body in the Tiber earned Elagabalus the posthumous nickname, Tiberinus.290 After his murder, the Senate passed a decree that the name of Antoninus should be erased from the public annals when referring to Elagabalus, since he was unworthy of the name which had been borne by the revered emperors Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and even Caracalla.291 The Senatorial sanctions were clearly enforced as forty of the ninety-two surviving inscriptions which refer to Elagabalus have had the name of Antoninus eradicated.292 As part of his literary damnatio, the name and deeds of Elagabalus are closely linked with two earlier condemned emperors, Nero and Commodus.293


comma shaped locks all brushed towards the proper right. Elagabalus’s second numismatic portrait type depicts him with essentially the same physiognomic details as the first, although often in more exaggerated form. Thus, his eyes are wider, his brows more arched, his nose more hooked, and his lips more full. The coiffure is longer, consisting of tousled curls. The locks over the forehead are brushed to the proper right. The length of the facial hair varies. The type occurs with short sideburns, long sideburns, long sideburns and moustache, and full beard. The more exaggerated and exotic facial features of this type emphasize the emperor’s foreign origins and may correspond to his increasingly public performances of the rites of Elagabalus.

Elagabalus’s Portrait Typology Although he reigned for four years and his coins reveal at least two distinct portrait types, only six unaltered sculpted likenesses of Elagabalus have survived the damnatio memoriae.294 Herodian describes Elagabalus as a handsome boy and the emperor’s first numismatic portraits depict him as a youth with a closely cropped coiffure;295 his eyes are wide beneath strongly arching brows, his nose is slightly hooked, his lips are full, with the lower lip more full than the upper, his chin is small, and is sometimes depicted as receding. Sculpted replicas of the first type clarify certain details of the numismatic portraits: the hair on the temples joins the locks which cover the forehead well over the eyes. This creates a fairly narrow set of bangs that are rendered as small, The Destruction of Elagabalus’s Images A coin portrait of Elagabalus, on an issue from Nicea, was deliberately defaced in antiquity with a chisel.296 Other coins from Nicea, as well as Neapolis, Pieria, Sebaste, Sidon, and Tyre were also countermarked.297 The countermarks include a small male bust, perhaps of Severus Alexander, an A (presumably for Alexander), or symbols associated with the cities which issued the coins. Like the coins of Geta from eastern mints which were also defaced and countermarked, the coins of Elagabalus may have been treated in this manner as a practical alternative to wholesale recalling and melting down of his issues. Once again, countermarking and defacement of Elagabalus’s coins were effective ways of denigrating his memory and at the same time expressing support and loyalty for the new emperor, Severus Alexander. Coins honoring the mother of Elagabalus, Julia Soemias, his wife, Aquilia Severa, and his grandmother, Julia Maesa were also countermarked.298 Although Julia Soemias undoubtedly suffered a collateral con-

Aemilius, see D.G. Kyle (1998) 223-4. See also, E. Gowers (1995) 28, n. 49. 290 Dio (79)80.21.3; HA, Elag. 17.5; for Vitellius, see Suet. Vit. 17 and supra. 291 HA.Elag.17.4, 18.1, Sev.Alex.1.1-2. 292 O.F. Butler (1910) 147. 293 HA.Elag. 1.2 and SevAlex. 7.4. 294 Herodian, 5.5.6, mentions a painted portrait of Elagabalus which was hung in the Curia in Rome before the emperor’s arrival in the capital and Dio 79(80).12.22 discusses a golden statue of the emperor, remarkable for its many adornments. 295 5.3.8, 5.6.10.

296 297 298

A. Kindler (1980) 5. A. Kindler (1980) 4-5. A. Kindler (1980) 4.


chapter eight Alexander’s contrast with the fuller, plastically modeled curls of Elagabalus’s first coiffure covering the rest of the head. Discovered in the Baths of Caracalla, the statue was part of the substantial collection of ancient sculpture assembled by the Farnese in Rome.301 Elagabalus continued work on the Baths, initiating construction on the great enclosure wall, and in its initial incarnation, the Naples portrait commemorated these building activities and linked Elagabalus to his Severan predecessor Caracalla.302 The baths’ sculptural decoration, including earlier statues and newly commissioned works, was carefully chosen both for subject matter and scale.303 The colossal heroic depiction of Elagabalus is entirely consistent with the other heroic statuary decorating the baths. Although contemporary and later sources record Elagabalus’s participation in chariot racing and other forms of athletics, charges of effeminacy were also leveled against him and the athletic emphasis of the Naples portrait may have been additionally intended to visually refute such charges.304 The Naples portrait’s initial creation from a single block of marble certainly accounts for the unusual method of its reworking. Because of the statue’s nudity, preparation of a mortis and the addition of a new head worked for insertion which would have left a visible join was likely deemed unsatisfactory. Furthermore, the fact that the facial features were not recut, but entirely replaced , strongly suggests that the original likeness of Elagabalus was intentionally mutilated. The statue’s location in one of the most prominent and popular buildings in Severan Rome would have rendered it a prominent target for deliberate defacement. Furthermore, the version of Severus Alexander’s likeness, with long, full sideburns and a moustache, was not introduced until 225, suggesting that the disfigured portrait of Elagabalus may have remained on display as
Fittschen-Zanker I, 119. HA.Elag.17.8-9; L. Richardson, jr.(1992) 387 (“Thermae Antoninanae [Caracallae]). 303 M. Marvin (1983) 347-84. 304 Herod. 5.6.1-2.
302 301

demnation together with her son, there is no evidence that his wives or grandmother underwent official damnationes and the countermarking of their coins is undoubtedly a by-product of the sanctions against Elagabalus.299

The Transformation of Elagabalus’s Images Elagabalus/Severus Alexander The reconfiguration of Elagabalus’s likenesses into portraits of Severus Alexander would naturally have been facilitated by the similarities in age and facial features which existed between the two cousins. These physiognomic similarities also account for the fact that Elagabalus is the only emperor of the second or third centuries whose images were recarved immediately after his condemnation. And in fact, four portraits of Elagabalus have been refashioned into representations of his cousin and successor, Severus Alexander. The most impressive of the reconfigured likenesses, an over life-sized statue in Naples, however adopts a methodology of alteration unique among the reused marble images of condemned emperors (cat. 7.17; fig. 193a-c).300 This portrait, worked from a single block of marble, depicts the emperor in heroic nudity in a version of the Cumae/Munich Diomedes type. The original face of the statue has been detached from the back of the head and a new likeness of Severus Alexander has been affixed as if it were a mask The attachment of the facial features is exactly analogous to the reworking of the bronze equestrian portrait of Domitian/Nerva from Misenum (cat. 5.7; fig. 123a-c), in which the face of Domitian has been cut from the head and new features of Nerva attached like a mask. The short, a penna locks framing the new face of Severus

Their coins may have been countermarked in the east because they were considered part of the emissions of Elagabalus. A bronze portrait, likely representing Aquilia Severa, from Sparta has been intentionally mutilated, but its destruction is the result of Christian iconoclasm rather than damnatio memoriae; see L.A. Riccardi (1997) and also M. Donderer (1991-2) 258-9, no. 22, fig. 259. 300 Museo Nazionale Archeologico, 5993.


the severans a highly visible and public symbol of the condemned emperor’s denigration for at least three years.305 The fine workmanship and scale of the statue indicate that it formed an important and expensive part of the decoration of the Baths, and, as yet another example of site specific imagery, its wholesale removal was undesirable. The detachment of the face of Elagabalus and the addition of Severus Alexander’s portrait features comprise a practical solution to the statue’s transformation. The portrait’s current sculptural anomalies, namely the contrasting coiffures, the overly broad profile of the head and the masklife effect of the face, would have been substantially minimized if profile views of the statue were restricted by its placement in a niche or between columns. A colossal portrait of Severus Alexander in the Terme has also been refashioned from a preexisting image of Elagabalus (cat. 7.18; fig. 194ac).306 The hair over the left temple has been cut back and recarved; the resulting arrangement of locks, which are brushed back from the temple, is nearly identical to that on a portrait of Severus Alexander in the Sala dei Busti of the Vatican.307 Evidence of recarving beneath both sideburns documents the removal of the longer facial hair of Elagabalus’s second type. The original highly polished surface of the skin, also present in Elagabalus’s type 2 replica in the Stanza degli Imperatori, has been roughened in many areas with cross-hatching. The resulting image is especially classicizing in its handling of sculptural details, partially retained from the original and partially the result of recarving of the eyes and brows. As an heroic image of Severus Alexander, this classicizing style is consonant with its colossal scale. The Terme head was discovered with a pendant portrait of Gordian III, in 1874 during
305 On Severus Alexander’s portrait typology see Fittschen-Zanker I, 117-23, nos. 99-103, and infra. 306 Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 329. 307 Inv. 361, inv. 632; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 154, 197, pl. 54 (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann (1977) 27, no. 17, pls. 2,3; D. Stutzinger in Antike und frühes Christentum (Frankfurt 1979) 387-88, no. 7, with fig.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 119, no. 17, Beil. 86; S. Wood (1986) 60, 125, pl. 18.26.


excavations near the Tempio Rotondo at Ostia.308 The portrait of Gordian III is of nearly the same size as the head of Severus Alexander, but, is vastly different in style. The head of Gordian III lacks the overriding classicism of the portrait of Severus Alexander and contains many veristic elements including the addition of carved eyebrows and pupils, the indication of two vertical furrows above the nose, a moustache, and cleft chin. In addition, the portrait of Gordian III emphasizes rounded forms and calligraphic curves, whereas the Elagabalus/Severus Alexander exhibits a rectilinear, block-like structural geometry. The Tempio Rotondo, begun under the Severans and probably finished under Gordian III, was closely modeled on the Pantheon and the entire complex seems to have functioned as an Augusteum.309 The original portrait of Elagabalus is likely to have been commissioned for the temple or its precinct, recarved to Severus Alexander, and at the completion of the complex, a portrait of Gordian III was created, commensurate in scale with the reworked image of Severus Alexander, but reflecting new stylistic trends. A head formerly in the Palazzo dei Conservatori and now in the Centrale Montemartini has also been recut from a representation of Elagabalus, although the recarving was apparently never completed (cat.7.19).310 The hair of the original portrait has been smoothed away with a flat chisel, but the general shape and volume of the coiffure, especially over the forehead and temples, closely conforms Elagabalus’s type 1. The hair was probably cut down in this manner to give the cranium an even flatter shaped occiput which is a distinctive feature of Severus Alexander’s child portraits of 222-224 A.C.. In

308 Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 326, h. 0.63 M; E. Talamo in MusNazRom 1.1 (Rome 1979) 310-12, no. 186 with fig. (with earlier literature); M. Wegner, J. Bracker, and W. Real (1979) 19, 27, pl. 9; Fittschen-Zanker I, 130, n. 6; S. Wood (1986) 37-39, 130, pl. 5.8; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 367, fig. 329. 309 C. Pavolini (1983) 33, 110. 310 Braccio Nuovo 3.24, inv. 2457 (Centrale Montemartini 2.81, formerly Antiquario Communale, inv. 10476).


chapter eight The Removal of Elagabalus’s Images As in the past, the portraits of Elagabalus were targeted for destruction and removal just as his inscriptions were effaced, his coins disfigured and countermarked, and his corpse desecrated. Strong corroboration for the warehousing of Elagabalus’s images in Rome is provided by an unfinished head in Oslo which was discovered together with a portrait of Geta.312 The head, a replica of the second and final type, is also worked for insertion and the surface of the skin on the neck and cheeks still betray signs of the chisel, never having received a final finish. A mass of hair above and behind the right ear is only blocked out; individual locks in this area have not been indicated, in contrast to the corresponding section of the coiffure on the left side of the head which has been completed. The portrait was likely being carved at the time of Elagabalus’s assassination and the work was abandoned and the image stored in a sculptural depot which also included the likeness of Geta.313 Other well preserved representations of Elagabalus confirm the storage of his images in Rome and its vicinity and include portraits in the Museo Capitolino,314 Copenhagen,315 the Louvre,316 and
312 Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. SK 1434, h. 0.33 m.; S. Sande (1991) 78-79, no. 64, pl. 63 (with earlier literature). The nose of the portrait is missing and there is some damage to the chin. 313 Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet 600, inv. 1433, see supra. The anomalies occasioned by the image’s unfinished state and its close affinities with the other type 2 replica in the Stanza degli Imperatori have engendered doubts about this portrait’s authenticity. However the unfinished state, as well as the reputed archaeological context, speak strongly in favor of an ancient date. 314 Stanza degli Imperatori 55, inv. 470, h. 0.32 m; exCollection Albani B 117; Fittschen-Zanker I, 115-117, no. 98, pls. 120-21 (with earlier literature); S. Wood (1986) 32, 49-51, 123, pl. 11.14; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 362-3, fig. 320. 315 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 756a, inv. 2073; h.0.52 m. (type I); S. Nodelman (1965) 378-81, n. 104, pls. 163-64; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 66, 107; V. Poulsen (1974) 137-8, no. 137, pls. 218-19 (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann (1977) 25, pls. 2.1, 3.2-3; Fittschen-Zanker I, 114, Beil. 81a, 82 (Elagabalus); F. Johansen (1995b) 423, no. 12 (with figs.)(with earlier literature). The portrait is unrestored, with incidental damage to the tip of the nose, the mouth, the right eye, and the rims of the ears. 316 Musée du Louvre, MA 1077 (type 1); H.B. Wiggers

an extremely unusual approach to the reconfiguration, the ears and nose of the original image have been removed and cavities prepared for the insertion of new ones. Perhaps the original nose and ears had been damaged in an attack on the image. The artist responsible for reworking this portrait may have ultimately decided that the separately worked nose and ears would create an unsatisfactory and unconvincing likeness of the new emperor and, for this reason, the refashioning of the head was never completed. Alternatively, Severus’s Alexander’s second, more mature type may have been introduced before the reworking of this likeness could be completed. A fourth representation of Severus Alexander, in Kansas City has also been refashioned from an image of Elagabalus (cat. 7.16; fig. 195a-d).311 The portrait retains the fully modeled and curly coiffure of Elagabalus’s second portrait type over the occiput, but his hairstyle has been chiseled away at the back of the head, and the locks at the front have been reconfigured with the a penna arrangement typical of Severus’ Alexander’s likenesses. Like the Naples Elagabalus/Severus Alexander, the use of long sideburns and moustache suggests a date of ca. 225 for the recarving, and at least a three year period of storage for the original portrait following Elagabalus’s assassination. The portrait has been considerably reduced in scale, so much so that the ears have been entirely recut. The original ear canals are still visible below the lobes of the new ears and an indentations along the jaw line mark the much lower position of the initial ear lobes. Like the Montemartini Elagabalus/Severus Alexander, the Kansas city portrait is unusual for its complete reworking of the ears, which may suggest that the original ears had been deliberately damaged prior to the transformation. In addition, the treatment of the bedding for the nose of the Kansas City portrait suggests that it, too is an ancient repair or addition, perhaps pointing to an attack on the original representation prior to its reconfiguration.


Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 45-66.

the severans Gotha.317 The Capitoline portrait is certainly the most well known representation of Elagabalus; it has suffered negligible damage and preserves much of its ancient surface finish . Restorations are limited to the nose and left side of the upper lip; otherwise, the portrait is exceedingly well preserved. The head is worked for insertion into a draped statue or bust, from which it must have been removed after the damnatio.318 The Copenhagen head is also very well preserved and survives with its original bust form, which is cuirassed and draped with a paludamentum. The piece comes from Rome, where it was likely warehoused following Elagabalus’s downfall. The portraits in the Louvre and Gotha also exhibit no marks of deliberate defacement, and provide further evidence for the removal and storage of Elagabalus’s representations in Rome and Italy.319 A poorly preserved and very fragmentary representation of Elagabalus documents the more cursory disposal and utilitarian reuse of his images.320 After it’s removal from display, the back of this portrait was cut down and dressed in order to create a flat surface rendering it suitable for reuse as building material or as a paving stone.321 It is possible that the portrait had been intention-


and M. Wegner (1971) 40, 74, 109 (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 114, Beil. 81b; K. Kersauson (1996) 392-3, no. 180, with figs. (with earlier literature); The nose of the Paris portrait is a restoration and there is minor damage to both ears. The head has been attached to a bust to which it does not belong. 317 Landesmuseum (type 1); S. Nodelman (1965) 37981, n. 106 (Elagabalus); H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 62 (not Caracalla) 100-01, 106 (not Geta); FittschenZanker I, 114, Beil. 81c-d (Elagabalus). The nose, chin, and part of the right brow are restored in the Gotha head. 318 The original portrait statue or bust may have depicted Elagabalus wearing the toga or in the priestly garb of Elagabal; Fittschen-Zanker I, 115, n. 1. 319 The Louvre image was part of the Campana Collection and is likely to have been discovered in Rome or its vicinity. The Gotha head is presumably from Italy. 320 Rome, Musei Capitolini, Magazzino di Via Portico d’Ottavia, no inventory number, H. 0.31 m; FittschenZanker I, 114-15, no. 97, pl. 119 (with earlier literature). Although the portrait is badly weathered and damaged, the narrow arrangement of the locks over the forehead ensures the portrait’s identification as a replica of type 1. 321 Fittschen and Zanker, I, 114.

ally vandalized prior to its reuse. A second fragmentary visage, restored in the th century as an Antonine female portrait in 18 Newby Hall, may survive from a type 2 portrait of Elagabalus.322 Although the ancient face is split into two halves and the nose is restored, the eyes are intact and there is no internal evidence of deliberate disfigurement. While the shape of the eyes and configuration of the sideburns accord well with Elagabalus’s type 2 portraits in the Museo Capitolino and Oslo, the configuration of the locks over the forehead vary considerably, and may have been substantially altered during the 18th century reconfiguration of the image. In addition, the forehead is substantially lower than the securely identified replicas and it lacks their incised moustaches. If the ancient section of the Newby Hall portrait did in fact represent Elagabalus, it would appear to be a variant of his second portrait type. Elagabalus’s name has been erased in numerous inscriptions. A fragmentary statue base, reused as a marble step behind the Curia in Rome, originally honored Elagabalus and his mother Julia Soemias.323 Their names an titles have been effaced from the inscription. The base was originally carved with relief sculpture on one of its long sides and two of its short sides. The long side depicted a river deity, while the short sides are too damaged to permit identification of the reliefs. The inscription is apparently later than the reliefs and reads:
........................... AVG AVIAE [AVG]VSTI NOSTRI ET //////////////////////////////////// AVGUSTAE [TOT]IVSQVE DOMUS DIVINAE ......[A]VRELIVS TITUS M AVRELI

The name of Elagabalus probably appeared in the missing section of line one, followed by the name of Julia Maesa, invoked as his grandmother at the end of the line. Julia Soemias’s name was inscribed at line three and has been entirely

322 Ripon, Newby Hall 20; EA 3121; E. Bartman (2001) 1-2, fig. 1. 323 Antiquario Forense; A. (1951-52) 50-54; E.R. Varner, (2001a) 49.


chapter eight of the sun god Elagabal or, conversely, it may have been created after the emperor’s murder as a kind of posthumous denigration of his memory. All six of Elagabalus’s extant likenesses which have not been recarved, as well as the three reworked portraits, come from Rome or its vicinity. Those portraits at the capital which were not destroyed must have been removed from public display and warehoused. Several were actually reused. No portraits of Elagabalus have come to light in the provinces, which suggests that provincial likenesses may have been destroyed in greater numbers than in Rome.

excised.324 The inscription was reused as a step behind the Curia. The erasure of the Curia dedication attests to the eradication of Elagabalus and Soemias’s names and the removal of their images from the Forum, as well as to the further utilitarian reuse of their monuments. In addition, the inscription documents the care which was taken to destroy Elagabalus’s monuments in the vicinity of the seat of the Senate. The inscription’s rather humble reuse is also a further from of denigration and recalls the reuse of the relief of Agrippina and Nero face down as a paving slab at Aphrodisias (fig. 91) or the erased inscription of Plautianus from the Ostian Thermopolium. Four images of Elagabalus survive on cameos. Three of these are single portraits of Elagabalus’s first type: one in Bonn,325 one in Gannet,326 and one in Paris.327 All three cameos depict the emperor with laurel crowns and the Gannet and Paris cameos include cuirass and paludamentum. A fourth gem is a highly unusual representation of Elagabalus.328 The emperor, bearded and wearing a corona, is depicted nude and ithyphallic. He stands in a chariot being pulled by two naked women who wear Severan Scheitelzopf coiffures. Elagabalus holds a whip in his right hand and the reigns to the chariot in his left. An enigmatic inscription appears above and below the figures and reads: +A3-+;3 ;+35!C. The gem seems to confirm an anecdote in the Historia Augusta which describes the emperor riding in a pabillum pulled by naked women.329 The gem may commemorate some rite associated with the worship

The Collateral Condemnation of Julia Soemias Julia Soemias acted as chief Augusta during the reign of her son, Elagabalus (A.D. 118-222), eclipsing in importance her young sons three wives, Annia Faustina, Aquilia Severa, and Julia Cornelia Paula.330 Together with her mother, Soemias appears to have controlled the government331 and she is the only empress recorded to have attended meetings of the Senate as if she were a rightful member.332 Soemias may have
330 For Soemias see M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 39495, no. 460. For Annia Faustina, see RE, “Annius,” 2311, no. 115; for Julia Aquilia Severa, see RE, “Iulius,” 915, no. 557; and for Julia Cornelia Paula see RE, “Iulius,” 92526, no. 564. 331 HA. Elag. 2.1. 332 Deinde ubi primum diem senatus habuit, matrem suam in senatum rogari iussit. quae cum venisset, vocata ad consulum subsellia scribendo adfuit, id est senatus consulti conficiendi testis, solusque omnium imperatorum fuit, sub quo mulier quasi clarissima loco viri senatum ingressa est (Then, when he had his first day with the Senate, he ordered that his mother be asked into the senate-house, after she had come, having been called to the consular seats, she was present for the writing, that is, she acted as a witness to the preparation of the decree of the Senate, and he (Elagabalus) was the only emperor under whom a woman entered the Senate like a man, as if she were a member, HA.Elag.4.1-2. Julia Maesa is also said to have attended Elagabalus in the Senate, HA.Elag. 12.3. And Dio states that Maesa and Soemias stood flanking him when he announced the adoption of Severus Alexander to the Senate in A.D. 221, 79(80)17.2. Tacitus describes Agrippina Minor being present at a meeting of the Senate during the principate of her son, Nero, but she was concealed behind a screen, Ann.13.5.

324 On the evidence of the barely discernable remains of a B and an S after the middle of the line, A. Bartoli has convincingly suggested that the line originally read: [IVLIAE SOEMIADIS] B[A]S[SIANAE], (1951-52) 53. 325 Akademischen Kunstmuseum, plaster cast of a lost cameo, probably sardonyx, 2.2 x 1.9 m.; W.R. Megow (1987) 247, no. A 165, pl. 51.1. 326 Eglise Ste. Croix, sardonyx cameo; W.R. Megow (1987) 248, no. A 166, pl. 51.2 (with earlier literature). 327 Musée du Louvre, cameo in the “Crown of Charlemagne,” 4.8 x 3.7 cm; W.R. Megow (1987) 248, no. A 167. 328 Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles 304, 1.9 x 2.2 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 247, no. A 164, pl. 50.5 (with earlier literature). 329 Elag. 29.2.

the severans even been in charge of a mulierum senatum which Elagabalus is said to have established on the Quirinal Hill.333 In addition to the title of Augusta, Soemias is commemorated as Mater Augusti and Mater Castrorum.334 Soemias shared her son’s downfall and was murdered together with him on 11 March A.D. 222.335 Her corpse was subjected to the same indignities as the body of Elagabalus: its head was cut off, it was dragged through the streets, and eventually thrown into the sewers which ran to the Tiber.336 Julia Soemias is the only empress recorded whose corpse was desecrated publicly as an act of poena post mortem.337 The Roman Senate is reported to have immediately passed a law after her death making it a capital offence for anyone to allow a woman to enter the Senate.338 The collateral condemnation which Soemias suffered together with Elagabalus has insured that no securely identified sculpted likenesses of the empress have survived.339 As already noted some
333 Fecit in colle Quirinali senaculum, id est mulierum senatum, in quo ante fuerat conventus matronalis, HA, Elag. 4.3. Senaculum originally denoted any place in which the Senate gathered before they were formally convoked. Three are mentioned: one in conjunction with the Curia Hostilia, one in the vicinity of the Temple of Bellona, and one near the Porta Capena, L. Richardson, jr. (1992) 348, “Senaculum.” It is also associated with the meeting place of the conventus matronalis on the Quirinal, and ultimately the institution of the women’s senate itself, see L. Richardson, jr., ibid, Senaculum Mulierum . The conventus matronalis was apparently made up of high ranking women who met on certain festival days (sollemnibus...diebus) or to confer ornamentum conjugii consularis on women, especially relatives of the emperor, who had married outside the nobilitas, HA. Elag. 4.3-4. In an effort to denigrate Soemias, the author of the Historia Augusta goes on to list the kinds of absurd decrees which the empress and her senatus mulierum concerned themselves with, Elag. 4.4. The Historia Augusta records that Aurelian planned to restore the institution of the Senaculum later in the third century, Aur. 49.6-7. 334 Herod. 5.8.8; RE 949. 335 HA.Elag.18.2-3; Dio 79(80).20.2. Herod. 5.8.8-10. 336 Dio 79(80).20.2; Herod. 5.8.9; HA. Elag. 17.4-7; 23.7; Epit.Caes. 23.5-7. 337 The bodies of Lollia Paulina and Octavia were beheaded, but not otherwise abused; see infra and E.R. Varner (2001a) 70-72. 338 HA. Elag.18.3. 339 Although several portraits have been identified as Julia Soemias, they do not form a replica series, and none are close enough to the numismatic representations of Soemias to permit secure identification. The hairstyle of a


of her coins have been countermarked and her name has also been erased in inscriptions, such as the statue base from the Curia which was reused as a step.340 The name of Julia Soemias was inscribed at line three and has been entirely chiseled out. On the evidence of the barely discernable remains of a B and an S after the middle of the line, A. Bartoli has convincingly suggested that the line originally read: [IVLIAE SOEMIADIS] B[A]S[SIANAE].341 The erasure of the Curia dedication attests to the eradication of Soemias’s name and images following her death and damnatio.

Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea After the assassination of Elagabalus and Julia Soemias in 222, the Praetorian Guard proclaimed the dead emperor’s young cousin, Gessius Alexianus Bassianus as the new Augustus. Alexianus

portrait in a Swiss private collection identified by C. Trümpler-Ris as Julia Soemias differs substantially from coin likenesses of the empress, H. Jucker and D. Willers, eds. (1982) 170-71, no. 70, with figs. Coins depict Soemias with the hair waved differently over the temples and ears, and a much smaller chignon nestled into the hair on the nape of the neck, BMCRE 536-539 nos. 38-60, 576, no. 293, 595-98, nos. 373-87, pls. 85.17-19, 86.1-2, 91.13, 94.1015. RIC 4.2, 25, 45, 48, 60, nos. 207, 234-48, 400-408, pl. 7.6-8. Trümpler-Ris suggests that the damage which the Swiss portrait has sustained, namely to the forehead, eyes, cheeks and chin has been caused by damnatio memoriae, but typically, mutilation caused by damnatio includes the mouth as well and the damage here seems incidental; see infra. Likewise, a portrait in Stockholm identified by J. Meischner as Julia Soemias lacks strong correspondences with the numismatic representations of the empress (1964) 94-6, no. 74, fig. 63. A portrait of a Severan woman as Venus Anadyomene with Isiac drapery and the Egyptian offering jar in the Galleria Chiaramonti of the Vatican 8.1, inv. 1306; P. Liverani [1989] 25 from the Forum at Palestrina was tentatively associated by J.J. Bernoulli with Soemias (1894) 93-4, pl. 27. Although N. Agnoli (2002) 14 has revived Bernoulli’s suggestion, the portrait does not conform to Soemias’s numismatic portraits in details of coiffure and physiognomy and is likely a representation of a private woman. See also H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 16163 and E.R. Varner (2001a) 48-9. 340 For the countermarked coins, see A. Kindler (1980) 4; on the erased inscriptions and Julia Soemias’s damnatio, see E. Kettenhoffen (1979) 151-3. 341 A. Bartoli (1951-52) 53.


chapter eight The Mutilation and Destruction of Severus Alexander’s Images Severus Alexander’s name and titles have been erased in several inscriptions.342 These erasures were carried out under Maximinus, for Severus Alexander’s name has been restored in many of the erased inscriptions after his deification in 238.343 At the same time his inscriptions were erased, two of his portraits also were intentionally damaged. A fragmentary portrait in the Museo Capitolino has been split apart with a chisel (cat. 7.22; fig. 196a-b).344 The head is broken off above the eyes and the chisel blows which caused the break are clearly visible above the left eye. The nose has also been chiseled off. In contrast to the deliberately damaged areas, the surface of the skin is well-preserved. The defacement of the Capitoline head suggests that images in Rome were mutilated in response to the news of Severus Alexander’s murder and the accession of Maximinus Thrax. A fragmentary bronze portrait, now in the Terme, may also have been attacked and then thrown into the Tiber, where it was discovered near the Ponte Sisto (cat. 7.23).345 The people of Rome, far removed from the German frontier where Maximinus was declared emperor, may have felt it especially politic to express their fidelity to the new emperor and regime by visually denigrating the memory and monuments of his predecessor. A mutilated bust length portrait of Severus Alexander in a Swiss private collection was discovered together with two fragmentary portraits of Julia Mammaea (cat. 7.24). As usual with deliberately defaced images, damage is concentrated in the areas of the eyes, nose, mouth and chin, while the rest of the head is well preserved. Fragments of the bust form with toga contabulata are also preserved. The portrait’s discovery, together with the fragmentary representations of Julia Mammaea, suggest that they were stored or
342 G.M. Bersanetti (1964) 18, n. 3; A. Belezza (1964) 77, n. 37. 343 G.M. Bersanetti (1964) 18, n. 3. 344 Magazzini, inv. 1431. 345 Inv. 124492.

had been declared Caesar and adopted by Elagabalus in the previous year under the name Marcus Aurelius Alexander. He added Severus to his names as Augustus, reigning as Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander, in an effort to link himself with the dynasty’s founder, Septimius Severus. He was approximately fourteen at the time of his accession and his mother, Julia Mammaea, who was declared Augusta, acted as regent for her son. Severus Alexander’s rule lasted 13 years, until he and his mother were assassinated on 22 March 235 at Vicus Britannicus by their own troops, who had grown dissatisfied with the emperor’s unsuccessful attempts to quell simultaneous disturbances on both the Parthian and German frontiers. Maximinus Thrax, a soldier of humble origin, seized power after the murders. Although neither Alexander nor Julia Mammaea received any official sanctions against their memories after their deaths, some of their portraits and inscriptions were nonetheless deliberately defaced or destroyed. The isolated instances of the destruction of the monuments of Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea must have been the result of spontaneous demonstrations against their memories, rather than the expression of an officially sponsored or centrally initiated attempt to defame them. As in the past, such spontaneous demonstrations would have served to express dissatisfaction with the last of the Severans and, more importantly, loyalty to the new emperor Maximinus Thrax. But these demonstrations were limited in scope, for Severus Alexander was eventually deified in 238 under Gordian III and, in general, he is very favorably treated by contemporary and later historians. However, these spontaneous demonstrations are symptomatic of the increase in the intentional mutilation of portraits, which had begun under Commodus and continued unabated throughout the Severan period.

the severans buried together following their disfigurement. Another bust length portrait in Munich depicting the emperor with toga contabulata was attacked and the eyes, nose, mouth, chin and ears obliterated (cat. 7.21). An over-life-sized bronze head of Severus Alexander in Bochum also has also been intentionally disfigured (cat. 7.20; fig. 197).346 The head, severed from its original cuirassed statue, was discovered at Carnuntum, the seat of government for Upper Pannonia. Gouges to the right side of the head, the right temple, the corner of the right eye, the right cheek, and left brow all appear to have been deliberately caused by a dolabra (pick-axe).347 As B. Andreae has recognized, the damage has resulted from a kind of assassination in effigy.348 Furthermore, the vandalization of this portrait is clearly the result of a spontaneous demonstration, likely carried out by soldiers, against the images of Severus Alexander, which were intended to show support of the new emperor, Maximinus Thrax. It is possible that the portrait was set up in Carnuntum by Cassius Dio, who was the legatus augusti in Pannonia from 223-228.349 During the reign of Severus Alexander, Dio records that the troops in the Danube region were restive and mutinous, and the image may have been intended to uphold the emperor’s authority for the troops who were contesting his supremacy.350 As a visual representation of Severus Alexander’s auctoritas, the portrait may have been especially liable to denigration following the emperor’s murder and its mutilation recalls the important roles which images of Galba and Vitellius played in the military disturbances in Germany during the civil wars of A.D. 68-9.351 The geographical context and martial imagery of the image may indicate that the military were both the agents and the audience of the portrait’s mutilation. After its destruction and removal from the


cuirassed statue body, the head must have been replaced with a new portrait, very likely of Maximinus himself. Like the mutilated miniature bronze bust of Caligula (cat. 1.3; fig. 2a-b) or the decaptiated bronze heads of Nero and Macrinus (fig. 87), the Bochum portrait’s defacement and disposal is highly unusual, in that bronze images were normally melted down for their metal content.

Julia Mammaea Julia Mammaea’s name and titles have also been erased in several inscriptions and four of her surviving portraits were deliberately mutilated.352 Repeated blows from a square hammer have disfigured an over life-sized portrait of Julia Mammaea in Ostia (7.26; fig. 198).353 Damage is concentrated in the area of the face; the forehead, both eyeballs, the nose, most of the mouth, and part of the left cheek have all been obliterated. With the exception of weathering to the top of the head, the other surfaces of the portrait are well-preserved including the finely carved details of the coiffure. Traces of the square instrument used in the attack on the forehead are readily visible. The eyeballs have essentially been gouged out of the head with a chisel and, as in other instances of this kind of trauma, comprises both an anthropomorphic attack on the sensory organs as well as an attempt to deprive the image of its personal identity. The head is worked for insertion and was discovered at Ostia, reused as part of the paving of the decumanus. After its defacement the portrait was removed from its statue or bust form and discarded or warehoused until its later utilitarian reuse as paving material. The severe damage which has been inflicted on the face rendered the head useless for recarving into a new likeness, hence its reuse in another context. The face of a representation of Julia Mammaea in the Louvre has also been deliberately
352 353

346 347 348 349 350 351

Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität. B. Andreae (1979) 98; C. Letta (1981) 42. B. Andreae (1979) 108; C. Letta (1981) 42. C. Letta (1981) 44. 79(80).1.3; C. Letta (1981) 43. See supra.

G.M. Bersanetti (1964) 18, n. 3. Ostia, Museo, inv. 26.


chapter eight opinions about her, account for the destruction of her images as a result of spontaneous demonstrations.

disfigured (cat7.27; fig. 199).354 The portrait depicts the Augusta with a diadem and is worked for insertion into a draped bust form (or statue). The left brow, both eyeballs, the nose, mouth and chin have all attacked with a chisel. The rest of the portrait is generally well preserved, again underscoring the intentional nature of the disfigurement. In addition the two fragmentary portraits of Julia Mammaea in a Swiss private collection (cat. 7.28) and in Bochum (cat. 7.25).355 discovered in Italy together with the deliberately damaged portrait of Severus Alexander provide further persuasive evidence for the intentional mutilation of her likenesses (cat. 7.24). In these two representations, only the face is preserved and in both the noses have been entirely destroyed. The hair may have been worked separately as a marble wig. As part of joint commemorations with her son, it is not surprising that Julia Mamaea’s portraits and inscriptions were included in the limited destruction which befell her son’s monuments as a result of spontaneous demonstrations.356 She was, in effect, the reigning Augusta, despite Alexander’s short-lived marriage to Sallustia Barbia Orbiana, and she wielded enormous power and influence.357 On coins, Julia Mammaea is granted the extraordinary title, mater universi generis humani.358 Contemporary and somewhat later historians, who generally treat Severus Alexander favorably, are much more harsh in their judgement of Julia Mammaea; the failure of the young Augustus’s reign is largely blamed on his mother and her greed.359 Julia Mammaea’s exceptional position and prominence, as well as the negative

Conclusion: A Crescendo of Desecration and Destruction Although there are far fewer individual condemnations than in the Julio-Claudian period, the physical evidence for the destruction and mutilation of images from the Severan period is staggering, and in many ways marks the apogee of the phenomenon of the repression of commemorative monuments. The period boasts the most widespread and virulent condemnation in Roman history in the damnatio of Geta ruthlessly pursued by his brother Caracalla. The wholesale destruction of images is clearly documented by the case of Plautianus, who is anecdotally reported by Dio to have enjoyed more portrait honors than Septimius Severus and Caracalla. Despite Dio’s remarkable assertion, no securely identifiable portraits of Plautianus have survived. Extremely fragmentary portraits of Geta in Venice and Rome provide further evidence for the wholesale destruction of Severan images. The Severan period furnishes additional powerful evidence for erasure in relief, which complements the earlier removal of Commodus from the Aurelian panels. Indeed, the Arch of the Argentarii has become a visual locus for discussions of relief portrait suppression. Representations of Plautianus, Plautilla and Geta have all been eradicated from the arch, and the resulting blank passages in the reliefs speak volumes. All three obliterated individuals are tellingly present through their conspicuous absences. With its abraded, recessed, and recarved surfaces, the dedicatory inscription of the Arch also stands as a seminal example of insciptional condemnation, eclipsed only by the obliteration and alteration of the attic inscription on the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Forum Romanum. Erasure is also a potent form of emendation for coins, as evidenced by an extraordinary series of bronze issues from Stratonicea, and elsewhere in the east, in which Geta’s portraits have been effaced.

No. 3552 (inv. MND 2137). “Julia Mammaea B,” Bochum, Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität, inv. S 1090. 356 A sardonyx cameo in Köln which may depict facing portraits of Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea has possibly suffered damage as a result of a damnatio, RömischGermanisches Museum 72, inv. nr. RGM 31.55, 1.9 x 1.4 cm; W.R. Megow (1987) 309, nr. E 7, pl. 50.8-9; however, the lack of imperial insignia and the generic nature of the portraits speaks against such an identification. 357 HA, SevAlex. 14.7, 60.2. 358 CIL 2.3413; E. Kettenhoffen (1979) 161. 359 Herod.6.1.8; HA.SevAlex. 14.7, 63.5.


the severans As in the later second century, there are essentially no Severan portraits which were reconfigured as a result of condemnations. For example, representations of Geta and Pautilla which have been recut, were not recycled until the middle third and fourth centuries, respectively. The exception to this are the portraits of Elagabalus which were refashioned into likenesses of his young cousin and successor, Severus Alexander. These sculptural transformations may have been facilitated by the similarities in age, physiognomy, and coiffure between the two cousins, as well as the lack of the complicating factor of beards in their images. The anthropomorphic disfigurement of sculpted images continues with increased frequency in the Severan period and Macrinus is the first Roman ruler for whom all of his surviving marble portraits have been deliberately mutilated. In addition, representations of Plautilla, Geta, Diadumenianus, Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea have all been intentionally attacked. Disfigured portraits of Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea provide the first incontrovertible corroboration for the phenomenon of spontaneous destructive demonstrations, because their memories were never officially or unofficially condemned, and Severus Alexander was, in fact, subsequently deified. Other kinds of mutilation are also in evidence during the Severan period. In particular, the decapitated likenesses of Geta from the Arch of Septimius Severus at Lepcis Magna would have been evocative visual emblems of his posthumous denigration. His portrait is technically absent from the


relief, but his mutilated body remains as a signifier of his condemnation. Similarly, his headless image is another powerfully denigrative marker in the Berlin tondo. The closely related practice of corpse abuse also occurs in this period, with the body of Septimius’s Severus’s rivals Clodius Albinus and Pescennius Niger desecrated, as well as those of Macrinus, Diadumenianus, Elagabalus and Julia Soemias. Indeed, the extended and very public abuse of the corpses of Elagabalus and Julia Soemias and their ultimate disposal as refuse in the Tiber is notable in the annals of imperial condemnations. Julia Soemias is the first and only imperial woman whose remains are known to have been defiled so drastically and so publicly. Although the military had been intimately involved in earlier condemnations, especially in the period of unrest immediately following the suicide of Nero in 68, intriguing evidence for the army as an active agent in pursuing condemnations is provided by Geta’s damnatio. In the account given by the Historia Augusta, Caracalla first calls upon the military to declare his murdered brother a public enemy, rather than the Senate. Active involvement in the condemnation on the part of the Roman army may also help to explain the remarkably wide geographic distribution of surviving inscriptional and sculptural evidence for Geta’s condemnation. Furthermore, the soldiers’ participation in and promotion of Geta’s damnatio signals the major role they would play in the selection of succeeding emperors during the third century following the assassination of Severus Alexander and the demise of the Severan dynasty.


chapter nine


Maximinus Thrax, Maximus, and Caecilia Paulina For nearly fifty years between 235 and 284, the third century was marked by a rapid succession of emperors, often chosen by the army. Following the murders of Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea in 235, the Senate reluctantly confirmed the army’s choice of emperor, Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus, reputedly the son of a Gothic peasant and a woman of the Alani tribe.1 After embarking on a military career, he eventually held the governorship of Mesopotamia.2 In 235, Maximinus was stationed on the Rhine in command of the troops who revolted against Severus Alexander and these soldiers saluted Maximinus as their new emperor. Maximinus continued to wage war along the Rhine, and engaged in several battles in which he was victorious. However, from the outset, his reign was plagued by revolts.3 In March of 238, Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus (Gordian I), the governor of Africa, was declared emperor together with his homonymous son (Gordian II). The Senate supported the two new emperors. However, Capellianus, the governor of Numidia, defeated the Gordian partisans in April and Gordian II was killed in the battle. Shortly afterwards, Gordian I committed suicide. The Senate was undaunted, and declared Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus and Decimus Caelius Calvinus Balbinus as the new augusti. These two in turn appointed Marcus Antonius Gordianus (Gordian III Pius), the thirteen year old grandson of Gordian I and nephew of Gordian II, as Caesar.
1 2

Upon hearing of the uprising in Africa, Maximinus marched on Italy. After reaching Italy, Maximinus was unable to capture Aquilea, and sustained heavy losses during the siege of the city. The Legio II Parthica became dissatisfied with the emperor and, on 10 May, they murdered him, together with his son Maximus, who held the titles of caesar and princeps iuuventutis. Herodian records that the corpses of the father and son were subjected to poena post mortem and were left for anyone to desecrate or trample on and ultimately as carrion food for birds and dogs; the heads were cut off and sent to Rome.4 As in the past, portraits of Maximinus played an important symbolic role in his overthrow; immediately before Maximinus and Maximus were assassinated, the imagines of Maximinus were ripped from the Praetorian standards to signal his downfall.5 At the time of the Gordians’ revolt in Africa, the Senate declared both Maximinus and Maximus hostes, thus ensuring the destruction of their monuments.6 The honors which the father and son had been awarded were revoked and their names erased from inscriptions and papyri.7 The Senate’s sanctions against Maximinus coincided with a false rumor that he had actually been killed, prompting plebs to overthrow his portraits in Rome: deiectae sunt statuae et imagines eius qui hostis

HA. Max. 1.5. On the career of Maximinus, see G.M. Bersanetti (1965). 3 HA. Max. 10; 11.2-5; Tyr. 31.7, 12; 32.1-3.

8.5.9. Herod. 8.5.9. 6 HA, Max. 15.2; Gord. 11.1, 7-10; Max.Balb. 1.4. See also, ILS 1188. 7 HA, Max. 26.3, 5; Herodian records that the names of Maximinus and Maximus were erased from African inscriptions at the time of the Gordian’s revolt and their portrait dedications were removed and replaced with images of the Gordians, 7.7.2. On the erased African inscriptions, see G.M. Bersanetti (1965) 68. n. 2; see also, ILS 48789 and R. Cagnat (1914) 173. For the papyri, which also have the names of Maximinus and Maximus erased, see E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876.


the later third century fuerat iudicatus.8 In addition, the Senate ordered that paintings commemorating Maximinus’s German victories which had been erected outside the Curia were to be taken down and burned.9 Furtheromore, outside of the capital, after Maximinus and Maximus were killed at Aquileia, the citizens of a neighboring town responded to the news by overturning Maximinus’s statues: in oppido igitur vicino statim Maximini statuae atque imagines depositae sunt.10


Maximinus Thrax’s Portrait Typology Maximinus’s extant sculpted representations correspond closely to those numismatic likenesses which include the title Germanicus.11 Maximinus wears a short, closely cropped coiffure which reveals the contours of the skull, and a lightly incised beard and moustache. His forehead is creased by horizontal furrows and two vertical furrows are depicted above the bridge of his nose. The nose itself is hooked and prominent. The mouth is long, and the lips are not overly fleshy. The shape of the head is massive and rectangular, while the neck is thick and full.

The Mutilation and Destruction of Maximinus Thrax’s Images As with Macrinus, all of Maximinus Thrax’s surviving marble images have been deliberately mutilated, a vivid testimony to the denigration of his memory. Despite the fact that Maximinus never visited the capital and was despised by both the Senate and plebs, these six likenesses are from Rome or its environs. The most fragmentary image, formerly in the Terme and now in the Museo Palatino, consists of the top of the head ending just below the eyes (cat. 8.4; fig. 200a-c).12
HA. Gord. 13.6. See also, Herod. 7.7.1-2. HA.Max. 12.11; Herod. 7.2.8. 10 HA. Max. 23.7. 11 R. Delbueck (1940) 65-67, pl.1.6,9-10,13;H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) pl. 67. 12 Museo Palatino, Sala 8, formerly Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 52681.
9 8

Although it is only partially preserved, the virtuoso treatment of the coiffure, forehead, brows, and eyes clearly mark it as the finest replica of Maximinus’s only portrait type.13 The piece was discovered on the Palatine where it was likely displayed somewhere in the imperial palace complex, which also accounts fro its extremely high artistic quality. The image has been destroyed as a direct result of the Senate’s repudiation of Maximinus’s authority and may have carried out by official representatives of the Senate, or by palace functionaries, wishing to comply with the Senatorial sanctions against Maximinus and to express support for the new regime of the Gordians. Modern restorations currently obscure the ancient mutilation inflicted on Maximinus’s images in the Museo Capitolino (cat. 8.3)14 and the Louvre (cat. 8.2).15 In the Capitoline portrait, a portion of the left brow, the nose, and the left half of the chin and both ears have been restored in marble. In addition, the head is severely cracked from repeated blows. The Louvre portrait has suffered even more serious disfigurement. Modern restorations include the right brow, right eye, most of the left eye, the nose, the left half of the lower lip, the chin, and most of the left ear. The rest of the head, and the bust form, which appears to belong, are much better preserved and underscore the deliberate nature of the image’s defacement. Like the Capitoline portrait, the bust in the Louvre must have been damaged as a result of the sanctions against Maximinus or, slightly afterwards, when his death was announced at Rome. The likeness was discovered at the Villa of Quintilii, on the Via Appia outside of Rome, probably during the excavations of 1850-51.16 The mutilated image is likely to have been stored or buried at the Villa, which was the largest of the suburban villas in the envi-

H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 228. Stanza degli Imperatori 46, inv. 473. 15 MA 1044. 16 A. Ricci, ed. (1998) 108-9; R. Paris, ed. (2000) 23. A bust of Philip the Arab (St. Petersbur, Ermitage A 31) was also discovered at the Villa during excavations carried out in 1764.



chapter nine numismatic images have also been attacked. Obverses with facing portraits of Maximinus and his son Maximus from Elaea and Pergamum have been entirely obliterated.22 As in the past, these effacements are forceful and graphic reminders of the emperor’s denigration.

rons of Rome and had become imperial property under Commodus. Two other portraits of Maximinus from Rome have been intentionally defaced as a result of his damnatio. Both are currently displayed on the facade of the Casino Aurora Ludovisi and have been attached to modern busts (cat.8.5-6; figs. 201-2).17 Although they are very poorly preserved, the heads are recognizable as likenesses of Maximinus, with strong similarities in their coiffures and physiognomies to the better preserved replicas.18 Both brows, the nose, the lips, the chin and both ears are restored in one portrait. Restorations to the second portrait include the nose and the chin. The surfaces of both heads are very corroded as a result of their long exposure to the elements while displayed on the facade of the Casino. Nevertheless, the loss of facial features which both portraits have suffered was almost certainly the result of vandalization carried out at the time of Maximinus’s downfall. A portrait in Copenhagen, exhibits signs that it, too, has been intentionally mutilated in antiquity (cat. 8.1).19 The head is over life-sized and worked for insertion. The nose, chin, and the rims of both ears have been attacked with a chisel.20 There are some minor abrasions to the surface of the marble, but the portrait is generally well preserved and still displays the original porcelain-like finish of the skin. Like the Harvard Macrinus, the contrast between the highly polished surfaces and the damaged facial features again highlight the intentional nature of the portrait’s disfigurement. After its mutilation, the portrait must have been removed from the statue into which it was inserted.21 Maximinus’s
T. Schreiber (1880) nos. 158 and 160. K. Fittschen (1977b) 319-26. Two additional portraits displayed on the facade of the Casino exhibit general similarities to the portraits of Maximinus, T. Schreiber (1880) no. 159, 161; K. Fittschen (1977b), figs. 7-10; L. de Lachenal MusNazRom 1.6, 247-50, no. VIII.14, 252-54, no. VIII.15, with figs.; Both are badly corroded. Because the similarities are somewhat generic, K. Fittschen identifies the heads as private portraits, (1977b) 319-26; see also L. de Lachenal, MusNazRom 1.6, 247-50, no. VIII.14, 252-54, no. VIII.15. 19 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 744, inv. 818. 20 These areas were formerly restored in marble. 21 In addition to the sculpted portraits which have been
18 17

Maximus’s Portrait Typology The monuments of Maximinus’s son, Gaius Julius Verus Maximus, were included in the sanctions enacted against his father.23 Coin portraits of Maximus depict him with a short military haircut, similar to that worn by his father. He is beardless and has a prominent, hooked nose. His mouth is fairly small, the lips somewhat fleshy, and the lower lip recedes slightly. The chin is firm and the jaw is heavy. Like his father, the shape of the face is rectangular and massive.

The Mutilation and Destruction of Maximus’s Images Two heads worked for insertion, now in Copenhagen, have been deliberately mutilated (cat. 8.78; figs. 203-4).24 Like the portrait of Maximinus in Copenhagen, the combination of disfigured facial features with the highly polished surfaces of the skin in these two portraits vividly underscores the intentional nature of their destruction. In one portrait both eyes and the nose have been vandalized. The other has been more severely damaged with its eyes and the pupils almost entirely obliterated. The nose has been destroyed and the lips are also damaged. Nevertheless, the preservation of the high polish of the skin suggests that these portraits, as well as the portrait of Maximinus in Copenhagen, were stored or buried in a secure location after their disfigurement. And

deliberately damaged, D. Salzmann mentions a sestertius from a private collection in Munich in which the portrait of Maximinus has been reconfigured (1984) 295, n. 44. 22 K. Regling (1904) 142-4; K. Harl (1987) pl. 12.5-6. 23 HA.Max. 26.5. 24 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 745, inv. 819 and 746, inv. 823.

the later third century indeed, all three images appear to have been part of the group of five “colossal” heads inserted in togate statues recorded by T. Schreiber and J.J. Bernoulli as being displayed at the Villa Ludovisi at the end of the nineteenth century.25 In addition to being stylistically similar to one another, both heads of Maximus bear striking resemblances to the Copenhagen portrait of Maximinus, especially in the handling of the highly polished skin surfaces. All three heads are almost certainly the products of the same sculptural workshop. Originally these portraits, together with the other two “colossal” portraits whose whereabouts are no longer known, may have formed part of a portrait gallery, depicting the father and son in various guises.26 The damage to the facial features prevented the recarving of these images. However, the bodies into which they had been inserted are likely to have been reused with the addition of new portrait heads. The combined destruction of the images of the father and son from the presumed portrait gallery recalls the obliteration of their facing portraits on the coins from Elaea and Pergamum. All or many of the portraits may have been found together, suggesting that after their mutilation they were stored or warehoused in the same location, perhaps a sculptural depot, perhaps in the Horti Sallustiani.27


bust or statue.28 Although the portrait lacks its nose, chin and the rims of both ears, all of which were formerly restored in marble, it does not exhibit the corresponding damage to the eyes present in the other two likenesses, and, as a result, it is unlikely that the portrait was deliberately defaced. Rather, the head must have been removed from its original context and warehoused following Maximinus’s overthrow. Caecilia Paulina Maximinus’s wife, Caecilia Paulina, was deceased at the time of her husband’s accession. On coins and in inscriptions she is commemorated as Diva.29 Numismatic portraits depict Paulina veiled and wearing a deeply waved hairstyle which reveals her ears. Her eyes are wide, her nose is long and slightly hooked. Her mouth is small and the lips are fairly full. Her chin is firm. These numismatic portraits emphasize Paulina’s physiognomical resemblance to both her husband and son.30 No sculpted portraits have been identified for Paulina, but it is likely that if any were produced, they were included in the destruction which befell the images of Maximinus and Maximus. Pupienus and Balbinus

The Removal of Maximus’s Images A third portrait of Maximus in Copenhagen is life-sized and is worked for insertion into a draped

After the death of Maximinus Thrax in May of 238, Pupienus and Balbinus failed to maintain control of the empire and were murdered by the praetorians in July. Herodian records that their corpses were totally mutilated and left exposed.31
28 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 759, inv. 826, h. 0.34 m.;H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 232, 234 (with earlier literature); H. von Heintze (1964) 161-62, pl. 16a; M. Bergmann (1977) 32-34; S. Wood (1986) 66-67, 127. The portrait was originally in the Jakobsen Collection in Copenhagen and was presumably purchased in Italy. F. Johansen (1995b) 106-7, no. 42. 29 For example, CIL 10.5054; see also R. Cagnat (1914) 172; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 229. 30 On the use of presumably fictive physiognomical resemblances between imperial husbands and wives, see S. Wood (1981) 59-68; R.R.R. Smith (1985) 214-5; E.R. Varner (1995) 191-93 31 8.8.7; see also HA.Max.Balb. 6.14.6.

T. Schreiber (1880) nos. 321-325 and J.J. Bernoulli (1894) 117. Bernoulli lists the measurements of the heads as ranging from 0.45 m. for the smallest to 0.58 cm. for the largest. This is not incompatible with the measurements of the Copenhagen heads. The Maximinus Thrax measures 0.43 m., while both portraits of Maximus measure 0.42 m. It is possible that the other two portraits mentioned by Bernoulli, whose whereabouts are no longer known, were the larger portraits. 26 See also K. Fittschen (1977b) 319-326 and FittschenZanker I, 125-126, ns. 4-5. 27 K. Fittschen (1977b) 319-20; M. Donderer (1991-2) 220, n. 116.



chapter nine inus Aquila Timestheus. In 243, the young emperor launched a campaign against the Persians. However, the troops became dissatisfied with him, and on 25 February 244 he was assassinated, perhaps at the instigation of Philip the Arab, the successor of Timestheus as praetorian praefect. Gordian III was succeeded by Philip who reported to the Senate that Gordian had died of natural causes.

Nevertheless, there is no mention of official sanctions pursued against the murdered emperors. Their names are not erased in honorific inscriptions and portraits of both men have survived. Significantly, Balbinus’s sarcophagus is extant and includes portraits of the emperor and his wife; the sarcophagus preserves no evidence of intentional mutilation or destruction.32 Nevertheless, the names of Pupienus and Balbinus have been erased in certain papyri, likely spontaneous and scattered reactions to the news of their overthrow and this raises the distinct possibility that other monuments may have been affected.33 For instance, the portrait statue of Balbinus as Jupiter discovered in the harbor at Piraeus, may have been thrown into the harbor after news of the assassination of Pupienus and Balbinus reached Athens.34 Indeed, fragments of a pendant portrait of Pupienus which include the plinth, part of the eagle and face were also discovered in the harbor and may provide additional evidence for the intentional destruction of these images.35

The Mutilation and Destruction of Gordian III’s Images Although no official sanctions were enacted against the memory of Gordian III and he was in fact deified under Philip the Arab, certain monuments may have been subjected to the same isolated and spontaneous destruction as those of Pupienus and Balbinus or earlier with Severus Alexander and Julia Mammaea.36 Indeed, a bronze portrait of Gordian III from Nicopolis ad Istrum has been intentionally attacked as result of such spontaneous demonstrations, and its mutilation closely parallels that of the bronze Severus Alexander in Bochum (cat. 8.9; fig. 205).37 Like the Severus Alexander, the head has been attacked, perhaps by a pickaxe, causing damage to the nose and the ears have been severed from the head. Again, the destruction of the portrait functioned as a kind of mutilation of the young emperor in effigy, perhaps carried out by dissatisfied troops. The severing of the ears from the portrait is striking and they have been attacked as vital auditory organs. After its vandalization, the head was thrown into the River Jantra (Jantros) where it was discovered in 1897. The portrait provides important additional confirmation of the disposal of images in bodies of water in the provinces. The spontaneous mutilation of imperial portraits and monuments in the third century, like the bronze head of Gordian III, are visible expressions of the volatile political situation in this period.

Gordian III Pupienus and Balbinus we were succeeded by their young Caesar, Gordian III. Gordian ruled the empire for almost six years, initially under the influence of his mother Maecia Faustina, and later that of his praetorian praefect, Gaius Sab32 Rome, Catacombs of Praetextatus; H. B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 249 (with earlier literature); H. Meyer (1986) 279-290 (with earlier literature). D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 384-85, fig. 356; D.E.E. Kleiner in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 54, fig. 10. Meyer does entertain the possibility that a damnatio was enacted against Pupienus and Balbinus, 282. Meyer also suggests that the sarcophagus is a later production and represents a kind of rehabilitation of his memory. The style of his portraits, however, as well as those of his wife, and her coiffure would be consistent with an earlier date. 33 E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876; H. Meyer (1986) 282-3. 34 Piraeus, Museum, h. 2.02 m.; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 258, pls. 56b and 78b; S. Wood (1986) 44, n. 54, 70, 129 (with earlier literature); M. Donderer (19912) 223, n. 129; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 366, fig. 327. 35 Piraeus, Museum (Garden and Magazzini) 125 A; C.C. Vermeule (1959) 109; C.C. Vermeule (1968) 403; H.G. Niemeyer (1968) 112, no. 125; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 244-45.

36 37

HA, Gord. 31.7. Sofia, National Archaeological Museum, inv. 1497.

the later third century Philip the Arab, Philip Minor and Otacilia Severa Marcus Julius Verus Philippus, born ca. 204, was the son of Marinus, an Arab chief who enjoyed Roman equestrian status.38 After the death of Gordian III, Philip concluded a treaty with the Persians and returned to Rome. His wife, Marcia Otacilia Severa was declared Augusta, and his son Philip Minor was hailed as Caesar and Princeps Iuventutis. Philip’s reign began favorably, with military successes in Dacia in 247.39 In 248, the millenial anniversary of the foundation of Rome was celebrated with Ludi Saeculares.40 However, the remainder of Philip’s reign was marred by numerous revolts. Finally, in June of 249, Trajan Decius, commander of the forces in Pannonia and Moesia was declared emperor by his troops.41 Philip marched against Decius, but was defeated and killed, together with Philip Minor, at Verona.42


the condemned emperors Caligula, Nero, Vitellius, and Maximinus, further suggesting that his condemnation was officially sanctioned.44 On coins, Philip is depicted with a very short, military coiffure and closely shaved beard. His forehead is fairly low and often marked by two horizontal furrows. The eyes are large and wide, and are set beneath long brows. The nose is large and usually hooked, sometimes with a bump below the bridge. The mouth consists of very full lips which turn downward at the corners. Naso-labial lines are occasionally indicated. The chin is firm and partially rounded.

The Removal of Philip the Arab’s Images Only two sculpted images representing Philip, now in St. Petersburg45 and the Vatican,46 have survived from antiquity. Both portraits are large busts which depict the emperor wearing the toga contabulata. The St. Petersburg likeness was discovered in 1764 in the area imperial holdings at the Villa of the Quintilii on the Via Appia.47 The Vatican bust was discovered between 1777-80 during excavations of a villa at Tor Paterno. It is exceedingly well preserved. Only the tip of the nose and rim of the left ear are restored.48 The villa housed a large collection of portraits which included likenesses of Agrippina Minor,49 Hadri-

Philip the Arab’s Portrait Typology The historical sources are notoriously incomplete for Philip’s reign and there is no mention of an official damnatio enacted against him. However, his name, as well as those of Philip Minor and Otacilia Severa, are erased in inscriptions and papyri, which confirm that there were demonstrations against their memories and monuments.43 In addition, Trajan Decius is reported to have been hostile to his predecessor’s memory and the Historia Augusta numbers Philip among

Philip also had his father deified, after he became Augustus. 39 Philip’s major victory was over the Carpi. 40 Based on the Varro’s foundation date of 753 B.C., A.D. 248 would have marked the end of Rome’s first millenium. HA, Gord. 33.2-3. 41 Decius had formerly been Philip’s Praefectus urbi and had urged Philip against abdicating when the latter had offered to give up the principate in 248. 42 Alternatively, Philip Minor may have been taken by the Praetorians to their camp after the battle and murdered there. 43 R. Cagnat (1914) 173-74. For the erased papyri mentioning Philip the Arab and Philip Minor, see E. Van’t Dack (1974) 876.


Eus. EcclHist. 6.29.2; HA.Aur.42.6. Ermitage, inv. A 31, h. 0.70 m.; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 32-33, 36, pls. 11b, 12b, 14b (with earlier literature); D. Kiang, “The Iconography of Philip the Arab,” AJA 85 (1981) 201; Fittschen-Zanker I, 120-121, ns. 7-10; S. Wood (1986) 41, 132 A. Ricci, ed. (1998) 36, 106, no. 73, pl. 13.3. 46 Braccio Nuovo 124 (formerly 121), inv. 2216, h. 0.71 m.; D. Kiang (1978) 75-84, pls. 3-4; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 32. 40, pls. 11a, 12a (with earlier literature); D. Breckenridge (1982) 505, pl. 20; FittschenZanker I, 120-121, ns. 7, 10; S. Wood (1986) 39-42, 77, 84, 110, 132, p.6.9; R. Neudecker (1988) 237-40, no. 69.9, pl. 24.1; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 368-9, fig. 332. 47 U. Schädler in A. Ricci, ed. (1998) 36; R. Paris, ed. (2000) 23.The nose, rims of the ears and sections of the drapery are restorations. 48 The tabula and plinth of the bust are ancient but do not belong to this portrait. 49 Oxford, Ashmolean Museum 1917.67; R. Neudecker



chapter nine tensive and his public prominence was engineered in an effort to firmly establish a new dynasty. The numismatic portraits reveal a youth with short military haircut, similar to that of his father, a smooth, fairly low forehead, wide eyes beneath arching brows, straight aquiline nose, a full mouth, and firm, rounded chin.

an,50 Aelius Caesar (?),51 Antoninus Pius,52 Faustina Maior, 53 Faustina Minor (?),54 a private Severan female,55 and an undated private female portrait.56 The bust of Philip the Arab is the latest of these images. In light of the erased inscriptions, it seems unlikely that portraits of Philip would have continued to be displayed in Rome following his overthrow, especially in the context of an imperial residence, like the Villa of the Quintili. Neither bust exhibits any signs that it was intentionally mutilated, which suggests that they may have been removed from display at the villas and stored, in contradistinction to the Louvre Maximinus Thrax from the Villa of the Quintilii which was intentionally mutilated before being warehoused or buried. The two surviving portraits of Philip from the Villas are outnumbered by extant sculpted likenesses of his son Philip Minor (4 portraits), and his wife Otacilia Severa (3 portraits). As it is improbable that portraits of Philip Minor and Otacilia originally exceeded those of Philip, the discrepancy in surviving likenesses suggests that images of Philip were destroyed in antiquity.

The Removal of Philip Minor’s Images Four sculpted portraits are similar enough to the numismatic likenesses to permit their identification as Philip Minor.57 None of them have been intentionally mutilated. Three are in marble and are now in Munich,58 Ostia,59 and Toulouse.60 The Munich and Toulouse heads have been cut or broken from their original busts or statues, while the Ostia piece is worked for insertion. The fourth portrait, in Los Angeles, is of bronze and is reputedly from Asia Minor.61 The disk-like attachment to the head supported a radiate crown. The head has apparently been severed from a nude body. The radiate crown underscores the Philip Minor’s indispensable role in the dynastic propaganda of his father. Like the earlier decapitated bronzes, its ritual beheading burial must have been conceptually more important than recovering any intrinsic value through melting it down. After the death of Philip Minor it no longer would have been politically expedi-

Philip Minor’s Portrait Typology Philip Minor was granted the titles of Caesar and princeps iunventutis after his father’s accession. Although only a boy, he held the consulship, at least two times and he was eventually awarded the title of Augustus. Philip Minor’s coinage is fairly ex-

(1988) 239, no. 69.25 (with earlier literature). 50 Rome, Palazzo Chigi; R. Neudecker (1988) 238, no. 69.6 (with earlier literature). 51 Formerly Rome, Palazzo Chigi; R. Neudecker (1988) 239, no. 69.18. 52 ex Hope Collection; R. Neudecker (1988) 238-9, no. 69.7, pl. 24.3 (with earlier literature). 53 Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, inv. 933.27.2; R. Neudecker (1988) 239, no. 69.8, pl. 24.4 (with earlier literature). 54 Whereabouts unknown; R. Neudecker (1988) 239, no. 69.26 (with earlier literature). 55 Munich, Glyptothek 354; R. Neudecker (1988) 239, no. 69.10, pl. 24.2 (with earlier literature). 56 Whereabouts unknown; R. Neudecker (1988) 239, no. 69.24 (with earlier literature).

57 The iconography of Philip Minor is still debated. However, the recent proposals by S. Wood seem most probable and are followed here (1986) 132-33. 58 Glyptothek, cat. 360, h. 0.XX m.;H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 189 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 46; S. Wood (1986) 9798, 133, pl. 49; S. Wood (1987) 124, fig. 5. 59 Museo, inv. 1129, h. 0.18 m.; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 189-90; M. Bergmann (1977) 35-38, pl. 4.12; R. Calza (1977) 75-76. no. 96, pl. 69 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 25, 46; Fittschen-Zanker, 120, n. 6; S. Wood (1986) 132. 60 Musée St. Raymond, 30.128 (lifesized); H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 199 (with earlier literature); B. Andreae ( 1977) fig. 126; Fittschen-Zanker I, 120, n. 6; S. Wood (1986) 132. 61 J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 79.AB.120, h. 0.22 m.; J. Frel (1981) 104, 131, no. 86, with fig.; S. Wood (1986) 132.

the later third century ent to display his portraits, especially since they had reflected his father’s ill-fated dynastic ambitions. It is likely that the four surviving portraits of Philip Minor were removed from their original contexts and warehoused following his death.


Otacilia Severa’s Portrait Typology Otacilia Severa was prominently featured on the coinage of her husband’s reign, and she is often depicted together with her husband and son and celebrated as the mother of the heir to the Empire.62 Otacilia’s numismatic portraits depict her as a mature woman with a coiffure that is rigidly waved, parted in the center and drawn up in a Scheitelzopf extending to the top of her occiput. Her ears are left uncovered. The forehead is low and rounded. Her eyes are long and almond-shaped. The nose is aquiline and the cheeks broad. The upper lip is fairly thin, while the lower lip is much more full. The chin is small with a fleshy underchin.

acilia’s ultimate fate is unknown, but her name is erased in inscriptions, and it is likely that her memory and monuments were collaterally condemned along with those of her husband and son.66 All three of her portraits are well preserved and it is likely that they were removed from display and warehoused after her husband’s overthrow. The Conservatori portrait was part of the same sculptural cache as the Conservatori type 1 likeness of Lucilla from the domus near the Colosseum, whose pieces were later incorporated into a garden wall of the Villa Rivaldi.

Trajan Decius, Herrenius Etruscus, and Hostilian Gesius Messius Quintus Decius was born into a prominent local family of Budalia near Sirmium, ca. 190. After the defeat of the two Philips at Verona in 249, he returned to Rome, where the Senate confirmed his position as Augustus and granted him the additional name Trajan. During Decius’s brief reign, Kniva, the king of the Goths mounted a major offensive against the Romans. Decius moved against the Goths and enjoyed some initial successes. However, in July of 251, Decius suffered a devastating defeat. Decius himself was killed in battle, as was his son, Herrenius Etruscus, who had been declared coaugustus earlier in the year. Most of the Roman forces under their command were also wiped out. Decius was the first Roman emperor to be killed in battle against a foreign enemy. He was succeeded by the governor of upper and lower Moesia, Trebonianus Gallus. Trebonianus Gallus ensured the deification of Decius and Herrenius. After his accession, Gallus raised Decius’s youngest son Hostilian to the rank of co-Augustus, although Hostilian died shortly thereafter. Gallus also withheld the rank of Augusta from his own wife, out of respect for Decius’s widow, Herrenia Etruscilla, who had been declared Augusta during her husband’s

The Removal of Otacilia Severa’s Images Three marble portraits, representing Otacilia, correspond closely with the numismatic likenesses. They are in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (fig. 206),63 the Uffizi,64 and Petworth House.65 Ot-

62 Bimetallic medallion from Rome, c. A.D. 245-47, Kent 39, 311, no. 457, pl. 126. Antoninianus from Rome, obv. Philip Minor, rev. Philip Maior and Otacilia, as Patri Avg and Matri Avg. c. 246-47, RIC 97, no. 229, pl. 8.10; see also RIC 95, 212 (as: obv. Otacilia, rev. Philip Maior and Minor) and RIC 102, 261 (dupondius or as: obv. Philip Minor, rev. facing busts of Otacilia and Philip Maior, Concordia Augustorum) for Otacilia’s other coins, see also RIC 82-86, nos. 115-47, 92, no. 196, 93-95, nos. 198-212, pls. 7.8-20, pl. 9.6-7. 63 Braccio Nuovo 3.23, inv. 2765 (Centrale Montemartini 2.95) , h. 0.26 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 34-35, no. 37, pls. 45-46 (with earlier literature); S. Wood (1986) 84, 132, pl. 38.51; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 378, fig. 348; E.R. Varner (2001a) 52-3, fig. 53. 64 inv. 1914.271; h. 0.29 (head); M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 57, 50-61 (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 34; S. Wood (1986) 132. 65 H. 0.52 m.; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real

(1979) 57, 60-61 (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 34; S. Wood (1986) 132. 66 R. Cagnat (1914) 174.


chapter nine head was discovered at Ulpia Traiana (Sarmigetusa), in the geographical region in which Decius was defeated and killed.

reign. Nevertheless, the names of Decius and his two sons, Herrenius Etruscus and Hostilian, are erased in certain inscriptions, and such demonstrations may have had an effect on their portraits.67 Numismatic portraits of Decius depict him as an older man with a closely cropped military coiffure, which recedes substantially at the temples. The coins show him as both clean-shaven, and with a short beard and moustache. His forehead is broad, tall, slightly rounded and marked by horizontal furrows. The eyes are wide, and the brow is fairly straight. His nose is large and somewhat hooked. The cheeks are gaunt, and nasolabial lines are indicated. The mouth is small and the lips are fairly thin. The chin is also small and the jawline is narrow. Five portraits, three of marble and two of bronze, can plausibly be associated with Decius on the basis of the numismatic evidence. One of the marble likenesses is a full length statue depicting the emperor in the guise of Mars,68 while the other two have been cut or broken from the statues or busts to which they originally appertained.69 The survival of the two bronze heads, now in Florence70 and Deva,71 may indicate that they were severed from their original busts or statues, like the bronze portraits of Nero, Macrinus, Severus Alexander (cat. 7.20), Gordian III (cat. 8.9) and Philip Minor, after Decius’s overthrow. The archaeological context of the Florence head is not known, but the Deva

Trebonianus Gallus Gaius Vibius Afinius Trebonianus Gallus was born ca. 206 into a distinguished family of Etruscan origins from Perusia. His reign was marred by renewed disasters on the Persian frontier and disturbances on the German border. These military setbacks culminated in 253 when Aemilian, the governor of Lower Moesia, was declared emperor in opposition by his troops and he advanced into Italy. As a result of the invasion, Gallus and his son Volusianus, who had been declared co-augustus, were murdered by their own forces. The ancient sources make no mention of an official damnatio against Gallus. However, it is likely that his memory and monuments were disparaged during the brief reign of his successor Aemelian (July/August - September/October 253). The portraiture of Trebonianus Gallus is extremely problematical. His coin images depict him with a short military coiffure and a closely cropped beard and moustache. He has a furrowed forehead, wide eyes beneath arching brows, a large prominent nose, which is somewhat hooked. His mouth is fairly small, with a thin upper lip and fuller lower lip. His chin is also small and rounded and in some coin portraits there is a fleshy underchin. A colossal bronze statue in New York has strong parallels with the coin likenesses and probably represents Gallus.72 The colossal scale of the piece indicates that it is indeed an imperial portrait. It depicts the emperor nude, with a mantle draped over his left shoulder and forearm. The statue was discovered near S. Giovanni in Laterano at the beginning of the ninenteenth cen72 Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 05.30, h. 2.406; M. Bergmann (1977) 44-45; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 65, 84-86, 89-90 (with earlier literature); A.M. McCann (1981) 630-32, pls. 5-6; S. Wood (1986) 4345, 91, 133, pl. 8.11; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 371-2, fig. 336.

R. Cagnat (1914) 173; For Hostilian, see CIL 11.3088. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini, inv. 778, h. 2.17 m.; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 67 (with earlier literature); S. Wood (1986) 44, 79, 133, fig. 46; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 369-71, figs. 334-35. 69 Stanza degli Imperatori 52, inv. 482, h. 0.24 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 130-133, no. 110, pls. 135-7 (with earlier literature); S. Wood (1986) 22, 42-3, 77-78, 104, 133, fig. 10; D.E.E. Kleiner, (1992) 369-71, fig. 333. Würzburg, Museum der Universität, h. 0.32m.; S. Wood (1986) 133 (with earlier literature). 70 Museo Archeologico, inv. 14013, h. 0.32 m.; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 65, 84-86, 87-88 (with earlier literature); S. Wood (1986) 133. 71 Museum, inv. 19.903, h. 0.25 m.; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 64-65, pl. 27 (with earlier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 131, n. 12 (private portrait); S. Wood (1986) 133.


the later third century tury. It has been pieced together from several fragments, but only a section of the back is missing and the statue is generally well-preserved. In antiquity, the area of the Lateran was the site of the barracks of the emperor’s personal horse guard, the equites singulares and it is possible that the portrait was originally displayed there. The portrait may have been hacked into to pieces after the murder of Gallus by his troops and its storage or burial could account for its preservation. If so, the portrait’s fate has parallels with the mutilated bust of Diadumenianus, also discovered in the area of the equites singulares.


head, prominent, hooked nose, naso labial lines, and rounded chin. These numismatic portraits are fairly close to those of his predecessor, Trebonianus Gallus.75 Cornelia’s numismatic likenesses depict her with a stiffly waved coiffure with a Scheitelzopf which is pulled up over the top of her head. She has a rounded forehead, arching brows, wide eyes, an aquiline nose, and a fairly small mouth and chin.76 No sculpted portraits of either have been identified with certainty.77 The brevity of Aemilian’s reign, coupled with the probable damnatio inflicted after his murder, almost certainly accounts for the lack of three-dimensional portraits.78

Aemilian and Cornelia Supera Soldier Emperor/Valerian? Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus is the next of the third century emperors whose memory was condemned. Born in Mauretania, Aemilian was appointed governor of Lower Moesia in 252. In the spring of 253, he engineered a great victory over the Goths and his troops acclaimed him as emperor in July or August. When Aemilian marched into Italy as rival emperor, the senate declared him a hostis at the request of Trebonianus Gallus.73 After Gallus’s murder, Aemilian entered the capital, and the Senate confirmed his position as Augustus. In the meantime, Publius Licinius Valerianus, in command of the forces on the Upper Rhine, had been summoned by Gallus in order to aid him in his conflict with Aemilian. Valerian continued his march to Rome, despite news of Gallus’s death. His soldiers declared him emperor, and when Aemilian’s troops learned of this, they murdered Aemilian and swore allegiance to Valerian in September, or October of 253. The Senate confirmed Valerian as the new augustus. The names of both Aemilian and his wife, Gaia Cornelia Supera, who had been declared augusta, are erased in inscriptions.74 Coin portraits of both are somewhat generic. Aemelian is depicted with short military coiffure and beard, furrowed foreA head inserted into large bust, now in Antioch, may represent Aemelian’s successor, Valerian, and has possibly been recut from a portrait of one of his imperial predecessors.79 Valerian’s numismatic images portray him with a short coiffure. He is often depicted beardless or with a closely cropped beard. His forehead is slightly rounded and sloping. The brows are arching the eyes are wide. The nose is aquiline with a slight indentation at the bridge. The cheeks are full and heavy. The upper lip is thin while the lower lip is more full. The chin is small and rounded and a fleshy under chin is often depicted. The Antioch portrait agrees fairly closely with the numismatic
75 As first observed by R. Delbrueck 1940) 94-95; B.M. Felletti Maj (1958) 211; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 97. 76 On the “scarcely individualized” character of these numismatic portraits, see B.M. Felletti Maj (1958) 213. 77 See B.M. Felletti Maj (1958) 211-24, and M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 97-100. 78 In contrast several portraits of Balbinus (3 +3 on his sarcophagus) and Pupienus (5) have survived, although they reigned for approximately the same amount of time as Aemilian (April-July 238). 79 Museum, h. 0.64 m.; W. Campbell (1936) 9, fig. 16; R. Stillwell, ed. (1938) 172, no. 134, pl. 5; G.M.A. Hanfmann (1959) 748; D. Brinkerhoff (1963) 209; J. Bracker (1966) 66; C.C. Vermeule.(1968) 404; D.M. Brinkerhoff (1970) 13-19, figs. 10-11; H.B. Wiggers and M. Wegner (1971) 246; M. Wegner, J. Bracker and W. Real (1979) 20, 102, 156 (with earlier literature).

73 74

Aur. Vict. Caes. 31.3. AEpigr (1911) 104; R. Cagnat (1914) 172-73.


chapter nine in Tunisia) fed Celsus’s corpse to the dogs in a particularly brutal example of poena post mortem (corpus eius a canibus consumptum est Siccensibus.83 The passage is also notable for its description of the “crucifixion” of a likeness of Celsus, also carried out by the inhabitants of Sicca: et novo iniuriae genere imago in crucem sublata persultante vulgo, quasi patibulo ipse Celsus videretur (and in a new kind of outrage, his portrait was hoisted on a cross, with the crowd running around as if they were seeing Celsus himself on the gibbet).84 Although Celsus, as well as the destruction of his portrait and the mutilation of his corpse, is likely an invention of the author, the passage does provide important testimony for the practice of executio in effigie (execution in effigy). Clearly, the intended audience(s) of the Historia Augusta were expected to believe that images may have been used in this way during the period of political upheaval in the third century. It also suggests that images may have continued to be executed or crucified in the fourth and fifth centuries and that the scene may have been recognizable to the readers of the Historia Augusta. Furthermore it underscores the crucial roles which imperial representations continued to play in periods of political transition.

images, especially in the shape of the forehead, the nose, mouth, chin and underchin.80 It also finds compelling parallels in a portrait of Valerian formerly in the Museo Nuovo of the Palazzo dei Conservatori.81 The Antioch head is placed directly between the two shoulders and its tenon does not include any of the chest, which is usual for portraits worked for insertion into cuirassed statues; in the Antioch portrait, the sections of the chest visible above the cuirass are worked with the bust form rather than with the portrait head. The bust form itself may have been cut down from a full-length portrait statue.82 Evidence of recarving of the head includes: the unusual and rather cursory treatment of the coiffure; the incredibly asymmetrical handling of the eyes; the slight recession of the chin; and the base of the neck which seems too wide in comparison with the size of the head. However, insufficient remnants of the original likeness have been preserved and identification of the individual initially represented is not possible. Aemelian, Trebonianus Gallus, or Trajan Decius are all possible candidates.

“Celsus” The Historia Augusta presents additional intriguing, if ambiguous, literary evidence concerning the mutilation of images in the third century. The chapter of the history devoted to the “thirty tyrants” (tyranni triginta) includes a brief life of Celsus, a North African who ruled for seven days during the reign of Gallienus. Ceslsus is somewhat fancifully reported to have been killed by “Galliena” a North African cousin of Gallienus. After his death, the inhabitants of Sicca (el-Kef

Gallienus, Salonina, Valerian Minor, Saloninus and Marianianus Publius Licinius (Valerianus?) Egnatius Gallienus was declared Co-Augustus when his father, Valerian entered Rome in 253. The two ruled jointly until Valerian was taken captive by the Persians in 260. Gallienus continued to rule as sole Augustus, but his reign was marred by increased conflicts along the German frontier, several rival claimants to the throne, and a deteriorating economic situation. In 268 Gallienus was assassinated as the result of a plot, which may have

80 G.M.A. Hanfmann was the first to propose the identification of the Antioch bust as Valerian (1959) 749. 81 Sala 10.12, inv. 184; Fittschen-Zanker I, 133-134, no. 111, pls. 138-139. 82 The bust has been unevenly cut down on either side and the back has been cursorily hollowed out. The offcenter tenon at the base of bust form above the plinth suggests that the upper torso was fitted into a second piece of marble in order to comprise a full-length statue. See D.M. Brinkerhoff (1970) 14-15.

HA Tyr.Trig. 29.4. Tyr.Trig. 29.4: J. von Schlosser (1910-11) 184; W. Brückner (1966) 192; D. Freedberg (1989) 259; P. Stewart (1999) 169.


the later third century included Gallienus’s immediate successor, Claudius Gothicus, as well as the future emperor, Aurelian.85 During his reign Gallienus had incurred the enmity of the senatorial aristocracy by excluding them from important positions of command.86 Immediately after his murder, the Senate demonstrated their dissatisfaction with Gallienus by voting to have his corpse thrown down the Gemonian steps and then into the Tiber and his memory was deprecated in public by both the nobility and the plebeians.87 Gallienus’s surviving son, Marinianus, who had been appointed consul in 268, was put to death by order of the Senate.88 The troops stationed in Rome, initially outraged by Gallienus’s assassination, were induced by a donation of twenty aurei to have the name of Gallienus entered into the public record as a tyrant: Gallienum tryrannum militari iudico in fastos publicos rettulerunt.89 The names of Gallienus, his wife, Julia Cornelia Salonina, and his two eldest sons Valerian Minor and Saloninus are erased in inscriptions.90 However, Claudius Gothicus induced the Senate to deify Gallienus, so the defamation of his memory and monuments must have been limited to the brief period between his murder and his deification.91 Despite
Others implicated in the plot included Heraclianus, the Praetorian Praefect, and the military commanders Marcianus and Cecropius, HA, Gall. 14.1-5; see also J. Scheid (1984) 182. 86 Aur. Vict. Caes. 33.31-34. 87 Ibid.: At senatus comperto tali exitio satellites propinquosque per scalas Gemonias praeceps agendos decrevit, patronoque fisci in curiam perduci effossos oculos pependisse satis constat, cum irruens vulgus pari clamore Terram matrem, deos quoque inferos precaretur, sedes impias uti Gallieno darent. Ac ni Claudius confestim recpta Mediolani urbe tamquam postulato exercitus parcendum, qui forte eorum supererant, praecepisset, nobilitas plebesque atrocius grassarentur. Et patres quidem praeter commune Romani malum orbis stimulabat proprii ordinis contumelia, quia primus ipse metu socordiae suae, ne imperium ad optimos nobilium transferretur, senatum militia vetuit et adire exercitum. 88 Zon. 12.26. 89 HA, Gall. 15.2. 90 R. Cagnat (1914) 173-4. Valerian Minor and Saloninus predeceased Gallienus, both/Valerian Minor were/was deified. 91 Claudius Gothicus apparently engineered the deification of Gallienus in order to placate the army. The apotheosis notwithstanding, the Historia Augusta is extremely disparaging towards Gallienus and his reign is compared to that of Domitian and Commodus, Carus 3.3. The hos85


the literary evidence, fourteen portraits of Gallienus have survived, which speaks against any systematic destruction of his images.92 Moreover, none of these portraits exhibits any signs of intentional mutilation. However, a bronze head in Kephallania, which appears to be a variant of Gallienus’s Louvre type, has been intentionally severed from its original body and discarded in a well as a result of his condemnation, recalling the earlier decapitated bronze images.93

Carinus Like Gallienus, Carinus is vilified in the ancient sources, especially the Historia Augusta where his character and reputation are closely linked with earlier condemned emperors including Nero, Vitellius, and Domitian.94 Marcus Aurelius Carinus was the eldest son of the emperor Carus. After the death of Carus in 283, Carinus ruled the empire jointly with his brother Numerian, with Carinus controlling the west and Numerian the east. Numerian died, or was killed, in 284 and the troops under his command refused to acknowledge Carinus as sole emperor, and in opposition, acclaimed Diocletian as Augustus. The armies of Carinus and Diocletian met in 285 at Margus along a tributary of the Danube, and

tile literary tradition may be a remnant of the senatorial dissatisfaction with Gallienus. In addition, the character and deeds of Gallienus are defamed in the Historia Augusta in order to present his successor, Claudius Gothicus, the (fictive) ancestor of Constantine in a more favorable light. 92 Type 1: Berlin, Staatliche Museen, no. 423; Castle Howard; Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 767b, inv. 3388; Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 57, inv. 360; Rome, Palazzo Braschi, Salone, inv. 487; Type 2: Brussels, Musée Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, inv. A 3558; Lagos, Museo Regional, inv. 1418; New York, Art Market (Sotheby’s, 1984); Paris, Musée du Louvre, MA 512; Paris, Musée du Louvre, MA 1223; Rome, Magazinni dei Mercati Traianei, inv. 98; Rome, Museo Capitolino, Magazzini, inv. 2572; Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 644; Rome, Museo Torlonia 603; Type 3: Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 768, inv. 832. See Fittschen-Zanker I, 135, 137, and S. Wood (1986)13435. 93 Kephallenia, Museum; A.M. McCann (1981) 636, pls. 10.19, 11.21; A. Oliver (1996) 153. 94 Carus. 1.3.


chapter nine preserved portraits of condemned emperors discovered on the Esquiline, it is inconceivable that the portrait continued to be displayed on imperial property and it must have been removed and warehoused or buried.99 The statue into which it was initially inserted may have been reused with the addition of a new portrait head. The lack of any other securely identified sculpted portraits of Carinus suggests that his images were generally destroyed. Portraits of Carinus’s wife and Augusta, Magnia Urbica and his deified son, Nigrinianus are featured on the coinage, but no comparable sculpted portraits have survived, and their memories and monuments were collaterally condemned.100

although Carinus appeared to be winning the contest, he was apparently assassinated by one of his senior officers.95 Carinus’s memory was condemned and his name, as well as that of his wife, Magnia Urbica, are erased in inscriptions.96 Carinus’s Portrait Typology Carinus’s numismatic likenesses portray him with a short military coiffure combined with a distinctive full, curly beard. His forehead is low and straight. His eyes are large and wide, set beneath long, arching brows. The nose is aquiline, with an indentation at the bridge. The lower lip is full, and the chin is basically rounded. The Removal of Carinus’s Images A marble portrait of Carinus in the Palazzo dei Conservatori compares very closely with the numismatic images (fig. 207).97 The head, well over life-sized, is worked for insertion into a cuirassed statue. It was likely discovered during excavations carried out near the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele on the Esquiline, an area of imperial property in antiquity.98 The head remains in an extremely good state of preservation. Only the lower front edge of the tenon has been restored and there are light abrasions to the brows, face, tip of the nose, and ears. Like the other wellEpit. 38.8; Eutr. 9.20. R. Cagnat (1914) 173-74. RE 2, 2455 (Hentze); On the damnatio see, G. Gullini (1960) 6; M. Sapelli, MusNazRom 1.1, 300; S. Wood (1987) 131, n. 92. 97 Sala dei Magistrati 9, inv. 850 (Centrale Montemartini 2.83), h. 0.425 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 141-42, no. 117, pls. 145-146; C. Häuber in M. Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 177, n. 25, 193, n. 296, fig. 121; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 376, fig. 344. 98 The head is often cited as coming from the Castro Pretorio, Fittschen-Zanker I, 141, 142, n. 1; however, C. Häuber has rather conclusively demonstrated that it came from the Esquiline in M. Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 177, n. 25, 193, n. 296, fig. 121. There is some confusion as to whether the portrait is that referred to in BullCom 1 (1872) 296, no. 36 (from the Esquiline) or in BullCom 15 (1887) 92, no. 9 (Castro Pretorio). Whether the head is from the Castro Pretorio or the imperial holdings on the Esquiline, it still was removed from its original context and stored or buried in one location or the other.
96 95

Carausius and Allectus Diocletian and Maximian’s authority was seriously challenged in Britain for almost a decade, where, from 286/7-296 Carausius and his successor Allectus ruled in opposition to the tetrarchy. M. Aurelius Carausius Mausaeus had been in charge of Maximian’s naval fleet in the English channel, but was condemned to death by Maximian. Carausius fled to Britain and was declared Augustus in his own right late in 286, or early in 287. In 293 he suffered an important defeat at the Gallic port city of Gesoriacum at the hands of Constantius Chlorus. In that same year he was murdered at the instigation of Allectus, who was himself declared emperor. Allectus was defeated by the forces of Constantius Chlorus.101
99 Nero/Domitian, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. no. 226; Domitian, Centrale Montemartini, inv. no. 1156; and Commodus as Hercules, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Arazzi, inv. 1120. 100 Despite H. von Heintze’s attempts to identify the youth on the Acilia sarcophagus as Nigrinianus (1959b) 17591. See S Wood (1987) 131 and M. Sapelli in M.R. Di Mino and M. Bertenetti, eds. (1990) 145-6; Wood has also suggested that a bust of a young boy with paludamentum in the Capitoline may possibly represent Nigrinianus (Stanza degli Imperatori, inv. 481) (1987) 131. However, the Capitoline portrait’s resemblances to numismatic likenesses of Nigrinianus are tenuous. 101 On the careers of Carausius and Allectus, see P.J. Casey (1994).

the later third century Evidence for the images of Carausius and Allectus is provided by coins where both emperors are shown with short military coiffures and beards, similar to those of Diocletian and Maximian. Allectus’s hair and beard are generally represented as slightly more full and curly than those of Carausius.102 Given Carausius’s condemnation by Maximian, and the position of both Carausius and Allectus as emperors in opposition to the Tetrarchy, their monuments were undoubtedly destroyed following their downfalls. A deliberately defaced denarius of Carausius appears to have been mutilated under Allectus.103 The coin was minted at either London or Rutupiae and Carausias’s facial features have been intentionally attacked on the obverse, while one of the clasped right hands on the reverse has been effaced. The mutilation of Carausias’s portrait features follows the standard pattern for visual denigration, while the effacement of the right hand effectively rescinds earlier messages of concordia between Carausias and Allectus.


Conclusion: Condemnation and Political Crisis Because it was a period of maximum instability for the Roman Empire, the middle years of the third century, c. 235-84, were rife with condemnations. As in the past, condemnations and the concomitant repression of visual representations continued to mark political transitions, which were nearly unremitting during these years. The first of the soldier emperors, Maximinus Thrax, suffered a fate very similar to that of Macrinus.
102 As, for instance, RIC 86, 88, 114; P.J. Casey (1994) pl. 5.9-10. 103 Numismatik Lanz München, Auktion 42 (29 November 1987) no. 734.

After his power base had eroded with the Senate and people of Rome, he was eventually killed in battle and his memory condemned. As with Macrinus, all of the surviving marble portraits of Maximinus have been intentionally disfigured and his condemnation also encompassed the memory and monuments of his son and heir, Maximus. Very few principes during this period were able to establish political legitimacy and dynastic stability with the result that reigns are predictably short. These facts, coupled with the general complications resulting from the social, economic, military and political chaos of the times, have produced a dearth of physical evidence for condemnations, or alternatively a wealth of negative evidence. For many of these emperors there are few surviving visual images, or none at all. Nevertheless, portraits continued to be destroyed, mutilated and warehoused. Coins also remained targets in condemnations and the period is bracketed by examples of numismatic damnatio, beginning with defaced issues of Maximinus Thrax and Maximus, and ending with damaged coins of Carausius. In addition, the disfigurement of Gordian III’s bronze image from Nicopolis ad Istrum confirms the continued occurrence of spontaneous demonstrations, comparable to the similarly damaged bronze head of Severus Alexander in Bochum. As so many of these emperors were also characterized as usurpers or tyranni, their corpses were subjected to poena post mortem. The bodies of Maximinus, Maximus, Pupienus, Balbinus and Gallienus are all reported to have been desecrated. Additionally, the vivid description of the violation of corpse of the invented usurper “Celsus” as well as the crucifixion of his portrait neatly underscores the conceptual intersection of image and corpse abuse.


chapter ten


Maximian Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus was born at Sirmium, c. 240. His successful military career ensured his elevation to the rank of caesar after Diocletian’s defeat of Carinus in 285 and by 286, Maximian was declared co-augustus in the west. In 293, the Tetrarchy was established and Constantius Chlorus was appointed Maximian’s junior colleague. Although he was apparently quite unwilling to relinquish power, Maximian was forced to abdicate together with Diocletian on 1 May 305.1 In 306, Maximian’s son Maxentius enlisted the support of his father against the ruling tetrarchs and Maximian resumed his former title of Augustus. However, the alliance of father and son was short-lived and Maximian eventually sided with his son-in-law Constantine against Maxentius. After the Council of Carnuntum in 308, Maximian refused to relinquish his position a second time. His troops were eventually besieged by those of Constantine at Masilia and he ultimately surrendered. As a result, Maximian was forced to commit suicide in 310. After Maximian’s death, Constantine pursued a damnatio against his father-in-law’s memory and monuments in the territories under his control.2 Lactantius, writing shortly after the death of Maximian (ca. 314-318),3 describes the removal and destruction of Maximian:’s portraits. eodemque tempore senis Maximiani statuae Constantini iussu
On the possibility that the abdication was engineered by Galerius, see M. Cullhed (1994) 14-31. 2 The damnatio may not have been officially promulgated until after the death of Constantine; see Eus. Vita Const. 1.47; T.D. Barnes (1973) 34-35 and (1981) 47. 3 On the controversy surrounding the date of the composition of De Mortibus Persecutorum, see T.D. Barnes (1973) 29-46.

revellebantur et imagines ubicumque pictus esse(n)t detrahebantur (At the same time, statues of the elder Maximian were abolished by order of Constantine, and his portraits, which were displayed everywhere, were dragged down,).4 In direct opposition to Constantine’s condemnation of Maximian, Maxentius had his father deified and issued coins from the mints at Rome and Ostia in honor of Divus Maximianus (310-12), despite the fact that Maximian had joined forces with Constantine.5 Later, Constantine himself reversed his position and rescinded the damnatio against his father-in-law and issued coins in honor of Divus Maximianus (317-18).6 Most of Maximian’s numismatic likeness are schematic with the result that sculpted images are extremely difficult to identify with certainty.7

Mort.Pers. 42.1. RIC 6.381-83, nos. 243-44, 250-51 (Rome) and 4034, nos. 24-26 (Ostia); R. Calza (1972) 120, pl. 24.64 (Ostia); M. Cullhed (1994) 77. 6 As part of a series of consecration issues which also included Claudius Gothicus, the fictional founder of the Constantinian dynasty, RIC 7.180, 252, 310-11, 395, 42930, 503, R.A.G. Carson (1981) 33, no. 1291; see also M. Cullhed (1994) 22. Constantine probably promoted the consecration of Maximian because he was the grandfather of Constantine’s sons and heirs, T.D. Barnes (1978) 16, n. 6. 7 Klaus Fittschen has suggested the following four portraits: Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 771b, inv. 2691; Ostia, Museo, inv. 1844; Rome, Musei Vaticani, Galleria Chiaramonti 47.19, inv. 1981; Rome, Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 10217; FittschenZanker I, 144, n. 41. However, these portraits do not appear to represent the same individual and certainly do not form a replica series. One individual feature of Maximian’s coin portraits is a short, sometimes snub nose. The noses on the portraits from Fittschen’s group which are preserved (the Ostia and two Vatican portraits) are fairly large and prominent and somewhat hooked. For other discussions of Maximian’s portraiture, see, R. Calza (1972); M. 107, 117-18, 139-40, 178-79, ns. 584, 731; and H.P. L’Orange (1984) 24-25, 104-105.


the early fourth century Maximian is however, represented together with the other members of the first tetrarchy in the porphyry groups in Venice and Rome.8 Lactantius’s account confirms that some of Maximian’s portraits were removed from public display and destroyed, which may also account for the lack of securely identified portraits.9 Indeed, physical evidence for the damnatio of Maximian is entirely confined to the provinces. Not surprisingly, his name is not erased in major dedicatory inscriptions at Rome, which was controlled by his son Maxentius from 306-12, including that of the Baths of Diocletian and Maximian.10 Nevertheless, a painted portrait effaced from frescoes formerly decorating a room devoted to the imperial cult in Luxor corroborates Lactantius’s report of the destruction of Maximian’s images. A central chamber of the Temple of Ammon was remodeled during the tetrarchic period, when an apse and frescoes were added. The frescoes no longer survive, but were recorded in watercolors executed by J. Gardner Wilkinson in the nineteenth century.11 The program included two imperial processions, the emperors enthroned receiving tribute, and, in the apse, the four members of the first tetrarchy, Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius Chlorus, stand-


ing. The two senior emperors are depicted at the center of the apse, flanked by their junior colleagues. The left senior tetrarch has been has been deliberately erased from the composition and this figure was undoubtedly Maximian.12 Maximian’s excision from the frescoes must have occurred shortly after his death, during the brief period when Lucius Domitius Alexander held Africa in opposition to Maxentius. The erasure of the Luxor fresco directly recalls the erasure of Geta’s portrait features from the Berlin tondo, also from Egypt, and is another powerful expression of abolitio memoriae for painted images. Undoubtedly, some of Maximian’s public images were removed from display at various locations s throughout the Empire. The removal of his portraits in the provinces is further confirmed by a statue base removed from a tetrapylon commemorating the members of the first tetrarchy, which decorated the front of the Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus.13 The statue of Maximian was apparently not replaced until the end of the fourth century when a likeness of Theodosius was set up in its place.

Maxentius, Galeria Valeria Maximilla and Romulus Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius, born c.27683, was the son of Maximian and Eutropia.14 In order to cement the ties among the members of the first tetrarchy, Maxentius was married c. 293 to Valeria Maximilla, the daughter of Galerius, Caesar in the East. Having been passed over in the establishment of the second tetrarchy after the retirement of Diocletian and Maximian in 305, Maxentius was eventually declared emperor by disaffected troops stationed in Rome in 306.15

8 Vatican tetrarchs, H. P. L’Orange (1984) 6-8, 27, 99, pls. 5, 7; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 403-4, figs. 368-9. Venice Tetrarchs, H.P. L’Orange, (1984). 4, 6-8, 103, pls. 4, 6; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 401-3, figs. 366-7. Although L’Orange, and others have identified the Vatican tetrarchs as representing the second tetrarchy, the groups almost certainly come from Rome or its environs and it is inconceivable that images commemorating a consortium of power which Maxentius did not recognize and was in opposition to would have been created in an area under his control. All four of the Venice tetrarchs, which are generally believed to represent the members of the first tetrarchy, have been intentionally mutilated, with deliberate damage to the noses, mouths, ears, and badges. This mutilation is a Christian desecration of the portraits of those perceived as persecutors and not the result of Maximian’s damnatio. 9 H.P. L’Orange (1984) 24. 10 CIL 6.1130=3.242=ILS 646. 11 U. Monneret de Villard (1953) 85-105; J.G. Deckers (1973) 1-34; I. Kalavrezou-Maxeiner (1975) 225-51; J.G. Deckers (1979) 600-52; J. Elsner (1995) 173-6, figs. 22-24.

I. Kalavrezou-Maxeiner (1975) 227. I. Kalavrezou-Maxeiner (1975) 247. 14 On the evidence for the date of Maxentius’s birth, see M. Cullhed (1994) 16, n. 26. Eutropia’s confession, after Maxentius’s birth that he was, in fact, illegitimate, should probably be connected with posthumous attempts to blacken his reputation; T.D. Barnes (1982) 34. 15 28 October; Lact. Mort.Pers. 26.2. As the son of Maximian, and son-in-law of Galerius, Maxentius may have reasonably expected to have been made part of the sec13



chapter ten Maxentius’s Portrait Typology Nevertheless, during his six year reign, Maxentius was honored with portraits and his sculpted and numismatic representations are remarkably consistent. Coin portraits, even the most abstract or expressionistic issues, depict Maxentius with a very distinctive coiffure, which combines a short military hairstyle with carefully arranged comma shaped locks over the forehead.22 A left profile on a metropolitan Roman medallion of 308, as well as a frontal portrait on an Ostian aureus of 308-312 reveal that these comma shaped locks are essentially parted in the center, with the locks over the right eye combed lightly to the proper right and the locks over the left eye combed lightly to the proper left.23 Maxentius wears a closely cropped beard and moustache. His forehead is low and his eyes are wide, set beneath long, arching brows. The nose is long and aquiline. The mouth is small, and in some examples the lower lip appears to recede slightly. The chin is firm, and often squared.

Maxentius enjoyed wide popular and military support in central and southern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Africa, and possibly Spain.16 Attempts by Severus, Augustus in the West after the death of Constantius Chlorus, and Galerius to attack Rome and depose Maxentius were entirely unsuccessful; Severus was defeated and executed (by Maximian) and Galerius abandoned his attempt.17 In 308, at the conference of Carnuntum, Maxentius was declared a hostis. Shortly afterwards, Lucius Domitius Alexander, the praetorian praefect in Africa revolted, and Maxentius’s grain supply was cut off. In 311, Maxentius’s other praetorian praefect, Gaius Rufius Volusianus, was sent to Africa where he defeated Domitius Alexander, but not before there was a severe famine at the capital. Finally, in 312, Constantine captured Segusio, Augusta Taurinorum, Verona, and Mutina in rapid succession in his advance on Rome, where he engaged Maxentius at the Pons Mulvius. Maxentius was defeated and drowned during the encounter on 28 October. 18 Maxentius’s condemnation followed as a natural consequence of his defeat and his previous declaration as a hostis in 308. As part of the damnatio, Maxentius’s corpse was removed from the Tiber and its head cut off and paraded though the streets of Rome.19 The Roman Senate moved quickly to publicly repudiate their former support of Maxentius by dishonoring his memory and monuments. The defeated emperor was publicly characterized as a tyrannus in the inscription from the Arch of Constantine.20 Naturally, Maxentius is also vilified by early Christian writers, eager to exalt the reputation of Constantine.21
ond tetrarchy. M. Cullhed marshalls the literary and historical evidence for Galerius’s blocking the accession of both Maxentius and Constantine (1994) 14-31. 16 On the territories controlled by Maxentius, see M. Cullhed (1994) 68-70. 17 Lactantius, Mort.Pers. 26.6-7; Anon. Vales 7; M. Cullhed (1994) 36-7. 18 Eumen. Paneg. 12(9).18; Lact. Mort.Pers. 26.3; M. Cullhed (1994) 32. 19 Paneg. 9 (11) 18.3. 20 CIL 6.1139. 21 See, for instance, Eus. Eccl.Hist. 8.14.1-6. Eusebius also acknowledges Maxentius’s favorable treatment of the

The Mutilation and Destruction of Maxentius’s Images Four sculpted portraits conform closely to the numismatic likenesses and are clearly replicas of a single type.24 Modern restorations to a head in Stockholm mask ancient mutilations to the por-

Christians, although he sese Maxentius’s motives as selfserving and falsely pious. The archaeological record supports Maxentius’s policy of toleration of the Christians. Two of Rome’s earliest public churches, S. Crisogono and S. Sebastiano fuori le mura were constructed or substantially remodeled during his reign. T.L. Herres (1982) 261, 344. 22 Aureus, Rome, 307-12, RIC VI, 373, no. 173. The arrangement of locks over the forehead recalls Julio-Claudian and Trajanic coiffures and must certainly have been intentional revival on the part of Maxentius. After his defeat of Maxentius, Constantine also adopts a coiffure which contains Julio-Claudian/Trajanic references. 23 Roman medallion, R.A.G. Carson (1981) 23, nr. 1246; Ostian aureus, R.A.G. Carson (1981) 24, no. 1253. 24 On the iconography of Maxentius, see especially C. Evers (1992) 9-21; H. P. L’Orange (1984) 34-36, 11416.

the early fourth century trait (cat. 9.1; fig. 208a-b).25 The eyes have been attacked with a hammer and the nose, (lower lip), chin, and most of the ears have all been intentionally destroyed. The mutilation of the facial features and destruction of the eyes follows the established patterns of anthropomorphic attacks on the sensory organs. The square shape of the tenon indicates that this head was originally part of a cuirassed representation of Maxentius. As a military image of the overthrown leader, the Stockholm portrait may have been especially liable to vandalization following Constantine’s victory. The statue itself may have been reconfigured through the addition of a new portrait head, likely of Constantine himself.


The Transformation of Maxentius’s Images Maxentius/Constantine In addition to the removal of images of Maxentius, Constantine’s efforts to obliterate the memory of his defeated rival encompassed the appropriation of Maxentius’s major building projects, including the monumental Basilica Nova to the east of the Forum Romanum on the Via Sacra, the circus complex on the Via Appia, and the imperial baths on the Quirinal.26 Significantly, sculpted likenesses were also appropriated and

Nationalmuseum, inv. 106. On the basis of mortar and brick type, T.L. Heres has demonstrated that the Basilica was completed entirely by Maxentius; the addition of the northern apse, often attributed to Constantine, should be dated to the late fourth or early fifth century and may be the work of Honorius (1982) 223-32. Similarly, the brickwork of the “Baths of Constantine” on the Quirinal indicate a Maxentian date for the sturcuture, E.M. Steinby in A. Giardina, ed. (1986) 142. In addition to the Basilica, Baths and Circus complex, the six years of Maxentius reign witnessed extensive new building and restoration to earlier structures, including “The Temple of Romulus,” “The Temple of Minerva Medica,” the Secretarium Senatus, the Statio Municipiorum, the Basilica Aemilia, the Temple of Venus and Roma, the Severan baths on the Palatine, the Lateran Palace, the churches of S. Crisogono and S. Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, and possibly a restoration of the Ara Pacis. For a brief survey of Maxentius’s building activity, see M. Cullhed (1994) 49-60. On the restorations of the Ara Pacis, see N. Hannestad (1994) 13-66.


recarved. Indeed, the reign of Constantine is remarkable for the renewed interest in the recutting of portraits, after the relatively limited evidence for the practice in the second and third centuries. As a mark of this renewed interest in sculptural transformation, four of Constantine’s surviving portraits from Rome have been refashioned from likenesses of Maxentius. Although its origins as a Maxentian portrait are seldom discussed, the colossal portrait of Constantine in the cortile of the Palazzo dei Conservatori is certainly the most famous of these recarved images, and as such it holds enormously important implications for the history of damnatio as well as for the development of Constantinian portraits and sculptural styles (cat. 9.4; fig. 209a-d).27 The head is worked for insertion into an acrolighic seated statue. It was discovered in 1486 during the pontificate of Innocent VIII Cybo (1484-1492) in the ruins of the Basilica Nova. Fragments of the arms, left breast, legs, both feet, right arm, right hand, and possible second right hand have survived.28 The discovery of the left breast, portions of the left shoulder and arm in 1951 indicates that the original image of Maxentius depicted the emperor in the guise of Jupiter, seated, with upper torso bare and mantle draped over the hips, and holding a scepter in his right hand.29 The head itself exhibits unmistakable signs of recutting. The forehead of the portrait has clearly been cut back beneath the hairline as part of the transformation of the coiffure, creating a flat trough in this area in profile. The wide, arching brows and large eyes have essentially retained their Maxentian characteristics including the pouches beneath the eyes. The emphasis on the

Inv. 1622. The second right hand was not discovered with the other fragments in the Basilica but was rather reused in a medieval wall on the slope of the Capitoline. Although it is of Parian marble, like the majority of the fragments, it is not entirely clear that it is from the same colossus, P. Pensabene, L. Lazzarini, and B. Turi (2002) 254. 29 Gianni Ponti of the Sovrintendenza Archeologica di Roma has discovered that the right hand has been incorrectly restored with the index finger extended, rather than curled around the scepter.



chapter ten portraits from the Baths of Maxentius and Constantine on the Quirinal.33 This statue, and one inscribed CONSTANTINUS CAES likely representing Constantine II were brought to the Campidoglio under Pope Paul III Farnese in 1535.34 The head of the Constantine Augustus is overly large in profile, the ears are too large in proportion to the head, suggesting that the image is recarved. An indentation in the forehead indicates that the coiffure has also been recut. In addition, the head has an exaggerated downward tilt and is slightly smaller in proportion to the body than in the corresponding representation of Constantine Caesar, which appears to have been created ex novo and likely represents Constantine II. A colossal cuirassed statue of Constantine in the narthex of the Lateran also originally belonged to the four statue group from the baths on the Qurinal (cat. 9.5). Its’ plinth is similarly inscribed CONSTANTINUS AVG but the portrait’s larger scale and different style of lettering differentiate it from the pair on the Campidoglio. Its pose, with outstretched left arm is a mirror image of the Constantine Casear, and also distinguishes it from the Constantine Augustus. The Lateran image includes numerous indications that it has been refashioned. The Baths of Constantine, like the Basilica Nova, were primarily the work of Maxentius.35 The inscriptions on the plinths of the statues appear to be recut. H.P. L’Orange has proposed that the group was a Constantinian reworking of an earlier tetrarchic monument, perhaps intended to celebrate Constantine’s new position as sole ruler after the defeat of Licinius in 324.36 However, it seems

eyes endows the image with its acknowledged spiritual and hieratic quality which was clearly a feature of the likeness of Maxentius. The distinctive treatment of the ears, as well as the type of marble used for most of the statue, namely Parian, may indicate that the portrait has been reconfigured twice, and that it originally represented Hadrian.30 The visual discrepancies occasioned by the recarving are exaggerated because of the colossal scale of the portrait, but are substantially less visible when the portrait is viewed from below. The portrait was displayed in the Basilica’s western apse, which would have masked many of the asymetricalities and exaggerations that are only visible in profile. The configuration of the colossus as a representation of Maxentius as Jupiter was designed for the overwhelming scale of the basilica’s interior. Like other colossi transformed as a result of damnatio, the image was site-specific and appropriated or cannibalized by Constantine as a very visible symbol of his triumph over Maxentius. A second portrait of Constantine, in the Museo Capitolino, is also a modified likeness of Maxentius (cat. 9.3; fig. 210a-c).31 The coiffure of the portrait has been drastically recut over the forehead, but traces of the original Maxentian coiffure, which curved down lower in the center, are still visible. The recarving of the facial features has also resulted in an inorganic rendering of the musculature of the cheeks, with little indication of the structure of the bones beneath. Indeed, the resulting recarved image is a both remarkably generic and abstract. Nevertheless, identification of the portrait was likely secured in antiquity by an accompanying inscription. A cuirassed portrait of Constantine, now displayed on the Campidoglio, also exhibits clear signs of reworking (cat. 9.2; fig. 211).32 The plinth of the portrait is inscribed CONSTANTINUS AVG. The statue was one of four Constantinian

30 C. Evers (1991); P. Pensabene, L. Lazzarini, and B. Turi (2002) 254. 31 Stanza terrena a destra I.25, inv. 1769. 32 Fittschen-Zanker I, 144-5, no. 120.

33 On the group, see L’Orange (1984) 58-67; Kleiner (1992) 436-7. 34 Fittschen-Zanker I, 145-7, no. 121, pls. 149-50. The colossal cuirassed portrait, also inscribed CONSTANTINUS AVG, in the narthex of S. Giovanni in Laterano is another of the four statues discovered in the baths. The fourth statue is now lost; A. Claridge (1998) 235. However, the Lateran statue differs from the Campidoglio portraits in scale and in the style of lettering on the plinth. 35 M. Cullhed (1994) 56; M. Steinby in A. Giardina ed., (1986) 142. 36 (1984) 63-65.

the early fourth century more likely that the group, or part of it, was site specific to the baths as constructed by Maxentius and subsequently appropriated and altered by Constantine, as in the case of the colossus. If the Constantine Caesar statue on the Campidoglio represented Constantine’s second son, Constantine II, the group could have been transformed as early as 317, the year in which he received the title Caesar. It is unclear what the original group may have consisted of, but perhaps two slightly different cuirassed representations of Maxentius in pose and scale (the Lateran statue and the Campidoglio Augustus). The slightly larger proportions of the head of the Constantine Caesar suggest that it, and possibly the lost statue may have been added later, to celebrate Constantine and his sons.


The Removal of Maxentius’s Images Three additional portraits exhibit no signs of deliberate mutilation and all are likely to have been removed from public display after Maxentius’s damnatio. Two of the portraits, in Dresden (fig. 212),37 and Hannover.38 are worked for insertion. Sections of both ears and the back of the head are missing in the Dresden portrait. The Hannover head lacks its ears and tip of the nose and its surfaces are ba