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va r n e r
t h e con de m n at ion of m e mory

mg inexorably altered the visual landscape of

imperial Rome. Representations of ‘bad’ em-
perors, such as Caligula, Nero, Domitian,

Mutilation and Transformation

&r Commodus, or Elagabalus were routinely
reconfigured into likenesses of victorious
successors or revered predecessors. Alterna-
tively, portraits could be physically attacked
and mutilated or even executed in effigy.
From the late first century b.c. until the
e r i c r . va r n e r , fourth century a.d., the recycling and de-
Ph.D. (1993) in Classics, Yale struction of images of emperors, empresses,
University, is Associate Professor and other members of the imperial family
of Art History and Classics, occurred on a vast scale and often marked
Emory University. periods of violent political transition. This
He has published on Roman volume catalogues and interprets the sculp-
portraits, including the catalogue tural, glyptic, numismatic and epigraphic
From Caligula to Constantine: evidence for damnatio memoriae and ulti-
Tyranny and Transformation in Roman mately reveals its praxis to be at the core of
Imperial Portraiture (Atlanta, 2000). Roman cultural identity.

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

m.g.r 10
i s b n 90 04 13577 4

This book is volume 10 in the series

m o n u m e n ta g r a e c a e t ro m a n a .
e r i c r . va r n e r
9 789004 1 35 772

i s s n 0169-8850

Opgegeven en ingestelde rugdikte = 32 mm



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

table of contents v

Ann Varner
vi table of contents
table of contents vii


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
viii table of contents

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

table of contents ix


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
vi table of contents
developments, implications, and precedents 1



As vital expressions of political authority and individual was simultaneously canceled and con-
prestige, imperial portraits permeated all aspects demned. The Romans themselves realized that
of Roman society. Representations of the em- it was possible to alter posterity’s perception of
peror and his family were prominently displayed the past especially as embodied in the visual and
in civic, sacred, and domestic spaces throughout epigraphic record. Sanctions passed by the Sen-
the empire and were carefully manipulated and ate could mandate the destruction of the monu-
disseminated in order to reach multiple audi- ments and inscriptions commemorating capital
ences. The power of these images lay in their offenders or hostes, the official enemies of the
ability to speak to disparate members of the so- Roman state.2 As a result, the condemned in-
ciety, from the illiterate and slaves through the dividual’s name and titles were excised from all
most educated members of the Roman elite. official lists ( fasti); wax masks (imagines) represent-
However, imperial portraits were neither immu- ing the deceased were banned from display at
table nor monolithic, and should an emperor be aristocratic funerals;3 books written by the con-
overthrown, his images were systematically mu- demned were confiscated and burned; property
tilated or physically altered into the likenesses of rights were forfeited; wills were annulled; the
other emperors. This process, popularly known birthday of the condemned was proclaimed a day
as damnatio memoriae, is the first widespread ex- evil to the Roman people (dies nefastus), while the
ample of the negation of artistic monuments for anniversary of the death was celebrated as a time
political and ideological reasons and it has inexo- of public rejoicing; houses belonging to the de-
rably altered the material record of Roman cul- ceased were razed; and prohibitions could be
ture. Jerome aptly describes the fate of the por- enacted against the continued use of the con-
traits of Rome’s” bad” emperors: “When a tyrant demned’s praenomen.4 After Augustus solidified
is destroyed, his portraits and statues are also his control of the Mediterranean in 31 B.C. and
deposed. The face is exchanged or the head subsequently established the imperial system,
removed, and the likeness of he who has con- damnationes memoriae and the attendant mutilation
quered is superimposed. Only the body remains and transformation of images were almost exclu-
and another head is exchanged for those that sively enacted against deposed principes, other
have been decapitated (si quando tyrannus obtrun- condemned members of the imperial house, or
catur, imagines quoque eius deponuntur et statuae, et vultu private individuals who had conspired against the
tantummodo commutato, ablatoque capite, eius qui vicerit,
facies superponitur, ut manente corpore, capitibusque prae-
1 In Abacuc 2.3.14-16.984-88. P. Stewart (1999) 159, 180-
cisis caput aliud commutetur).1 Although Jerome was
writing in the late fourth/early fifth century, his 2
F. Vittinghoff (1936) 13.
description clearly reflects centuries of established On the imagines, see H.I. Flower (1996). Flower also
practices regarding the public images of emper- discusses the term imago in its narrowest senses as a wax
ancestor mask, and its later broader implications of por-
ors condemned as tyrants. traiture in general, 32-52.
4 On the razing of houses, T.P. Wiseman (1987) 393-
Beginning in the republican period, the legal
sanctions which could be associated with damnatio 4 and n. 3; J. Bodel (1997) 7-11. On the banning of praeno-
mina, see H. Solin (1986)70-3; H. Solin (1989) 252-3; H.
memoriae provided the mechanisms by which an Flower (1998) 163-5.
2 chapter one

reigning emperor. Damaged or transfigured accusare, abolere, or eradere.8 These verbs, to damn,
imperial portraits survive in vast quantities and condemn, accuse, abolish, or eradicate, them-
include marble, bronze, and painted likenesses, selves resonate with the process of historical cen-
as well as representations in relief, on coins, and sure which is the basis of damnatio memoriae. Over-
gems. all, these sanctions were not conceived of in
The term damnatio memoriae, literally the dam- absolute terms, but were flexible and practical
nation or condemnation of memory, is modern, methods of destroying the condemned’s posthu-
but it accurately reflects the Romans’ preoccu- mous reputation and memory.9
pation with the concepts of memory and fame.5 Cancellation of a bad emperor’s identity and
The Latin term memoria has much broader reper- accomplishments from the collective conscious-
cussions than its English cognate, memory, and ness was one of the fundamental ideological aims
encompasses the notions of an individual’s fame of damnatio in the imperial period. Portrait stat-
and greater reputation. The belief that a deceased ues and busts were routinely removed from public
individual enjoyed an afterlife through the per- and private display and the names and titles of
petuation of his memory or by being remembered overthrown rulers were ruthlessly excised from
is at the core of Roman cultural identity and is the inscriptions that had formerly extolled their
amply witnessed by the innumerable surviving virtues. This calculated obliteration of images,
works of funerary art and architecture created for effectively an abolitio memoriae (abolition of me-
all classes of the society, throughout the empire.6 mory), is starkly illustrated by representations
Furthermore, Varro closely links the idea of
which have been chiseled out of relief monu-
monumental commemoration with the perpetu-
ments, as for instance portraits of Commodus
ation of memory.7 In effect, the condemnation,
removed from the series of reliefs honoring his
damnation or abolition of an individual’s memory
father, Marcus Aurelius, or the excision of Plau-
is a posthumous destruction of his or her very
tianus, Plautilla, and Geta from reliefs deco-
essence or being. When discussing the condem-
rating Severan arches in Rome and Lepcis
nation of a person’s memory and monuments,
Magna.10 For representations of condemned em-
ancient authors usually combine the word memoria
perors in the round, their removal from public
with particularly strong verbs damnare, condemnare,
display and subsequent storage in secure locations
has often led, ironically, to their preservation for
5 The term damnatio memoriae covers a wide array of post
posterity. Indeed, damnatio contributed directly to
mortem sanctions against a condemned individual’s memo-
ry and monuments. These penalties could be officially
the warehousing of great numbers of imperial
mandated by the Senate, emperor, or even army, or they images.
could be unofficial, de facto sanctions; see F. Vittinghoff Another important aim of post mortem sanctions
(1936) 13, 64-74; K. Mustakallio (1994) 9-15; J.M. Paillier could be the complete denigration of the con-
and R. Sablayrolles (1994) 12-15; and H. Flower (1998)
155-6. The term first appears as the title of a dissertation demned individual’s posthumous reputation as a
completed in 1689 by Schreiter-Gerlach; see P. Stewart
(1999) 184, n. 3.
6 On commemoration and perpetuation of memory, see
8 For example see, Suet. Dom. 23.1 (abolendamque omnem
M. Koortbojian in J. Elsner, ed. (1996) 210-34; P.J.E. memoriam); HA.Com.19.1 (memoriam aboleatur), and Cod.Iust.
Davies (1997) 41-65. For the “activity of memory in monu- 1.3.23; (memoriam accusare defuncti ) CodIust Dig.
ments” see, J. E. Young (1989) 69-106. 31.76.9 (memoriam damanatam); Cod.Iust. 7.2.2 (memoria ...
7 Ling. 6.49: Sic monimenta quae in sepulcris, et ideo secun-
damnata); Ulp. Dig. (memoria... damnata); Ulp. Dig.
dum iviam, quo praetereuntis admoneat et se fuisse et illos esse mortalis. (memoria...damnata); Paul. Cod.Iust 9.8.6 (memoria
Ab eo cetera quae scripta ac facta memoriae causa monimenta dicta ...damnetur); Inst. 4.18.3 (memoria... damnatur); Inst. 3.1.5
( monuments which are on tombs, and in fact along (memoria...damnata); F. Vittinghoff, Staatsfeind 13; 66-69; T.
the roads, in order that they can warn anyone coming along Pekáry (1985) 135.
that the deceased themselves were once mortal, just as they 9 H.I. Flower (1995) 163.
are now mortal. From this, other things which are written 10 Arch of Septimius Severus in the Forum Romanum,
or done for the sake of memory are said to be monuments). infra; Arch of the Argentarii, infra; and the Arch of Septimius
See also J. Bodel (1997) 21. Severus at Lepcis Magna, infra.
developments, implications, and precedents 3

stark political warning to future offenders.11 Al- ages underscores their function as literal embodi-
though posthumous denigration would appear at ments of the imperial presence in stone or bronze.
first glance contradictory to the total eradication Trajan’s posthumous Parthian triumph, in which
of a condemned individual’s memory, in prac- a statue of the emperor rode in the quadriga,
tice the two prove to be neither incompatible nor illustrates well the positive, celebratory connota-
mutually exclusive. In visual terms denigration tions of imperial portraits as effigies.15 Con-
was effected through the physical mutilation of versely, deliberate assaults on these images are
portraits. As recognizable signs of an overthrown directly analogous to physical attacks against the
ruler’s disgrace, deliberately damaged likenesses emperor’s person, a kind of mutilation or execu-
physically expressed the abstract concepts of in- tion in effigy.16 The desecration of the vital sen-
famia (disrepute, disgrace) and iniuria (insult, af- sory organs, the eyes, ears, nose and mouth,
front, revenge), and must have remained publicly negates any “power” of these images to see, hear
visible for some time after the emperor’s over- or speak. Furthermore, the disfigurement of
throw. The sensory organs comprising the eyes, imperial likenesses has close conceptual ties to the
nose, mouth and ears were specific targets of the desecration of the corpses of capital offenders, a
attacks on sculpted portraits. The resulting dam- process known as poena post mortem.17 Lucan
age to the face is T-shaped, but still renders the graphically describes the mutilation of a corpse
representation recognizable. The mutilation of and the attack on the ears, eyes, nose and mouth
images is often described in graphically anthro- exactly parallels the disfigurement of imperial
pomorphic terms. Pliny recounts the destruction images: exsectaque lingua/ Palpitat et muto vacuum ferit
of bronze images of Domitian just like they were aera motu./Hic aures, alius spiramina naris aduncae/
living beings, capable of feeling pain and says that Amputat; ille cavis evolvit sedibus orbes, (And the
the portraits were attacked as if “blood and pain tongue having been severed, squirms and with
would follow every single blow” (ut si singulos ic- silent motion strikes the empty air. Someone
tus sanguis dolorque sequeretur).12 Dio similarly por- amputates the ears, someone else the nostrils of
trays the destruction of Sejanus’s statues: those his hooked nose, and another one gouges the eyes
who assaulted his images acted as if they were out of their hollow sockets).18 Although corpse
attacking the man himself.13 Although probably abuse was not uncommon for criminals and other
historically spurious, the account in the Historia noxii executed in arena spectacles, the desecra-
Augusta of the “crucifixion” of a portrait of the tion of elite corpses was viewed as an extremely
North African usurper Celsus is certainly indica- severe form of punishment, and as a result is fairly
tive of fourth century attitudes and expectations rare for condemned emperors or other members
concerning the treatment of representations of of the imperial house.19 Nevertheless, the bodies
condemned rulers, as well as the continued Rom-
an perception of images as effigies.14
The anthropomorphic rhetoric employed 15 As illustrated on Hadrianic aurei of 117-18, BMCRE
when discussing the destruction of imperial im- 244, no. 47; S. Settis, ed. (1988) 78-9, fig. 33.
16 Actual effigies were important components of impe-

rial funerals, see S.R.F. Price (1997) 64, 96-7. For the mu-
11 H. Flower discusses the these two approaches (“the tilation of imperial portraits as effigies, see F. Vittinghoff
tendency to forget” vs. the “urge to remember”) in the case (1936) 13-19; J. von Schlosser (1910-11) 184; W. Brückner
of Gn. Calpurnius Piso (1998) 180. (1966) 192; J.P. Rollin (1979) 165-69; D. Freedberg (1989)
12 Pan. 52.4-5; for an interpretation of the full passage 259.
in its Domitianic context, see infra. 17 On the post mortem abuse of corpses, see F. Vittinghoff
13 58.11.3. (1936) 43-6; D.G. Kyle (1998) 131-3, 220-24, and 183, n.
14 Tyr.Trig. 19: et novo iniuriae genere imago in crucem sublata 106 where he calls the “abuse of statues” “surrogate corpse
persultante vulgo, quasi patibulo ipse Celsus videretur (and in a new abuse;” E.R. Varner (2001a).
kind of outrage, his portrait was hoisted on a cross, with 18 BC 2.181-4.

the crowd running around as if they were seeing Celsus 19 Although obviously comic in nature, Apuleius’s story

himself on the gibbet); see infra. of the guarding of a corpse at Larissa against mutilation
4 chapter one

of Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar, Sejanus, Lollia Sculpted images could also be effectively can-
Paulina, Claudia Octavia, Galba, Vitellius, celed and transformed through recarving. Por-
Pertinax, Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus, traits of condemned emperors were routinely
Plautianus, Macrinus, Diadumenianus, Elagaba- recut to represent victorious successors or es-
lus, Julia Soemias, Maximinus Thrax, Maximus, teemed predecessors. Reuse constitutes a Roman
Pupienus, Balbinus, Gallienus, and Maxentius practical response to the economic problems
were all abused in some fashion. Politically, the inherent in the destruction of images. Marble
mutilation of imperial images and corpses was in- portrait sculptures were expensive commissions
tended as a visual expression of dissatisfaction and recutting representations of condemned in-
with the policies and personalities of the con- dividuals is an efficient and cost-effective form of
demned emperor, and, concomitantly, loyalty to artistic recycling.22 Furthermore sculptural reuse
the new regime. Dio links the concepts of image has ideological implications as a kind of visual
and corpse abuse in his account of the attacks on cannibalism in which the likeness of a successful
Sejanus’s portraits, which the condemned man ruler displaces that of his defeated predecessor.
was forced to witness, thus becoming an unwill- Thus the transformed image has the potential to
ing spectator of his own imminent death and cannibalize the power and meaning residing in
destruction (6"\ @ÜJT 2g"JZH ô< Bg\FgF2"4 §:g88g< the original portrait. The process of manipulat-
¦(\(<gJ@).20 After Commodus’s overthrow, the ing preexisting images into new more acceptable
populace mutilated his images, as artistic surro- likenesses occurs throughout the imperial period.
gates for his corpse.21 Deliberate defacement of In the early empire vast numbers of the marble
images was often the result of spontaneous dem- portraits of Caligula, Nero, and Domitian were
onstrations against a condemned emperor’s recut and reconfigured into new likenesses and
memory and it additionally represents a very it is the most intensive period for the recycling
physical and violent response to the news of an of imperial images.23 At least 120 extant sculpted
emperor’s overthrow. Not coincidentally, the representations of these emperors have been
mutilation and destruction of imperial likenesses transformed. In the second century, there is a
reaches its apogee in the middle years of the third hiatus in the process of recarving imperial por-
century, c. A.D. 235-85, when the empire was traits. No likenesses of Commodus, Lucilla, or
engulfed in a period of military, social, political, Crispina were recut immediately after their con-
and economic unrest, with no single emperor or demnations. Their images which were refash-
dynasty able to maintain control or guarantee ioned were not altered until the third and fourth
stability for an extended period.

22 On the high cost of sculpture, recutting, and ques-

tions of econmy, see C.B. Rose (1997) 10.

of the facial features by witches illustrates the seriousness 23 Private images were also reworked throughout the

with which Romans viewed the this kind of desecration, imperial period, as for instance a late Flavian/early
Met. 2.21-22, 30. The mutilation of the ears and nose which Trajanic female portrait whose coiffure was completely
is ultimately carried out on the guard, Thelyphron, rather recut and updated in the late Trajanic period (Boston,
than the dead man, resembles the disfigurement of impe- Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 1988.327; J.J. Herrmann, jr.
rial images and corpses. Significantly, Thelyphron views his (1991) 34-50, figs. 1a-d). I cannot agree with P. Liverani
own mutilation as a great disgrace which will prevent him that the reworking of private images provide the impetus
from ever returning to his hometown. Deiphobus’s corpse for the recarving of imperial portraits (1990-91) 170-71.
has been similarly disfigured with the nose and ears sev- The sheer number of reworked images beginning with Ca-
ered in the Aeneid (6.494-9): Atque hic Priamiden laniantum ligula would seem to argue that the relationship was ex-
corpore toto/Deiphobum vidit, lacerum crudeliter ora,/ora manusque actly the opposite, with the imperial manifestations influ-
ambas, populataque tempora raptis/ auribus et truncas inhonesto encing the private examples. Nevertheless, Liverani is right
vulnere naris./vix adeo agnovit pavitantem ac dira tegentem/ supplicia, to stress the widespread nature of the phenomenon, both
et notis compellat vocibus ultro. Vergil’s use of supplicia further private and imperial. Furthermore, Liverani is correct to
recalls the language of criminal punishment. point out that the private examples provide an ongoing
20 58.11.3; D.G. Kyle (1998) 221. context within which to read the recutting of imperial
21 Dio 74.2.1. images.
developments, implications, and precedents 5

centuries.24 In the third century, reuse remains The physical removal of banned images from
relatively rare, with examples essentially limited public view resulted in large numbers of portraits
to portraits of Elagabalus transformed into rep- being warehoused, stored or hidden.27 Several
resentations of his cousin and successor, Severus likenesses were deposited in sculptural caches
Alexander. Recutting at this time may have been including portraits of Nero, Lucilla, Commodus,
pragmatically motived by the strong physical Geta, Macrinus, and Elagabalus.28 The storage
resemblance between the two young Severan of these images has ultimately ensured their sur-
cousins. Under Constantine, there is a renewed vival, and often contributed to their fine states
interest in reworking marble portraits as attested of preservation, as in case of the well known
by several of his images which have been refash- Commodus as Hercules from the Esquiline (fig.
ioned from earlier likenesses of Maxentius (as well 141). Portraits, or other monuments, were also
as the recut relief portraits on the Arch of removed to sculptors’ workshops in order to be
Constantine).25 Altered likeness are not limited reworked, as may have been the case with
to three dimensional marble portraits, but in a Cancelleria Reliefs.29 The warehousing of images
few instances also occur in relief, gem, bronze, is further confirmed by portraits of Caligula,
basalt, and coin portraits. Imperial images were Nero, Domitian, Lucilla, Commodus, Plautilla,
transformed in all parts of the empire with sur- and Geta which were not recut for decades or
viving examples from Italy, Spain, Gaul, Ger- even centuries, suggesting that they were in good
many, Greece, North Africa, Egypt, and Asia states of preservation and readily accessible at the
Minor. time of their reuse.30 Portraits could also be
Marble images were also transformed and buried or hidden from public view, as presum-
recycled in more utilitarian fashion as building ably happened to a likeness of Domitian discov-
material. A relief representing Nero and Agrip- ered in the Tomb of Julia Procula at Isola
pina was reused face down as a paving slab in
the Sebasteion complex at Aphrodisias, while a
27 M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 320 describe
mutilated portrait of Julia Mammaea was re-
these marble depots as Steingarten (stone gardens); see also
cycled as a paving stone in one of Ostia’s thor- D. Kinney (1997) 118, 124-25.
oughfares.26 The use of images as paving stones 28 Nero, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale

may also have had further denigrative intent Montemartini 1.25B, inv. 2835, infra; Lucilla, Rome,
Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 3.85, inv.
against the memory of the condemned as people 1781, infra; Commodus, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori,
literally trampled the portraits underfoot. Sala degli Arazzi, inv. 1120, infra; Geta, Oslo, Nasjonal-
galleriet 600, inv. 1433, infra; Macrinus, Rome, Palazzo
Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 3.82, inv. 1757, in-
fra; Elagabalus, Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. 1434 infra. For
a brief discussion of sculptural caches, see E. Bartmann
24 A marked decline in the instances of reuse is already (1991) 72 and ns. 3 and 4.
apparent in the recut images of Domitian: there are 24 29 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano,

recut marble representations of Domitian in the round, cat. 5.17.

versus 53 for Nero and 43 for Caligula. This may reflect 30 Caligula/Claudius Gothicus?, New York, White-Levy

in part accidents of preservation, as well as the fact that Collection, cat. 1.37; Nero/Gallienus, Columbia, Univer-
so many of Domitian’s own portraits had been reworked sity of Missouri, Museum of Art and Archaeology, 62.46,
from portraits of Nero, thus precluding a third recutting, cat. 2.62; Nero/4th century emperor, Rome, Museo
but is also probably due to changing practices. Nazionale delle Terme, inv. 126279, cat. 2.63; Domitian/
25 On the recut portraits on the Arch of Constantine, Constantinian emperor, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 89.6,
see J. Rohmann (1998) and J. Elsner (2000). 5.30; Lucilla/Helena, Florence, Uffizi, inv. 1914.171, cat.
26 Nero and Agrippina, Aphrodisias, infra; Julia 6.11; Lucilla/Helena, Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza
Mammaea, Ostia, Museo, inv. 26 infra; Portraits of Lucilla degli Imperatori 59, 496, cat. 6.12; Commodus/Pupienus?,
(Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini 2.91, inv. Mantua, Palazzo Ducale, inv. G 6812/1, cat. 6.5; Com-
2766) and Otacilia Severa (Palazzo dei Conservatori, modus/Pupienus, Musei Vaticani, Galleria Chiaramonti
Centrale Montemartini 2.95, inv. 2765) were incorporated 27.8, inv.1613, cat. 6.6; Plautilla/fourth century empress,
into the fabric of a post-antique wall between the Colos- Irvine, Robert K. Martin Collection, cat. 7.3; Geta/mid
seum and the Basilica of Maxentius and are likely indica- third century individual, Rome, Museo Capitolino, Salone
tive of earlier practices. 51, inv. 675, cat. 7.10.
6 chapter one

Sacra.31 The numerous images of condemned Senate and people of the city of Rome to the new
individuals recovered from the Tiber, other bod- political realities of life under Constantine, as
ies of water, sewers and wells suggest that more evidenced by the inscription on Constantine’s
violent and destructive forms of disposal, can also, arch which publicly memorializes the former
ironically, contribute to a portrait’s ultimate sur- ruler Maxentius in highly negative terms as a
vival.32 In antiquity, the disposal of portraits in tyrannus.36
bodies of water, especially the Tiber, closely Damnatio is the direct antithesis of consecratio, the
parallels the disposal of the corpses of arena vic- process by which a deceased emperor was de-
tims, another aspect of poena post mortem.33 Addi- clared an official god of the Roman state, and
tionally, the practice has intriguing connections his character, policies, and reign formally and
with the Sacra Argeorum, an annual purification eternally endorsed.37 S.R.F. Price has suggested
ritual of hostile spirits in which human effigies that in the early imperial period the Senate was
were thrown into the Tiber from the Pons Sublicius able to act with some degree of freedom in cases
every May.34 of consecratio as when they conspicuously refused
In the imperial period, the Senate continued to deify Tiberius, but by the second century
to formally pass sanctions in the case of official consecrations, while still technically voted by the
damnationes. Livilla, Sejanus, Messalina, Nero, Senate, were largely at the discretion of the reign-
Domitian, Commodus, Elagabalus, and Julia ing emperor.38 Price cites the deification of
Soemias were all officially condemned by the Hadrian, which was passed by an unwilling Sen-
Senate. Condemnations could demonstrate sena- ate at the express instigation of Antoninus Pius
torial autonomy, as in the case of Nero, who was as indicative of the new state of affairs and by
declared a hostis while still living, or Domitian, the end of the century Septimius Severus un-
condemned against the express wishes of the equivocally compels the consecratio of Commo-
army. Naturally, the emperor could also exert his dus.39 The inverse phenomenon of condemna-
influence in cases of damnatio. As early as the tion appears to mirror the decline in senatorial
damnatio of Caligula, his successor Claudius re- autonomy in matters of consecration. Indeed, by
fused to permit the senate to formally proscribe the end of second century, the senate was not
his memory, but did allow an unofficial, de facto only forced by Septimius Severus to consecrate
damnatio.35 In cases of conspiracy (maiestas or Commodus as a new divus but also, in a more
perduellio), as for Livilla, Sejanus and Messalina, humiliating blow, to rescind the damnatio they had
it seems likely that the emperor took a direct hand pronounced against him. Caracalla appears to
in promoting the senatorial sanctions. By the have bypassed the senate entirely, at least in the
early fourth century, the damnatio of Maxentius early stages of his condemnation of Geta, when
appears to have been a necessary response by the he demanded that the army, rather than the Sen-
ate, declare his brother a hostis.40
31 Ostia, Museo, Magazzini, inv. 19, infra.
The destruction and alteration of images was
32 Portraits allegedly recovered from the Tiber include likely accomplished in much the same way as
several bronze and marble portraits of Caligula (New York, portrait dedications. In the latter case, the sen-
White-Levy Collection, infra; Rome, Museo Nazionale ate or emperor could decree portrait honors, or
Romano delle Terme, 4256, infra; Switzerland, Private Col-
lection, infra) as well as a bronze portrait of Domitian municipalities, groups, or individuals could pe-
(Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 664, inv. 768). A tition to erect commemorative images, usually in
portrait of Otho was unearthed from Ostia’s sewer, (Os-
tia, Museo, inv. 446). Portraits thrown in wells include:
heads of Caligula from Tharsis (Huelva, Museo Provincial), 36 CIL 6.1139=ILS 694.
Domitian from Munigua (Munigua, Museo), and Clodius 37 On the inverse relationship between damnatio and
Albinus from Dougga (Tunis, Musée du Bardo). For this consecratio see S. G. MacCormack (1981) 96, 98, 132-3, 149,
kind of “refuse disposal,” see also P. Stewart (1999) 166. 254; S. Settis, ed. (1988) 76.
33 D.G. Kyle (1998) 213-28. 38 (1987) 86-87, 91-3.
34 D.G. Kyle (1998) 215-6. 39 S.R.F.. Price (1987) 93.
35 Suet. Claud. 11.3; Dio 60.4.5-6, and infra. 40 HA. Carac. 1.1; Herod. 4.8; see infra.
developments, implications, and precedents 7

response to senatorial or imperial decrees mark- vituperatio in order to defame the memory of the
ing important events in the life and reign of the condemned ruler.44 Indeed, the author of the
emperor and his family.41 Similarly, municipali- Historia Augusta acknowledges the distortions and
ties, groups, or individuals were expected to re- difficulties surrounding the biographies of con-
spond appropriately to senatorial decrees man- demned emperors or “historical losers” in his
dating the dishonoring of an emperor’s memory biography of Pescennius Niger, the defeated ri-
and monuments. The army may also be impli- val of Septimius Severus:
cated in the implementation of damnationes, as Rarum atque difficile est ut, quos tyrannos aliorum vic-
suggested by their involvement in Geta’s condem- toria fecerit, bene mittantur in litteras, atque ideo vix omnia
nation, as well as their presumed physical involve- de his plene in monumentis atque annalibus habentur.
ment in the damnationes of the soldier emperors primum enim, quae magna sunt in eorum honorem ab
later in the century.42 As is to be expected in scriptoribus depravantur, deinde alia supprimuntur, postremo
Rome and its environs, compliance with senato- non magna diligentia in eorum genere ac vita requiritur,
cum satis sit audaciam eorum et bellum, in quo victi fuerint,
rial sanctions against a condemned emperor’s ac poenam proferre.45
memory is essentially universal, but elsewhere it
could be more sporadic and there appears to have (It is uncommon and difficult to give an unbiased
written account of those men who have come to
been a certain degree of autonomy in respond- be characterized as tyrants because of the victory
ing to condemnations. Several representations of of others and furthermore scarcely anything about
Caligula, whose condemnation was for the most these men is accurately preserved in monuments
part unofficial, were allowed to remain on pub- or histories. For indeed, in the first place, great
lic display, as were a boyhood portraits of Nero events which accrued to their honor are misrep-
resented by historians, and then other events are
at Velleia (and possibly Rusellae), and a statue suppressed, and finally no great diligence is given
of Domitian as prince from the theater at Aphro- to recounting their ancestry or life, since it seems
disias.43 In the few instances where portraits of enough to reveal their effrontery, the battle in
condemned emperors or other members of the which they were conquered and their punishment.)
imperial family were permitted to remain visible, Significantly, the author links the literary distor-
their presence within group dedications as well tions and omissions with the visual distortions and
as their importance for dynastic coherence and omissions on monuments (in monumentis atque
imperial continuum must have outweighed con- annalibus). Thus, the mutilation and transforma-
cerns over canceling or denigrating the indiv- tion of imperial images can be viewed as a de-
idual’s memory. liberate rewriting of the visual record of Roman
The physical destruction and mutilation of an history and society.
emperor’s images is the direct visual equivalent The literary vilification of an overthrown ruler
of the vilification of his character and actions which mirrors the mutilation of images was in-
which occurs in literary and historical sources. tended as a written portrait of the emperor’s evil
Literary, historical, or biographical damnatio of- deeds and moral inadequacies. Like publicly
ten relies on rhetorical tropes of invectio and mutilated likenesses, they function as potent re-
minders of an emperor’s posthumous disgrace
41 For a discussion of the motivations of portrait dedi- and failure as leader. Literary denigration, like
cations in the late Republic and early Empire, see C.B. Rose its visual counterpart, could also be actively and
(1997) 7-10. officially promoted; indeed, E. S. Ramage has
42 P.J. Casey (1994) 34.
43 Portraits of Caligula: Iesi, Palazzo della Signoria;

Genoa-Pegli, Museo Civico, inv. 614; Gortyna, Antiqua-

rium; Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 64; see in- 44 T. Barton in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 48-
fra. Statues of Nero: from Velleia, Parma, Museo Nazio- 66.
nale d’Antichità, no. 3, inv. 826; see infra; from Roselle, 45 HA, Pesc.Nig. 1.1-2; M. Cullhed points out the im-

Grosseto, Museo Archaeologico. Statue of Domitian from portance of this passage for the study of condemned empe-
Aphrodisias: Aphrodisias, depot, excavation inv. nos. 66- rors, or historical losers, in his monograph on Maxentius
27, 67-282-85, 71-477; see infra. (1994) 9-11.
8 chapter one

pointed out that while images could be removed any image which this statue base supported was
or transformed, buildings destroyed or rededi- similarly transformed. Inscriptions are also liable
cated, texts favorable to a condemned ruler could to mutilation, as when only part of a condemned
never be entirely rescinded, so hostile literary individual’s name is erased, making the inscrip-
traditions were actively encouraged.46 tion still readable as a kind of denigrative memo-
While the centrality of epigraphical texts to the rial.
understanding and interpretation of artistic and The erasure of an overthrown emperor’s name
architectural monuments for the ancient viewer in inscriptions, papyri and on coins is also related
can be overstated, the phenomenon of damnatio to prohibitions against the continued use of a
memoriae certainly underscores the interdepen- condemned individual’s praenomen. Both high-
dence of image and text, at least for the literate light the importance of the act of naming in
segments of Roman society.47 Obvious parallels Roman culture. In the realm of religious dedi-
exist between the treatment of the monumental cations, the simple naming of the dedicant com-
inscriptions and portraits of condemned emper- prises the great majority of Roman votive inscrip-
ors. Just as the emperor’s name and titles are tions and M. Beard has suggested that naming
eradicated in commemorative inscriptions or is a fundamental and permanent assertion of the
papyri, so too are his sculpted images removed dedicant’s membership in the larger pagan com-
from public display, and his likenesses erased munity.50 Thus the erasure of a condemned em-
from reliefs and paintings. Like portraits, inscrip- peror’s name and the suppression of praenomina
tions are intended as visual signifiers of the are acts of un-naming and effectively exclude the
emperor’s position and achievements, and when condemned individual from society at large. In
an emperor is overthrown and damned, his por- addition un-naming acts to deny the physical
traits, like inscriptions, can be “erased” from the existence of the nameless individual.51 By the
public consciousness. The practice of eradicating fourth century A.C., there exists a well established
condemned emperors from the epigraphic record rhetorical tradition of not explicitly naming over-
is remarkably long lived, as witnessed by the thrown emperors or those who were deemed
erasure of Phocas’s name from the inscription on usurpers of legitimate imperial authority.52
his column, the last commemorative monument Just as imperial representations were created
in order to reach multiple Roman audiences, so
known to have been erected in the Forum
too were the messages encoded in their destruc-
Romanum.48 Portrait inscriptions, or inscriptions
tion and transformation intended to reach differ-
on arches, both of which identify and explain the
ent segments of the public.53 On the most fun-
monuments to which they belong, are places in
damental level, the negation of images or their
which imperial images and texts necessarily in-
alteration into new likenesses signal to the entire
teract. Such inscriptions can also be transformed
populace the political transition to a new regime.
from commemorations of a condemned ruler into
celebrations of a successor or predecessor, as for
instance a statue base from the Caserma dei Vigili 50 M. Beard (1991) 46-8.
at Ostia in which the name and titles of Commo- P.J. Casey (1994) 46; naming is also an equivalent
dus have been erased and replaced with those of existence in the ancient Near East, and the excision of an
inscribed name is tantamount to the suppression or removal
his successor Septimius Severus.49 Presumably of physical being, Z. Bahrani (1995) 377.
52 A.E. Wardman (1984) 222.
46 Ramage discusses the phenomenon within the con- 53 The widespread nature of the surviving physical

text of Pliny’s Panegyricus and Juvenal’s Satires (1989) 643, evidence for damnatio in the form of mutilated, transformed,
650. or warehoused portraits, as well as erased inscriptions
47 J. Elsner has underscored the function of epigraphical certainly refutes C. W. Hedrick’s statement that the audi-
texts as monuments in their own right, in J. Elsner, ed. ence for damnationes is a “small percentage” of the popula-
(1996) 32-53. For epigraphical damnatio, see H.I.Flower tion, namely the senatorial elite, (2000) 110-11. While the
(2000). aristocracy are indeed an important audience, as well as
48 CIL 6.1200 agent for condemnations, all strata of the society are im-
49 R. Lanciani, NSc 75. plicated in the phenomenon.
developments, implications, and precedents 9

Certainly those illiterate members of the popu- deified predecessors, then another potential au-
lation who could not read the written history of dience for mutilation and transformation of these
the failed regime could read its visual history as representations becomes the images themselves.
embodied in mutilated and transformed images.54 H. Flower has raised the intriguing possibility that
But alteration of the visual landscape of impe- imagines, wax ancestor masks, assembled in the
rial portraits could also be read in alternative atrium of a Roman house, act as a kind of audi-
ways by different audiences. Damnationes which ence witnessing the actions of their living descen-
were avidly pursued or desired by the Senate such dants. Similarly, when worn by actors at elite
as those of Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Commodus funerals, imagines also function as both participants
or Elagabalus, served to reaffirm the Senate’s in, and an audience for, the funerary rites.55
power and prestige for the senatorial aristocrats The physical alteration or mutilation of artis-
themselves and for the society at large. Similarly, tic objects, such as portraits, also provided an
for the new emperor, his family, and supporters, effective means of visual communication between
the mutilation and transformation of a predeces- subject and ruler. Official sanctions which man-
sors images made tangible the authority of the dated the destruction of images pointedly com-
new regime. For the partisans of the overthrown municated the victorious emperor’s new status,
emperor, the destruction of portraits stand ob- while the public’s response to the damnatio could,
viously as negative exempla. To a certain extent, in turn, proclaim loyalty to the new regime.
the new emperor could also read the negation of Spontaneous demonstrations against an over-
his predecessor’s likenesses as negative exempla, thrown emperor’s memory and monuments, es-
visual warnings of the consequences to his own pecially in instances where the ruler was never
images should his regime fail. officially condemned, provided important outlets
In cases where images have been altered, it for public expression.56 Portraits of Severus
may have been the intention that visually sophis- Alexander, Julia Mammaea, and Gordian III
ticated Roman viewers recognize the transforma- have all been spontaneously attacked, despite the
tion and appropriation of the original portrait. fact the none of them was officially condemned
Reworked likenesses which to modern audiences and Severus Alexander and Gordian III were
seem less satisfactory because they retain too actually deified.57 The spontaneous mutilation,
many traces of the original image may be symp- transformation, or destruction of images visually
tomatic of this trend. The Nero/Domitian/Nerva repudiates the failed ruler and simultaneously
statue from Velleia stands as an extreme example professes allegiance to his successor.
since it contains strong visual elements of its two
earlier incarnations as representations of both
Nero and Domitian (cat. 2.50/5.13). These por-
traits may then exhibit deliberate signs of their
55 H.I. Flower (1996) especially 60-127, and 185-222.
own transformation, readable by certain viewers 56 T. Pekáry reviews the evidence for spontaneous dem-
as manifestations of the new emperor visually onstrations (1985) 134-42; see also C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000)
cannibalizing the power and images of his de- 99 for popular demonstrations involving Gn. Calpurnius
feated predecessor. Piso’s statues during his maiestas trial under Tiberius, and
infra for descriptions of spontaneous demonstrations involv-
If imperial images act on certain levels as ef- ing the images of Poppaea and Claudia Octavia.
figies, intended to embody in marble or bronze 57 Damaged portraits of Severus Alexander: Bochum,

the reigning princeps, his family, and revered or Kunstasammlungen der Ruhr-Universität, cat. 7.20; Rome,
Museo Capitolino, Magazzini, inv. 1431, cat. 7.22; Swit-
zerland, Private Collection, cat. 7.24; Damaged portraits
of Julia Mammaea: Bochum, Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-
54 H. Flower discusses the importance of the visual Universität, cat. 7.25; Paris, Louvre, MA 3552 (inv. MND
trappings of power and prestige, such as the display of 2137) cat. 7.27; Ostia, Museo, inv. 26, cat. 7.26; Switzer-
imagines or the erection of important public building and land, Private Collection, cat. 7.28; Damaged portrait of
monuments in communicating to the populace at large in Gordian III: Sofia, Archaeological Museum, inv. 1497, cat.
republican Rome (1996) 65, 69. 8.9.
10 chapter one

Iconographic Implications Republican associations may have been intended

for the members of the senatorial aristocracy who
Earlier works have been intent largely on docu- had grown disaffected with Nero, the Julio-
menting the historical dimensions of damnatio or Claudians and the imperial system in general,
its specific physical effects on individual sculpted while the classicizing images may have appealed
portraits, paintings, coins, inscriptions, or papyri. to the middle and lower classes or inhabitants of
The conceptual implications of the phenomenon the eastern sections of the empire, whose expe-
have not yet been fully addressed. Obviously, rience of the Julio-Claudians would have been
knowledge that a work of art has been trans- radically different and more positive.58
formed or intentionally mutilated radically alters Significantly the most veristic of Vespasian’s
assumptions concerning the production and cul- surviving portraits, as well as the most classiciz-
tural context of these images. Implicit in the ing and Julio-Claudian in style are all reworked
creation of imperial portraits, then, is the notion from earlier representations of Nero.59 In the
that mechanisms and sanctions existed whereby former instance, the supra-verism is inspired by
representations could be transformed or de- a desire to obliterate all trace of the initial im-
stroyed. Thus, the imperial image is not inher- age and its style, while in the latter instance, the
ently stable or static. reworked image attempts to co-opt and cannibal-
In formal terms the mutability of imperial ize the idealizing style of the original. Similar
images has serious iconographic and stylistic patterns apply for the portraits of Claudius re-
ramifications. Sheer numbers alone reveal the cut from Caligula and they challenge basic no-
importance of recut images. As already men- tions about the development of style and stylis-
tioned, well over 100 surviving early imperial im- tic trends, since in these examples the heightened
ages have been transformed from representations verism or classicism of the likenesses is a direct
of Caligula, Nero, and Domitian. Altered repre- result of and response to the necessity of refash-
sentations often retain some or all of the style of ioning a pre-existing work of art with its own in-
the original image. At the most basic level, these herent iconographical meaning.60 The divergent
trends can be reduced to classicizing or idealiz- styles expressed in the reworked images may also
ing versus veristic approaches to imperial por- reflect differing approaches on the part of artists
traits. Style functions as a significant bearer of facing the technical challenges of recarving, dif-
meaning in Roman portraits, especially in peri- fering wishes expressed by the patrons oversee-
ods of political transition, periods also marked by ing the reworking, or the differing audiences for
damnationes memoriae and the transformation of whom they were intended. Finally, a recognition
images. Important evidence for the ideology of of the profound stylistic influence which an origi-
style is furnished by representations of Vespasian
whose emphasis on verism is often viewed as a
58 This interpretation runs counter to R. Bianchi-
conscious visual repudiation of Nero and the
Bandinelli’s classic Marxist reading of Vespasian’s portrait
Julio-Claudian past and a return to late Repub- typology which sees the veristic portraits as more plebeian
lican values and style. On the other hand, those in style, designed to appeal to the proletariat and to present
portraits of Vespasian which are more classiciz- the emperor as ordinary citizen, while the classicizing
portraits are more “intellectual” and stress Vespasian’s
ing can be read as attempts to project the idea position as ruler, (1969) 211-12.
of imperial continuum and visually connect the 59 Arguably the most veristic of Vespasian’s likenesses

new Flavian emperor with his respected Julio- is a head recut from Nero in the Terme, inv. 38795 (see
cat. 2.23), while his most classicizing is another recut head
Claudian predecessors, Claudius, Tiberius, and from Lucus Feronia, Magazzini cat. 2.22.
especially Augustus. These opposing approaches 60 A portrait of Claudius in the Centrale Montemartini

and intentions exist simultaneously in Vespasian’s refashioned from Caligula is often cited as his most realis-
tic likeness, inv. 2443 (cat. 1.31). Claudius’s most classicizing
portraiture and suggest that his images were image, also recut from Caligula, is the colossal head from
designed for audiences with different expecta- Otricoli in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, 551, inv. 242
tions. Vespasian’s veristic likenesses with their (cat. 1.30).
developments, implications, and precedents 11

nal portrait can have on its recarved progeny can demned as fakes, as for instance a likeness of
drastically alter assumptions about whole periods Severus Alexander refashioned from Elagabalus
in Roman art, as for instance the colossal Maxen- in Kansas City (cat. 8.X).64 In fact, the oddities
tius/Constantine in the Cortile of the Palazzo dei occasioned by recutting can help to validate a
Conservatori whose classicism and spirituality are portrait’s authenticity. However, E.B. Harrison
often cited as characteristic of new directions in has sounded an important note of caution con-
Constantinian art but which were, in reality, cerning reworked pieces of ancient sculpture and
already significant artistic components of the the art market: “In the art market and in the
Maxentian original, appropriated wholesale by museums for which the market is the main
the new image.61 source, they represent a real danger, for the idea
Furthermore, the wide range and variation of of an anciently recut original can serve as a mask
coiffure and physiognomy among recut images, for the ineptitude of a forger.”65
which can have only the most approximate re- Much scholarly effort has been expended in
semblance to more standardized, unreworked attempting to recover the lost voices of those
representations, underscore the innate diversity members of Roman society who are misrepre-
present in the portraiture of any given emperor.62 sented, under represented or not represented at
Inscriptions and context would have aided an- all in the literary and historical tradition largely
cient viewers in identifying less precisely defined authored by the male elite or in the officially
reworked portraits. The latitude within specific sponsored monuments of Roman art. The po-
portrait types, especially apparent among altered sition of women, slaves, foreigners, as well as
likenesses, is yet another symptom of the flexibil- Roman attitudes towards gender, ethnicity, and
ity and mutability of imperial images. sexuality have all been explored in recent schol-
Beyond the important stylistic implications for arship.66 “Bad” emperors like Caligula, Nero,
the development and history of Roman portrai- Domitian, Commodus, Elagabalus and Maxen-
ture, a recognition of altered imperial images has tius as historical losers have also been deprived
ramifications for other kinds of subsidiary imag- of their voices and no longer have the power to
ery. For instance, reworked cuirassed images of speak through their images that revered rulers
Nero suggest that certain motifs on sculpted such as Augustus, Vespasian, Trajan, or Con-
breastplates, such as that of victories flanking a stantine have retained. A survey of condemna-
thymeterium, may be an innovations of Neronian tions prompts reappraisals of art created for these
rather than Flavian (or Trajanic) artists. Similarly, “bad” emperors and reveals new insights into
a representation of Augustus with a corona spicea various aspects of imperial self-representation
which has been transformed from a likeness of including Caligula’s innovations in Julio-Claudian
Nero suggests that Nero, rather than Augustus, group dedications, the surprising persistence of
is the first emperor to introduce this important Neronian military imagery or the extraordinary
corona in male imperial portraits.63 range of Maxentius’s visual propaganda during
The recutting of Roman portraits also impacts his six year rule of Rome. Furthermore, it often
modern questions surrounding the authenticity calls into question the veracity of certain asser-
and forgery of ancient works of art. Portraits tions in surviving ancient sources and our own
which look strange and unusual, because they
were reworked in antiquity have been con-
64 Nelson Atkins Museum 45-66, cat. 7.16. On ques-

tions of forgery and authenticity, see R. Cohon (1996).

65 (1990) 180.
61 Inv. 1622, cat. 9.4. 66 Scholarship has grown rather vast in these areas, but
62 On diversity within the framework of imperial por- important contributions in the field of Roman art include:
trait typology, see H. von Heintze, in A. Cambitoglou ed. N.B. Kampen, ed. (1996); D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B.
(1995) 264; R.R.R. Smith (1996) 30-47. Matheson eds., (1996) and in particular N.B. Kampen,
63 Sala dei Busi 274, inv. 715; as proposed by B.S. “Gender Theory in Roman Art,” 14-26; J.R. Clarke (1996b)
Spaeth (1996) 23; on the portrait see cat. 2.10. 599-603; and J.R. Clarke (1998) and 2003.
12 chapter one

subsequent historical assumptions. The physical examples of mutilated royal images survive from
evidence provided by damaged, altered, or mu- the Near East. A vandalized copper head of an
tilated portraits also aids in the recovery of the Akkadian ruler from Nineveh provides an early
lost political voice of Roman imperial women example of mutilation in effigy.70 The ears have
such as the two Julias, Livilla, Messalina, Lucilla, been severed from the image, the left eye gouged
Crispina, and Fausta.67 Although these women out, the bridge and tip of the nose damaged by
were most often accused of adultery and sexual chisel blows, and sections of the beard broken off,
misconduct, the virulent destruction of their all acts of deliberate denigration. These vandal-
images underscores the political nature of their ized features contrast with the rest of head which
crimes, namely involvement in conspiracies to is well preserved, a hallmark of most intention-
overthrow the reigning princeps. Thus, damnatio ally disfigured images. C. Nylander has pointed
contributes new avenues for revisionist ap- out that the portrait’s mutilation finds close par-
proaches to Roman art and history. allels to the mutilation of criminals in the Near
Sculptors also faced substantial technical ob- East, and in particular of the two Persian pre-
stacles when recarving marble portraits. In com- tenders Fravartish and Ciçantakhma, whose noses
parison to a freshly cut portrait, freshly cut from and ears were cut off and one eye blinded by
a block of stone, the volume of marble available order of Darius.71 Nylander also suggests that the
for refashioning a likeness is obviously limited to damaged state of much Akkadian hard stone
the extent of the pre-existing image. The basic sculpture may be the result of systematic destruc-
position of eyes, ears, and nose is also established tion.72 In a relief from Nineveh representing Sen-
by the original likeness. The recutting of portraits nacherib, the head of the king has been gouged
and resulting reduction in sculptural volume, out, while also at Nineveh, the faces of Ashur-
often results in representations with overly large, banipal and his queen have been attacked, as
projecting ears, thick necks, and receding chins.68 have reliefs of Ummanigash.73 In the case of Sen-
Marble also becomes more friable as it ages, so nacherib’s representation, the identifying inscrip-
projecting elements such as ears, noses, and tion was also defaced.74 At Persepolis, royal re-
crowns can prove especially delicate and prob- liefs have also been attacked. In scenes depicting
lematic. Indeed, ears and crowns, are often left the king enthroned and leading processions, the
entirely intact from the original likeness. The faces of the king have been obliterated, as have
recutting of the lower sections of the face and in their scepters. Animistic beliefs in these images
particular the mouth, often a focus in the trans- as effigies or doubles for the rulers may have
formation process may have additional ideologi- motivated the deliberate disfigurement of royal
cal implications as the word for mouth, os can also representations in the Near East, as well as their
be used to signify the entire face.69 abduction by hostile rulers.75 Indeed, the suscep-
tibility of Near Eastern royal images to politically
motivated mutilation prompted many curse in-
Precedents and Parallels scriptions, including that of the eighth century
Assyrian king Sargon who cursed “anyone who
The Near East
Prior to the Roman imperial period, represen- 70 Baghdad, Museum; C. Nylander (1980) 330-31 (with
tations of rulers were certainly destroyed, dam- earlier literature). For the politically chaotic context of the
aged, or altered for political reasons. Numerous 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,
67 See infra and E.R. Varner (2001a). figs. 19, 21; see also T. Beran (1988).
68 M. Pfanner (1989) 218-9; C.B. Rose (1997) 59. 74 Z. Bahrani (1995) 366, fig. 19.
69 H. von Heintze in A. Cambidoglou, ed. (1995) 264. 75 Z. Bahrani (1995) 375-80.
developments, implications, and precedents 13

would alter or damage” the features of his im- uraeus, symbol of Hatchepsut’s position as king,
ages.76 has been chiseled off many of these representa-
tions, and the noses have been attacked and the
eyes carefully gouged out. The destruction of the
Pharaonic Egypt
nose and eyes recalls the mutilation of the Akka-
The destruction of royal monuments and imag- dian copper head and also provides striking early
es for political reasons was also carried out in parallels to the later mutilation of Roman impe-
Egypt. Representations of Hatchepsut, who ruled rial images. Monuments celebrating Hatchepsut’s
as pharaoh together with her nephew and step- advisor Senenmut have also been attacked.80
son, Thutmoses III, have been extensively mu- The reign of Akhenaten witnesses several
tilated and her cartouches often erased.77 In some unusual examples of the transformation of rep-
instances her name and titles have been replaced resentations of a royal woman. Reliefs and in-
by those of Thutmoses III, and in others they scriptions honoring the pharaoh’s minor wife
remain blank. These erasures appear to be part Queen Kiya appear to have been regularly al-
of a concerted effort on the part of Thutmoses tered to depict one of his daughters by Nefertiti,
III to rewrite the historical record, and he seems Meretaten or Ankhesenpaaten and as a result
to have been largely successful, as the name of Kiya has virtually disappeared from the artistic
his co-ruler Hatcheput is noticeably absent in record.81 Kiya’s image is often remodeled by
surviving king lists.78 Images of Hatchepsut were simply altering her headress into a “modified
also deliberately mutilated, as attested by the Nubian wig,” as in two reliefs in Copenhagen,82
great number of damaged sphinxes bearing her and a relief in New York.83 Identifying inscrip-
likeness discovered buried together at the site of tions were also recut to honor Meretaten or
her great mortuary temple. 79 The excavator, Ankhesnpaaten.84 It is not entirely clear what
H.E. Winlock, estimated that there were origi- prompted the obliteration of Kiya’s memory, but
nally as many as 200 Hatchepsut shpinxes. The 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 in-
Z. Bahrani (1995) 372-5; 378-80; I.F. Winter (1997)
368. creased importance and influence of Nefertiti and
77 For the evidence for a “damnatio memoriae” of Hatcehp- her daughters towards the end of the reign.85
sut, see C.F. Nims (1966) 97-100; P.F. Dorman (1988) 46-
65; C. Van Siclen (1989) 85-6; G. Robins (1993); J.
Tyldesley (1996) 216-229. 80 P.F. Dorman discusses the complex problems sur-
78 Omitting Hatchepsut’s name from the king lists would rounding the destruction of Senemut’s monuments and the
cause no noticeable chronological gaps in the record, since evidence, or lack thereof, for a concerted proscription of
she ruled together with Thutmoses III and it would then his memory (1988) 141-64.
appear that the succession passed directly from her hus- 81G. Robins (1993) 54-55; D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L.

band and brother Thutmoses II to his son by another wife, Green (1996) 11, 87-88, 105-6.
Thutmoses III. The alteration of the historical record as 82 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, AE.I.N. 1776; D. Arnold,

expressed in inscriptions, reliefs, and statues may have been J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 106, 132-3, no. 27, fig. 100.
intended to suppress Hatschepsut role as a successful king Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, AE.I.N. 1797; D. Arnold, J.P.
and discourage other influential royal women from attempt- Allen and L. Green (1996) 87-88, 105-106, 133, no. 28,
ing to rule as pharaoh. In this regard it is telling that it is fig. 79.
only representations and inscriptions which celebrate 83 Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985.328.8; D. Arnold,

Hatchepsut as pharaoh, and not those which celebrate her J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 106, fig. 101.
proper female role as queen consort, which have been tar- 84 As in one of the Copenhagen reliefs (Ny Carlsberg

geted for obliteration. G. Robins (1993) 51-52; J. Tyldesley Glyptotek, A.E.I.N. 1776) whose inscription now reads
(1996) 223-6. “daughter of the king of his flesh, his beloved...Meretaten,”
79 The “Hatchepsut Hole” discovered accidentally by but beneath it, the beginning of Kiya’s usual titles are still
H.E. Winlock in 1922-23; Other damaged images of legible: “the wife and [great] beloved of the King of Up-
Hatchepsut were discovered by Winlock in 1926-28 at the per and Lower Egypt who lives on [Maat],” D. Arnold, J.P.
“Senenmut Quarry,” H.E. Winlock, 23 (1928) 46 and in Allen and L. Green (1996) 106.
1927-8 (1928) 1-23. 85 On Kiya, see: R. Hanke (1978)188-96; W. Helck
14 chapter one

After his own death, monuments honoring Euthymides, in which the name of Megakles, one
Akhenaten, his family, and references to the new of the Alkmeonidai, in the 6"8@H inscription has
monotheistic god Aten were systematically de- been erased, and that of Glaukon substituted.89
stroyed as Akhenaten’s new religion was aban- In 487, Hipparchos, the son of Charmides was
doned and orthodoxy reasserted.86 ostracized and his statue on the Akropolis de-
Sculpted representations of Egyptian rulers stroyed.90 At the end of the fourth century, the
were also transformed and recycled in large Athenians revoked the decrees honoring Dem-
numbers without being politically motivated. etrios of Phaleron and melted down three hun-
Many statues of Rameses II have been refash- dred of his metal statues, further denigrating his
ioned from pre-existing images of Amenhotep III, memory by refashioning some of them as cham-
whose sculpted images were produced in far berpots and throwing others into the sea.91 An
greater numbers than any of his predecessors. A inventory list of statues on the Acropolis compiled
representation of Amenhotep’s chief wife, Queen under Lycurgus c. 335 B.C. also provides evi-
Tiye may also have been recut, but not until the dence for the destruction and disposal of statues
Ptolemaic period when it was reworked into an for aesthetic, and perhaps religious reasons.92
image of Arsinoe II.87 The drapery of the statue In 200 B.C., in defiance of Macedon, the
has been substantially recut, jewelery removed, Athenians repudiated the public honors accorded
the bottom edges of the wig narrowed, the eyes to Philip V and Livy describes the destruction of
retouched, and the modius crown of Tiye modi- his monuments in terms which are intended to
fied into an Isis crown. The image of Queen Tiye recall anachronistically Roman practices of
may have been deliberately selected by the Ptole- damnatio memoriae:
maic artists because of the perceived similarities Tum vero Atheniensium civitas, cui odio in Philippum
between the two popular queens and its rework- per metum jam diu moderata erat, id omne in auxilii
ing can then be seen as a kind of positive trans- praesentis sepem effudit...Rogationem extemplo tulerunt
formation, very different from the generally hos- plebesque scivit ut Philippi statuae et imagines omnes
tile transformations of the Roman period.88 In nominaque earum, item maiorem eius virile ac muliebre
addition, the substantial alterations to the body secus omnium tollerentur delerenturque diesque festi, sacra,
sacerdotes, quae ipsius maiorumque honoris causa institutua
of the statue are not typical of Roman transfor- essent, omnia profanarentur; loca quoque, in quibus positum
mations, which are generally concentrated en- aliquid inscriptumve honoris eius causa fuisset, detestabilia
tirely on the facial features and coiffure. esse.93
(Then indeed the Athenian state, long restrained
Greece and Sicily in their hatred of Philip through fear, because help
was at hand, fully vented their rage...They im-
Athens, from the late Archaic through the Hel- mediately put forth a resolution, and the popu-
lenistic periods furnishes a number of close par- lace passed it, that all of the statues and portraits
of Philip and their identifying inscriptions, and
allels to the Roman phenomenon of damnatio. An all those of his ancestors, both men and women
early example of the politically motivated destruc-
tion or alteration of an artistic monument is
89 Athens, Akropolis Museum, GL 1037; Brouskari, The
provided by a painted plaque, attributed to
Acropolis Museum 126-127, no. 67, fig. 241.
90 Lykurg. Leokrat. 117; M. Donderer (1991-2) 271, no.

(1980) cols. 422-24; W. Helck (1984) 159-67; A.P. Thomas 91 Strabo 9.1.20 Plut. Mor. 820E; Dion. Hal. Chron.

(1994) 72-81; D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. Green (1996) 37.41 (where the number of destroyed statues is given as
14-5, 105-7; On Nefertiti’s importance towards the end of 1500); Diog. Laet. 5.77 (statues thrown into the sea); C.
Akhenaten’s reign and her possible position as co-regent, Houser (1987) 269; P. Green (1990) 48; M. Donderer (1991-
see G. Robins (1993) 54 and D. Arnold, J.P. Allen and L. 2) 271, no. 6.
Green (1996) 88-9, and n. 28. 92 D. Harris (1992) 637-52.
86 D. Metzler (1973) 19-20. 93 31.44.2-5. See also, P. Green (1990) 309; M.
87 Miho, Museum. A. Kozloff, xxx. Donderer (1991-2) 272, nos. 7-8. On the “damnatio” of
88 A. Kozloff, in J.N. Newland, ed. (1997) 34-37. Philip, see H.A. Thompson (1981) 354.
developments, implications, and precedents 15

should be abolished and destroyed and that the evidence of non-Roman damnatio from Ana-
festivals, religious rites, and priesthoods which had tolia.98 The body of the polychrome sarcophagus,
been instituted in his honor or that of his ances-
tors should be desecrated, and that also the sites
which seems to have been created for a local
in which any inscriptions or honors had been ruler, depicts a stag and boar hunt. The facial
placed should be held as abominable.) features of one of the horsemen in the stag hunt
have been intentionally obliterated from the re-
Polybius records that, slightly earlier in 220 B.C.,
liefs. Evidence for this kind of portrait effacement,
votive images at Dion, sacred to the Macedonians
in which only the head is attacked is generally
were also deliberately attacked and destroyed by
rare for Roman reliefs, but there are comparable
the Aetolians.94 The names of Macedonian kings
instances for both Domitian and Geta.
have also been erased in inscriptions from the
Athenian Agora, and the Athenians passed sanc-
tions against the monuments of Philip V of The Ptolemies
Macedon and those of his ancestors, c. 200 B.C.
Several late Ptolemaic portraits have been re-
Several fragments of a gilded bronze equestrian
worked for political reasons and stand as impor-
statue discovered in a well located in the north-
tant precursors to the altered likenesses of the
western section of the Agora in 1971 may belong
Roman imperial period. In particular, three rep-
to an image of Demetrius Poliorcetes, one of
resentations of Ptolemy IX (116-107, 88-80 B.C.)
Philip V’s most famous ancestors, destroyed
appear to have been remodeled from portraits of
during the Athenian demonstrations and sanc-
his younger brother and successor Ptolemy X
tions of 200 B.C.95 The Agora well had been used
(107-88) when the former regained control of
as a dump Like the Romans, the Athenians de-
Egypt in 88 B.C.99 Iustinus also records the de-
stroyed the dwelling places of those convicted of
struction of images of Ptolemy X by the Alex-
crimes agains the polis, a process known as
andrians.100 A head in Boston which initially
depicted Ptolemy X Alexander I Physkon has
At Syracuse, after the expulsion of Dionysus
been transformed into a portrait of his elder
II, Timolean encouraged the inhabitants of the
brother Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyros by
city to demolish Dionysus’s citadel, as well as
recarving the eyes and mouth and refashioning
other monuments honoring Dionysus and his
the hair and beard with stucco additions.101 The
predecessors. Plutarch closely associates the de-
general proportions of the facial features have
struction of these works of art and architecture
also been slimmed down from the original rep-
commemorating Dionysus with the charges of
resentation of Ptolemy X, whose nickname
tyranny leveled against him; in order to under-
Physkon, refers to his corpulence. The reworked
score the symbolic intent of the destruction,
image may also have been completed with an
Timolean built law courts on the site of the
eagle headdress which would have linked Ptolemy
obliterated monuments, as an architectural em-
IX, whose epithet was Soter, to the founder of
bodiment of the triumph of justice over tyranny.97
An early fourth century B.C. Greco-Persian
sarcophagus discovered at Çan may also present 98 See N. Sevinç, et al (2001).
99 Late Ptolemaic portraits are notoriously difficult to
identify, but circumstantial evidence based on representa-
94 4.62.1-2; M. Donderer (1991-2) 271, no. 3; A.F. tions preserved on sealings from Edfu and Nea Paphos
Stewart notes that this deliberate destruction of images is suggests that Ptolemy IX and X can be differentiated on
an attempt to obliterate “Macedonian historical conscious- the basis of their facial features, the former usually appear-
ness,” (1993) 25. ing with a distinctive underchin beard and with slimmer
95 J.M. Camp (1986) 164-5, fig. 138; C. Housere (1987) facial features than his younger brother, see R.R.R. Smith
255-81, figs. 16.1-6; P. Green (1990) 307; M. Donderer (1988a) 95-7.
(1991-92) 267, no. 1. 100 38.8.12; M. Donderer (1991-2) 273-4, no. 274.
96 W.R. Connor (1985) 79-102. 101 Museum of Fine Arts inv. 59.51, h. 0.46 m.; R.R.R.
97 Plut. Tim. 22.2-3; 23.7; Dion.Hal. Chron 37.20f ; M. Smith (1988a) 167, no. 57, pl. 39.1-2 (with earlier litera-
Donderer (1991-2) 272, nos. 9, 12. ture).
16 chapter one

the dynasty Ptolemy I Soter.102 A portrait in the commemorative portraiture is probably anach-
Getty of Ptolemy IX exhibits similar signs of ronistic for early fifth century Rome, the office
reworking (fig. 1).103 The eyes and mouth have of censor had not yet been established in 485, and
been recut. Like the Boston likeness, the portrait’s the temple of Tellus itself was not dedicated until
overall volume has been reduced. The neck pre- 268.106 Nevertheless, this anecdote is particularly
serves clear evidence of having been cut down revealing because it indicates that Pliny and the
and the area below the right ear has been cut contemporary audiences for whom he was writ-
back, perhaps to facilitate the addition of another ing, familiar with the damnationes of Gn. Cal-
eagle headdress to the altered image. Chisel purnius Piso Pater, Livilla, Caligula, Messalina,
marks are also clearly visible at the back of the Nero, and others earlier in the century, expected
head along a large flat area, perhaps also for such a direct link between attempted tyranny,
securing added headgeart, or, alternatively, for condemnation, and the destruction of portraits.
repairs in stucco or marble to damage suffered It also underscores the traditional, Republican
during Ptolemy X’s overthrow. The head has precedents ascribed to the negation of images in
been broken from a statue whose drapery is the imperial period. Other early Republican
visible at the left of the neck. A third portrait of manifestations of damnatio assigned to the fifth and
Ptolemy IX in Stuttgart, discovered at Athribis, fourth centuries document the razing of houses
also appears to have been modified from a like- of condemned individuals, including domås be-
ness of Ptolemy X.104 The recutting of these longing to the same Spurius Cassius, Spurius
images predicts the reworking of Roman marble Maelius, Marius Manlius Capitolinus, and
portraits, although stucco additions are a rela- Marius Vitruvius Vaccus.107 Later, the houses of
tively rare form of alteration in the Roman pe- M. Fulvius Flaccus, a follower of the Gracchi and
riod. Lucius Saturninus were similarly destroyed.108
Flaccus’s house, which stood on the Palatine, was
replaced by a portico constructed by Q. Lutatius
The Roman Republic
Catullus, further canceling Flaccus’s memory.109
The first recorded example of the destruction of The destruction of Cicero’s house on the Palatine
a Roman honorific monument as a result of ordered by Clodius and the partial demolition of
damnatio occurs in Pliny the Elder: a bronze statue his villas at Tusculum and Formia can also be
of Spurius Cassius Vecellinus erected in front of viewed as Republican expressions of architectural
the Temple of Tellus was melted down by order damnatio memoriae.110 The demolition of houses,
of the censors after his condemnation for at-
tempted tyranny in 485 B.C.105 The historical
veracity of Pliny’s account is called into question 106 T. Hölscher (1994) 32; for anachronistic elements

by three important inaccuracies: namely, true 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

102 On the reworking of portraits of Ptolemy IX and X (Marius Manlius Capitolinus), 8.20.8 (Marius Vitruvius
and the putative eagle headdress, see R.R.R. Smith (1986) Vaccus); T.P. Wiseman (1987) 394 and n. 3; K. Mustakallio
74-8. (1994) 39-64; J. Bodel (1997) 7-9; C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000)
103 83.AA.330, h. 0.34 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 167, 100, 102, 105-6.
no. 59, pl. 40.1-2 (with earlier literature). 108 Cic. 1.138, Dom 102, 114; Val. Max. 6.3.1c;
104 Würtembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. SS.17, h. T.P. Wiseman (1987) 393; J. Bodel (1997) 7-8.
0.233 m; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 96, n. 65 (with earlier lit- 109 Cic. Dom. 102; 114 (ut eius qui perniciosa rei publicae

erature); S. Walker and P Higgs, eds. (2000) 81, no. 1.74, consilia cepisset omnis memoria funditus ex oculis hominm ac mentibus
with fig., (with earlier literature). tolleretur [so that every memory of him who had conceived
105 NH 34.30. eam vero, quam apud aedem Telluris statuisset treacherous plots against the Republic should be entirely
sibi Sp. Cassius, qui regnum adfectaverat, etiam conflatam a abolishted); Val. Max. 6.3.1 c; T. Hölscher (1994) 57; J.
censoribus. See also T. Hölscher (1994) 32 and n. 98. For Bodel (1997) ms. 5..
further discussion of Spurius Cassius, see K. Mustakallio 110 Cic. Dom. 62; Red.Sen 18; Att 4.2.5, 7); J. Bodel (1997)

(1994) 30-38, and B. Spaeth (1996) 71-3. 9.

developments, implications, and precedents 17

even those belonging to condemned individuals it might normally have appeared.115 It is also
outside the imperial family, continued in the early notable that the Senate’s decree concerning the
empire, as attested by the partial destruction of penalties enacted against Piso’s memory and
a house or houses belonging to Gn. Calpurnius images survives in several copies.116 Similar pro-
Piso pater under Tiberius as decreed by the hibitions had been passed against the appearance
Senate and the surviving remains of a domus on of imagines of M. Scribonius Libo Drusus, after
the Caelian destroyed under Nero and likely his condemnation for treason in A.D. 16 and
belonging to G. Calpurnius Piso, condemned in slightly later against G. Silius A. Caecina Largus
A.D. 65 for conspiring against the emperor.111 in A.D. 24.117 Libo’s condemnation also included
The Roman aristocratic domus functioned as a the declaration of public rejoicing on the anni-
semi-public monument to the achievements and versary of his death.118 Sanctions against the
social prestige of its owners, and as a result is portraits and imagines of the tyrannicides Brutus
closely bound up with the memoria and fama of its and Cassius continued in the early imperial pe-
inhabitants.112 It is not surprising then that the riod, as attested in Tacitus’s description of the
house as monument would be a primary target funeral of Junia Tertulla in A.D. 22 which was
included in the sanctions associated with damnatio remarkable for their conspicuously absent like-
memoriae. This emphasis on the cancellation of nesses.119 Later, under Nero, Cassius Longinus
memory and reputation sharply differentiates the was prosecuted for displaying an image of his
Roman practice of house razing from the Greek ancestor, Cassius the Tyrannicide.120 This is
practice, 6"J"F6"NZ , which, as noted earlier,
115 Utiq(ue) statuae et imagines Cn. Pisonis patris, quae ubiq(ue)
seems motivated more by the desire to remove
a polluted dwelling from the polis.113 positae essent, tollerentur .... neue imaginibus familiae Calpurniae
imago eius interponeretur (the statues and portraits of Cn. Piso,
Although it dates to the reign of Tiberius, the the father, should be removed wherever they have been
senatorial decree of A.D. 20 concerning the erected .... nor should his mask be placed among the other
damnatio of Gn. Calpurnius Piso pater which sur- masks of the Calpurnian family); 73-80. The phrase quae
ubique positae essent is presumably meant to stress the fact
vives in six (or seven) bronze inscriptions from that Piso’s images are to be removed from both public and
Spain, provides important evidence for the treat- private spaces. The Senate also enacted sanctions against
ment of the images of condemned individuals and Piso’s name and ordered his son to change is name from
Gnaeus (he seems to have adopted Lucius instead). It was
likely reflects established republican practices.114 also proposed that Piso’s name be erased from the public
Piso, implicated in the death of Germanicus at records (fasti), but this penalty was vetoed by Tiberius and
Antioch in A.D. 19, was accused of maiestas and not carried out; Tac. Ann. 3.17; see also H.I. Flower (1996)
28, and n. 45; H. Flower (1998) 160-61.
committed suicide in A.D. 20. In addition to the 116 H. Flower makes an important distinction between

partial demolition of his domus, the senate ex- Gn. Piso’s condemnation, which actually preserved the
pressly ordered the removal of his portraits, prestige of his family and descendants, and the much more
punitive sanctions against defeated political rivals, which
wherever they may have been erected and for- is the norm for condemned emperors. Flower points out
bade the display of his imago in any funerals where 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
111 For Gn. Calpurnius Piso, see J. Bodel (1997) ms. 9;
against Libo’s name and future Scribonii were forbidden
H. Flower (1998) 169-70. These sanctions only targeted the use of the cognomen Drusus. For Silius, see Tac.
additions made by Gn. Calpurnius Piso to the propery. On Ann.11.35. See also H. Flower (1998) 170-71.
the destruction of the Caelian domus and its likely associa- 118 II ad Ides of September; C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000)
tion with G. Calpurnius Piso, see V. Santa Maria Scrinari 107.
(1997) 9. 119 Ann. 3.76. There is some ambiguity as to the treat-
112 T.P. Wiseman (1987) 393-413; B. Bergmann (1994)
ment of Brutus and Cassius’s images under Augustus and
225-56; J. Bodel (1997). he may have permitted display of their portraits, despite
113 W.R. Connor (1985) 79-102.
sanctions; see Tac.Ann. 4. 35; Plut. Comp. Brutus and Dio 5;
114 M. Kajava (1995) 201-10; W. Eck, A. Caballos, and
C.W. Hedrick (2000) 111, 126.
F. Fernandez, eds (1996); H. Flower (1996) 23-28; H. 120 Suet. Nero 37.1; Tac. Ann. 16.7; H. Flower (1996)

Flower (1998) 158-82. 317, no. T81.

18 chapter one

supported by Dio who claims that in an earlier victories on the Capitoline were destroyed.125
period, possession of a portrait of Cassius had Furthermore, Sulla banned the display of any
been a capital offence.121 However, by the imagines of Marius,126 as well as imagines belonging
principate of Trajan, sanctions appear to have no to partisans of Marius who had been condemned
longer been in force against the portraits of both as hostes.127 The first instance of numismatic
Cassius and Brutus.122 damnatio also occurs under Sulla when he restrikes
The desecration of corpses as acts of poena post (countermarks) coins issued under Marius.128
mortem is also attested in the Republican period. Marius’s memory was subsequently rehabilitated
Important examples include Antonius’s insistence and the Capitoline trophies which included his
that Cicero’s head and hands be cut off and then portrait were restored and reinstalled by Julius
draped over the ship’s beaks of the Rostra in the Caesar in 65 B.C.129
Forum Romanum, or Octavian’s order’s that the
head of Brutus be sent from Philippi to Rome and
Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII
thrown at the feet of a portrait statue of Julius
Caesar.123 Likenesses of Marcus Antonius were produced
and widely disseminated after Caesar’s assassina-
tion on 15 March 44 B.C. and especially during
Marius and Sulla
his struggle for supremacy in the Mediterranean
Images played a crucial role in the civil war which with Octavian. Indeed, P. Zanker has demon-
Marius and Sulla waged at the beginning of the strated how the two rivals waged a virtual war
first century B.C. During the ascendancy of of images.130 Representations of Antonius are
Marius, Sulla was declared a hostis and his house preserved on coins and depict him with a full
and possessions destroyed during his campaign head of hair, fleshy face, prominent hooked nose,
against Mithradates. It is at this time, as well, that and thick neck. Nevertheless, no sculpted like-
the monument put up by the Numidian King nesses can be identified with certainty as a result
Bocchus in honor of Sulla’s Iugurthine victories of the removal and destruction of his portraits
may have been deliberately damaged. 124 The following the defeat at Actium in 31 B.C. and his
faces of the Victories flanking a shield have been subsequent suicide in 30. Three portraits from
chiseled from the reliefs. The symbolic intent is Egypt, all with a similar coiffure are the best
clear: by mutilating the victory figures, Sulla’s candidates as possible representations of Antonius
military accomplishments are denigrated and and if they do depict him, they are likely to have
invalidated. When Sulla regained power (after the been removed from public display and ware-
death of Marius), Marius’s portrait statues were housed.131 Antonius had been declared a public
pulled down and trophies commemorating his

125HN 34.20.32; T Hölscher (1994) 50-55.

12162.27.2. 126 Plut. Caes. 5; H. Flower (1996) 68.
122 Plin. Ep. 1.17.3. Although C.W. Hedrick interprets 127 Plut. Caes. 5; H. Flower (1996) 123. The proscribed

the passages relating to the portraits of Cassius and Brutus imagines were exhibited again at the funeral of Caesar’s aunt
as reflecting the lack of uniform practices associated with Julia, the widow of Marius, in 69 B.C.
condemnations, Pliny’s intent seems to be that it is now 128 K. Harl (1996) 35; C. W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 274,

possible to display their images, precisely because any n. 24.

sanctions have been rescinded or are not enforced under 129 Plut. Caes. 6.1-5. For the inclusion of a portrait of

the more enlightened rule of Trajan, (2000) 101, 275, n. Marius in the resurrected monument: ¦46`<"H...9"D\@L...
36. ñH •<JÂ BV<JT< –>4@H gÇ0 Ò •<¬D J0yH 9"D\@L FL((g<\"H.
123 Cicero: Plut. Cic. 48.6; 49.2, Brutus: Suet. Aug. 13.1; 130( 1987) 33-78.

D.G. Kyle (1998) 132. 131 All three portraits have a similar arrangement of
124 Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Braccio Nuovo locks over the forehead: limestone statue, Cairo, Egyptian
2750; T. Hölscher (1994) 71; S. Nodelman (1987) 83-84; Museum, inv. JE 42891; a marble head in Alexandria,
T. Hölscher in Kaiser Augustus und die verlorene Republik (Ber- Société archéologique d’Alexandrie; and a basalt pharaonic
lin 1988) 384-6, no. 214 (with fig.). statuette, Cairo, Egyptian Museum, inv. 13/3/15/3; G.
developments, implications, and precedents 19

enemy of Rome (hosti iudicato) 132 and Plutarch consuls which decorated the interior bay of
specifically states that Octavian, on entering Alex- Augustus’s Actian arch in the Forum Roma-
andria, had Antonius’s statues pulled down.133 num.136 By 19 B.C., however, when the Actian
Furthermore, both Plutarch and Dio confirm that Arch was replaced by a tripled bayed arch com-
the Senate in Rome ordered Antony’s monu- memorating the return of the Parthian standards,
ments to be effaced or dismantled, his birthday Antonius’s name is reinstated in the new list of
to be declared a dies nefastus, and his descendants triumphatores.137 The rehabilitation of Antonius’s
to be forbidden the use of the praenomen memory is continued under his direct descen-
Marcus.134 His birthday was further considered dants, Caligula and Claudius.138 Antonius’s res-
ill-omened (vitiosus).135 The destruction of Anto- toration prefigures the rehabilitation of the
nius’s images provides important precedents for memory of Commodus under Septimius Severus
the treatment of representations of overthrown or that of Nero in the 4th and 5th centuries A.C.
emperors and political rivals in the imperial As Antonius’s consort and ally, it is Cleopatra
period. against whom Octavian technically waged war.
Antonius’s memory and reputation did how- Both Dio and Plutarch indicate that Cleopatra
ever undergo rehabilitation. This process was was also declared a hostis, and if so, she is the only
begun under Augustus himself. Although ar- woman for whom there is historical evidence of
chaeological evidence for Augustus’s arches in the a proclamation as an official enemy of the Ro-
Forum Romanum is extremely complicated, it man state.139 Indeed, there is a conscious at-
appears that, as part of the damnatio, Antonius’s tempt made on the part of Octavian and his
name was deliberately omitted from the list of supporters to portray the civil conflict against An-
tonius as a struggle between Rome and a foreign
power, Egypt. Nevertheless, there is no evidence
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 136 R.A. Gurval reviews the rather sparse numismatic,

coiffures of the basalt portrait in Cairo and the Alexandria archaeological, and literary evidence for the Actian arch
head are not different enough to support Grimm’s asser- and notes that it is possible that the predecessor to the
tion that they represent two distinct portrait types: type A, Parthian arch in fact celebrated Augustus’ victory over
Antonius as Triumvir and type B, Antonius as “sole ruler” Sextus Pompey at Naulochus in 36 B.C., (1995) 36-47, as
in the east, respectively. The basalt statuette has also been earlier proposed by F. Coarelli (1985) 258-308. However,
associated with Augustus, Z. Kiss (1984) 31-2, figs. 25-6. the evidence of the omission of Antony’s name in the list
R.R.R. Smith has more cautiously identified the limestone of consuls, which seems to have been part of the earlier
statue in Cairo as simply representing a late Ptolemy arch, would favor an identification of the earlier arch as a
(1988a) 168 no.61, pl. 41. Three other portraits often as- commemoration of the victory at Actium rather than
sociated with Antonius (Kingston Lacy, the Banks Collec- Naulochus, see A. Degrassi (1945-6) 96-7; A. Degrassi
tion; Brooklyn, Museum of Art, 54.51, and Budapest, (1947) 133-5, 47 B.C., 42 B.C., 37 B.C.; E. Nedergard in
Museum of Fine Arts, 4807) all have divergent hairstyles E.M. Steinby, ed. (1993) 80-85 (with earlier literature).
and physiognomies, nor do they have strong similarites with 137 A. Degrassi (1947) 86-7, 40 B.C. Tac.Ann. 3.18 in-

the three Egyptian images; as a result, they are likely to dicates that Antony’s name was visible under Tiberius,
represent private individuals, see S. Walker and P. Higgs, further evidence of the rehabilitation. The idea of recon-
eds. (2001) 241, no. 261, 243, no. 263, 254-5, no. 277. ciliation and the rehabilitation of Antonius’s memory is also
132 Suet. Aug. 17.2. present in the Ara Pacis. The Apolline and Bacchic ele-
133 Ant. 86.5. ments of its acanthus leaf scrollwork can even be read as
134 Cic.49.4: ¦Nz @Þ JVH Jz gÆ6`<"H º $@L8¬ 6"2gÃ8g< a kind of numen mixtum reconciling Apollo, the patron de-
z!<JT<\@L 6"Â J•H –88"H ²6bDTFg J4:VH 6"Â BD@FgR0N\F"J@ ity of Augustus and Bacchus, with whom Antony was of-
:0*g<Â Jä< z!<JT<\T< Ð<@:" 9VD6@< gÉ<"4; Dio 51.19.3; ten identified. On the scrollwork see J. Pollini (1993a) 181-
see also D.G. Kyle (1998) 234, n. 47. On the erasure of 217 and D. Castriota (1995).
Antonius’s name, see Plut. Cic. 49.4; Dio 51.19.3; F. 138 Suet. Cal. 23.1; Claud.11.5; Dio 59.20.1 and A.

Vittinghoff (1936) 21 and. M. Kajava (1994) 201; see also Barrett, Caligula 218..
C.W. Hedrick (2000) 104. 139 Dio 50.4.4 (*¥ 58g@BVJD‘ JÎ< B`8g:@<); Plut. Ant 60.1
135 Fasti Verulani, Caeretaini, Maffaeiani, Praenestini, and (R0N\>gJ"4 58g@BVJD‘ B@8g:gÃ<). In the Octavia Nero calls
Appiani minores; Dio 51.19.3; H. Flower (1998) 171, and n. for his wife to be treated as a hostis, which prompts the
101; see also II 13.3 ad 14 January and ad Kalends of praefect to whom he is talking to respond by wondering if
August and C.W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 107. a woman can really be a hostis 865-6.
20 chapter one

to suggest that Cleopatra’s images were system- alliance with Antonius and conflicts with Oc-
atically destroyed or removed after her suicide. tavian or after the Battle of Actium. Both Appian
In the same passage where Plutarch records the and Dio mention the gilded bronze portrait of
destruction of Antonius’s portraits at Alexandria, Cleopatra which Julius Caesar placed in the
he also indicates that Octavian accepted 2000 Temple of Venus Genetrix, and Dio’s account
talents from Archibius in order that Cleopatra’s indicates that the statue was still in situ in the
images should not be pulled down. Three sculpt- early 3rd century.145 The statue was apparently
ed portraits of Cleopatra have survived in the not removed after Actium, just as her images
Vatican,140 Berlin,141 and Cherchel.142 The Va- were not destroyed at Alexandria. The site of this
tican portrait was reportedly discovered in 1784 portrait in the Temple of Venus Genetrix and its
at the Villa of the Quintilii on the Via Appia. It strong associations with Divus Iulius may have
may have been carved during her sojourn in insured its survival. M. Flory has further sug-
Rome with Julius Caesar between 46-44 B.C. and gested that Octavian may have added portraits
then eventually incorporated into the extensive of Octavia and Livia to the temple in order to
sculptural display at the Villa.143 The Berlin deliberately contrast his wife and sister’s romanitas
portrait is also likely to have come from the and moral virtue with Cleopatra’s foreignness and
environs of Rome, perhaps in the vicinity of perceived moral laxity; thus the three statues
Ariccia or Genzano, and it too may have been together would have acted as an exempla of
created between 46-44.144 In any event, it is ex- correct versus incorrect female behavior, as valid
tremely unlikely that new images of Cleopatra after Actium as before.146 Posthumous images of
would have been created in Rome during her Cleopatra do seem to have been produced as
evidenced by the Cherchel portrait whose anach-
ronistic pin curls framing the face find close
140 Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 3851, h 0.39 m; correspondences in Julio-Claudian coiffures and
R.R.R. Smith (1988a) S. Walker and P. Higgs, eds. (2000) suggest that the likeness was produced in the
157-8, no. III.2, with figs. (with earlier literature). second quarter of the first century A.C. The
141Antiken Museen, 1976.10, h. 0.27 m.; R.R.R. Smith

(1988a) S. Walker and P. Higgs (2000) 159, no. III.4, with portrait comes from Iol Caesarea, the capital of
figs. (with earlier literature). Roman Mauretania, and may have been com-
142 Museum, S 66 (31); h. 0.31 m.; R.R.R. Smith
missioned by Cleopatra’s grandson, Ptolemy, the
(1988a) ; S. Walker and P. Higgs (2000) 158, no. III.3, with
fig. (with earlier literature).
last king of Mauretania (r. A.D. 23-40).
143 The portrait has also been attributed to the “Tomba

di Nerone” near the via Cassia. For the most recent attri-
bution to the Villa dei Quinitllii, see S. Walker and P. Higgs
145 App. BC 2.102; Dio 51.22.3
(2000) 147, 157, no. III.2.
144 S. Walker and P. Higgs, eds. (2000) 159. 146 (1993) 295-6; see also S. Wood (1999) 32.
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 21



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

1 Suet.Cal.8.1; Fasti Vallenses; Fasti Pighiani; Dio.59.6.1; 6 Suet. Claud. 11.3.

and A. Barrett (1989) 6-7, n. 9 with discussion of conflict- 7 Dio 60.4.5.
ing evidence for Caligula’s birthplace. 8 Suet. Claud. 11.3.
2 A. Barrett (1989) 50-71. 9 Initially the corpse was only partially cremated and
3 Suet. Calig. 59; Dio 49.29.7; the murders of Caeso- then hastily buried. Caligula’s spirit was reported to have
nia and Drusilla may have occurred slightly after that of haunted the Esquiline gardens and the palace on the Pa-
Caligula, Jos. AJ. 19.190-200. See also J. Scheid (1984) 180, latine until Caligula’s two surviving sisters, Agrippina Minor
184. and Julia Livilla completed the cremation and properly in-
4 59.27.7 (6"\ J4<gH 6"Â Jä< F"D6ä< "ÛJ@Ø ¦(gbF"<J@). terred the remains, Suet. Calig. 59; see also S.R.F. Price
5 Suet. Claud. 11.3; Dio 60.4.5-6; On Caligula’s unof- (1987) 76.
ficial damnatio, see F. Vittinghoff (1936) 102; J. Bleicken 10 See J. Linderski (1988) 191.

(1962) 104-105; J.P. Rollin (1979) 165; H. Jucker (1982) 11 Suet. Calig. 60. Clearly, many of the temples referred

110; A. Barrett (1989)177. There is no evidence that Caligu- to were dedicated to Augustus, underscoring the depth of
la was declared a hostis, as stated by E. Angelicoussis (1992) feeling against the Julio-Claudians among the senatorial
57, no. 24. aristocracy. See also Joseph. AJ 19.173, 187.
22 chapter two

segments of the Roman populace, most notably the mirror. Neither his body nor his mind were
the Praetorian Guards and the plebs. As a result, imbued with health.12
Claudius found it to be politically expedient to Suetonius’s unpleasant physical characterization
bring Caligula’s assassins to trial and execute of Caligula functions as a visual component of
them in order to appeal to lingering sentiment the author’s negative assessment of the emper-
favorable to Caligula. On the other hand, by or’s life and character, underscored by the state-
condoning an unofficial, de facto damnatio, which ment: valitudo ei neque corporis neque animi constitit.
included the removal and replacement of Caligu- As such, his depiction of the emperor is strongly
la’s portraits and the erasure of his name from influenced by ancient physiognomic theory which
inscriptions, Claudius managed to retain favor was in vogue during the second century A.C. and
with the disaffected senatorial aristocracy who therefor serves a largely rhetorical function and
had come to view Caligula as a deranged and should by no means be taken literally.13 Caligu-
dangerous despot. Despite its unofficial nature, la’s small eyes and bodily appearance denote the
Caligula’s damnatio and the resulting treatment of petty, thieving and deceitful character of the
his sculpted images established important prece- panther as well as the sensual nature of the goat
dents for the condemnation of future emperors. (further underscored in the anecdote about his
As was the case with earlier members of the Julio- sensitivity to his baldness); his pale skin is a sign
Claudian dynasty who had been condemned, of cowardice, while his wide forehead and hol-
representations of Caligula were removed from low temples are further indications of stupidity,
public display, deliberately mutilated, or altered foolishness, and madness.14 Clearly, Suetonius’s
into other likenesses, most often of Claudius or exaggeration of Caligula’s unattractive physical
Augustus. traits is intended to reflect his unwholesome spir-
itual and moral qualities.15

Caligula’s Portrait Typology

12 Cal. 50.1-2.
13 For ancient physiognomic theory see: E.C. Evans
Suetonius presents an unflattering description of
(1969); for the use of physiognomic theory in Suetonius’s
the young princeps’ physical appearance: description of the Caesars see: J. Couisson (1953) 246; D.
Wardle emphasizes that Suetonius’s description derives
Statura fuit eminenti, colore expallido, corpore enormi, from a hostile literary tradition (1994) 326. The discrep-
gracilitate maxima cervicis et crurum, oculis et temporibus ancies between the surviving sculpted and numismatic like-
concavis, fronte lata et torva, capillo raro et circa verticem nesses of Caligula, and the literary portrait provided by
nullo hirsutus cetera. Quare transeunte eo prospicere ex Suetonius continue to perplex modern scholars who wish
superiore parte aut omnino quacumque de causa capram to take Suetonius at face value. E. Bartman has pointed
nominare e criminosum et exitiale habebatur. Vultum vero out the problems inherent in giving the literary depictions
natura horridum ac taetrum etiam ex industria efferebat of Caligula primacy over the surviving visual evidence and
componens ad speculum in omnem terrorem ac formidinem. vice-versa, (1994) 341. However, Bartman herself in a
Valitudo ei neque corporis neque animi constitit. subsequent work refers to Caligula’s visual representations
as “sublimating” his unpleasant physical appearance, thus
He was of tall stature, had a pallid complexion, taking Suetonius’s description at face value (1998) 26. There
and a body disproportionately large for his slen- is also no objective evidence for Bartman’s speculation that
der neck and skinny legs. His eyes were deeply portraits of Caligula which represented him as “effeminate”
set, his temples hollow, and his forehead was wide or “divine” (and so in keeping with the literary represen-
tations) were more “offensive” and thus the first to be
and forbidding. His hair was sparse and he was destroyed (1994) 341. In fact, there is no evidence that “ef-
bald around the top of his head, although the rest feminate” portraits were ever created, and Caligula’s di-
of his body was hairy. As a result to view him vine or heroic portraits were actually reworked to repre-
from above as he went by or for any reason at sent Claudius and Augustus (cat. 1.X-X0.
all to name a goat were held as capital crimes. 14 E.C. Evans (1969) 54-55; D. Wardle (19940 323-30;

His face was frightful and loathsome by nature Psued.Arist. 812a, 812b, 808b; Pol. 182, 230, 244, 248, 254;
and he exacerbated this by practicing all man- Adamant. 377-78, 386, 392; Anon.Physig.Lat. 2.27, 2.29,
ner of terrifying and threatening expressions in 260, 2.92-4, 2.117, 2120.
15 Caligula’s literary damnatio may have additional con-
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 23

In contrast to Suetonius’s literary portrait of ondary type exists in far fewer numbers, and
Caligula, the emperor’s surviving numismatic there are no verifiable examples which have been
images present him with handsome and regular recarved, it is likely to have been introduced after
facial features including a smooth and broad the main type, probably rather late in Caligula’s
forehead, sharply delineated brows, large, deep- principate. Additionally, the secondary type por-
ly set eyes, aquiline nose with slightly bulbous tip, traits are only found in Italy, suggesting that they
well-formed mouth with receding lower lip, and had not yet been widely disseminated.21 As a
a rounded chin.16 The distinctive numismatic result, the main type is almost certainly type 1,
representations of Caligula have facilitated the and the secondary type, type 2.
identification of forty-eight sculpted and glyptic
portraits of the emperor.17 D. Boschung has
convincingly divided the surviving likenesses into The Mutilation and Destruction of Caligula’s Images
two types based on the arrangement of comma
shaped locks over the forehead.18 However Bos- The most dramatic visual evidence for the den-
chung’s criteria, which are derived from an elab- igration of Caligula’s posthumous reputation is
orate schematization of individual locks, should provided by surviving images which were delib-
be simplified, and the portraits grouped accord- erately mutilated in antiquity as a direct result
ing to the presence or absence of a central or of his condemnation. Intentional defacement of
slightly off-center part. Such a grouping essen- Caligula’s portraits constituted an effective way
tially follows Boschung’s division. The majority of visually and physically dishonoring his mem-
of Caligula’s sculpted likenesses exhibit a prin- ory and, concomitantly, expressing loyalty to the
cipal parting of the locks at the center of the new emperor, Claudius. Nevertheless, actual
forehead, or over the inner corner of the left eye, mutilation of Caligula’s images is extremely rare.
constituting Boschung’s main type (Hauptty- An under life-sized cuirassed bronze bust in a
pus).19 The locks over the temples are often Swiss private collection, a replica of the main
combed back towards the center of the forehead. type, received violent blows to the surface of the
However, in several portraits, the part is omit- face from a square hammer and the eyes have
ted, or occurs at the extreme left of the forehead; been gouged out (cat. 1.3. figs. 2a-b).22 The
in this type (Boschung’s secondary type [Neben- violent elimination of the eyes is the first surv-
typus]), most of the locks over the forehead are ing instance of an attack on the sensory organs
combed from proper left to right.20 As the sec-

only recognizes three marble replicas of this type (New

sequences. It has been suggested that Curtius, the Alexander Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, 1987.70.1; Naples,
historian is Q. Curtius Rufus (cos. A.D. 43) and that his Antiquario Flegreo, no. 68; Fossobrone, Museo), three
negative assessment of Alexander and his achievements additional marble portraits, classified as the main type by
is, in fact, a reflection on Caligula, see A. Stewart (1993) Boschung, should actually be reassigned to the Nebentypus
17. on the basis of the coiffures which are parted at the far left
16 A.E. Wardman (1967) notes that unlike Plutarch, of the forehead (Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 637a
Suetonius does not explicitly refer to visual representations inv. 2687; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14.37,
of the emperor, such as portraits, in his written physical and Worcester, Art Museum, 1914.23).
descriptions, 419. This may be because Suetonius is very 21 R. Grossman is the first scholar to have explored the

well aware that his written descriptions do not correspond typological implictions of the geographical distribution of
with the visual representations of the emperors. Caligula’s surviving portraits in a senior essay at Yale
17 Catalogued by D. Boschung (1989) University (2001) written under the supervision of D.E.E.
18 D. Boschung (1988) 31-70. Kleiner.
19 Sometimes referred to as the Schloss Fasanerie type, 22 H. .097 m.; H. Jucker (1973) 20; H. Jucker (1982)

after a well preserved replica, fig. 30. 112; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 49-50, 54-57, 91, 92,
20 Sometimes referred to as the New Haven type after 100, 115, no. 30, pls. 27.1-4, 45.1 (with previous literature);
the well-preserved replica in the Yale University Art Gal- A. Barrett (1989)178, n. 30; J. Pollini (1993) 425, and n.
lery, see D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127. Although Boschung 14; E.R. Varner (2001b) 47.
24 chapter two

in imperial portraits and the practice would have the initial C obliterated.28 Chisels, hammers,
become common in deliberately disfigured im- and files were all used to mutilate the Caligulan
ages. In addition, H. Jucker has plausibly suggest- coins.29 The obliteration of Caligula’s praenom-
ed that a marble fragment in Aquileia compris- en on coins must be related to one of the earli-
ing a chin and mouth is derived from an over est legal sanctions which would have been includ-
life-sized portrait of Caligula which was broken ed in a damnatio memoriae, namely the prohibition
apart with a hammer following the emperor’s against a family’s continued use of the con-
death (cat. 1.1; fig. 3).23 Similarly, the upper demned individual’s praenomen. Coins were
section of a colossal head with corona civica from expressive and tangible monuments of Caligula’s
Saguntum in Spain may be derived from a van- policies and propaganda; their random destruc-
dalized representation of Caligula (cat. 1.2).24 tion and mutilation effectively denigrated his
This head was discovered in the forum and pro- memory and could be carried out by private
vides evidence for the destruction of Caligula’s persons or soldiers not necessarily acting with a
public images in the western provinces. mandate from the Senate or princeps. Although
Evidence for the mutilation of Caligula’s like- Caligulan coins appear to have remained in cir-
nesses is limited to these three portraits and sug- culation, they were closely connected in the
gests that such mutilation resulted from sponta- popular consciousness with the disgraced repu-
neous demonstrations against his memory, as tation of the overthrown princeps and the bronze
opposed to officially sponsored sanctions. Cassius issues were considered worthless.30
Dio records such spontaneous demonstrations Caligula’s coins also suffered official forms of
occurring in the chaos which erupted immedi- defacement. On a series of Caligula’s Vesta aes
ately after Caligula’s assassination when some of coinage, the countermark TICA (Tiberius Clau-
the emperor’s statues were overthrown and dius Augustus) has been used to obliterate the
dragged from their pedestals (•<*D4V<JgH Jg "ÛJ@Ø inscription C CAESAR. In some instances, coun-
6"Â gÆ6`<gH ¦FbD@<J@).25 In addition, the major- termarks obliterate and cancel the emperor’s
ity of Caligula’s portraits in gold, silver, or bronze facial features.31 A. Barrett has proposed that
would have been melted down for their metal these countermarked coins were used to pay the
content, effectively combining destruction with soldiers stationed on the Rhine and that the
reuse. countermarks acted as assertions of Claudius’s
Certain Caligulan coins have also been delib- new and legitimate authority.32 If Barrett is cor-
erately defaced, often with the C for Gaius be- rect, it signals that the army is an important
ing hacked out.26 Caligula’s portrait features have audience for the mutilation and destruction of
been intentionally mutilated in aes coinage from
lower Germany,27 while, according to H. Juck-
er, approximately 9.5% of certain Caligulan types 28 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 car-
pentum). H. Jucker (1982) 117. Based on Jucker’s individu-
23 Aquilea, Museo Archeologico, inv. 128; h. .012 m.; al breakdown of the types with 410 total coins vs. 39 dam-
H. Jucker (1982) 111, pl. 15.1-2; D. Boschung (1989) 120, aged coins.
no. 49, pl. 39.5-6 (with previous literature); E.R. Varner 29H. Jucker (1982) 117.

(2001) 48. 30 plus minus asse Gaiano, Stat. Silv. 4.9.22; K. Coleman
24 Museo Arqueológico. (1988) 230. A. Bay has even suggested that the aes coinage
25 59.30.1a. A. Barrett sees this as a “limited and spon- which was technically issued by the Senate and prominently
taneous” action on the part of the conspirators, probably displayed SC on the reverses was particularly targeted
taking place on the Palatine (1989) 178, n. 28. because the Senate did not want to be associated in any
26 E. Jonas (1936-38) 89-91; H. Hinz, W. Hagen, and way with Caligula’s memory, (1972) 122.
D. Haupt (1966) 580 for an as from 37/38 minted at Rome 31 New York, American Numismatic Society, inv.

with most of Caligula’s name removed; Jucker (1982) 114- 1953.171.1082; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 108-109, cat. 11.
8; A. Barrett (1989)180, n. 45. 32 A. Barrett (1989)179, n. 42, (with previous literature
27 H. Chantraine (1968) 22; K. Coleman (1988) 230. on the coins).
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 25

monuments from the outset of imperial damna- dition to preserving a costly piece of marble,
tiones. In a more sweeping condemnation of recutting was a way of visually cannibalizing
Caligula’s memory, the Senate also ordered in images of the overthrown Caligula and physically
A.D. 43 that his bronze coins be recalled and displacing them with representations of his suc-
melted down.33 This act seems to have been lim- cessor Claudius, or his revered predecessor,
ited to the mint at Rome, but the two years which Augustus. Refashioned likenesses of Caligula
intervened between Caligula’s death in 41 and provide the first large body of evidence for the
the passing of the Senate’s decree in 43 highlight recarving of imperial portraits. This practice
the lingering hatred that the senatorial aristoc- would become the standard approach to images
racy still bore towards the memory of Caligula.34 of the other two emperors condemned later in
Furthermore, it indicates that there was, in fact, the first century, Nero and Domitian. Indisput-
an official aspect to his condemnation, although ably, the unofficial damnatio of Caligula supplied
not enacted immediately after his death. The the impetus for the development of techniques
dearth of small bronze coinage in the provinces of recarving. In addition to the technical ramifi-
may also be attributed to an effective numismatic cations for sculptural production and modifica-
damnatio.35 On the other hand, local mints in Gaul tion, the recutting of Caligula’s portraits also
seem to have continued to mint aes coinage with significantly influenced the style and iconography
Caligula’s portrait perhaps as late as A.D. 43, a of Claudius’s public representations. Indeed,
significant example of the widely varying respons- recut images stand as prominent visual markers
es to, and even acceptance of, Caligula’s condem- for periods of political transition in the first cen-
nation on the part of local municipalities.36 In tury.
general, however, the scarcity of Caligulan coins A majority of Caligula’s recut portraits have
in hoards, of both base and precious metals, been refashioned into likenesses of Claudius.
indicates some kind of official de-monetization.37 Reworking marble portraits of the youthful
Caligula into convincing representations of his
middle-aged uncle, Claudius posed numerous
The Transformation of Caligula’s Images 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
The great number of recut images of Caligula marble as it ages mandated that the sculptors
confirms that reworking, rather than intentional responsible for recutting heads had to take spe-
mutilation, was the preferred approach to the cial care when handling protruding elements like
emperor’s sculpted likenesses once they had been noses and ears. The representations of Claudius
removed from public display. Indeed, well over reworked from images of Caligula can be divid-
half of Caligula’s marble portraits have been ed into two categories: classicizing likenesses
altered into other likenesses. Reuse was econom- which retain youthful elements of Caligula’s
ically, as well as ideologically motivated. In ad- portraits, and veristic likenesses which emphasize
Claudius’s more mature physiognomy.
33 Dio 60.22.3. Claudius’s own sculpted portraits divide into
34 A. Barrett (1989)178. two types on the basis of their coiffures.38 In the
35 RPC 698-99; A. Savio (1988)13.
36 A. Barrett (1989) 178.
most widely disseminated type (main type/haupt-
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. 38 Interpretations of Claudius’s portrait typology include

Clay: “Claudius and the Coinage of Caligula: Numismat- D. Salzmann (1976) 252-64; K. Fittschen (1977a) 55-58,
ic Damnatio Memoriae Under the Roman Empire,” (talk no. 17; H. Jucker (1981a)254-84; Fittschen-Zanker I, 16-
presented at “The Science of Numismatics” Chicago, 27 17; H.-M. von Kaenel (1986); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 129-
March 1996). 35; C.B. Rose (1997) 70-71, no. 23.
26 chapter two

typus) created during his principate, Claudius’s with the left ear now appearing considerably
generally veristic, middle-aged portrait features higher than the right.
are combined with a hairstyle which is parted In refashioning this portrait, the sculptor has
near the inner corner of the left eye. Locks at the focused on creating definitive signs of Claudius’s
edges of the forehead are often combed back age as opposed to faithfully rendering the new
towards the part, creating the pincer-like motif princeps’ hairstyle. Vertical and horizontal furrows
which is characteristic of this coiffure. An appar- on the forehead, bags beneath the eyes, sunken
ently earlier type (the so-called Kassel type), cheeks, strong naso-labial lines, and a fleshy
perhaps created during the reign of Caligula, or underchin help to make the recut portrait a re-
at the outset of Claudius’s own reign has a coif- alistic and recognizable likeness of the middle-
fure which is usually parted at the right of the aged Claudius, who was almost 51 at the time
forehead, combined with more youthful facial of his accession. The unflattering realism of the
features.39 head is entirely the result of recarving. The sculp-
Significantly, Claudius’s single most veristic tor has attempted to eliminate any lingering trac-
likeness, a replica of his main type, is a recarved es of Caligula’s facial features in an effort to
portrait of Caligula in the Palazzo dei Conser- strongly differentiate the new portrait of Clau-
vatori (cat. no. 1.31; fig. 4a-d).40 Numerous de- dius from the original. Indeed, the classicizing
tails signal the reworking of this image, includ- elements of the Caligulan likeness have been
ing the overly long neck, the receding chin which entirely subsumed in the Claudian image’s em-
has been carved back from the frontal plane of phasis on verism. The accentuated signs of ag-
the face, and, most tellingly, the remnants of ing in this portrait effectively distinguish the new
Caligula’s main type coiffure. The top and up- likeness of Claudius from the youthful visage of
per left side of the head have been roughly his overthrown predecessor, and express visual-
worked with a flat chisel in an attempt to remove ly Claudius’s political and ideological distance
traces of the original Caligulan coiffure, but from the unsuccessful regime of Caligula.
Caligula’s pattern of locks remains visible at the A second reworked representation of Claudi-
right side and rear of the head. Additionally, the us in Woburn Abbey is also noteworthy for its
locks over the forehead, although slightly cut exaggerated signs of aging and its physical anom-
back, substantially retain Caligula’s original ar- alies are similar to those of the Conservatori like-
rangement, with the part occurring over the inner ness (cat. no. 1.34; fig. 5). The top of the skull and
corner of the left eye. The long Caligulan hair forehead, which slopes sharply, are abnormally
on the nape of the neck has also been shortened. large. The face itself is unnaturally flat and does
Modifications to the coiffure have caused the not project adequately from the mass of the skull.
occiput to be overly large when seen in profile. The mouth is asymmetrical, with the left side
The ears have been recut to reduce their mass, being noticeably longer and lower than the right.
Much of Caligula’s main type hairstyle remains,
including the central part over the forehead.
39 The youthful facial features also occur on early nu-
Nevertheless, the artist has entirely refashioned
mismatic representations. C.B. Rose has proposed a third, the physiognomy, adding conspicuous furrows in
posthumous type. According to Rose, this type is charac-
terized by more emphatic signs of aging and a triangular the forehead, vertical creases above the nose,
facial structure, reminiscent of Nero’s type 2. He also sug- deep naso-labial lines, sunken cheeks, and fleshy
gests that the corona civica is a standard attribute of this type. underchin. Again, these emphatic signs of aging
However, the coiffure of this type is identical to the main
type, and it should more plausibly be considered a post- eradicate all trace of Caligula’s youthful physiog-
humous redaction of the main type, (1997) 71. Posthumous nomy and create an image of the new middle-
images of Augustus were also created which added more aged princeps which is visually distinct from those
emphatic signs of aging to the three types created during
his lifetime, see infra.
of his overthrown and condemned predecessor.
40 Formerly Braccio Nuovo, inv. 2443 (Centrale Mon- Thus, two of the most realistic images of Clau-
temartini 2.74). dius, which revive many of the features of veris-
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 27

tic portraits created in the late republican peri- in an heroic or divine fashion with a nude tor-
od, are a direct result of Caligula’s damnatio. The so.46
political implications of such a revival are clear. In addition to the recarved marble portraits
Claudius cannot have been unaware that the which accentuate realistic elements of Claudius’s
Senate had considered abolishing the memory of middle-aged appearance, a chalcedony cameo
all the Julio-Claudians and reestablishing the portrait in Vienna has been reworked with sim-
Republic after Caligula’s murder. Those images ilar results (cat. 1.33, fig. 8a-b).47 The Vienna
of Claudius which reference the topographical cameo is rare example of a reconfigured gem
realism of late republican portraiture must have portrait. Indeed, only a very few of cameos or
been designed to appeal to just those citizens who intaglios appear to have been altered as a result
had republican sympathies. The verism of cer- of condemnations. Caligula was initially repre-
tain representations of Claudius, which clearly sented, capite velato, wearing a variation of his
differentiated him from his Julio-Claudian pre- main type hairstyle which is retained in the large
decessors prefigures the revival of verism often middle row of locks over Claudius’s forehead.48
noted in portraits of Vespasian, and indeed was A corona civica now encircles Claudius’s head, but
similarly motivated. the veil of the Caligulan portrait from which the
Although they do not attain the enhanced corona has been carved is clearly visible at the
effects of verism present in the Braccio Nuovo top of the cameo. The artist who recarved this
and Woburn Abbey portraits, additional re- gem has reduced the size of the forehead by
worked examples emphasize similar indications adding a second smaller row of locks beneath
of aging in Claudius’s physiognomy: Berlin (cat. those of the original Caligulan portrait. Claudi-
no. 1.18),41 Fano (cat. 1.19, fig. 6a-c)42 and us’s age is indicated through the addition of fur-
Hannover (cat. 1.21, fig. 7a-b).43 All of the por- rows in the forehead, sunken cheeks, and very
traits are from Italy. The Fano likeness is a co- strong naso-labial lines. Like the Conservatori,
lossal statue which portrays the emperor with hip Woburn Abbey, Berlin, Fano, and Hannover
mantle in the guise of Jupiter. Although the head portraits, the Vienna chalcedony emphasizes
is worked for insertion, it appears to belong with recognizable traits of Claudius’s aged physiogno-
the body and the statue provides important ev- my rather than an orthodox Claudian hairstyle.
idence for the reuse of Caligula’s full-length The recarving of individual locks of Claudius’s
images. Furthermore, it confirms that divine coiffure may have proved impossible to carry out
representations were created for Caligula during on the small, delicate surfaces of the cameo, so
his principate and that there was no hesitation the artist has opted for a practical and workable
in reusing these images as representations of alternative.
Claudius.44 Indeed, Caligula is the first living By no means, however, are all or even a
emperor to be depicted as Jupiter in free stand- majority of Claudius’s portraits veristic. Indeed,
ing sculpture, and he appears to have introduced many of his images were created in the classiciz-
what would become the widespread practice of ing and idealizing style established by Augustus.
depicting the reigning princeps in divine guise.45 As with the veristic portraits, arguably the most
The bust in Berlin has been cut down from a full- idealizing representation of Claudius has been
length statue, which also portrayed the emperor reworked from a preexisting likeness of Caligu-
la. This portrait, a colossal head in the Sala

41 Staatliche Museen, Antiken-Abteilung, inv. 1965.10. 46 For the cutting down of the statue see D. Boschung
42 Museo Civico. (1989) 113 and H. Jucker (1981a)258-60.
43 Inv. 1978.15. 47 Kunsthistorisches Museum 18, inv. IX A 23; h. 14.5
44 A statue in Zadar reworked to Augustus provides cm.; D. Boschung (1989) 51-2, 90, 116, no. 36, sketch 29,
additional confirmation for such divine or semi-divine pl. 30.4 (with previous literature); J.J. Herrmann, jr. (1991)
depictions of Caligula, see cat. 1.15. 45.
45 C.B. Rose (1997) 74-5. 48 D. Boschung (1988) 116.
28 chapter two

Rotonda of the Vatican clearly preserves the ments of a seated figure, “di bello stile,” are noted
strong classicism and monumentality of the orig- in early accounts of the excavations.53 The orig-
inal likeness of Caligula (cat. 1.X, fig. 9a-b).49 The inal portrait statue of Caligula, together with a
head is worked for insertion and portrays the representation of Drusilla as Venus Genetirx,54
princeps wearing the corona civica. The portrait were added to a cycle of Julio-Claudian statuary,
contains numerous signs of recarving. The size likely commissioned early in the reign of Tiberi-
of the face is significantly smaller than the great us, which included an heroic statue of Augustus
mass of the hair and corona. Although most of the as Diomedes;55 a togate statue of Gaius Ceasar;56
back of the head is a restoration, when seen in a togate statue of a young Julio-Claudian prince
profile, the face bears no coherent relationship with bulla, perhaps Nero Caesar the son of Ger-
to the large size of the head. Furthermore, the manicus and brother of Caligula;57 and a statue
neck is too massive for the proportions of the face. of Livia.58 The colossal scale of the Caligula in-
Most importantly, the hairstyle of Caligula’s main dicates that it was intended as the focal point of
type, with central part, is still discernable in the this dynastic group, whose other statues are es-
upper row of curls above the added locks of sentially life-sized, or slightly over. Inscriptional
Claudius’s earlier Kassel type which now frame evidence, as well as the architectural plan of the
the forehead. Claudius’s forehead is generally edifice at Otricoli, indicate that the “basilica” was
lower and broader than that of Caligula and the likely associated with the worship of both Fortu-
artist responsible for the recarving of this portrait na Augusta and the Gens Augusta.59 Thus, the spec-
has attempted to reduce the height of the fore- ificity of the Sala Rotonda portrait to its ancient
head by adding the lower row of Claudian locks. site, its importance as the centerpiece of the stat-
The additive technique is the same as that em- uary cycle, and its association with the imperial
ployed in the refashioning of the Vienna cam- cult, in conjunction with its colossal size, dictat-
eo.50 The recarving process has also rendered the ed the image’s reconfiguration, rather than re-
features of the face decidedly asymmetrical, moval or disfigurement.60
which are even more exaggerated in the Sala The important Julio-Claudian statuary group
Rotonda head because of its colossal format.51 discovered in 1966 at the Collegium of the August-
While refashioning the image of Caligula, the ales of Rusellae also included an image of Clau-
artist also added new physiognomic elements, dius transformed from Caligula which presents
consisting of superficial signs of aging in the slight-
ly sunken cheeks and the lines around the mouth.
53 G. Dareggi (1982) 23, n. 195. H. Jucker (1981a) 267
However, the smooth forehead, sharply delineat-
posits that the portrait may have belonged to an acrolith-
ed brows, aquiline nose with somewhat bulbous ic statue.
tip, essentially unlined face, narrow chin, and 54 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Gabinetto delle Maschere,

overall air of classicizing youthfulness are derived no. 429, inv. 816; G. Dareggi (1982) 21-22, figs. 32-33 (with
directly from the portraiture of Caligula. previous literature); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 93.
55 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala a Croce Greca, n. 565,
The Sala Rotonda portrait was found in 1779 inv. 181; G. Dareggi (1982) 12-14, no. 1, fig. 19-20 (with
during the papal excavations of the basilica at previous bibliography); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl.
Otricoli where it occupied the central apse.52 The 88.
56 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala a Croce Greca, no. 597;
image was designed as a seated statue, probably inv. 199; G. Dareggi (1982) 14-16, no. 2, figs. 21-4 (with
depicting the emperor in the guise of Jupiter previous literature); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 90.
57 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Galleria dei Candelabri 4.93,
Optimus Maximus Capitolinus, and indeed, frag-
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.
No. 551, inv. 242. 58 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala dei Busti, 352, inv. 637;
Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. IX a 23, cat. 1.33. G. Dareggi (1982) 18-21, no. 4, figs. 30-31 (with previous
51 As, for instance, the colossal portrait of Maxentius literature); C.B.Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25, pl. 89.
recarved to Constantine in the Cortile of the Palazzo dei 59 G. Dareggi (1992) 12, 26.

Conservatori, cat.9.4. 60 In addition, the large scale of the head provides an

52 H. Jucker (1981a) 270; D.Boschung (1988) 113. optimum amount of marble for recutting.
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 29

compelling parallels to the Sala Rotonda head derchin, clearly visible in profile views. This re-
(Cat 1.20, fig. 10).61 Inscriptional evidence sug- cutting of the chin has caused it to recede from
gests that this group may have been initiated the frontal plane of the face, a hallmark of re-
during the reign of Augustus with substantial carved portraits. The reduction of the sculptur-
numbers of portraits added under Caligula and al volume in the head has also caused the ears,
Claudius, and perhaps a single image of Divus which have not been recut, to be overly large,
Claudius added by Nero. The Caligulan addi- as well as noticeably low on the head. The signs
tions encompassed likenesses of his father and of aging in the Vatican Magazzini head, however,
mother, Germanicus and Agrippina Maior, his are superficial, and like the colossal portrait from
brothers Nero Caesar and Drusus Caesar, his Otricoli, an idealized and youthful image of
sisters Drusilla (probably as Diva) and Julia Liv- Claudius is the end result, with crisply delineat-
illa, and his grandmother, Antonia Minor.62 One ed details and smoothly modeled surfaces. The
of the two preserved representations of Claudi- more youthful features of the Sala Rotonda and
us, with corona civica., contains clear indications Magazzini heads would have been consonant
that it has been transformed from a pre-existing with the idealized portraits of Claudius’s earliest
image of Caligula.63 Caligula’s main type coiffure, numismatic representations. The importance of
substantial traces of which remain behind the left imperial hairstyles as easily recognizable and
ear and on the right side of the neck, has been epistemological emblems of identity is under-
modified into a version of Claudius’s principal scored by the recut portraits which are endowed
type. Slight signs of aging have been added to with recognizable Claudian coiffures rather than
the portrait, including lightly carved horizontal strongly individualized portrait features.
furrows in the forehead and naso labial lines. Al- A head of Claudius inserted into a statue rep-
though not as youthful as the Sala Rotonda head, resenting the emperor in the traveling costume
the portrait has maintained much of the classi- of a Roman general, with long paludamentum
cizing style of the original likeness. and tunic, now in Aquileia is also remarkable for
Another reworked head of Claudius in the the classicizing and youthful elements still present
Vatican preserves the youthful and classicizing in the likeness (cat. 1.17; fig. 12).65 The coiffure
air of the original portrait of Caligula (cat. 1.29; has been entirely recut, and the original locks on
figs. 11a-b).64 The ends of the locks over the the top and back of the head have been chiseled
forehead have all been cut back, creating an out and not replaced. The arrangement of hair
unnatural straight line. Nevertheless, Caligula’s over the forehead is an imprecise rendition of
coiffure is still visible in this area. The recarving Claudius’s main type. Light horizontal furrows
of the face has imbued the image with some have been added to the forehead, pouches have
indications of aging appropriate for Claudius. been carved beneath the eyes, and naso-labial
The eyes have been recut to make them slightly lines indicated. Nevertheless, the crisp delinea-
sunken, and pouches of flesh have been added tion of the upper and lower eye-lids, the handling
beneath them. The temples have been more of the mouth, and the smooth surfaces of the
deeply sculpted in order to accentuate their flesh, all remnants of the original portrait of
hollow quality, while the cheeks have been made Caligula, endow the likeness with a decidedly
to sag slightly. The chin has been cut back and idealized appearance. The head is of white Luna
reduced in size in order to add a fleshy un- marble, while the body is thought to be of Greek
marble. If the original Caligulan portrait be-
61 Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Marem- longed to this body, the statue would provide
ma, inv. 97765. important evidence for the production of milita-
62 C.B. Rose (1997) 116.
63 H. Jucker (1981a) 266, n. 91; U. Baldini, M. Cristo-
ristic images of Caligula.
fani, G. Maetzke (1983) fig. 126; R. Amedick (1987) 50-
51; C.B. Rose (1997) 117-8, ns. 8, 15.
64 Magazzini, Inv. 151 65 Aquileia, Museo Archeologico, inv. 108.
30 chapter two

A portrait of Claudius as Jupiter from the dle age, but they are the only signs of aging
theater at Vaison has also been recut from an present in the image and contrast with the
image of Caligula’s main type and retains much smoothly modeled surfaces of the flesh. Likewise,
of the youthful and idealizing aspects of the orig- the Istanbul portrait contains only minimal in-
inal likeness (cat. 1.32).66 The statue is a stand- dications of aging.
ing Jupiter type with hip mantel and it provides A second reworked likeness in Istanbul retains
further important evidence for the dissemination many of the characteristics of the original rep-
of images of Caligula in the guise of Jupiter with resentation of Caligula (cat. 1.23).72 This togate
corona civica. The Vaison statue is carved from a statue exhibits the central part of Caligula’s main
single block of marble, and its recutting has type coiffure. The hair at the back of the neck
caused the corona to be much to large in propor- has been shortened and the lower sections of the
tion to the head, while the head itself is also too face substantially recut with the result that the
small in relation to the body. Claudius is repre- chin recedes noticeably and the head appears
sented with his earlier coiffure and youthful unnaturally wide in profile. Nevertheless, the
physiognomy, suggesting that the image was reworking is rather perfunctory and the result-
reworked shortly after his accession. ing image of Claudius is fairly generic.
Numerous other representations of Claudius
which have been refashioned from images of
Caligula retain strong elements of youthful ide-
alization from the original likeness. Among these Recutting images of Caligula into youthful and
are portraits in the Louvre (cat. 1.26),67 Mantua classicizing representations of Rome’s first em-
(cat. 1.24; fig. 13),68 Naples (cat. 1.25; fig. 14),69 peror Augustus did not present the same techni-
Perugia (cat. 1.28; fig. 15a-d),70 and Istanbul (cat. cal difficulties as those inherent in reworking
1.22; fig. 16a-b).71 In the Louvre portrait, rem- portraits to Claudius. This fact, coupled with the
nants of Caligula’s locks are clearly visible be- continued popularity and importance of Augus-
neath the Claudian coiffure over the forehead. tus as divus accounts for the great number of
Shallow naso-labial lines, light furrows in the Caligulan portraits which have been altered into
forehead, and the suggestion of pouches beneath likenesses of Augustus. And in fact, thirteen of
the eyes added to the likeness give only the faint- these portraits have survived.73
est impression of middle age, and the recut im- While the recut coiffures are primarily of
age maintains the classicism of the original rep- Augustus’s most common Prima Porta type, one
resentation of Caligula. Similarly, cursory signs example of the later Forbes type is also repre-
of aging have been added to the Mantua likeness. sented.74 In most of the portraits, the size of the
The coiffure of the Naples portrait has also been
recut, and the Caligulan locks on the top and
72 Archaeological Museum, inv. 4648.
back of the head have been removed with a flat 73 D. Boschung (1993a) only recognizes six portraits of
chisel and not replaced. Despite the fact that Augustus which are recut from images of Caligula (1993a)
superficial signs of aging have been added to the 79-80, an additional seven exhibit clear indications that they
head, including pouches beneath the eyes and also have been reworked from likenesses of Caligula, see
cat. 1.4-15.
naso-labial lines, the resulting likeness is youth- 74 Copenhagen 611, inv. 746. D. Boschung has pro-
ful. Emphatic naso-labial lines in the Perugia posed a new portrait typology for Augustus which recog-
portrait are intended to convey Claudius’s mid- nizes five types: 1) Typus Béziers-Spoleto, 2) Typus Lucus
Feroniae 3.) Typus Alcuida (essentially the type earlier iden-
tified as the Actium or Octavian type, 4) Typus Louvre MA
66 Musée Municipal, inv. 128 B. 1280 (essentially the type earlier identified as the Forbes
67 MA 1219. type, and 5) Typus Prima Porta, (1993) 11-50. The por-
68 Palazzo Ducale. traits which Boschung identifies as replicas of the Beziers-
69 Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 150-215. Spoleto and Lucus Feroniae types, should be considered
70 Perugia, Museum. variants of his Alcuida type (the old Actium-Octavian type).
71 Archaeological Museum, inv. 87. R.R.R. Smith elucidates the problems inherent in Bos-
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 31

head is generally reduced to give the face a thin- age from the original youthful representation of
ner, more Augustan configuration, the chin made the condemned Caligula.78 The Capitoline and
more square, and the mouth recarved in order Montemartini portraits exemplify the recarving
to de-emphasize the receding lower lip which was of Caligula’s likenesses into images of Augustus
a recognizably Caligulan trait.75 One of these at the capital and its surroundings.
recarved likenesses, currently in the Centrale Also from the environs of Rome is colossal
Montemartini was discovered in 1937 near the head of Augustus discovered at Caere which has
Theater of Marcellus (cat 1.11; fig. 17a-b).76 Pos- been refashioned in much the same way as the
sibly of Parian marble, the head is worked for in- Capitoline and Conservatori images (cat. 1.12;
sertion and is a replica of Augustus’s Prima-Porta fig. 18a-b).79 The head, which is worked for in-
type. The coiffure over the forehead has been ex- sertion, has been reduced in volume and is too
tensively recarved, but the position of the part small in proportion to its long, thick neck. The
over the inner corner of left eye is retained from locks over the forehead have been completely re-
Caligula’s main type. The locks themselves have carved into Augustus’s Prima Porta arrangement,
been deeply undercut and the forehead slopes although they are not entirely smooth and trac-
back at an unnatural angle. The back of the neck es of the chisel are still very evident. The brows
is very flat where Caligula’s longer locks have have been allowed to remain from the original
been removed. The top of the head was separate- portrait of Caligula, while the forehead has been
ly worked and no longer survives. Although it is cut back in order to make it commensurate with
possible that the original portrait of Caligula was the reworked coiffure, occasioning very notice-
pieced together, it is more likely that the marble able bulges over the eyes.
addition was part of the sculptural transforma- The Caere head was part of seated image
tion of the likeness. depicting the emperor in the guise of Jupiter,
A second likeness of Augustus from Rome, in fragments of which were also found in the exca-
the Museo Capitolino, has been similarly re- vations.80 The original image of Caligula formed
worked (cat. 1.10).77 This Prima-Porta type por- part of a cycle of Julio-Claudian portraits deco-
trait includes a corona civica. Again, the position rating Caere’s theater and it would have been
of the part over the inner corner of the left eye similar to the seated statues of Augustus, Tibe-
is a remnant of Caligula’s main type coiffure. The rius, and Claudius, all also in the guise of Jupi-
locks over the forehead themselves have been ter, from the same cycle.81 Furthermore, its re-
recut, making them unusually shallow and short.
The facial features have also been reworked, and
some signs of aging added, including pronounced 78 See especially an altar with relief portrait dedicated
naso-labial lines and the suggestion of a double to Divus Augustus from Palestrina (Palestrina, Museo Ar-
chin. Such signs of aging occur in posthumous cheologico Nazionale, inv. 23555; D. Boschung (1993a) 138,
images of Augustus and may have been added no. 63, pls. 67.1-3, 221.3; N. Agnoli (2002) 243-9, no.III.9,
figs. 9a-f.
here to firmly disassociate the reconfigured im- 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.

chung’s expanded typology, (1996) 30-47. (1989) 97, no. 17, and n.1
75 The receding lower lip is also a feature of Livia’s 81 Augustus (Louvre MA 1246; P. Liverani in M. Fuchs,

portrait, and it is present in the portraits of her descen- P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. [1989] 137-43; C.B. Rose
dants including Tiberius, Drusus, Germanicus, and espe- [1997] 83-6, cat. 5); Tiberius (Musei Vaticani, Museo
cially in Caligula’s sister, Agrippina Minor, and her son Gregoriano Profano inv. 9961; M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P.
Nero. On the receding lower lip in Agrippina’s portraits Liverani and P. Santoro eds. [1989] 58-60, no. 2; C.B. Rose
and the orthodontic condition which may underlie it, see [1997] 83-6, cat. 5, pls. 71-2); Claudius (Musei Vaticani,
S. Wood (1995) 466-67. Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9950; M. Fuchs in M.
76 Sala degli Orti Mecenaziani 7, inv. 2394 (Centrale
Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. [1989] 61-64, no.
Montemartini 1.61). 3; C.B. Rose [1997] 83-6, cat. 5, pls. 73-74). The torso on
77 Scala 7, inv. 230. which the head of Claudius is now displayed probably
32 chapter two

carving explains how two representations of Details of physiognomy and coiffure present
Augustus came to be part of the cycle.82 The in a head of Augustus in the J. Paul Getty Mu-
head was discovered with several portrait inscrip- seum betray its origins as a likeness of Caligula
tions commemorating Augustus, Germanicus (or (cat. 1.8; fig. 19a-d).85 The portrait is worked for
Drusus Minor), Agrippina Minor, an unidenti- insertion into a togate body and was discovered
fied emperor, and Caligula’s sister, Drusilla. In at Pietrabbondante. Its wide eyes and hollow
Drusilla’s inscription, celebrating her as Diva and temples are clear remnants of the earlier image
sister of the emperor, Caligula’s name has been of Caligula. In the recarving of the portrait, the
erased.83 In its original incarnation as a colossal central, signature locks of Augustus’s Prima Porta
image of Caligula as Jupiter, the Caere portrait hairstyle have been emphasized and deeply un-
was an impressive monument and again attests dercut, carved back into the existing mass of the
to his innovations in portrait policy through dis- forehead. The reduction of sculptural volume is
semination of his own likenesses in divine guise. especially apparent when the head is viewed in
Furthermore, like the colossal Caligula/Claudi- profile. Although Augustan physiognomic details
us in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, it was site have been included in the portrait, it is the
specific within the context of the theater complex, emphatic undercutting of the locks of hair over
a fact which undoubtedly contributed to its re- the forehead which highlights the Prima Porta
configuration, as opposed to wholesale destruc- coiffure and provides the recarved image with a
tion.84 clearly recognizable emblem of its new identity
as a portrait of Augustus. A pronounced horizon-
belongs with the head of Augustus in the Louvre; see M. tal furrow in the forehead, as well as the sugges-
Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. (1989) tion of naso-labial lines have also been added to
61-4 and P. in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani and P. Santoro eds. the portrait. Although subtle, these signs of age-
(1989) 137-43.
82 Louvre MA 1246, cited above; see also, D. Boschung ing do occur in posthumous images of Augustus
(1993a) 171, no. 152, pls. 88, 223-4 (with earlier literature); and in recarved portraits like that in the Museo
C.B. Rose (1997) 86. Capitolino (cat. 1.10). Similarly, a head in
83 CIL 11.3598; M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani, and

P. Santoro, eds. (1989) 106, no. 22, with fig. (with earlier Mantua retains elements of Caligula’s coiffure
literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 84. and iconography (cat. 1.9).86 While the locks
84 C.B. Rose has suggested that the seated statue of
over the forehead have been reconfigured to
Tiberius from Caere (Museo Gregoriano Profano inv. 9961)
has, in fact, been refashioned from an image of Caligula reflect Augustus’s Prima Porta coiffure, the ar-
(1997) 85. Rose notes that the head is worked for inser- rangement of the hair on the top and back of the
tion, which is unusual for nude, or partially nude statue head has not been altered from the Caligulan
bodies, and that the head and body seem to be of differ-
ent types of marble. Rose suggests that the original statue
was carved from single block of marble, the head of Caligu- A statue of Augustus in Zadar provides addi-
la was removed, a mortis prepared in the body, and a new tional testimony for the reworking of full-length
head of Tiberius inserted. However, this also would be a heroic images of Caligula (cat. 1.15; fig. 20a-d).87
highly unusual form of reuse, and it would be more likely
that the facial features would simply be recut to Tiberius This statue, together with the colossal Caligula/
if the statue was originally of one piece of marble. Delib- Claudius in the Sala Rotonda, the statues of
erate damage to the facial features of Rose’s hypothetical Caligula/Claudius in Vaison and Fano, and the
statue of Caligula would make the kind of reuse he posits
necessary, as may have been the case with the Caligula/ colossal Caligula Augustus from Caere, reveal the
Claudius and the Messalina/Agrippina Minor statues at scope of the heroic and divine images of Caligula
Velleia (cat.1.27 and 3.4). However, it is important to keep created during his reign. Caligula’s strong em-
in mind that the evidence for intentionally mutilated im-
ages of Caligula is fairly limited. The Caere Caligula/ phasis on divine imagery may be reflected in
Augustus was also inserted into a Jupiter statue body, so Suetonius’s damaging anecdote (likely apocry-
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 Caligu- 85 78.AA.261.
la as Jupiter from Caere. Although not improbable, this 86 Palazzo Ducale, inv. 6615.
also seems unlikely. 87 Museum.
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 33

phal) that the emperor had planned to remove sentations of his great grandfather in Spain and
the heads from famous cult images, including Portugal, while the Copenhagen portrait, which
Phidias’s chryselephantine statue of Zeus at comes from Sardis, attests to the practice in Asia
Olympia, and have them replaced with his own Minor, and the Tunis portrait for North Africa.
likeness.88 Significantly, Claudius did not aban- In addition, the Copenhagen image contains
don his predecessor’s practice of being depicted some signs of aging, including light horizontal
with divine or heroic attributes.89 The head of furrows in the forehead and crows feet at the
the Zadar statue has been refashioned into a outer corners of the eyes, like the reconfigured
replica of Augustus’s Prima Porta type. The piece likenesses in the Museo Capitolino and the Get-
is carved from a single block of marble and, as ty. The Lisbon portrait also exhibits indications
a result, the recut head is too small in propor- of aging in its partially sunken cheeks and slight
tion to the body. As was also the case with the naso-labial lines. The Tunis likeness has also been
colossal Caligula/Claudius in the Sala Rotonda reconfigured with superficial signs of aging such
of the Vatican and the statue from Vaison, the as the horizontal furrow in the forehead and
corona civica which the emperor wears is too suggestion of sunken cheeks. The Condeixa-a-
massive for the face and the forehead is also too Nova head belonged to a togate statue displayed
broad. The statue was discovered in 1777 dur- in the Forum, whose base was discovered with
ing excavations of the Roman Forum at Aenona it and may have represented the emperor capite
in Dalmatia and testifies to the reworking of velato. The Cuenca portrait was apparently also
Caligula’s likenesses in the provinces. Seven other publicly displayed in the Roman Theater at
images, four female and three male were found Segobriga, where it was excavated.
with the Caligula/Augustus, including a togate
portrait of Tiberius.90
Additional provincial representations of Augus-
tus which have been recut from Caligula include Only one of Caligula’s images, in Frankfurt97
portraits in Condeixa-a-Nova (cat. 1.4),91 Copen- appears to have been altered retrospectively into
hagen (cat. 1.5; fig. 21a-d),92 Cuenca (cat. 1.6),93 a representation of Tiberius (cat. 1.16). In the
Lisbon (cat. 1.7),94 Tomar (cat. 1.13),95 and Tunis Frankfurt portrait the locks over the forehead
(cat. 1.14, fig. 22a-c).96 These portraits cover a have been entirely recut, but the remnants of
broad geographical spectrum: the Condeixa-a- Caligula’s longer locks parted over the inner
Nova, Cuenca, and Tomar portraits testify to the corner of the left eye are still clearly visible.
reconfiguration of Caligula’s images into repre- 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
88 Calig. 22.2.
89 Divine or heroic images of Claudius created during
role as pontifex maximus. Undoubtedly Tiberius’s
his reign include the statue of Claudius as Jupiter from own posthumous unpopularity accounts for the
Lanuvium (Musei Vaticani, Sala Rotonda, no. 550, inv. fact that this is the only one of Caligula’s por-
243, the bronze nude statue from Herculaneum (Naples, traits to be refashioned into a likeness of his uncle
Museo Nazionale Archeologico) and the Claudius as Jupi-
ter from the Metroon at Olympia (Archaeological Muse- and predecessor.
um 7 125).
90 The whereabouts of the four female statues are no

longer known, C.B. Rose (1997) 135. Caligula/Titus

91 Museo Monográfico de Conimbriga, inv. 67.388.
92 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 611, inv. 746. Two portraits of Caligula which were not re-
93 Museo Arquelógico Provincial el Almudi.
94 Museu Nacional de Arquelogia e Etnologia, inv.
carved until the Flavian period provide impor-
21520 A..
95 Convento de Cristo.
96 Musée du Bardo, C 72. 97 Frankfurt, Liebieghaus.
34 chapter two

tant physical evidence for the warehousing of ioned, as evidenced by chiseled surfaces directly
Caligula’s sculpted images. These portraits, in below the corona civica. The eyes and facial fea-
Arles (cat. 1.35; fig. 23)98 and Athens (cat. 1.36; tures have also been completely refashioned. A
fig. 24)99 must have been removed from public beard has been carved into the face, an exam-
display and stored in secure locations until they ple of negative modeling. The reduction of the
were refashioned into representations of the sec- volume of the face has caused the corona to be too
ond Flavian emperor.100 The coiffure of the Arles large in proportion to the rest of the head. Coins
likeness, with central, part, has been retained of Claudius Gothicus depict him with a fuller
from the original image, a replica of Caligula’s coiffure combined with short military beard, as
main type. The chin has been substantially cut in the White-Levy head. Physiognomic details,
back in order to give the likeness the heavy like the low, broad forehead, shape of the bridge
underchin which is a prominent feature of Titus’s of the nose, and long thin upper lip combined
portraiture. The Athens portrait was discovered with full, receding lower lip present in the White-
in Smyrna. The locks over the forehead also Levy portrait also find close parallels in the nu-
reproduce the arrangement of Caligula’s main mismatic portraits of Claudius Gothicus.102 The
type, with central part. The idealized, classiciz- White-Levy head is another important manifes-
ing features of both heads, markedly different tation of the phenomenon of warehousing images
from the more individualized likenesses of Titus, for extended periods, in this case over two cen-
are remnants of the original portraits. The dis- turies, prior to their reconfiguration.
parate find spots of these portraits further attest
to the geographical scope of the sculptural trans-
formation of Caligula’s images. Both portraits also
provide critical evidence for the warehousing of A head in Algiers formerly depicting Caligula is
the images of condemned emperors. They are the the only surviving likeness of a condemned em-
first recut likenesses whose reconfigurations were peror which seems clearly to have been trans-
not carried out for over a generation following formed into the image of a deity (cat. 1.38).103
an emperor’s condemnation. The Athens and The head is colossal in scale and most of Caligu-
Arles portraits were clearly stored, likely in sculp- la’s coiffure has been removed. Nevertheless,
tural depots where they were accessible to sculp- traces of the original hair are still visible on the
tors for reuse several decades after their remov- nape of the neck. The shape of the mouth and
al from public display. 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
Caligula/Claudius Gothicus(?)
a wreath or perhaps radiate crown. The head
One image of Caligula, now in the Levy-White comes from Iol Caesarea the capital of Mauret-
collection, was not recarved until the third cen- ania, making it possible that it has been refash-
tury, when it was refashioned into a soldier ioned into a representation of the city’s patron
emperor, perhaps Claudius Gothicus (cat. 1.37; the sun god, Sol.104
fig. 25a-e).101 The portrait has been substantial-
ly recut, but traces of Caligula’s main type coif-
fure are clearly visible behind both ears. The
locks over the forehead have been entirely refash- 102 RIC 211-37, pl. 5.76-82, pl. 6.83-92.
103 Museum.
104 D. Kreikenbom has suggested that a fragmentary
98Musée Réattu, Cellar Depot. and badly weathered Julio-Claudian portrait in Sardis
99National Museum, Roman Collection, inv. 348. (Depot, NOEX 60.12) may be a private portrait recut from
100 For a full discussion of Titus’s portrait typology, see Caligula. The piece is too poorly preserved to secure an
infra. identification as Caligula, or to be certain that it has, in
101 New York, Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection. fact, been reworked, (1992) 223, no. 4.2.
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 35

The Removal of Caligula’s Images the Forum or its environs during Caligula’s prin-
cipate. After his downfall, the head was removed
Suetonius’s statement that Caligula’s images were from its statue and stored in the area of the
removed on Claudius’s behest finds further sup- Forum. The head from Sabratha is colossal in
port in surviving unaltered portraits. Many are scale and was intended for an acrolithic statue,
well-enough preserved, or have archaeological which formed part of the monumental decora-
contexts which confirm that they were removed tion of the city’s basilica.110 Although the portrait
from public display and warehoused as a conse- is badly weathered, it preserves most of its fea-
quence of the unofficial condemnation. Indeed, tures intact, including the nose. The other North
as a group, the unreworked images of Caligula African image was discovered behind the so-
are astonishingly well-preserved and, ironically, called Temple of Fortuna Augusta at Mustis
have largely escaped use as building material or (modern El Krib) in the nineteenth century.111
being burned in medieval lime kilns because of The head is well preserved. The rims of the ears
their burial, disposal, or storage in secure loca- are broken off, as is the forepart of the nose.
tions. There are some abrasions on the brows, cheeks,
The find-spots of two portraits from Cumae,105 and chin. Ostensibly, the portrait was removed
as well as North African likenesses in Sabratha106 from the statue into which it was inserted, and
and Tunis (fig. 26a-b)107 provide archaeological stored or buried in the vicinity of the temple
confirmation for the storage of Caligula’s portraits following Caligula’s overthrow.
following their removal from public display. One An over life-sized togate statue, a replica of
of the heads from Cumae is a replica of Caligu- Caligula’s main type from Rome, and now in
la’s main type and was discovered in the “cryp- Richmond provides additional persuasive evi-
ta romana”. The nose of the portrait is missing, dence for the removal and warehousing of the
but there is little other damage. The head was emperor’s likenesses.112 The portrait is carved
likely detached from its original context, and from a single block of Luna marble and is report-
stored in the crypta following Caligula’s damna- ed to have been discovered in the vicinity of the
tio.108 The other head from Cumae was discov- Theater of Marcellus at Rome.113 The head
ered in 1952 at the south side of the Forum.109 exhibits very little damage: the rims of both ears
The portrait is worked for insertion into a togate are chipped, the tip of the nose has broken off,
statue and depicts Caligula with a corona civica. and there are additional chips on the chin. Both
The likeness is likely to have been displayed in 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
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). 110 The head was discovered during excavations of the

Antiquario Flegreo, no. 68, h. 40 cm; D. Boschung (1989) basilica. H. Sichtermann AA (1962) 505-6, 510-11; D. Bos-
29, note 19, 58-60, 87, note 193, 90, 117, no. 38, sketch chung (1989) 108.
31, pl. 33.1-4 (with earlier literature). 111 D. Boschung (1989) 110.
106 Museum, 650, h. O.72 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 112 Richmond, Virginia Art Museum, accession no. 71-

note 15, 35-38, 55, 63, 108, no. 6, sketch 6, pl. 6.1-4; D. 20, h. 2.032 m, head, 0.27 m.;.D. Boschung (1989) 29, n.
Kreikenbom (1992) 195-6, no. 3.57, pl. 13d. 12, 38, 53-55, 61, 89, 109-10, no. 11, sketch 11, pls. 11.1-
107 Institut National d’Archeologie et d’Art, formerly in 4, 42.1-4, 43 (with earlier literature); H.R. Goette (1989)
Carthage, h. 0.48 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, note 12, 38- 32, n. 138, 119, no. 106; N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 110,
42, 50, 54-57, 110-11, no. 14, pl. 14.1-4 (with earlier lit- fig. 4.8; The sculpture was on display at the Palazzo Col-
erature). onna in Rome until the end of the nineteenth century and
108 A portrait of Tiberius was also discovered in the was purchased by the Virginia Museum in 1971.
“crypta,” and it is possible that the portrait of this unpop- 113 Although there is a break in the neck, technical

ular emperor was also removed from display. analysis has confirmed that the head does in fact belong
109 M.E. Bertoldi (1973) 42; D. Boschung (1989) 117. with the body, see, J. Ternbach (1974) 29.
36 chapter two

have been violently overturned, just as Cassius The fine state of preservation of numerous
Dio reports in his account of the general confu- other images of Caligula, suggest that they, too,
sion following Caligula’s murder.114 After it was were removed from public view and ware-
toppled the portrait must have been removed housed.118 This group of portraits consists of busts
from public display and stored while awaiting in New York119 and Paris;120 heads worked for
some form of reuse.115 insertion and now in, Los Angeles (fig. 27),121
A bust in Trieste was originally part of another Venice,122 and Worcester (fig. 28);123 and heads
togate likeness of Caligula carved from a single which have been cut or broken in the area of the
block of marble.116 The portrait belongs to the neck: in Copenhagen,124 New Haven (fig. 29),125
emperor’s main portrait type and appears to have Paris,126 Schloss Fasanerie (fig. 30),127 and the
been found in a fragmentary state and cut down
to its current form in the modern period.117 The
118 A portrait from Cártama is so badly weathered that
likeness may have been found at Aenona, like the
it is impossible to determine whether the extensive dam-
heroic Caligula/Augustus in Zadar reworked to age to the facial features is the result of deliberate mutila-
Augustus (cat. 1.15; fig. 20a-d). The brows are tion in antiquity, or simply incidental destruction; Mala-
chipped, the tip of the nose is missing, the lips ga, Museo Arqueológico Provincial, inv. 553, h. 0.34 m.;
D. Boschung (1988) 29, n. 12, 40-41, 52, 55, 57, 111, no.
are abraded. The chin contains some modern 17, sketch 16, pl. 16.1-3 (with earlier literature).
restorations in plaster and there are chips to the 119 Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. no. 1914.37,

surfaces of the face and neck. It is possible that 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.
the original statue was toppled, like the Rich- Meyer (2000) 91, fig. 180.
mond togatus, and this may explain its damaged 120 Musée du Louvre, MA 1234, h. 0.47 m.; D. Bos-

and fragmentary state. The fragments of the stat- chung (1989) 29, 38-39, 54-56, 72, 87, 100, 110, no. 13,
ue may then have been stored for eventual re- sketch 13, pls. 13.1-4, 46.4 (with previous literature).
121 J. Paul Getty Museum, acc. no. 72 AA 155, h. 0.43.
use. 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)
11459.30a. See also, H. Jucker (1973) 19. 96-99, cat. 4.
115In addition to the damage to the front of the stat- 122 Museo Archeologico, inv. 142, h. 0.42 m.; D. Bos-

ue, there is a deep chisel gouge where the base of the neck chung (1989) 28, 32, 36, 46, 53-56, 61, 63, 108, no. 4, pl.
and upper chest border the toga along the right side as a 4.1-4 (with earlier literature); I. Favoretto and G.L. Rav-
result of an attempt in antiquity to separate the neck and agna, eds. (1997) 208, no. 76.
head from the body and thus reuse the statue, see H. Jucker 123 Worcester Museum of Art, acc. no. 1914.23; h. 0.486

(1973) 19. The chips along the edges of the break in the m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 43-45, 51, 52, 55-57, 60-61,
neck, which Jucker identifies as chisel blows, appear much 72, 90, 112, no. 20, sketch 19, pls. 20, 21.1-4 (with earlier
too fresh to be part of any ancient damage to the statue. literature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 126, fig. 102; H. Meyer
These chips are also fairly random, and are probably in- (2000) 94, figs. 185-86. Although this portrait has been
cidental damage, and not caused by chisel or hammer dated to the Neronian period by Jucker ([1973] 20) its style
blows. The attempt to reuse the statue may have taken place is perfectly consonant with other Caligulan pieces, espe-
in a sculptor’s workshop. And indeed, the reported find- cially the Getty and Venice heads.
spot of the piece lies in the Campus Martius, an area of 124 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 637a, Inv. 2687; h. O.31

the city in which has yielded much evidence for sculptors’ m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 41-, 51, 52-3, 54-, 60, 86, 100,
workshops, A. Claridge (1998) 180. Most important in the 111-12, no. 18, sketch 17, pls. 17, 18.1-4 (with earlier lit-
context of damnatio memoriae is the site of the discovery of erature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127, fig. 104; F. Johansen
the Cancelleria reliefs, believed by many scholars to be a (1994) 1, 136-7, no. 56, (with figs., with previous literature);
sculptors’ or marble masons’ workshop. See F. Magi, (1945) H. Meyer (2000) 96, fig. 195.
54. In any event, the attempt to reuse the statue was aban- 125 Acc. no. 1987.70.1, h. 0.33 m.; D. Boschung (1989)

doned. Perhaps the damage to the portrait rendered it 29, note 1, 58-60, 116-117, no. 37, sketch 30, pls. 31, 32.1-
unsuitable and impracticable for reworking into a portrait 3 (with earlier literature); D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127, fig.
suitable for the new emperor, Claudius; and so the entire 103; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 96-99, cat. 5.
statue must have been stored to await some other form of 126 MA 1267, h. 0.33 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 28, note

reuse. 2, 29, note 11, 32-5, 53-55, 61, 63, 107, no. 2, sketch 2,
116 Museo Civico, inv. 2177, h. 0.52 m.; D. Boschung pl. 2.1-4. The head is currently mounted on a seated to-
(1989) 29, 25, 37, 54-56, 89, 109, no. 9, sketch 9, pls. 9.1- gate statue to which it does not belong.
4, 46.1. 127 FAS.ARP 21, h. 0.365 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29,
117 D. Boschung (1989) 109. n. 11, 32-36, 53-55, 60-61, 63, 108, no. 5, sketch 5, pl. 5.1-
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 37

Villa Albani,128 as well as a miniature bronze bust preserved. As part of the Grimani bequest of
depicting the emperor with bare chest and palu- 1586, the Venice portrait is likely to be from
damentum, atop a globe in Brooklyn (fig. 31)129 and Rome or its vicinity where, judging from its
two miniature bronze heads in the Metropolitan impressive scale and workmanship, it was an
Museum of Art (figs. 32-33).130 The New York important public commemoration of Caligula.133
bust, a version of Caligula’s secondary type was The Malibu likeness, said to be from Asia Mi-
discovered (together with the head worked for in- nor, is worked for insertion into a togate image
sertion in Worcester [fig. 28]) in an area of im- of the emperor. It, too, is so well preserved that
perial holdings at Marino near Lake Albano. The it must have been removed from its statue body
bust is extraordinarily well-preserved, with dam- and warehoused in safe location.134
age limited to the rim of the left ear. Most of the The portraits in Copenhagen, New Haven,
ancient surfaces are intact. Likewise, the Worces- Paris, and the Schloss Fasanerie are also so well-
ter head (also a replica of the secondary type ) is preserved that they are likely to have been
in a similarly fine state of preservation, with warehoused or buried following Caligula’s over-
damage essentially limited to the rim of the right throw.135 Formerly part of the Campana Collec-
ear.131 Claudius would have had no reason to tion, the Paris portrait is said to have come from
continue to display images of Caligula on the Rome. The head in the Schloss Fasanarie is also
imperial estates. Both portraits may have been from Italy, and its high artistic quality, as well
removed and stored together, thus ensuring their as that of the Copenhagen portrait, may indicate
protection. The Louvre bust, a replica of the a metropolitan Roman provenance for both piec-
main type, is reputedly from Thrace and exhib- es.136 The Copenhagen likeness even preserves
its the light beard of mourning which Caligula the painted pupils, irises, and lashes of the left
adopted after the death of his sister Drusilla on eye, further underscoring the likelihood of its
6 October 38. Also uncommonly well-preserved, storage in a protected location following its re-
it is likely to have been removed from public view moval from public display. In contrast, the Yale
and warehoused in a secure location following head which was discovered near the Ponte Mil-
Caligula’s assassination.132 vio in Rome, is covered by extensive root marks,
Two other heads worked for insertion, now in suggesting that it may have been buried at some
Los Angeles and Venice, are also singularly well- point after Caligula’s overthrow.137 Although not
as well preserved as the preceding images, a
4 (with previous literature). D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 127.
128 Portico, no. 54, h. 0.26 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 111, 133 The Venice portrait, currently mounted on a mod-

no. 15 (with earlier literature). R. Bol (1990) 148-51, no. ern bust, is well over life-sized. Modern restorations to the
192, pls. 86-89. head include the rims of the right ear, most of the left ear,
129 Brooklyn Museum, Department of Ancient Art, acc. the tip of the nose, and the lower lip. The portrait has also
no. 21.479.12, h. 0.142 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 120, no. been subjected to an extensive modern cleaning. The an-
?48 (with previous literature); E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 102- cient sculpture in the Grimani collection was largely ac-
3, cat. 9, with fig. quired in Rome where the family had a vigna and a resi-
130 23.162.23, h. 0.255 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 115, no. dence on the Quirinal, in the vicinity of the later Palazzo
31, pls. 28.1-4, 47.2; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 102-3, no. 7, Barberini. Presumably some of the ancient sculpture came
with figs.; and 25.78.35, h. 0.068 m.; D. Boschung (1989) from their vigna. On the Grimani and their collection, see
114-15, no. 29, pl. 26.5-8; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 102-3, I. Favoretto (1990) 84-92.
no. 8. 134 The head has suffered very minor damage, includ-
131 D. Boschung sees this portrait as a reflection of the ing chipping of the rims of both ears, and abrasions on the
main type ([1988] 43-5) but it should rather be grouped tip of the nose and chin.
with the secondary type, as the part occurs at the far left 135 The damage to all three portraits is limited in na-

of the forehead. ture; remarkably, as in so many of the warehoused por-

132 There is some damage to the rims of both ears, now traits of Caligula, the noses are intact.
repaired in plaster. A section of the back of the head, at 136 Despite the fact that the Copenhagen piece was

the left is missing, and may have been worked separately. purchased in Istanbul, it has been recognized as a prod-
The bust is cracked across the upper chest. The drapery uct of a metropolitan Roman workshop. See C.C. Vermeule
which covered the left shoulder is no longer extant, and (1967) 387, no. 2, and F. Johansen (1987) 97.
may have been worked separately. 137 I would like to thank Dr. Susan B. Matheson, Cu-
38 chapter two

portrait in Fossombrone exhibits no signs that it surviving portrait of Claudius is the tallest in the
was intentionally mutilated in antiquity and was cycle and exhibits many signs that it is a substi-
also almost certainly removed from public display tution for an earlier head.142 The tenon of the
and perhaps warehoused after Caligula’s over- current head of Claudius does not fit closely into
throw.138 In addition, the miniature bronze bust the body, leaving a visible gap between neck and
in Brooklyn may have originally been displayed chest. A large chunk of marble which is missing
in a public or domestic shrine from which it from the toga at the area of the back of the neck
certainly would have been removed following the and the top of the shoulders provides further
emperor’s assassination. crucial evidence; chipping in this area has been
The removal of Caligula’s images is also at- caused by hammer blows, prompting C. Saletti
tested at the Julio-Claudian Basilica at Velleia, to conclude that the original portrait was carved
where a likeness of Caligula was replaced by one all of one piece of marble and that the head was
of Claudius (cat. 1.27; fig. 34a-b).139 The trans- knocked from the statue by blows from the
formation presents a nearly identical scenario to rear.143 This damage is not visible from the front.
that of the group dedication at Rusellae. C. B. All of the portraits from Velleia are very flat and
Rose has persuasively argued that the Basilica summarily worked at the back, confirming that
was originally constructed under Caligula, at they were not intended to be seen from the rear.
which time portraits of Augustus, Tiberius, Ger- Following Caligula’s death, his portrait was at-
manicus, Tiberius Gemellus, Caligula, Drusilla, tacked, perhaps disfigured, and eventually the
Agrippina Maior, and Livia were created.140 head was severed from the body and a mortis was
Drusilla’s statue, apparently posthumous and de- prepared in the chest to receive the new, sepa-
picting her with a “Demeter/Kore” body type, rately worked likeness of Claudius.
is now headless but was accompanied by an in- In contrast to those portraits whose fine states
scription proclaiming her status as Diva.141 The of preservation indicate that they were stored in
secure locations, the archaeological find spots of
five images of Caligula suggest that they were
rator of Ancient Art of the Yale University Art Gallery for
allowing me access to the file on the Yale Caligula which disposed of in a much more violent manner. A
includes information on its provenance in correspondence portrait in Huelva was discovered among the
from the late Frank Brown, the former owner of the por- debris of a Roman well in Tharsis.144 The badly
138 Museo, h. 0.33 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, corroded surfaces of the head indicate that it has
38, 58-60, 87, n. 193, 100-101, 117, no. 39, sketch 32, pl. suffered long immersion in the water of the well,
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 por- SARI [S F](ILIAE), C. Saletti (1968) 68; C.B. Rose (1997)
trait, often identified as L. Calpurnius Piso, also seems to 122.
be part of this initial phase (Parma, Museo Nazionale 142 C. Saletti (1968) 45-7; H. Jucker (1973) 19, n. 6.

d’Antichità, inv. 835). Rose intriguingly suggests that this 143 C. Saletti (1968) 46. C.B. Rose has proposed that

portrait may have been recut from a representation of the head itself has in fact been recut from Caligula into
Drusus Caesar, the son of Germanicus, into Nerva (1997) Claudius (1997) 122. He bases this on the “proportions of
124 . However, the coiffure of the portrait exhibits none the head and relative placement of the facial features
of the principal characteristics of Nerva’s hairstyle in iden- (which) match the portraits of Caligula (while) the bangs,
tified original and reworked image. The physiognomy also lips, nose and forehead have been recut to conform to the
exhibits no close parallels to extant portraits, and the shape physiognomy of his successor.” However, I can see no overt
of the face of the Velleia portrait is much more square than signs that the head has been recut (there, are, for instance
most of Nerva’s images. C. Saletti had originally proposed no discernible traces of Caligula’s coiffure) and while the
a Tiberian date for the initial phase of the Basilica (deco- smaller proportions of the head would support Rose’s ar-
rated by portraits of Augustus, Tiberius [?], Drusus Maior, gument, it seems more likely, given the poor fit of the tenon
Drusus Minor, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, and Livia), followed and mortis and the high join between the sections of veil
by the addition of three more statues under Caligula at the left, that Saletti and Jucker are correct and the head
(Caligula, his mother, Agrippina Maior, and his sister, is an ex novo creation for a statue that was originally carved
Drusilla [1968] 87-90). from a single block of marble.
141 DIVAE DRUSIL [LAE]/GERMANI [CI]/ CAE- 144 Museo Provincial, h. 0.402 m.; D. Boschung (1989)
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 39

into which it may have been thrown as an act with religious meaning. Following his downfall in
of denigration against the overthrown princeps. 41, it would no longer have been permissible or
Similarly, four miniature images of Caligula are even desirable to display portraits of Caligula in
said to have come from the Tiber and they may either sacra privata or sacra publica.148 The act of
have been hurled into the river in order to de- hurling images of Caligula into the Tiber was a
fame Caligula’s memory. The deliberately dam- demonstrative way of blackening the murdered
aged cuirassed bust, discussed above, is report- princeps’ memory, canceling any devotional as-
ed to have been discovered in the Tiber, as is also pects of the portrait, and at the same time ex-
the case with a bronze bust which portrays the pressing loyalty to Claudius and his new regime.
emperor with bare chest and paludamentum, (fig. Furthermore, the violent disposal of these busts
35)145 The disposal of these busts in the Tiber is is charged with overtones of poena post mortem,
a forceful statement of denigration rendered that associated with the disposal (and denial of prop-
much more dramatic by the fact that the bronze er burial) of the corpses of capital offenders, noxii
from which they were fashioned was inherently killed in the arena, and later, even certain con-
valuable and it would certainly have been more demned emperors.149 Water also functioned as a
practical and economical to melt them down. A traditional place for the disposal of polluted or
fourth miniature bust, also with bare chest and threatening objects rejected by society; further-
paludamentum, but in marble, was found in the more, salt water was held to have properties es-
Tiber in 1886 during construction of the river’s pecially efficacious in purifying accursed objects,
embankments (fig. 36).146 The small scale of this and, as D.G. Kyle notes, the Tiber eventually
bust, with little available marble for recarving, deposited any items thrown into it in the sea.150
may also account for its having been discarded As is the case with the miniature busts and the
rather than reused. head in Huelva, the weathered states of portraits
It is certainly significant that almost half of in Athens151 and Málaga152 suggests that they
Caligula’s surviving miniature portraits are reput-
edly from the Tiber. On account of their minia-
31. For the association of miniature busts with sacra privata
ture format, many of these busts can be associ- see L. Polacco (1955) 185.
ated with sacra privata, as decoration for household 148 In addition, H. Jucker has suggested that the small

lararia, or with sacra publica, as part of the wor- bronze cuirassed bust which has been deliberately attacked
with a hammer, may have originally topped a legionary
ship of the emperor’s genius.147 As such, these standard (cat. 1.3). As such, it may have been damaged and
miniature images are powerful symbols imbued thrown into the Tiber during the demonstrations which
occurred in the brief period of disquiet preceding the ac-
clamation of Claudius, H. Jucker (1982)113.
29, note 12, 40-41, 52, 55-56, 90, 111, no. 16, sketch 15, 149 On the disposal of corpses of dead noxii and capital

pl. 15.1-4; M. Donderer (1991-2) 264, no. 9. offenders in the Tiber, see D.G. Kyle (1993) 306; D.G. Kyle
145 New York, White Levy Collection (formerly Zurich, (1998) 213-28. After Ceasar’s assassination, certain Sena-
Coll. R. Schinz-Rüesch); H. 0.199 m.; D. Boschung (1989) tors wished to have his body dragged through the streets
29, 46, 48-9, 54-57, 60 72, 92, 93, 100, 114, no. 27, sketch, and thrown in the Tiber (Suet. Iul. 82.4). Following the
27, pls. 25.1-4, 46.2 (with previous literature). death of Tiberius, the disaffected common people of Rome
146 Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massi- wanted to throw his body into the Tiber, shouting “Tibe-
mo alle Terme, inv. 4256, h. 0.16. m.; B. Di Leo, Mus- rium in Tiberim” (Suet.Tib. 75.1). Vitellius’s corpse was, in
NazRom I.9.1 141-43, no. R98; D. Boschung (1989) 41-44, fact thrown in the Tiber and there was an unsuccessful
51, 54-57, 60, 72, 86, 92, 100, 112, no. 19, pls. 19.1-4, 46.3 attempt to do the same thing with the body of Commo-
(with previous literature); M. Donderer (1991-2) 222, n. 126; dus after his murder (Suet. Vit. 17.2; HA. Comm. 18-19, and
B. Germini in A. La Regina, ed. (1998) 48 (with fig.). infra.). The remains of Elagabalus were dragged through
The treatment of the facial features, especially in the de- the Circus Maximus and the streets of Rome and ultimately
tails of the narrow pointed chin and shape of the mouth stuffed into the sewers which emptied into the Tiber (HA.
the mouth with overbite are nearly identical to a minia- Elag. 17.6, and infra.).
ture bronze bust of Caligula’s sister, Agrippina Minor, 150 D.G. Kyle (1998) 214.

created during the reign of Claudius (Chieti, Museo, with- 151 National Museum, Warehouse, inv. 3590, h. 0.26

out inv. no.). m.; D. Boschung (1989) 35, 37-39, 53-55, 109, no. 10,
147 B. di Leo, MusNazRom 9.1, 143. For the association sketch 10, pl. 10.1-4 (with earlier literature).
of miniature busts with sacra publica see B. Schneider (1979) 152 Museo Arqueológico Provincial, inv. 553, h. 0.34 m.;
40 chapter two

were not stored in secure locations, but discard- as a result of their value as gems, which precluded
ed in a more summary fashion following Caligu- them from being destroyed, as well as the diffi-
la’s death, The Athens head is broken off at the culty inherent in recutting them as attested by the
area of the chin and there is further damage to Caligula/Claudius chalcedony cameo in Vienna
the forehead, brows, nose, cheeks and lips. The (cat. 1.33). Imperial portrait gems functioned as
facial features of the head in Málaga, discovered presentation pieces, and it is possible that the gem
at Cártama, have been substantially obliterated portraits of Caligula remained in private collec-
through weathering. tions and perhaps were even valued as curiosi-
A representation of Caligula in relief, now in ties or souvenirs of an unpopular and infamous
Trieste, has also survived.153 The fragmentary reign.158 A chalcedony cameo of Caligula en-
relief, from Kula in East Lydia, depicts Caligula throned with the goddess Roma (or possibly
on a rearing horse and a standing figure of Drusilla in the guise of Roma) in Vienna159 ap-
Germania. The inscription reads: pears to have been copied in antiquity as evi-
denced by a blue glass cameo in the Dumbarton
'"4\å 'gD:"<46è "ÛJ@- 'gD:"<\" Oaks Collection (fig. 39).160 Boyhood likenesses
6DVJ@D4 5"\F"D4 6"2g4gDäJ"4 of Caligula are also presumably preserved on the
B"¯ H Ò *0:`F4H J`B@H blue glass phalerae distributed to the troops of his
father Germanicus. The phalerae depict bust
The relief attests to Caligula’s commemoration length portraits of Germanicus, together with
in the remote provinces. As the inscription is not small busts of three children, likely including
erased, it is likely that the relief was removed from Caligula.161 As the primary honorand in these
display following his overthrow. A pharaonic phalerae is Germanicus, the three children with
image of Caligula and accompanying cartouche Germanicus are generic, often indistinguishable
have also survived at Dendera.154 in terms of gender and coiffure, and thus it is not
In addition to the surviving images in marble surprising that there has been no attempt to
and bronze, at least fourteen cameo or intaglio destroy them our cancel out the representations
portraits of Caligula are extant. The gems depict of Caligula.162 However, more mature portraits
Caligula in a variety of attributes and attire
including the laurel crown of the triumphator,155
0.049 x 0.038 m.; Boschung (1989) 115-6, no. 33, pl. 29.3.
cuirass and laurel crown,156 and capite velato with 158 On gem collecting in Rome, see Pliny, NH 37.11;
scepter.157 These glyptic likenesses may survive 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, 87-

88, 92, 95-6, 100, 116, no. 34, pl. 30.1-2 (with previous
literature); T. Mickoki (1995) 184, no. 226, pl. 23; H. Meyer
D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 40-41, 52, 55, 57, 111, no. (2000) 67, 81, figs. 130, 164, 169; S. Walker and P. Higgs,
17, sketch 16, pl. 16.1-3 (with earlier literature). eds. (2000) 186-7, no. 3.45 (with figs) (with earlier litera-
153 Museo Civico, inv. 2228, 0.63 x 0.60 m.; D. Bos- ture).
chung (1989) 92, 120-21, no. 51, pl. 40.3 (with earlier lit- 160 Acc. no. 46.10, H. 14 cm.; G.M.A. Richter (1956)

erature). 66-9, no. 47, pl. 23.a (probably ancient); F. Eichler (1970)
154 D. Boschung (1989) 92-121, no. 52 (with earlier lit- 71; H. Kyrieleis (1970) 492-8, figs. 2 & 7 (ancient); G.M.A.
erature). Richter (1971) 101, no. 485; W.R. Megow (1987) 185; D.
155 Florence, Museo Archeologico, onyx, inv. 14539; A. Boschung (1989) 121, no. *55 (not ancient); E.R.Varner,
Giuliano (1989) 239, no. 165, with figs.; Florence, Museo ed. (2000) 112-3, no. 14, with fig.
Archeologico, inv. 14540, onyx, A. Giuliano (1989) 239, 161 For example, London, British Museum, PRB 1870.2-

no. 166, with figs.; Ionides Collection, onyx, 0.013 x 0.011 24.2 and Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. AS XI
m.; Boschung (1989) 116, no. 35, pl. 30.3; and Switzerland, B8; D. Boschung (1987) 248-54, nos. 35-42, figs. 7-9, 11-
Private Collection, sardonyx, h. 0.02 m.; Boschung (1989) 12, 83-91; C.B. Rose (1997) 24, pl. 16.
117-8, no. 41. 162 Although D. Boschung has suggested that these
156 New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 11.195.7, phalerae depict Claudius with his three children, they rath-
onyx, 0.043 x 0.0305 m.; Boschung (1989) 115, no. 32, pl. er appear to represent Germanicus, probably with his three
29.1-2, E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 112-13, cat. 13. sons, Nero and Drusus Caesar, and Caligula, (1987) 248-
157 Musei Vaticani, Biblioteca, inv. 5268, sardonyx, 54.
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 41

of Caligula do survive on at least two phalerae unusual example of the erasure and recutting of
created during his reign.163 They lack secure a Caligulan inscription was discovered at the
archaeological contexts, but they may have sim- Theater at Thera.169 The inscription, belonging
ply been discarded after his overthrow. A min- to statue base apparently from the theater’s scaenae
iature seated cuirassed statue in green chalcedony frons, has been erased and recut in honor of Ves-
may also have originally represented Caligula, pasian. The Caligulan statue base was original-
judging from its style and the type of cuirass with ly part of a group dedication which included the
cingulum.164 The image is headless and lacks its emperor’s parents, Germanicus and Agrippina
lower legs and arms. If it indeed depicted Caligu- Maior.170 Caligula’s name is not erased on their
la, some of the statuette’s damage may have been statue bases and the erasure of his own inscrip-
the result of intentional disfigurement at the time tion (and removal of the accompanying portrait?)
of the damnatio. may not have occurred immediately after Caligu-
Caligula’s name was erased in inscriptions, la’s overthrow, and perhaps not until Vespasian’s
canceling his epigraphic identity in a manner principate.171 Caligula’s name is allowed to re-
analogous to the removal of his portraits from main in certain other inscriptions as well, includ-
public display. Claudius removed his predeces- ing the epitaph of Agrippina Maior from the
sor’s name from the Theater of Pompey, whose Mausoleum of Augustus, which suggests that the
restoration had been completed under Caligu- excision of his name was not always a necessary
la.165 In one instance, Caligula’s name and titles component of the condemnation.172 Two bound-
were even replaced by those of Claudius (just as ary tones from Dalmatia illustrate the ambigu-
his sculpted portraits were replaced by, or re- ous treatment of Caligula’s inscriptional identi-
carved to, images of Claudius): on an inscription ty: in one his name has been erased,173 and in
from an arch at Thugga in North Africa, con- the other it has been left intact.174 The rather
structed to honor Caligula, his name and titles sparse evidence for epigraphic erasure further un-
have been replaced by those of Claudius.166 The derscores the fact that Caligula’s portraits were
re-inscription was executed so hastily that Clau- the primary targets of the damnatio.
dius is given the praenomen Imperator which he Other forms of denigration included Claudi-
never actually used.167 Other erased inscriptions us’s refusal to complete some of Caligula’s build-
are known from Milan, Bologna, Pompeii, Dal- ing products, such as the amphitheater begun
matia, Samos, Alexandria, and Cyzicus.168 A very near the Saepta Julia in Rome.175 Claudius also
piously discontinued the Caligula’s purported use
163 London, British Museum, 1972.1-26-1; inv. PS
of the Temple of Castor and Pollux as a vesti-
284008, diam. 3.7 cm. D. Boschung (1987) 243-5, no. 26,
figs. 72-3; C.B. Rose 35, pl. 23; Mainz, Romanisch-Ger-
bule or annex which allowed access from the
manisches Zentral Museum, B. 30431, diam. 3.8 cm.; D. Forum to the imperial buildings on the Pa-
Boschung (1987) 243-5, no. 37, fig 74 (from south Nori- latine.176 Claudius repaired the Aqua Virgo,
cum or north Pannonia?.
164 The Art Museum, Princeton University, Loan ; J.M.

Padgett (1995) 9, fig. 7; H. Meyer (2000) 88-91. 5948); Samos (IGR 4.1721), Alexandria (IGR 1.1057), and
165 In A.D. 21, the theater was burned (Heiron. a. Cyzicus (IGR 4.146).
Abr.2037); restoration was begun by Tiberius (Tac.Ann 3.72; 169 IG 12.3, suppl. 1294; C.B. Rose (1997) 160-1, cat.

Vell.Pat. 2.130.1); Caligula completed the restoration (Suet. 97.

Calig. 21) and Claudius dedicated it (Suet. Claud.21.1; Dio 170 IG 12.3 suppl. 1392-3; C.B. Rose (1997) 160.

60.6.8); Dio (60.6.8) reports that Claudius placed the name 171 C.B. Rose (1997) 160.

of Pompey once again upon the theater, which suggests that 172 CIL 6.886.

Caligula replaced Pompey’s name with his own when he 173 CIL 3.8472 = ILS 5948; C.W. Hedrick (2000) 112.

completed the restoration. see also, A. Barrett (1989)178 174 CIL 3.9832 = ILS 5949; C.W. Hedrick (2000) 112.

and L. Richardson, jr. (1992), “Theatrum Pompeii,” 384. 175 Suet. Calig. 21; E.S. Ramage (1983) 205; L. Rich-
166 L. Poinsott (1913) 45, n. 35; A. Barrett (1989)178, ardson, jr. (1992) 6-7.
n. 31. 176 Dio.60.6.8; Recent archaeological excavation in the
167 M. Stuart (1939) 611. area of S. Maria Antiqua seems to confirm this; see: H.
168 A. Barrett (1989)178, note 31; Milan (ILS 194), Hurst, G. Morganti, and F. Scoppola (1986) 470-78; H.
Bologna (ILS 5674), Pompeii (ILS 6396), Dalmatia (ILS Hurst (1988) 13-17; A. Barrett (1989) 209, n. 57; H. Hurst
42 chapter two

which was claimed to have fallen into disrepair eral inscriptions.183 Although the portrait of
under Caligula, a fact explicitly mentioned in an Caligula is broken into two pieces and a large
inscription commemorating the Claudian repairs: chunk of marble is missing from the left side of
Aquae Virginis disturbatos per C. Caesarem.177 Ancient the head, the facial features are entirely intact and
authors such as Suetonius generally classify the image has not been intentionally disfigured.
Caligula’s building projects as tyrannical excesses. The flat back of the head indicates that it orig-
For instance, Suetonius’s accounts of Caligula’s inally depicted the emperor capite velato in his role
sacrilegious remodeling of the Temple of Castor as pontifex maximus.
and Pollux in the Forum Romanum as a vesti- A second image of Caligula, from Gortyna on
bule for his Palace on the Palatine, or the bridge Crete also formed part of a dynastic group and
he constructed to link the residences on the appears to have remained on public view.184 The
Palatine with the Temple of Jupiter Optimus head, worked for insertion into a draped statue
Maximus on the Capitoline may be intentional- capite velato, was discovered during the excavations
ly distorted or misinterpreted to reflect Caligu- of the Agora at Gortyna, carried out by the
la’s tyrannical nature.178 In addition, Claudius’s Archaeological Institute of America in 1893-94
own choice of coin types may have been subtly in the area of the “Great Inscription.” It was
designed to defame the memory of Caligula.179 found with representation of Tiberius,185 Livia186
and Gaius Caesar,187 all similarly worked for
insertion. The portraits are remarkably well-pre-
The Continued Display of Caligula’s Images served and essentially intact. The fine state of
preservation of the Caligulan likeness and its
In stark contrast to those portraits of Caligula discovery together with the other Julio-Claudi-
which were mutilated, recut, or warehoused as an portraits, indicates that it, like the Iesi image,
a result of his overthrow, the archaeological con- is unlikely to have been removed at the time of
text of certain images strongly suggests that they Caligula’s damnatio. The entire group is Caligu-
were allowed to remain on public view in group lan in date and must have decorated the agora
dedications. One of these likenesses, now in Iesi or an adjacent public building.188
(fig. 40)180 formed part of Caligulan dynastic
commemoration at ancient Aesis, which includ-
ed representations of Augustus181 and Tiberius.182 183 CIL 11.6199-6202.
184 Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 64, h. 0.393
The portraits, worked for insertion, were discov-
m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 32-6, 52-57; 61, 63, 89, 98-
ered in 1784 in the courtyard of the Convento 99, 107, no. 1, sketch 1, pl. 1.1-4 (with earlier literature);
di S. Floriano together with fragments of five H.R. Goette (1989) 34, n. 147c; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat.
togate statues, 2 draped female statues, and sev- 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.
in E. M. Steinby, ed. (1995) 106-8 (Domus Gai). 186 Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 67, h. 0.40
177 ILS 205, E.M. Smallwood (1967) 83, no. 308 b, and m.; D. Boschung (1989) 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat. 85,
E.S. Ramage (1983) 205, and A. Barrett (1989) 178. pl. 196.
178 Suet. Calig. 22.2. C. Edwards (1993) 146-7; see also 187 Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 66, h. 0.442

Suet.Calig. 37.2-3 for Caligula’s other extravagant build- m.; D. Boschung (1989) 98-99, 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat.
ing programs. 85, pl. 197.
179 E.S. Ramage (1983) 202-6. 188 L. Fabbrini (1966-7) 142. According to Fabbrini, the
180 Palazzo della Signoria, h. 0.34 m.; D. Boschung original statue body for which the head of Caligula was
(1989) 29, n. 14, 35-6; 54-56, 63, 89, 96, 108-9, no. 7, sketch intended may also have been discovered at Gortyna. The
7, pl. 7.1-4 (with earlier literature);C.B. Rose (1997) 81, cat. rear portion of a togate statue, whose size and style are
1, pl. 57. comparable to the portrait of Caligula, and three cuirassed
181 D. Boschung (1993a) 40, 47-8, 66, 72, 154, no. 105, torsos of Julio-Claudian date are known from old photo-
pl. 86, 149.1; C.B. Rose (1997) 81, cat. 1, pl. 55. graphs once belonging to R. Paribeni. (1966-67) n. 55. The
182 C.B. Rose (1997) 81, cat. 1, pl. 56; see also H. Jucker head of Gaius appears to be Augustan in date, but trans-
(1981a) 262-66. formed in the Caligulan period into a veiled portrait to con-
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 43

The Agora at Gortyna also yielded another family with portrait dedications on their own
well preserved image of Caligula, a full length initiative.
veiled togate portrait.189 A replica of the main A portrait of Caligula discovered at ancient
type, the Gortyna statue is carved from a single Luna in Italy together with a representation of
block of marble and exhibits very little damage. a Julio-Claudian female presents more ambigu-
Much of the nose, which was worked a