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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 as a sepa- ous evidence concerning its removal or contin-
rate piece, is missing, both forearms are gone, and ued display (fig. 41).193 The head is worked for
the tip of the right foot is also missing. There are insertion. Although the rims of both ears are
chips and abrasions to the drapery. In view of broken, the brows have been damaged, as has the
the evidence of the Gortyna group dedication chin, and most of the nose has broken away, there
with Tiberius, Livia and Gaius, the togate stat- is no evidence that the image has been intention-
ue may also have continued to be displayed ally mutilated. The female head is most likely a
publicly after the damnatio.190 If this is indeed the representation of Diva Drusilla, depicted with
case, the Cretan portraits and the Iesi likeness diadem and infula.194 The portrait is very simi-
underscore the great degree of autonomy which lar to an image of Drusilla in New York, although
individual cities possessed in responding to direc- it omits the characteristic pin curls which frame
tives from the capital concerning Caligula’s un- the face in all other images of Drusilla.195 Both
official damnatio as sanctioned by Claudius. These portraits may have been removed from their
images may have escaped removal in part be- original statues following Caligula’s assassination,
cause they belonged to series of imperial portraits although Drusilla’s images seem to have gener-
and the series itself as a representation of impe- ally been allowed to remain in group dedications,
rial continuum was often deemed to be of more as for instance at Caere, Otricoli, and Velleia.
importance than the eradication of any individ- A third portrait representing Agrippina Maior,
ual member from the series whose memory had simplified in its forms like the possible Drusilla,
been disgraced and dishonored.191 In addition, appears to be from the same workshop and may
the survival of Caligula’s representations on Crete have been part of the same dedication, although
further suggests that the de facto damnatio was not it was not found with the other two. Possibly, the
rigidly enforced on the island.192 In general, the Caligula and Drusilla were removed and ware-
continued display of Caligula’s images as part of housed, while the Agrippina remained on view,
a group dedications may have been intended to thus accounting for the dissociation. Alternatively,
signal the uninterrupted dynastic stability of the all three images may have continued to be dis-
Julio-Claudians. In addition, because Caligula’s played publicly, like those from Gortyna. The
damnatio was not officially mandated (at least female portrait probably depicting Drusilla has
outside the realm of the coinage), municipalities also been associated with Livia. If Livia, it has
located at some distance from the capital may been deliberately fashioned to resemble her great-
have enjoyed greater latitude in their response granddaughter Drusilla.196 Although it is less like-
to and treatment of the emperor’s images, just
as they were free to honor the emperor and his
193 Genoa-Pegli, Museo, inv. 614; h. 0.295 m.; A. Fro-

va (1988) 307; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n 12, 32-35, 53-55,

form with the other male images, C.B. Rose (1997) 153. 61, 63, 107-108, no. 3, sketch 3, pls. 3.1-4 (with previous
189 Gortyna, Antiquarium, h. 2.04 m.; D. Boschung literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 94, cat. 20, pl. 84.
(1989) 29, note 12, 35-37; 52, 54-57, 63, 89, 109, no. 8, 194 Genoa-Pegli, Museo Civico, inv. 609; C.B. Rose

sketch 8, pls. 8.1-3 and 41.1-2 (with earlier literature); H.R. (1997) 94, no. 20, p. 85.
Goette (1989) 34, n. 147 b, 38, n. 176, 119, no. 105, pl. 195 Hispanic Society; S Wood (1995) 475-6, figs. 22-3.

7.6. The Geno-Pegli head exhibits the same long almond shaped
190 L. Fabbrini, (1966-7) 140; H. Jucker (1973) 19. eyes, similar mouth and over all configuration of the face
191 See S.R.F. Price (1984) 161-2 for the imperial se- as the New York portrait.
ries at Boubon which does not seem to have been disturbed 196 Both S. Wood (1999) 223-5, 239-40 and E. Bartman

by damnationes. (1999) 223, no. 11 assign the portrait to Drusilla. Wood

192 L. Fabbrini (1966-67) 142-43. feels that the diadem and infula help secure the identifica-
44 chapter two

ly that the portrait represents Livia rather than la’s only direct descendant would have mandat-
Drusilla, an identification as Livia would strongly ed her assassination. Suetonius’s statements that
suggest that both portraits did indeed remain on Julia Drusilla had inherited her father’s savage
display. temperament are probably additional products
J. Pollini has recently proposed that a statue of anti-Caligulan propaganda designed to justi-
of an imperial genius from Pozzuoli was intend- fy the infanticide.201
ed specifically as a representation of Caligula’s
genius.197 The coiffure does contain the central
part of Caligula’s main portrait type, and the Conclusion: Paradigms and Precedents
facial features, although very idealized, might well
reflect Caligula’s physiognomy. However, the Although not officially voted by the Senate,
image is certainly generic enough that it could Caligula’s de facto damnatio memoriae effectively
have been re-used quite easily by changing its established appropriate paradigms for the de-
Caligulan context or any accompanying inscrip- struction and alteration of the visual representa-
tion. Indeed, L. Curtius earlier identified the tions of condemned emperors which would en-
statue as representing the genius of Caligula’s dure for the next three centuries of the empire.
father, Germanicus.198 In rare instances, Caligula’s portraits were at-
tacked and disfigured. Mutilated portraits such
as the miniature bronze cuirassed bust in Swit-
The Collateral Condemnations of Milonia Caesonia zerland or the fragmentary likenesses in Aquile-
and Julia Drusilla ia and Saguntum attest to the violence enacted
against Caligula’s images after his overthrow.
Any images which had been produced of Caligu- Caligula’s coins were also disfigured through
la’s last wife, Milonia Caesonia and infant daugh- inscriptional erasure and countermarking.
ter Julia Drusilla were removed and destroyed Significantly, recycling, rather than mutilation,
together with those of the emperor. And indeed, was the preferred methodology for the repression
there are no surviving sculpted portraits of either of Caligula’s sculpted representations. After his
Caesonia or Julia Drusilla. 199 Caesonia’s own assassination, Caligula’s portraits were no long-
illustrious familial connections through her moth- er publicly or politically useful objects, and as a
er Vistilia to many of the leading families of the result, the majority of his images have been
period, Caligula’s avowed affection for her, and physically altered to represent other individuals
her very public presence in Rome may have been or deities. For the remainder of the first century
additional factors which ensured that she was and into the second, marble images of con-
murdered with her husband and that her mon- demned emperors and empresses would contin-
uments suffered a damnatio. Because of her influ- ue to be reconfigured on a vast scale. The recy-
ence and connections, Caligula’s assassins could cling of Caligula’s portraits crucially impacted the
not afford to let Caesonia survive and she was style of his successor Claudius’s images, result-
even accused by some contemporaries of culpa- ing in examples of extreme realism, as well as
bility in the failures and excesses of her husband’s restrained classicism. Subsequent transformations
principate.200 Julia Drusilla’s position as Caligu- of Nero and Domitian’s portraits would similar-
ly reflect both veristic and classicizing trends
incorporated in the representations of Vespasian
tion, although Bartman states that “it could plausibly be
Livia.” and Nerva.
197 Berlin, Museum SK 157, h. 2.05 m; H. Kunckel As sculptors grappled with the novel techni-
(1974) 78, no. A 3, pls. 8.2, 9.2 (with earlier literature); J. cal challenges inherent in refashioning Caligula’s
Pollini (forthcoming).
198 (1948) 71. images, creating convincing likenesses of the
199 E.R. Varner (2001a) 44-45.
200 Joseph. AJ. 19.193. 201 Calig. 25.4.
caligula, milonia caesonia and julia drusilla 45

middle-aged Claudius may have presented the The mutilation of Caligula’s images also re-
most difficulties. It was undoubtedly easier to veals patterns of sculptural disfigurement in which
reconfigure Caligula’s portraits into idealized the sensory organs are traumatized, while the rest
representations of his great grandfather Augus- of the image is left in tact. The small cuirassed
tus, or even the second Flavian emperor, Titus. bronze in a Swiss private collection perfectly il-
Significantly, most of the refashioned Claudian lustrates the practice, with hammer and chisel
images come from Italy or Rome, while portraits blows damaging the facial features and the eyes
recut to Augustus or Titus are far more geograph- gouged out of their sockets. Such mutilation
ically diverse, and are found in Gaul, Spain, underscores the function of imperial images as
Portugal, North Africa, and Asia Minor. The effigies, and, on an important anthropological
proximity of the altered portraits of Claudius to level, acted as a substitute for corpse abuse (poe-
Rome as a center of imperial portrait production, na post mortem).
and consequently technical expertise, may not be Caligula’s portraits were also warehoused in
coincidental, but in fact the result in the difficulty vast numbers and highlight the Roman practice
posed by the sculptural transformation of Caligu- of sculptural storage. Portraits could also be dis-
la into Claudius. posed of in more destructive ways, often being
The reuse of Caligula’s portraits also had se- thrown into bodies of water, such as rivers or
rious implications for developing iconography of wells. In particular, the disposal of Caligula’s
imperial imagery. As C. B. Rose has noted, images in the Tiber, like the miniature bronze
Caligula was the first of Rome’s emperors to have in the Levy-White collection, or the miniature
himself portrayed as Jupiter in marble statuary marble portrait in the Palazzo Massimo, have
during his lifetime.202 Several of these divine additional intimations of corpse abuse, mirror-
images, including portraits from Caere, Otrico- ing the disposal of bodies of dead capital offend-
li, Vaison, and Zadar were refashioned into rep- ers, arena victims and other noxii at the capital.
resentations of Augustus, and more significant- The various and variable responses to Caligula’s
ly, the new ruler, Claudius. From this period on, artistic representations triggered by his condem-
emperors would routinely depict themselves as nation also reveal the flexible and adaptable
Jupiter. nature of damnatio memoriae, which embraced a
wide variety of censorship practices including
warehousing, disfigurement, destruction, and
202 (1997) 74-5. transformation.
46 chapter three



Like Caligula before him, Nero has become a worse and alleged plots against Nero’s life led to
paradigm of the decadent and tyrannical empe- wide scale persecutions of prominent citizens at
ror, corrupted absolutely by his absolute power.1 Rome. The devastating fire of A.D. 64, coupled
Nero was born at Antium on 15 December A.D. with several disturbances on the borders of the
37.2 Originally named Lucius Domitius Aheno- empire, contributed to a general decline in Nero’s
barbus, the future emperor was the son of Gnaeus popularity, especially among the military. Dur-
Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina Minor. In ing the last years of his reign, Nero failed to
A.D. 49, Agrippina married the reigning princeps, restore public confidence in his administrative
her uncle Claudius. Shortly thereafter in A.D. 50, capabilities. In March of A.D. 68, the governor
she persuaded Claudius to adopt her son under of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gaius Julius Vindex, re-
the names Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus. volted against the princeps. Shortly thereafter,
On 13 October A.D. 54, at the age of sixteen, Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania
Nero succeeded his great-uncle and adoptive Tarraconensis, and Lucius Clodius Macer, legatus
father as Augustus. in Africa, did likewise. Nero took no immediate
Initially Nero ruled under the close supervi- action against the usurpers and was unable to
sion of Agrippina, but by A.D. 55 her influence control the situation. Consequently, abandoned
began to wane and his praefectus praetorio, Sextus by most of the army and the Senate, Nero com-
Afranius Burrus and his tutor, Lucius Annaeus mitted suicide with the aide of his freedman
Seneca came to dominate.3 Under their guid- Epaphroditus on 9 June A.D. 68 and Galba
ance, Nero apparently governed well during the succeeded as the new princeps.5
early years of his reign; but in 62, Burrus died Nero’s body was not mutilated after his death
and Seneca was dismissed from the emperor’s and in fact his funeral was carried out at a rather
service. Nero’s increasingly autocratic tendencies, enormous cost of 200,000 sesterces.6 He was
as well as his overriding interest in artistic pur- cremated in white robes embroidered with gold,
suits, began to alienate the traditionally minded and his nurses, Alexandria and Egloge, as well
members of the senatorial aristocracy.4 Relations as his mistress Acte, placed his ashes in the tomb
between the emperor and Senate grew steadily of his paternal ancestors the Domitii, whose
funerary complex was situated on the Collis
Hortulorum (the modern Pincio). His monument
1 For a review of historical attitudes towards Nero, see consisted of a porphyry container for his ashes
J. Elsner and J. Masters in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds.(1994) (solium), surmounted by an altar of Luna marble,
2-8. all of which was surrounded by an enclosure of
2 As established by the AFA; M. Griffin (1984) 21, n.

11. Thasian marble. Despite these elaborate funerary

3 The decline of Agrippina’s influence is mirrored on arrangements and furnishings, Nero’s remains
the Roman coinage. Agrippina initially appears in a fac- were not deposited in the Mausoleum of Augus-
ing profile with her son, and then iugate, with Nero in the
foreground, and after 55 she disappears entirely. Never- tus. Like Julia Maior, Julia Minor, Agrippina
theless, Agrippina continues to prominently feature on the
provincial coinage at Alexandria, Caesarea, Nicea, Antioch,
and Thessalonika, and until her death in 59. 5 Suet. Nero 47-49; Dio 63.27; J. Scheid (1984) 180-81,
4 On Nero’s conflict with the aristocracy and their re- 184-85.
sponse to the princeps, see V.A. Rudich (1992). 6 See Suet. Nero 50.
nero and poppaea 47

Maior, Nero and Drusus Caesar, Caligula, and confirm that this destruction of Nero’s portraits,
Agrippina Minor before him, Nero’s exclusion monuments, inscriptions, and coins was aggres-
from the Mausoleum constituted a posthumous sively carried out under Galba and Vespasian.12
and highly symbolic revocation of his member- During the revolt of Vindex, the troops of Rufus
ship in the Julian gens, into which he had been Gallus overthrew and destroyed Nero’s statues,
formally adopted by Claudius, and served as an prefiguring the destruction of the emperor’s
effective denigration of his memory and reputa- images following his death.13 Immediately after
tion. Nero’s death, the mob also demonstrated against
Nero was the first emperor to be officially the dead emperor and dragged his statues
declared a hostis by the Roman Senate: se hostem through the Forum Romanum.14 Tacitus quotes
a senatu judicatum et quaeri ut puniatur more maiorum.7 Nero’s successor Galba as saying that there was
The Senate sought to execute Nero in the man- no prior precedent for the condemnation of a
ner traditionally reserved for hostes, which man- princeps (neque erat adhuc damnati principis exemplum).15
dated that the offender was stripped, held by a
forked stick, and then beaten to death with rods.
Suetonius includes a detailed description of this Nero’s Portrait Typology
traditional punishment in his account of Nero’s
final moments8 The declaration of Nero as a hostis Like his unflattering portrayal of Caligula, Sue-
necessarily included posthumous sanctions tonius’s physical depiction of Nero was pro-
against his monuments and inscriptions. Pliny the foundly affected by Nero’s damnatio and the en-
Elder also records that Nero’s “crimes” were suing defamation of his memory. Suetonius
condemned (damnatis sceleribus illius principis).9 describes Nero’s physical appearance in the fol-
Suetonius indicates that Nero’s publicly dis- lowing terms:
played images also played important roles in the Statura fuit prope iusta, corpore maculoso et fetido, subflavo
events leading up to his overthrow. A placard was capillo, vultu pulchro magis quam venusto, oculis caesis
affixed to one of his statues which read in Greek et hebetioribus, cervice obesa, ventre proiecto, gracillimis
“Now there will be a true contest, and you will cruribus...comam semper in gradus formatam.
finally surrender.”10 A second placard, also af- He was well-proportioned, but his body was spot-
fixed to a portrait of Nero proclaimed that the ted and malodorous. His hair was tawny. His
emperor “deserved the sack,” referring to the features were pretty rather than pleasing, with eyes
traditional punishment for parricide, the poena that were blue, but dull. His neck was heavy and
cullei in which the condemned was sewn into a his stomach hung over his skinny legs. (He wore)
his hair always arranged in waves.16
sack with a dog, a monkey, a snake and a rooster
and thrown into a body of water.11 The reference The physical details of heavy neck and wavy
to parricide recalls the murder of Nero’s mother, hairstyle are indeed present in Nero’s later
Agrippina Minor, and may also be intended to
metaphorically invoke Nero’s “murder” of the
12 Suet.Galba 15.1,; Tacit.Hist. 1.20, 1.78; Plut.Galba 16.1-
Roman fatherland, the patria. The historical
sources and the surviving archaeological evidence 2, Otho 3.1; F. Vittinghoff (1936) 102; J. Bleiken (1962)104-
5; J. P. Rollin (1979) 165; E. S. Ramage (1983) 201, 209-
10, n. 22; A. Barrett (1989) 177, n. 25.
13 6"Â @Ê FJD"J4äJ"4 J•H :¥< J@Ø ;XDT<@H gÆ6`<"H 6"2gÃ8@<

6"Â FL<XJD4R"<, Dio 63.25.1.

7 Suet.Nero 49.2; K.R. Bradley (1978) 277-78. 14 Plutarch reports that the gladiator Spiculus was thrown
8 Suet.Nero 49.3. beneath the statues as they were being torn down. Galba
9 HN 34.18.45 8.5 ( EBÃ68@< :¥< @Þ< JÎ< :@<@:"P`< •<*D4VF4 ;XDT<@H
10 nunc demum agona esse, et traderet tandem, Nero 45.2. This ©86@:X<@4H ßB@$"8`<JgH ¦< •(@D” *4XN2g4D"<).
pasquinade is undoubtedly meant to refer ironically to the 15 Tacit. Hist. 1.16. The statement also essentially con-

supposedly rigged contests in which Nero participated during firms the unofficial, ad hoc nature of Caligula’s condem-
his Greek tour. See also A.P. Gregory (1994) 93. nation.
11 R. Bauman (1996) 30. 16 Nero 51; K.R. Bradley (1978) 281-85.
48 chapter three

sculpted and numismatic portraits, but Suetonius mouth consists of full upper lip and receding
deliberately exaggerates the unattractive aspects lower lip. The chin is rounded and the ears pro-
of Nero’s appearance in order to deprecate the trude from the head which continues to be a
emperor’s character. As with his description of characteristic physical trait in the three subse-
Caligula, contemporary theories of ancient phy- quent types.
siognomics clearly influenced Suetonius’s descrip- A new portrait type was created for Nero upon
tion.17 Nero’s spotted body (corpore maculoso) lik- his accession to the throne in A.D. 54. Coins
ens him to the panther, who is petty, thieving, issued from 54-59 depict the young princeps with
and deceitful.18 The spindly legs are character- the same centrally parted hairstyle, but the fa-
istic of the monkey, and betray an evil, intem- cial features are significantly more mature. This
perate and lustful nature.19 His weak eyes are second type is often referred to as the accession
signs of cowardice and timidity,20 while his pro- type or Cagliari type, after a well-preserved rep-
truding stomach denotes “deceitfulness, insensi- lica.24
tivity, drunkenness, and debauchery.”21 Nero’s third type marks a significant departure
Nero’s surviving sculpted likenesses corre- from the two earlier types. The numismatic por-
spond closely with his datable numismatic images traits of A.D. 59-64 depict the emperor with
and can be divided into four distinct portrait much heavier facial features; the face is broader,
types each marking significant events in the em- the neck thicker, and there is a visible underchin,
peror’s career. 22 The earliest type celebrates details which conform more closely to Suetonius’s
Nero’s adoption by Claudius and appears on description of the princeps. The coiffure is gener-
coins minted during from A.D. 51-54. This type ally longer and more full than the earlier hair-
depicts the future emperor with a coiffure of long style and is made up of locks which are carefully
comma shaped locks parted near the center of arranged over the forehead in parallel curves
the forehead.23 Lengthy sideburns curl in front moving from right to left. These locks reverse
of the ears. The facial features are smooth and direction over the outer corner of the right eye.
regular. Well formed, almond shaped eyes, with The hair which covers the top of the head is
crisply delineated upper and lower lids are set waved in an incipient version of the waved coma
beneath straight brows. The nose is aquiline. The in gradus formata hairstyle mentioned by Suetonius.
The locks grow long on the nape of the neck and
are swept forward. Long sideburns still curl in
17 T. Barton elucidates the connections between physi- front of the ears. Only one sculpted example of
ognomical and Suetonius’s rhetorical invectio against Nero this type, now in the Museo Palatino, has sur-
in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57-58.
18 Phgn. 810a.6-9; K.R. Bradley (1978) 283; T. Barton vived (fig. 82a-c).25 It conforms closely to the nu-
in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57.
19 Phgn. 810b.3-5; Polemo F.1.194.10, 270.17; Anon.

§ 71, § 91, § 112; T. Barton in J. Elsner and J. Masters, the coiffures and physiognomies of these two types are
eds. (1994) 57. basically identical and they should certainly be considered
20 Phgn 807b.8; K.R. Bradley (1978) 283-84; T. Barton the same type. M. Bergmann and P. Zanker have proposed
in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57; Pliny the Elder that the portraits of Hiesinger’s Heir Apparent type are
also describes Nero’s dull eyes as a sign of his weak and actually an official “Neufassung” of the earliest type, (1981)
cowardly nature, HN 11.141-45. 321-22.
21 Polemo F.1.210.7-12; Ps. Pol. 361.16-362.10; Anon 24 Accession type: U. Hiesinger (1975)118; Cagliari Type:

§ 64, 93, 112; Adam. F.1.361.5-362-2; T. Barton in J. Elsner M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 321-22. As in the first
and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 57. portrait type, the placement of the part is subject to slight
22 U. Hiesinger (1975) remains the fundamental source variation; In one example over the inner corner of the right
on the Nero’s portrait typology. subsequent refinements eye, Cagliari, Museo Nazionale, inv. 35533; and in four
include, M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 321-32; H. examples over the inner corner of the left eye, Rome, Museo
Jucker (1981a) 284-309; Fittschen-Zanker I, 17-19; and S. Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 4, inv. 418; Rome,
Maggi (1986) 47-51; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 135-39. Museo Palatino, ex Terme, inv. 616; Rome, Musei Vaticani,
23 U. Hiesinger has divided the portraits of these years Sala dei Busti 385, inv. 59; Syracuse, Museo Nazionale,
into two separate types: an “Adoption Type” dated 50-51 inv. 6383.
and an “Heir Apparent Type,” (1975) 117-118. However, 25 Museo Palatino, ex Terme, inv. 618.
nero and poppaea 49

mismatic images, but includes a lightly incised surviving portraits were intentionally vandalized
beard. The type was introduced to mark the after his overthrow. The most dramatically dam-
quinquennalia of Nero’s reign in A.D. 59.26 aged is a likeness of the second type from the
Nero’s fourth and final type is similar to the island of Cos (cat. 2.2).30 The portrait was exca-
third type, with even more insistent modeling of vated at the island’s agora, where the image is
the corpulent facial features, and a more ornately likely to have been publicly displayed. The brows,
constructed coiffure. This type is introduced on eyes, nose, and lips and chin have all been at-
coins in A.D. 64 and continues until Nero’s death tacked with a chisel. The resulting damage to the
in 68. The hair is still arranged in curving locks sensory organs is T-shaped and occurs in other
across the forehead, but the right to left orienta- deliberately defaced imperial portraits. While
tion of these locks remains unbroken as there is extreme, it still renders the likeness recognizable.
no longer a change in direction of the hair over Like the bronze cuirassed bust of Caligula in
the outer corner of the right eye. The waves of which the eyes have been gouged out (cat. 1.X),
hair on the top of the head are much more pro- the violent destruction of the sensory organs
nounced than in the third type; this final coiffure stands as an anthropomorphic attack on the
resemble most closely the hairstyle which Sue- image as an artistic effigy of the emperor and has
tonius refers to as coma in gradus formata.27 The close conceptual ties to post mortem corpse abuse
fourth type was created to commemorate Nero’s (poena post mortem).31 After its mutilation, the im-
decennalia in A.D. 64.28 The heavier, emphatically age must have been stored or buried in the vi-
modeled facial features of Nero’s final two por- cinity of the agora. Prior to its removal, the
trait types are clearly modeled on the images of defaced portrait may have remained on public
Hellenistic rulers, especially Ptolemaic portraits.29 display for a time as a visible signifier of Nero’s
These fleshier faced images are intended to com- posthumous denigration. The head provides
municate the concept of JDLNZ or luxuria (royal rather surprising evidence for the mutilation of
luxury and beneficence). Nero’s images in the Greek speaking areas of the
Empire where he is known to have enjoyed great
popularity during his lifetime. However, the
The Mutilation and Destruction of Nero’s Images Greeks’ former enthusiastic support for Nero as
the emperor who “liberated” the province of
Mutilated images of Nero are graphic remind- Achaea may have produced an anti-Neronian
ers of the damnatio pronounced against him. Four backlash and probably necessitated prominent
public displays of repudiation like the mutilation
of the Cos portrait.32
26 U. Hiesinger (1975)124. A portrait of Nero in Cagliari has also been
27 H.P. L’Orange stressed this coiffure’s relationship to deliberately defaced (cat.2.1; fig. 42).33 The bust
Hellenistic ruler portraits and its ultimate derivation from is said to have been acquired on the mainland.34
images of Alexander the Great, (1947) 55-63. J.M.C.
Toynbee set forth an alternative suggestion that Nero’s It has undergone severe damage to the brows,
hairstyle is an imitation of the coiffures worn by aurigae; (1947) eyes, nose, lips, and chin, echoing the T-shaped
137 (followed also by Bartman [1998] 25). This seems highly destruction of the Cos portrait. Two X’s have
unlikely; the reverse should rather be the case, with Nero’s
evocation of Hellenistic hairstyles influencing the charioteers been carved at each clavicle and VICTO
with whom he was popular.
28 U. Hiesinger (1975)124.
29 See, for instance, a portrait of Ptolemy I Soter in the

Louvre, (MA 849, R.R. Smith [1988] 164, no. 46, pl. 34.1- 30 Museum, inv. 4510.
3) and later, fatter faced physkon portraits: Ptolemey XII 31 E.R. Varner (2001b) 48.
Auletes (?) (Louvre, MA 3449, R.R. Smith [1988a] 168, 32 On Nero’s relationship to the Greeks and their re-

no. 62, pl. 42.1-2); the Getty Physkon (83.AA.205, R.R. sponse to him, see S.E. Alcock in J. Elsner and J. Masters,
Smith [1988a] 168, no. 63, pl. 42.2-4); and the Brussels eds., (1994) 98-111
Physkon (Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, inv. E1839, 33 Museo Nazionale, inv. 6122.

R.R. Smith [1988a] 93-94, no. 73, pl. 47.1-2). 34 U. Hiesinger (1975)115, n. 10.
50 chapter three

scratched on the right breast. The X’s may be the building’s sculptural decoration. Its destruc-
ancient or modern markers, preparatory to re- tion should perhaps be associated with the events
moving the head and neck from the torso.35 The surrounding the revolt of Vindex in Gaul. Sub-
inscription VICTO (to the conquered) is an ironic sequently, the fragment was stored or buried near
reversal of the dedication used for victorious the Odeum. It has also been suggested that a
athletes or performers, VICTORI (to the victor), fragmentary marble eagle discovered in an area
and is especially caustic in light of Nero’s own of ancient refuse disposal at Exeter may be a
athletic and artistic pretensions. The ironic im- remnant of an vandalized portrait of Nero as
plications of the graffito also directly recall the Jupiter.39 The scattered find-spots of the damaged
pasquinade proclaiming that there would now be likenesses suggests that their destruction was likely
a true contest (agona) in which Nero would finally the result of spontaneous demonstrations against
be defeated. Nero’s memory. These must have been fairly
A badly damaged statue from the Roman immediate responses to the news of the emperor’s
theater at Vicenza (ancient Vicetia) may also be overthrow and death, and were intended to de-
an intentionally mutilated representation of Nero fame Nero’s character and reign, as well as to
(cat. 2.4).36 The portrait, discovered in 1839 demonstrate support for Galba’s new regime. The
represents an emperor with bare torso and hip surprising paucity of surviving damaged marble
mantle as Jupiter. The face of the portrait has portraits, in comparison to the enormous num-
been shorn away and the damage appears to be ber of portraits which were recarved or un-
deliberate. The long locks which are swept for- touched , confirms that removal and reuse, rather
ward on the nape of the neck are characteristic than intentional mutilation, was the standard
of Nero’s type 2, 3, and 4 portraits. If the statue response to Nero’s damnatio and is consonant with
did depict Nero, it provides important evidence the earlier evidence established by Caligula’s
for the violent destruction of his publicly dis- survivng marble and bronze images.40
played images in Italy. The damaged statue could Nero’s numismatic portraits were also defaced,
then have been stored somewhere in the theater and many of his coins were countermarked
or its substructures throughout the Empire. A laureate portrait of
Two other marble portraits may owe their Nero on a tetradrachm from Alexandria has been
extremely fragmentary state to destruction car- destroyed and the accompanying legend: NEP
ried out as a consequence of Nero’s damnatio. A K7AK KAIE EEB 'EP AKT has been obliter-
type 2 portrait from Syracuse (cat. 2.2; fig. 43)37 ated.41 A coin from Thessalonika also has a de-
and a type 4 portrait from Vienne (cat. 2.5; fig. faced laureate portrait of the emperor and a
44)38 are both only partially preserved. The Syra- partial erasure of the legend: NE /////// EB
cuse fragment depicts the emperor with a corona AETOE KAIEAP.42 A deep chisel mark has been
civica and was found in the city’s Forum. Like the cut into Nero’s neck on an as discovered at Sil-
portrait from Cos, it may have originally been chester (Roman Calleva Atrebatum).43 A dupondius
displayed in the public context of the Forum, and
39 J.M.C. Toynbee (1979) 130-2, pl. 20.44; P. Stewart
stored or buried there following the destruction
of the image. The Vienne portrait was excavated (1999) 186, n. 24.
40 D. Kreikenbom has indentified fragments of a seated
at the city’s Odeum and may have been part of colossal image from Lugundum Convenarum (St. Bertrand)
as a replica of Nero’s last type (St. Bertrand de Comminges,
Musée Municipal; [1992] 206, no. 3.75). However the
preserved sections of the coiffure are too fragmentary to
35 I thank T.J. Luce for first suggesting this possibility. permit a secure identification.
The removal was obviously never carried out, and recalls 41 R. Mowat (1901) 449-50; rev. bust of Octavia facing

the unfinished attempt to remove the head and neck from right, OKTAO IA EBA TO and LE, dated to the fifth year
the togate body of the Richmond Caligula, see supra. of Nero’s reign, A.D. 58.
36 Vicenza, Museo Civico, inv. EI-19. 42 L. Ruzicka (1924) 354-55.
37 Syracuse, Museo Nazionale, inv. 6383. 43 G.C. Boon (1974) 11, fig.; the coin was discovered
38 Vienne, Musée archéologique. between 1890 and 1909.
nero and poppaea 51

from Rome has been disfigured by the counter- Tripolis, Nero’s issues were countermarked suc-
mark SPQR which has severed the neck, meta- cessively with the monograms of Galba, Otho,
phorically “decapitating” Nero’s image (fig. 45).44 and Vespasian.58 And 'A7BA is countermarked
Nero’s portraits have been overstruck in provin- on various obverses,59 often obliterating Nero’s
cial issues in bronze or brass from Teos,45 facial features, as for instance on bronze and brass
Sardis,46 and Smyrna.47 Nero’s coiffure has been issues at Perinthus,60 Nicea,61and Nicomedia.62
removed with a chisel on a duopondius in Bonn48 In Spain, Galba’s province, a denarius of Nero was
and a sestertius in Hamburg.49 The resulting bald completely overstruck.63 At Tripolis, in addition
images were likely intended to make the over- to Galba’s countermark, there are countermarks
thrown princeps appear ridiculous.50 In both coins, with the names of Otho or Vespasian.64 Thessa-
Nero’s names and titles have not been erased. On lonika, Prusa, Caesareia in Samaria, and Nysa-
the other hand, a small bronze coin from Cyme Scythopolis all countermarked Nero’s coins with
has had Nero’s name carefully erased,51 as do each city’s respective name.65 Nero’s coinage may
sestertii from Rome and Lyon,52 and a [bronze] also have been recalled by the local Senate of
issue from Patras.53 Like the mutilation of his Nicopolis.66 The extensive use of countermarks
sculpted portraits, the defacements of Nero’s was intended to revalidate Nero’s coinage, as well
coins are isolated events, individual expressions as to announce the sovereignty of the new em-
of denigration intended to signal loyalty to the peror to the citizens of the Empire.67 Addition-
new princeps.54 Significantly, the mutilation of ally, the countermarking of Nero’s coins was a
Nero’s numismatic images is limited to the less practical, as well as economically viable alterna-
valuable issues, with no examples on aurei.55 tive to the wholesale recalling of his issues, which
Nero’s coins were also frequently counter- would have necessitated the creation of entirely
marked.56 During the rebellion of Vindex, SPQR new emissions. The Othonian countermark from
was stamped on the obverses of Neronian aes Tripolis is especially intriguing, given the
from Lyon, usually on the emperor’s neck.57 At emperor’s rehabilitation of Nero’s memory at the
capital, and it further underscores the relative
autonomy local mints must have enjoyed in re-
44 New York, American Numismatic Society, inv. sponding to condemnations.
1953.171.1308; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 126-31, with figs.
45 RPC 53, 425.
46 RPC 53, 495, no. 3045.
47 RPC 53, 420-21, no. 2490.
48 Bonn, Rheinische Landesmuseum, inv. 6783; from

Neuss; V. Zedelius (1979) 20-21; H. Jucker (1982) 124 pl.

42; D. Salzmann (1984) 295, n. 5, fig. 1.
49 Kunsthalle; P. Postel (1976) 124, no. 612, pl. 42; D.

Salzmann (1984) 295-96, fig. 2. 58 C.H.V. Sutherland (1940) 266; BMC Greek Coins of
50 D. Salzmann suggests that the coma in gradus formata Phoenicia nos. 39, 41, 42; C.J. Howgego (1985) 6, 222-223,
hairstyle may have been objectionable in itself since Sue- nos. 592, 594-95, pl. 23.
tonius refers to it as shameful (pudendus, Nero 51) (1984) 298, 59 D.W. MacDowall (1979) pl. 21 d, k; C.J. Howgego

n. 15. (1985) 205-6, nos. 525-7, 222, no. 591, pls. 20, 23; F.S.
51 T.O. Mabbot (1941) 398. Kleiner (1985) 118, nos. R71 b & c, 126, L8 a.
52 Removed from obverses showing Nero’s arch in Rome, 60 RPC 53, 319-20, nos. 1752, 1758-61.

F.S. Kleiner (1985) 118, no. 67b (Rome), 133, no. L71 a 61 RPC 53, 348-9, nos. 2050, 2052, 2057, 2060-61.

(Lyon). 62 RPC 53, 351, nos. 284-85.

53 RPC 53, 261, no. 1263. 63 C.H.V. Sutherland (1940) 266.
54 D. Salzmann proposes that the alteration of these coins 64 RPC 53, 647, no. 4520.

may have made them more acceptable in the marketplace, 65 C.J. Howgego (1985) 6, 209-10, no. 537, pl. 21

as was certainly the case with countermarked coins; how- (Thessalonica), 214, nos. 556-7, pl. 21 (Prusa), 211, no. 543,
ever the scarcity of defaced or altered coins speaks against pl. 21 (Caesareia in Samaria), 213, no. 555, pl. 21 (Nysa-
Salzmann’s theory (1984) 298. Scythopolis), 228, no. 619, pl. 24 (Corinth?); see also RPC
55 D. Salzmann (1984) 298. 52.
56 R. Mowat (1901) 448; C.J. Howgego (1985) 5-6. 66 T. O. Mabbot (1941) 358.
57 G.C. Boon (1974) 11. 67 R. Mowat (1901) 449, n. 1.
52 chapter three

The Transformation of Nero’s Images Wrinkles are eliminated or less emphatically

carved. Vespasian is endowed with a fuller head
Nero/Vespasian of hair, often with a row of coma shaped locks
across the forehead. This portrait type is classi-
Over forty surviving marble portraits which origi-
cizing in tone and looks back to the idealization
nally represented Nero have been recarved into
of Julio-Claudian portraiture rather than to re-
images of other emperors. Sixteen of these por-
publican verism. The more youthful type appears
traits have been reworked into likenesses of
to have been in use simultaneously with the main
Vespasian, who, as victor in the civil conflicts of
type, although not produced in such great num-
68-69, established the Flavian dynasty. These
bers. It also appears on coins minted through-
ecarved portraits encompass both portrait types
out Vespasian’s reign.69 There is, however, some
employed by Vespasian during his reign, a more
conflation between the two types: portraits of the
youthful, idealized type (secondary type), and an
main type can gloss over some of the signs of
older, more veristic type (main type).68 The main
aging and achieve a less harshly veristic ap-
portrait type recalls republican portraiture with
proach, while portraits of the secondary type can
its ruggedly realistic portrayal of the aging
include more dramatic signs of aging and thus
emperor’s physiognomy. Vespasian is depicted as
be more realistic in their handling of Vespasian’s
balding, with little or no hair on the top of the
facial features.
head. The thinning locks at the temples are
As is to be expected, images of the youthful
combed towards the back of the head. The face
Nero were more often refashioned into likenesses
is massive and square. Deep vertical furrows mark
of Vespasian’s secondary idealizing type. Ten of
the forehead, with horizontal furrows above the
the portraits recarved to Vespasian, have been
nose. The eyes are heavily lidded with bags be-
reworked into the secondary type, in spite of the
neath them and crows feet are often included at
fact that this type was produced in far fewer
their corners. The nose is hooked and the bridge
numbers than the much more widely dissemi-
is very pronounced. Sunken cheeks, the sugges-
nated main type. It would have been substantially
tion of jowls, and strong naso-labial lines are
easier for artists to recarve Nero’s youthful and
further elements of aging included in the
relatively classicizing images into Vespasian’s own
emperor’s physiognomy. The mouth is long and
more youthful portrait type. Indeed, as was also
thin and the lower lip does not recede. Wrinkles
the case with the portraits of Claudius recon-
are often carved on the neck as further indica-
figured from Caligula, the most idealizing images
tions of age. This is the most widely disseminated
of Vespasian have been recut from pre-existing
of Vespasian’s two portrait types and appears on
representations of Nero. In fact, Vespasian’s most
coins minted throughout his reign.
classicizing portrait has been refashioned from a
The secondary type agrees with the main type
likeness of Nero (cat. 2.22; fig.46a-d).70 The head
in the essentials of physiognomy, but the signs of
was excavated at Lucus Feroniae in 1953 near
aging are minimized or suppressed. The emperor
the temple in the Forum, where it is likely to have
is represented as considerably more youthful.

69 The secondary type may be based on a portrait of

For discussions of Vespasian’s portrait typology, see: Vespasian created before his elevation to the principate,
J.J. Bernoulli (1891) 21-28; G. Förschner (1959) 3-10, 26 or it may simply be a classicizing response to the more veristic
(1960) 25-32; B.M. Felletti Maj 1966) 1147-48; M. Wegner, type. In any case, since both types were in use simultaneously,
G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 9-17, 72-84; A. De the main veristic type may have been judged appropriate
Franciscis (1975) 211-24; V.P. Giornetti in MusNazRom I.1, in certain contexts, while the secondary classicizing type
279-80; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)332-49; H. in others. Patrons who commissioned imperial portraits and
Jucker (1981b) 697-702; G. Paladini (1981) 612-22; J. Pollini individual artistic workshops also must have played a role
(1984) 549-51; D. Salzmann (1984) 295-99; K. Fitt- in determining the degree of classicism or verism included
schen and P. Zanker (1985) 33, nr. 27; A. Amadio in in each portrait.
MusNazRom I.9.1, 186-87; D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 172- 70 Lucus Feroniae, Magazzini, formerly Rome, Museo

3. Nazionale di Villa Giulia.

nero and poppaea 53

been displayed. It is worked for insertion into a 2.17; fig. 49a-e),75 London (cat. 2.21; figs),76 and
togate statue. The longer hair on the nape of the two portraits in Seville (cat. 2.27-28)77 exhibit
neck is a remnant of the original likeness of Nero. fundamentally classicizing approaches to the
The eyes and brows do not appear to have been emperor’s physiognomy that are direct legacies
substantially recarved and strongly recall portraits of the Neronian originals. Signs of aging have
of Nero’s fourth type, especially the replica in been added to the Borghese portrait including
Munich.71 The Lucus Feroniae portrait deviates horizontal furrows on the forehead, vertical
from the other replicas of Vespasian’s secondary creases above the nose, crows feet at the corners
type in the in that indications of aging are almost of the eyes, slightly sunken cheeks, naso-labial
totally suppressed. The brows and cheeks are lines, and wrinkles on the neck. These signs of
relatively smooth and the naso-labial lines and aging notwithstanding, the recarved image of
wrinkles on the neck are not pronounced. The Vespasian is extremely idealizing in appearance
portrait has maintained much of the youthfulness and has maintained much of the youthful char-
and classicism of the original likeness of Nero, acter of the original Neronian likeness. The
and as such, is directly comparable to the ideal- Baltimore portrait is reported to have come from
izing representations of Claudius which retain the Pergamum. The long, rectangular shaped tenon
classicism of Caligula’s likenesses. is unusual and indicates that the head is worked
Another remarkably youthful portrait of for insertion into a semi-nude heroic portrait
Vespasian, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, has body, with cloak or paludamentum draped over the
been similarly refashioned from an earlier like- right shoulder. The classicism of the image, which
ness of Nero (cat. 2.19; fig. 47a-d).72 The piece has been essentially retained from the youthful
was acquired in Rome and is likely to have been portrait of Nero, stands in the tradition of
discovered in the city or its environs. The por- heroized representations of Roman emperors
trait portrays the emperor with a corona civica and particularly popular in the Greek speaking East.78
is worked for insertion into a draped statue. The The Seville portraits, one discovered at Écija in
eyes and the brows remain basically intact from 1972 and the other from Italica, as well as the
the original portrait of Nero’s second type. The London likeness, discovered at Carthage between
receding lower lip has also been retained, as has 1835-36, provide additional evidence for ideal-
the fleshy underchin. The artist has added super- ized representations of Vespasian refashioned
ficial signs of aging to the portrait, including light from images of Nero in the provinces.
horizontal furrows in the forehead and vertical Three other replicas of Vespasian’s secondary
creases above the nose. Nevertheless, the over- type, in Copenhagen (cat. 2.18),79 Grosseto (cat.
riding classicism of the image is a clear remnant 2.20),80 and the Vatican (cat. 2.25; fig. 51a-e)81
of the original Neronian likeness. represent fundamentally different approaches to
Although they are not as highly idealized as the recutting of Nero’s images. While they are
the Lucus Feroniae and Cophenhagen portraits, versions of Vespasian’s more youthful type, these
five other recut representations of Vespasian, portraits reject the classicism of the original like-
formerly at the Villa Borghese (cat. 2.26; fig. nesses in favor of an emphasis on realistic signs
48),73 in Baltimore (cat. 2.15,74 Cleveland (cat. of aging. The Vatican portrait is symptomatic of

71 The Nero/Vespasian in Cleveland (Cat. 2.17) also

substantially retains the eyes and brows of Nero’s fourth 75 Art Museum, inv. 29.439a.
type; J. Pollini (1984) 551. 76 British Museum, inv. 1890..
72 No. 463, inv. 1979. 77 Museo Arquelógico, inv. 7.906 and Museo Arque-
73 The original was formerly displayed the right of the lógico, inv. 1060.
Villa’s entrance, and is now replaced by a concrete copy. 78 P. Zanker (1983) 23-24, 47-48; J. Pollini (1984) 553.

The original is currently on display, with other sculpture 79 National Museum, inv. 3425.

from the Villa’s facade at the Palazzo dei Conservatori. 80 Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma.
74 Walters Art Gallery, inv. 23.119. 81 Galleria Chiaramonti, 7.9, inv. 1291.
54 chapter three

this group. The head, presumably from Rome or The under life-sized scale of the head is a direct
its vicinity, has been recut from a preexisting result of the reduction in marble occasioned by
portrait of Nero’s fourth type. Numerous signs the recutting. A second recut portrait in the
of aging have been added to the likeness and Palazzo Massimo, also achieves similarly exag-
include deep horizontal furrows on the forehead gerated effects of aging which emphatically dis-
and vertical creases above the bridge of the nose, tance the new representation of Vespasian from
sunken eyes set beneath heavy lids, naso-labial the images of Nero (cat. 2.24., fig. 53a-e).85
lines, and several wrinkles on the neck. The hair Whereas in many reworked portraits the physi-
over the forehead has been recut, and the top of ognomic asymmetricalities occasioned by the
the head has been worked over with a chisel. The recarving often appear anomalous, in these two
locks over the left ear are unaltered from Nero’s portraits the exaggerated effects are well suited
fourth portrait type.82 The longer hair on the to the revival of Republican topographical verism
right side of the head, and on the nape of the espoused in Vespasian’s main type.
neck are also remnants of Nero’s fourth type, as Although they fail to attain the level of real-
is the slightly receding lower lip. The wrinkles on ism present in the Terme portraits, two other
the neck do not accurately take into account the examples of Vespasian’s main type in Tunis (cat.
turn of the head and are clearly a product of 2.29; fig. 54)86 and Turin (cat. 2.30; fig. 55a-b)87
the reworking.83 The indications of aging sharp- have been refashioned from likenesses of Nero.
ly distinguish the new portrait of Vespasian In the Tunis portrait, Nero’s locks have been
from more idealized images of the disgraced entirely smoothed over, but the mass of the origi-
Nero. nal coiffure is still present and bulges out unnatu-
Significantly, only five of the portraits of Ves- rally behind Vespasian’s ears. The brows are re-
pasian recut from likenesses of Nero have been tained from Nero’s second type. The wrinkles and
reworked into Vespasian’s more realistic, main furrows which have been cut into the forehead,
type. One of these portraits, in the Terme, was above the nose, and around the mouth have been
discovered in 1908 near Castel Porziano and is rendered in a harshly linear manner which is
remarkable for the marked exaggeration of its characteristic of much of the sculpture produced
aged facial features, which make it, without a locally in North Africa. The result is a more
doubt, the most realistic of Vespasian’s images abstract handling of the veristic details of
(cat. 2.23; fig. 52a-d).84 The furrows in the fore- Vespasian’s main type than in the metropolitan
head are insistently modeled. The small eyes are Roman or Italian examples. The head is worked
nearly swallowed by the heavy lids and surround- for insertion into an over life-sized togate statue
ing folds of flesh. The cheeks are sunken and the and was discovered in the temple of Apollo at
naso-labial lines are deeply carved. The recutting Bulla Regia. The image may have been associ-
of the facial features has resulted in striking ated with the imperial cult and, in addition to the
asymmetricalities. The left eye is considerably London portrait, provides important evidence for
smaller than the right and the handling of the the dissemination of Nero’s likenesses in North
upper eyelids has given a triangular shape to both Africa and their subsequent reworking after his
eyes. The treatment of the eyebrows is vastly overthrow.88 A colossal laureate portrait from
different. All trace of Nero’s full lips have been Verria in Macedonia has also been recut into a
removed and, consequently, the mouth of the
portrait is reworked as a sunken gash in the face. 85 Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle
Terme, inv. 53.
86 Tunis, Musée du Bardo, inv. C 1025.
87 Museo di Antichità, inv. 244.
88 A statue of Minia Procula, identified by inscription
82 M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 337. as a priestess of the imperial cult was also discovered at
83 M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 337. the temple of Apollo; A. Beschaouch, R. Hanoune, Y.
84 Inv. 38795. Thébert (1977) 131, fig. 130.
nero and poppaea 55

markedly veristic likeness of Vespasian, with work of an individual who intended to defame
strong horizontal wrinkles added to the forehead, the memory of Nero and proclaim his loyalty to
pouches beneath the eyes, as well as deep naso- the new regime.
labial lines (cat. 2.31).89 Traces of Nero’s longer
and fuller hair (from type 3 or 4) are visible at
the back of the head. The insistent signs of ag-
ing have been cut into the head, rather than Several likenesses of Nero have been refashioned
being fully modeled, giving the likeness a kind of into images of Vespasian’s eldest son, Titus. On
wood-cut effect. The Verria head provides im- the basis of numismatic parallels, Titus’s sculpt-
portant evidence for the transformation of Nero’s ed portraits have been divided into two types.93
likenesses in Greece. The first is the most widely disseminated of his
A small chalcedony bust of Vespasian in Bos- types. The coiffure of this type is combed forward
ton has also been refashioned from a represen- from the occiput, with longer locks at the back
tation of Nero (cat. 2.16).90 The portrait depicts of the head and relatively short curly locks fram-
the emperor wearing a paludamentum and is an im- ing the face. The hair recedes at the temples and
portant instance of a miniature military image of is arranged in a curved segment over the fore-
Nero being recut into a likeness of Vespasian. head. The locks over the forehead are brushed
Traces of Nero’s longer locks are still clearly from left to right, with a few locks over the right
visible at the sides and back of the head. eye reversing this direction. The face is full and
A Neronian sestertius once on the art market square, with a forehead that is broad and often
in Munich is a unique example of a reworked marked by horizontal furrows. The brows are
numismatic portrait.91 The coin is dated by its somewhat arching and the eyes are marked by
reverse, which depicts a congiarium, to A.D. 64- well-defined upper and lower lids. The nose is
66. The obverse depicts a laureate portrait of the hooked and the cupid’s bow mouth is full. The
emperor and the legend reads: NERO CLAVDIVS lower lip does not usually recede. The chin is
CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P IMP P P. Nero’s rounded and often cleft and combined with a
coiffure and beard from his third portrait type, fleshy underchin. The main replica of this type,
as attested in an unaltered versions of the coin, after which it is often called, is a cuirassed stat-
have been carefully chiseled away.92 In addition, ue discovered at Herculaneum.94 The second
the nose has been chiseled in at the bridge, and type differs from the first chiefly in the way in
three diagonal cuts have been made in the which the locks are arranged over the forehead.
emperor’s fleshy underchin. Apparently, these These locks are less randomly ordered than in
alterations were an attempt to transform Nero’s the Herculaneum type and are combed from left
likeness into that of Vespasian. Interestingly to right, sometimes having one or two curls re-
enough, Nero’s name and titles have not been versing this direction over the outer corner of the
erased or altered. The combination of the re- left eye. The hair over the forehead is also less
worked portrait of Vespasian with the names and curved than in the first type. The second type has
titles of Nero makes a forceful statement regard- been referred to as the Erbach type after an
ing Nero’s overthrow and Vespasian’s ultimate important replica preserved in that collection.95
success in replacing him as the head of the Ro- Significantly, most of the images of Titus trans-
man state. Because it is unique, the reworked
sestertius is likely to have been the spontaneous
93 See M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966)

18-29; K. Fittschen (1977) 63-67; Fittschen-Zanker I, 33-

89 Museum, inv. 373. 34.
90 Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 98.768. 94 Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 6059.
91 D. Salzmann (1984) 295-99, figs. 3, 5. 95 See D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 172-6, figs. 141-2, for a
92 A. Banti and L. Simonetti (1979) 138- 53, nos. 784- discussion of Titus’ portrait typology and illustrations of the
805, figs; D. Salzmann (1984) 296-7, n. 10, figs. 4,6. Herculaneum and Erbach images.
56 chapter three

formed from pre-existing images of Nero have altered from Nero’s fourth type and consequently
been adapted to Titus’s first type, suggesting that are more exuberant and baroque in the model-
these reconfigurations took place earlier in the ing of the physiognomy. In both portraits the
principate of Vespasian, rather than later or lower profiles closely match Nero’s type 4 por-
during the principate of Titus himself. A cuirassed trait in Munich (fig. 83). The Alexandria portrait
portrait from the Metroon at Olympia, originally of Titus provides further corroboration for the
a type 3 replica of Nero has been refashioned into recarving of Nero’s likenesses in the provinces,
a conflation of Titus’s two portrait types (cat. and additionally attests to the dissemination of
2.37).96 Nero’s type 3 coiffure is evident on the Nero’s images in Egypt, a province which inter-
top of the head and behind the left ear where it ested Nero greatly. A badly weathered type 1
is swept forward. The long, curving locks which image of Titus in Copenhagen also appears to
remain from Nero’s hairstyle contrast starkly with have been refashioned from a type 3 or 4 por-
Titus’s more heavily modeled short curls added trait of Nero (cat. 2.34; fig. 36a-d).102 Like the
over the forehead. The cuirass is decorated with Paris and Alexandria heads, it exhibits a more
marine imagery, including dolphins and a Nereid emphatic modeling of the heavy facial features.
riding a hippocamp. This particular motif may The small, fleshy eyes are remnants of the
have been created by Neronian artists.97 In ad- Neronian portrait. Nero’s longer locks have been
dition the statue attests to the dissemination of cut down behind the ears and on the nape of the
militaristic images of Nero in Greece, specifically neck.
Olympia, the site of his panhellenic victories in Representations of Nero were also reworked
athletics and recitation. Furthermore, the portrait into Titus’s secondary (Erbach) type, as attested
confirms both a Neronian and Flavian phase for by two examples, in the Villa Borghese (cat.
the portrait cycle at the Metroon, as the origi- 2.39)103 and the Uffizi (cat. 2.35; fig. 57).104 The
nal portrait of Nero would have been added to Borghese head was recarved from a type 2 like-
the existing Claudian group of Divus Augustus, ness of Nero and retains some of the classicizing
Claudius, and Agrippina Minor. feel of the original. As part of the Borghese col-
Two portraits of Titus’s first type have been lection, the head is likely to have been discov-
adapted from replica’s of Nero’s second type. ered in Rome or its vicinity. The Uffizi portrait
These likenesses, in Hannover (cat. 2.36)98 and has been recarved from a replica of Nero’s third
Castle Howard (cat. 2.33),99 still exhibit remnants or fourth type. Like the Borghese piece, it prob-
of Nero’s type 2 hairstyle at the back of the head. ably comes from Rome or its vicinity, as it was
The smooth modeling of the surfaces in the originally part of the Ludovisi collection sold to
Hannover likeness reveals the underlying classi- Ferdinando II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in
cism and idealization which are characteristic of 1669.105 The discrepancies of coiffure and physi-
Nero’s type 2 images. On the other hand, the ognomy occasioned by the recarving have re-
more realistic details of the Castle Howard por- sulted in a likeness of Titus which deviates con-
trait have entirely eliminated any trace of Nero’s siderably from other replicas of his second type.
youthful facial features. In contrast, two addi- A portrait from the Roman theater at Trieste of
tional replicas of Titus’s first type, in Paris (cat. Titus has also been reconfigured from an exist-
2.38)100 and Alexandria (cat. 2.32),101 have been ing image of Nero (cat. 2.40; fig. 58).106 The
portrait is worked for insertion, likely into a
96Museum, no. 144.
97Two additional cuirasses display identical imagery,
in the Louvre (inv. 3384) and Durres, inv 4415 (earlier 825)
see infra.
98 Sammlung des Herzogs von Braunschweig. 102 664a, inv. 1843.
99 Castle Howard (Forschungsarchiv für römische Plastik 103 Sala del Ermafrodito 171, inv. 748.
Köln, neg. no. 1025/05, 1025/06, 918/10). 104 Inv. 1914.126.
100 Musée du Louvre, MA 3562. 105 B. Palma, MusNazRom 1.6, 104.
101 Alexandria, Museum, inv. 26958. 106 Museo Civico di Storia e Arte, inv. 3139.
nero and poppaea 57

cuirassed statue, and represents the emperor Four full length portrait statues of Domitian
wearing a laurel crown. The hair behind the originally represented Nero. Three of these are
corona has been worked away, but the longer cuirassed likenesses, including a statue recut to
locks brushed forward behind the ears are clear Domitian’s first type in the Braccio Nuovo of the
remnants of Nero’s type 3 coiffure. As a result Vatican (cat. 2.53; fig. 59).108 The likeness retains
of the reworking, the crown is too large for the elements of Nero’s type 2 coiffure, but M.
shape of the face, and the neck is unnaturally Pfanner has conclusively demonstrated that the
thick at its base. original facial structure belonged to Nero’s third
portrait type: the profile of the Braccio Nuovo
head matches exactly the profile of Nero’s only
surviving type 3 portrait in the Museo Palatino
Vespasian’s younger son, Domitian shared super- (fig. 82a-c).109 Thus, the original portrait of Nero
ficial similarities in age, physiognomy, and coif- was a conflation of types 2 and 3, datable to A.D.
fure, with Nero and as a result more portraits of 59-64. The Braccio Nuovo statue is one of three
Nero were altered into representations of Domi- Neronian likenesses which exhibit such con-
tian, than have been transformed into either flations.110
Vespasian or Titus. All three of Domitian’s por- The reworked image of Domitian retains the
trait types are represented among the reworked calm, classicizing authority of the original and
images, spanning the years A.D. 69-96. Domi- consequently is a flattering representation of the
tian’s earliest type is attested on coins from A.D. young Caesar. The statue recalls the Prima Porta
72-75. The young prince is shown with a full statue of Augustus, depicting the emperor in
head of curly hair which is arranged in curving cuirass and hip mantle. Like the Prima Porta
locks over the forehead, combed from right to portrait, the imagery on the cuirass, a cupid
left, with a section of locks often reversing direc- riding a bull, a nereid, a triton, and a dolphin,
tion over the right eye. Domitian has a hooked imbues the likeness with additional iconographi-
nose like his father and his face is broad. His cal meaning, placing the rule of the princeps in a
mouth is full, and the lower lip recedes slightly. larger cosmological setting and proclaiming his
The chin is firm and somewhat square in shape. domination over the sea. In addition, the statue’s
Domitian’s second portrait type is used on coins marine imagery closely relates it to the Nero/
beginning in 75. In this portrait type, the hair is Titus from the Metroon at Olmpia (cat. 2.37). As
curlier over the forehead and at the temples. a representation of a victorious imperator the statue
Some of these locks can be treated as full cork- also provides invaluable evidence for militaristic
screw curls. The curving locks over the forehead images of Nero produced in Rome. Such images
continue to be brushed right to left, but the re- were undoubtedly created to capitalize on the
versed locks are placed over the left eye rather Roman military successes in Armenia, engineered
than the right. The third and final portrait type by Gn. Domitius Corbulo, as well as to publicly
first appears on coins in A.D. 81, the year of represent Nero in the traditional role of popular
Domitian’s accession. The long strands of hair army commander (like his maternal grandfather
are now brushed in waves, forward from the Germanicus), despite the emperor’s lack of mili-
occiput.107 Again, the curving locks are careful- tary experience.
ly arranged over the forehead and are oriented
right to left, with the locks over the right temple
reversing this direction. 109 (1989) 219, fig. 35.
110 A bronze portrait from the Via Babuino has the same
combination of type 2 hair with type 3 facial features (Palazzo
dei Conservatori, [formerly] Sala dei Bronzi, inv.
107 According to Suetonius, Domitian combed his hair 2385[Centrale Montemartini 1.25b), while a portrait in Oslo
forward in order to cover his premature baldness, Dom. 18.2. combines a type 4 coiffure with the leaner facial features
108 126 (formerly 129), inv. 2213. of type 2 (Nasjonalgalleriet, 1248).
58 chapter three

A second reworked cuirassed portrait of variation with thymeterium may be an innovation

Domitian provides additional evidence for mili- of the Neronian period, designed, through the
taristic representations of Nero (cat. 2.58; fig. 60a- sacral symbol of the thymeterium, to underscore the
b).111 The statue was discovered at the Roman divinely sanctioned nature of Nero’s position as
theater in Vaison-la-Romaine, together with the victorious imperator. 115 The pteryges are embossed
Caligula/Claudius as Jupiter (cat. 1.32). The with lions heads alternating with pairs of double
anomalies of the reworked portrait, namely the elephant heads, perhaps intended as allusions the
unfinished hair on the top and sides of the head victories in Armenia. The statue body is of ex-
and the asymmetrical eyes, would not have been tremely high quality, with much care lavished on
visible if the portrait was displayed high up in the the details of the cuirass and sandals.116 The
scaenae frons or wall of the theater. The original original portrait must have been created between
statue of Nero is likely to have been specifically A.D. 64 and 68 and may have been designed to
commissioned for the theater. On the cuirass offset the perception of Nero as an artist and
winged victories in short chitons flank the palla- philhellene, which was especially prevalent dur-
dium associated with Minerva, Vesta and the ing the later years of his reign. In addition to the
earliest cults of Rome, and the entire ensemble Braccio Nuovo and Vaison-la-Romaine statues,
is designed to underscore the emperor as semper the Parma portrait provides further evidence for
victor.112 Although variations on this motif became a militaristic component of Neronian visual pro-
common on Flavian and Trajanic cuirasses, its paganda. Indeed, martial representations of Nero
earliest appearance is on the Vaison statue sug- may have been especially susceptible to reuse
gesting that the resonant combination of Victory under the Flavians, who all stressed their roles
figures and the palladium was a particular inno- as military leaders and victors.
vation of the Neronian period.113 Another full length portrait of Domitian’s first
A third cuirassed portrait, discovered on 17 type has been entirely transformed from an ear-
June 1761 during the excavations of the Julio- lier likeness of Nero. The statue is now in Munich
Claudian Basilica at Velleia, provides an unusual and the body, adapted from a 4th century pro-
example of an image of Nero which has under- totype of Diomedes by Kresilas, depicts the
gone two recuttings (cat. 2.50; fig. 61a-e).114 The emperor nude, with mantle draped over his left
portrait was initially a replica of Nero’s fourth shoulder and a balteus across his chest (cat.2.46;
portrait type, then recarved into a likeness of
Domitian, and ultimately reworked into an im-
age of Nerva (cat. 5.13). The decoration on the 115 K. Stemmer cites the Parma cuirass, which he dates
cuirass is strikingly similar to the Vaison statue, to the early Claudian period, as the first appearance of the
with nearly identical winged victories in short motif of victories flanking a thymaterium or candleabra; 8-
chitons flanking a thymeterium, instead of a palla- 10, no. I 4, table between pages 152 and 153. Stemmer
cites only three instances which predate the Neronian period
dium. Like the motif on the Vaison statue, the and they are dated to the Claudian or late Claudian peri-
ods; none of these survive with their original portrait heads
to permit more secure dating (formerly Sikyon Museum,
111Vaison-la-Romaine, Musée Municipal, inv. 300.315. [1978] 19, no. I 18, pl. 9.4; Schloss Ehrbach 20 [1978] 24,
112As a further statement of the invincible and heroic no. II 2, pl. 11.2-3; Berlin, Staatlich Museen 368 [1978]
nature of the emperor, he is presented barefoot. The ap- 60, no. V 8, pl. 36.4; see also Sassari, Museo Sanna 7890
pearance of the palladium on the cuirass also associates the [1978] 87-88, no. VII 23, pl. 61.3, which is listed in the
image with the cult of Vesta, which Nero promoted, as table between pages 152 and 153 as late Claudian, but in
evidenced particularly by his rebuilding and expansion of the catalogue entry as Neronian). Stemmer’s dating crite-
the Temple and Atrium Vestae in the Forum Romanum ria are probably too rigid, and it is certainly within the realm
after the fire of A.D. 64; see F. Coarelli (1980) 83. of possibility that these three cuirasses are Neronian or later.
113 On the motif, see K. Stemmer (1978) 77, n. 227, Significantly no Neronian cuirasses are included in
155, and table between pages 152 and 153. Stemmer’s table on the types and chronology of cuirass
114 Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 146 (1870), decoration.
827 (1954). 116 C. Saletti (1968) 54-5.
nero and poppaea 59

fig. 62a-e).117 The statue was discovered in 1758 age. The sculptor responsible for refashioning this
at Labicum, in the excavations of a villa which piece has concentrated his efforts on redoing the
may have belonged to one of Domitian’s freed- hair over the forehead and the preexisting mass
men. This heroic image of the emperor was origi- of Nero’s coiffure has allowed the artist to dra-
nally a replica of Nero’s third type. Although the matically undercut the new locks. The resulting
Diomedes body type is attested in the early im- exuberant play of light and shadow contrasts with
perial period, it was not especially popular for the smooth classicism of the face and recalls simi-
imperial portraits during the first century.118 The lar virtuoso contrasts in the best metropolitan Ro-
Munich statue documents the dissemination of man portraits from the Flavian period.125 Indeed,
heroic, classicizing images of Nero, fully in keep- the sculptor has masterfully translated the exist-
ing with the emperor’s philhellenic tastes. In ing image of Nero into the emerging Flavian
addition, the combination of classicizing body artistic idiom.126
with a head rendered in the more baroque style In contrast, a type 1 likenesses in Vasto, also
of Nero’s third portrait type would have lent an refashioned from a type four replica of Nero
eclectic tension to the original. represents an entirely different stylistic approach
Additional portraits of Domitian have been (cat. 2.59; fig. 65).127 The stiff, linear handling
reworked from likenesses of Nero, and, as might of the coiffure, the emblematic treatment of the
be expected a substantial majority were refash- almond shaped eyes, and the blank, unmodeled
ioned into replicas of Domitian’s first portrait type surfaces of the face suggest that the original
making them datable to the initial years of portrait of Nero and the subsequent recarving
Vespasian’s principate, as also seems to be the strongly reflect local Apulian taste and workman-
case with portraits reconfigured into representa- ship apparently characterized by a preference for
tions of his brother Titus . Images from Rome schematized and abstracted sculptural renderings.
or its environs include a portrait altered from type Provincial variants of Domitian’s first portrait
2 likeness in Madrid (cat. 2.44)119 as well as por- type, from Cologne (cat. 2.42)128 and Munigua
traits refashioned from type 4 likenesses in the (cat. 2.56),129 have also been reworked from rep-
Terme (cat. 2.52; fig. 63a-d),120 the Museo resentations of Nero. The Cologne likeness
Capitolino (cat. 2.51),121 in Munich (cat. 2.47),122 retains small narrow eyes and the part over the
and Boston (cat. 2.47; fig. 64a-c).123 Of uncer- right temple of Nero’s type 3 images. The por-
tain provenance, another type 1 portrait of trait was discovered at Cologne, ancient Colonia
Domitian in Stuttgart has been recut from a Agrippinensis, and is worked for insertion into a
replica of Nero’s third portrait type (cat. 2.57).124 togate statue, capite velato. The city’s close connec-
The carving of the Boston head is of the highest tion to Nero’s mother Agrippina Minor may have
artistic quality and is remarkable for a recut im-
125 As is especially evident in female portraiture of the
period whose elaborate coiffures provided ample opportu-
117 Munich, Glyptothek, 394 (formerly 249). nities displaying such sculptural talents, as, for example,
118 Louvre MA 1251 and Louvre MA 1215 are early in the well known Fonseca bust in the Stanza degli
imperial replicas of the type. Other variations on the type Imperatori of the Museo Capitolino 15, inv. 434, Fittschen-
which predate the Neronian image include: Pompey (Museo Zanker III, 53-54, no. 59, pls. 86-7 (despite P. Zanker’s
Torlonia, C. Maderna [1988] 199, no. D3); Agrippa (Venice, attempts to date the bust to the late Trajanic or early
Museo Archeologico 11, C. Maderna [1988] 198, no. D2); Hadrianic period).
Augustus (Musei Vaticani, Sala a Croce Greca, inv. 181, 126 The head was discovered at Tusculum in the ruins

C. Maderna [1988] 199-200, no. D4, pl. 18.3). of Domitian’s villa in the nineteenth century. M. Comstock
119 Prado, inv. 321 E. and C.C. Vermeule (1976) 217. Evidently the recarved
120 Museo Nazionale Romano. Palazzo Massimo alle likeness was sufficiently appreciated in antiquity to be dis-
Terme, inv. 226. played at the imperial villa.
121 Stanza degli Imperatori 14, inv. 427. 127 Museo Civico.
122 Glyptothek, 418. 128 Römisch-Germanisches Museum.
123 Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 88.639. 129 122. Seville, Museo Arqueológico Provincial, inv.
124 Württembergisches Landesmuseum, 64/28. 1996/8.
60 chapter three

occasioned the creation of the original Neronian ginally represented Nero (cat. 2.54; fig. 68).134
likeness. The Munigua image was discovered in Elements of Nero’s third portrait type coiffure still
an ancient well together with other sculptural visible in the relief indicate that it was created
fragments. The orientation of the locks, as well between 59 and 64, while the use of Domitian’s
as the broad facial features have been retained third portrait type, indicates a date of 81 or later
from the original type 4 likeness of Nero. The for the recutting. The period of over a decade
Cologne and Munigua portraits testify to the which elapsed between the creation of the monu-
transformation of Nero’s representations into ment and its alteration is puzzling and suggests
images of Domitian as Caesar in the western and that the relief may have been stored in the in-
northern provinces. tervening years, or alternatively never installed
An unusual example of Domitian’s second on the monument for which it was intended, as
portrait type in Naples has been recut from a seems to also be the case with the Cancelleria
replica of Nero’s own second type (cat. 2.48).130 Reliefs (cat. 5.17).
The coiffure of the Naples head has been largely Several of Nero’s glyptic likenesses were also
recarved. However, Nero’s longer locks are reworked, including a type 2 likeness of Nero on
clearly visible on the left side of the head, espe- a sardonyx cameo in Minden recut to a portrait
cially at the nape of the neck where they are of Domitian’s third type (cat. 2.45; fig. 69).135 The
swept forward. The locks on the right side of the emperor wears a corona civica and the coiffure and
nape of the neck have been made shorter, but facial features have been extensively recarved,
the projecting mass of the original coiffure is still causing a reduction in the overall proportions of
clearly visible in this area. the head. Consequently, both the neck and co-
Three replicas of Domitian’s third portrait rona are too large for the current size of the head.
type, in Naples (cat. 2.49; fig. 66a-b),131 Rome Nero’s longer locks have been cut back over the
(cat. 2.55; fig. 67),132 and Madrid (cat. 2.43),133 forehead, in front of the ears and on the nape of
have been recut from images of Nero. These the neck, but traces of the original coiffure are
three recut images of Domitian provide signifi- still clearly visible in these areas. The locks on
cant evidence for the warehousing of Nero’s top of the head have also been reworked into
portraits, since they could not have been re- Domitian’s waved arrangement. Nero’s aquiline
worked any earlier than A.D. 81, the year in nose has been made hooked by recarving the
which Domitian’s third portrait type was intro- bridge of the nose.
duced to mark his accession. The Naples likeness Like the reconfigured type 3 marble portraits
retains elements of Nero’s own third portrait type. of Domitian in Naples and Madrid, the Minden
The portrait in Rome is well over life-sized in cameo could not have been recarved any earlier
scale, and displays remnants of Nero’s type 3 than A.D. 81. Cameo portraits of Vespasian or
coiffure over the right ear. The Madrid likeness Titus are fairly rare, which suggests a decline in
has also been refashioned from a type 3 portrait both production and demand for such gems
of Nero. In addition to the Munigua portrait, and during their reigns. The recutting of the Minden
the Nero/Vespasians in Seville, it provides fur- cameo may have been occasioned by the renewed
ther evidence for the warehousing and rework- interest in gem portraits under Domitian. The
ing of Nero’s images in Roman Iberia. inherent value of the Minden portrait as a semi-
A fragmentary relief portrait of Domitian’s precious stone and object d’art, must have insured
third type in the Museo Gregoriano Profano ori- that it was not destroyed as a result of Nero’s
damnatio. But the fact that the effort was made to
reuse this cameo underscores its political signifi-
Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 5907.
Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 6061.
132 Villa Margherita (American Embassy) wall along the

Via Boncompagni. 134 no. 644, inv. 4065.

133 Madrid, Museo Arqueológico, inv. 2770. 135 Domschatz.
nero and poppaea 61

cance as a presentation piece, redesigned to ex- Nevertheless, Nero’s long curving locks are still
alt the reigning emperor, Domitian. apparent, at the edges of the forehead and over
The great number of sculpted portraits of Nero the ears. The physiognomy of the Colonna por-
which were reworked into images of the three trait has been very little altered from the
Flavian principes Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian Neronian likeness, and is a pertinent reminder
may also have been occasioned by economic of the homogenous nature of much Julio-
necessity as well as convenience. Following Nero’s Claudian portraiture and the endurance of the
financial excesses and the enormous costs of the Augustan iconographic legacy. In the Padua and
civil wars, Vespasian inherited an imperial trea- St. Germain images, the facial features have been
sury which was substantially depleted. Certainly, recut, especially in the area of the forehead,
reworking preexisting portraits of Nero into like- cheeks and mouth. The Padua portrait includes
nesses of the new dynasts would have been more slight signs of aging, the suggestion of sunken
economically feasible than destroying the former cheeks and naso-labial lines. As already noted,
emperor’s representations altogether.136 veristic signs of aging can be a feature of Augus-
tus’s posthumous images, and here they may have
been additionally intended to distance the
recarved image from the original Neronian like-
As was also the case with Caligula, several im- ness, as with so many of the portraits altered to
ages of Nero were retrospectively recycled into Vespasian. Indeed, the recutting of Padua head
representations of Augustus. The continued pop- is likely contemporary with the transformation of
ularity of the first princeps transcended the change images of Nero into Vespasian and reflects similar
in regime, while the physical similarities between stylistic intentions. The St. Germain portrait was
Nero and his great-great grandfather would have discovered in Marseilles and attests to the rework-
facilitated the reworkings. Seven of these refash- ing of Nero’s images in Gaul.
ioned portraits have survived and all of them are Nero’s type 3 portraits were also refashioned
versions of Augustus’s Prima Porta type.137 into representations of Augustus, as evidenced by
Three likenesses, in the Palazzo Colonna (cat. likenesses in Aquilea (cat. 2.7; fig. 71),141 the
2.11; fig. 70),138 Padua (cat. 2.9), 139 and St. Vatican (cat. 2.10; fig. 72a-b),142 and Alexandria
Germain-en-Laye (cat. 2.12)140 were originally (cat. 2.6).143 The Aquilea portrait, a full length
replicas of Nero’s second type, the closest to togate statue capite velato (carved from a single
Augustan portraits in terms of style, iconography, block of marble) was discovered near the Roman
and coiffure. In all three Nero’s central part has circus at Aquilea, together with the Caligula/
been replaced with the three lock arrangement Claudius with long paludamentum (cat. 1.17; fig.
characteristic of Augustus’s Prima Porta hairstyle. 12). The portrait retains much of Nero’s full coif-
fure, but the face has been substantially recut and
again, signs of aging often present in Augustus’s
136 Vespasian’s thrifty personality and concern with posthumous likenesses, have been added. The
economy are illustrated by several anecdotes recorded by statue, testifies to the dissemination of traditional
Suetonius, Vesp. 16, 23.2-4. images of Nero, capite velato, intended to celebrate
137 D. Boschung recognizes six recarved likenesses in

his catalogue of Augustus’s portraits (Alexandria, Greco- the emperor’s religious role as pontifex maximus.144
Roman Museum, inv. 24.043; Aquileia, Museo Archeologico The Vatican portrait is especially significant
Nazionale, inv. 12; Luni, Antiquario, CM 1033; Padua,
Museo Civico, inv. 819; Palazzo Colonna, fid. no. 54; St.
Germain-en-laye, Musée des Antiquités Nationales, inv.
63734). However, details of physiognomy and coiffure in- 141 Museo Archeologico Nazionale, inv. 12.
dicate that a portrait in the Vatican is also recarved (Sala 142 Sala dei Busti 274, inv. 715.
dei Busti 274, inv. 715). 143 Greco Roman Museum, inv. 24043.
138 Fid. no. 54. 144 As also in the unreworked type 2 capite velato por-
139 Museo Civico, inv. 819. trait of Nero in the Museo Palatino, ex Terme (inv. 616),
140 Musée des Antiquités Nationales, inv. 63734. see infra.
62 chapter three

for its attribute, the corona spicea. Nero’s third The colossal image in Alexandria is worked for
coiffure has been left largely intact, with the insertion into an acrolithic statue. Nero’s type
exception of the central locks over the forehead three hairstyle is plainly visible at the edges of
which have been recut to Augustus’s Prima Porta the forehead and in the traces of long sideburns
arrangement. The small eyes, broad facial fea- over the ears. The long arching brows and full,
tures, and full, retreating lower lip are all lega- receding lower lip have also been retained from
cies of the Neronian portrait. And in fact, the the Neronian likeness. Indeed, the brows them-
profile of the Vatican image closely matches that selves project unnaturally from the forehead and
of the Palatine portrait of Nero. The Vatican are remnants of the sculptural volume of the
head marks the first appearance of the corona spicea Neronian original. The insistent modeling of the
in conjunction with male imperial portraits.145 coiffure and facial features, also clear vestiges of
This distinctive crown is multivalent in its asso- the original, combine to make this one the most
ciations with Ceres, Triptolemus, the Eleusinian baroque of Augustus’s images. The portrait was
Mysteries, as well as the fratres arvales.146 The discovered at Athribis, and attests to the creation
corona spicaea is also used extensively by Nero’s of colossal images of Nero in Egypt, probably to
mother, Agrippina Minor in her numismatic be associated with the imperial cult.
images issued under Claudius. The association A fragmentary relief portrait of Augustus from
with the fratres arvales is likely stressed in the Luni was modified from a replica of Nero’s fourth
Vatican image, as it may have been discovered portrait type (cat. 2.8; fig. 73).150 Likely forming
at the Arval sanctuary at Magliana.147 The rec- part of the sculptural decoration of an important
ognition of this piece as a recarved portrait of public monument at Luna, the portrait featured
Nero changes significantly the initial ideological a separately worked radiate crown (in metal). The
implications of the image. The portrait is not a radiate crown is an important Neronian innova-
product of Augustus’s wish to associate himself tion within the context of imperial visual imag-
with Ceres as guarantor of agricultural abun- ery. Previously, its use had been essentially limit-
dance,148 but rather a testament to Nero’s close ed to representations of deities like Apollo-Helios,
involvement with the fratres arvales.149 Hellenistic rulers, as for instance Ptolemy IV, and
divi, most notably Augustus.151 If the radiate
145 Prior to the Neronian period, the corona spicea, chiefly
crown is a feature of the original Neronian por-
associated with Ceres, was used in conjunction with repre- trait, as seems probable, its appearance on the
sentations of female members of the imperial family includ- Luni relief may actually have dictated the
ing Livia, Antonia Minor, and Agrippina Minor; see B.S. reconfiguration of the image as Divus Augustus,
Spaeth (1996) 171, no. 1.10, 172, nos. 1.16, 1.21, 173, nos.
1.23-26 (Livia); 173, nos. 2.1-2 (Antonia Minor); 175, nos.
for whom it was already and established attribute
6.4, 6.6-9 (Agrippina Minor). Like the Nero/Domitian in the Museo Grego-
146 P. Liverani favors an association with the Arval
riano Profano, the portrait provides important,
Brotherhood (1990-91) 165, as does C. Chirasi-Colombo albeit tantalizing, evidence for the production and
(1981) 423-5; B. Spaeth, following A. Alföldi (1979) 582-3,
cites the piece in the context of Triptolemus and Ceres (1994) appearance of Neronian relief monuments and
92 and (1996) 23, n. 123, 47, n. 94. their subsequent alteration under the Flavians.
147 J. Scheid (1990) 572, n. 36.
148 As proposed by B.S. Spaeth (1996) 23, 47, n. 94.
Both of the likenesses are also the first chrono-
149 At Nero’s request, the Brotherhood made an annual logical instances of reconfigured portraits on
sacrifice on the birthday of his father, Gn. Domitius
Ahenobarbus (11 December) in front of the ancestral home
of the Domitii Ahenobarbi (Suet. Nero 9; Tac. Ann.13.10;
J. Scheid [1990] 412, 416). The Arvals gave thanks for the emperors are also shown with this crown as frater arval, as
discovery of a “wicked plot” against Nero between May for instance, portraits of Antoninus Pius and Lucius Verus
and September of 66 (Suet. Nero 36; AFA Henzen 34 = in the Louvre, MA 1180, MA 1169 (K. de Kersauson [1996]
Smallwood 26; Griffin [1984] 178, n. 75). They also made 198-99, 270-71, nos. 84, 121).
vows for safe return of Nero and Statilia Messalina from 150 Antiquario, CM 1033.

Greece (25 September 66; Philost. Life of Apollonius 5.7; Eus., 151 M. Bergmann (1998) 13-79 for the Hellenistic ma-

ed. Schoene, 154-57; Griffin [1984] 126, n. 162). Later terial.

nero and poppaea 63

Roman imperial reliefs which may have been extremely inconsistent with Galba’s numismatic
commemorative or historical in nature. iconography. Galba’s coin portraits stand in stark
contrast to those of his predecessor. Galba is
usually depicted with a short, military coiffure,
his features are realistically aged, in the tradition
One colossal portrait of Nero originally a replica of Republican verism, and he eschews all divine
of Nero’s third or fourth type, now in Baltimore, attributes. Galba’s portraits were distinctly in-
was altered into a likeness of his uncle and pre- tended to differentiate his character and policies
decessor, Claudius (cat. 2.13).152 Deep naso la- from those of Nero and they are an important
bial lines and strong wrinkles around the mouth precursor of similarly motivated Flavian veristic
have been added in order to transform the im- likenesses. However, the discrepancies of the
age of the youthful Nero into a middle aged recarved Paris cameo may have been viewed as
representation of Claudius. Such realistic signs of less incongruous in the medium of glyptic por-
aging are consonant with the revived interest in traits, which often present the emperor or mem-
verism which marks the early Flavian period. All bers of the imperial family with divine at-
three Flavian emperors honored the defied tributes.155
Claudius, whose cult may have been neglected
during the later years of Nero’s reign. 153 The
retrospective reconfiguration of the Baltimore
portrait into Claudius is unique but it stands as A fragmentary sardonyx cameo in Berlin has
a clear expression of the pietas which the Flavians been somewhat cursorily reworked into a likeness
evinced towards the memory of Claudius. of Trajan (cat. 2.60; fig. 75).156 The emperor
wears the laurel crown of the triumphator. Nero’s
type 3 coiffure remains essentially intact, although
shallow locks have been engraved on the fore-
A sardonyx cameo in Paris representing Galba head beneath the Neronian locks in order to
has been recut from a type 3 portrait of Nero (cat. change their orientation from right-to-left to left-
2.14; fig. 74).154 The cameo presents the emperor to-right.157 A notch has been carved into the
with corona civica and aegis. The locks which frame forehead just below the hair to make it bulge
the face have been shortened, but their arrange- slightly, a physiognomical trait of Trajan’s por-
ment has essentially been retained from Nero’s traiture. Naso-labial lines have been added and
coiffure. Horizontal furrows on the forehead and the lips and chin recarved. The reconfiguration
emphatic naso-labial lines, which appear on of this cameo was delayed at least 30 years, as it
Galba’s numismatic portraits, have been included cannot have been recut before Trajan’s accession
in the recarved cameo likeness. The remnants of in 98.
the original likeness, namely the full Neronian
coiffure and the divine attribute of the aegis, are
In contrast to the Nero/Trajan cameo in Berlin,
152 Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, inv. 23.118. a sardonyx in Paris has been more plausibly
153 Vespasian is credited with completing the huge
complex containing the Temple of Divus Claudius on the
Caelian, parts of which was used as a nymphaeum in the 155 Cameos of Galba in Florence represent him bare-
park of Nero’s Domus Aurea (Suet. Vesp. 9.1), Claudius is headed, without attributes and with a laurel crown (Museo
also featured on coins of Titus and Domitian (BMC 2, 289- Archeologico invs. 14543 and 14656), A. Giuliano (1989)
90, nos. 297-307, 417, no. 512, pls. 56.1, 56.3, 56.5, 83.3). 242, no. 173, with fig. (with earlier literature); A. Giuliano
Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis is an extreme example of the deni- (1989) 244, no. 174, with fig. (with earlier literature).
gration of Claudius which took place under Nero; see also 156 Staatliche Museen, inv. no. 1983.11.

J. Pollini (1984) 552-53, n. 45. 157 Trajan’s Type 1 coiffure is characterized by a ma-
154 Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 251. jority of forehead locks which are combed right to left.
64 chapter three

refashioned into an image of Antinous (cat. 2.61; stippled beard has been added to the portrait, and
fig. 76).158 Antinous wears a corona civica and the hair over the forehead has been recut into
paludamentum. The hair around the face has been Gallienus’s arrangement of comma shaped locks
recarved into Antinous’s profusely curly coiffure, which are clearly intended to recall Julio-Clau-
although the straight locks of Nero’s type 2 hair- dian coiffures.160 The resulting image combines
style remain on the occiput, and Nero’s central the shorter beard of Gallienus’s first portrait type,
part is still discernible amidst the reconfigured with the fuller coiffure of his later types.161 The
hairstyle over the forehead. The corona and revival of Julio-Claudian coiffures which occurred
paludamentum of the Paris cameo are remnants of under Valerian and Gallienus, combined with the
the original Neronian image. As elements of political and economic instability of the period,
ostensibly imperial iconography, they are unusual would have rendered the Columbia portrait es-
among portraits of Antinous, which tend to have pecially suitable for reuse at this time.162 Like the
divine or heroic attributes. As most portraits of Nero/Augustus and the Nero/Titus in Alexan-
Antinous were produced between 131, the year dria, the Columbia head also provides important
of his death, and 138, the year of Hadrian’s evidence for the kinds of Neronian images dis-
death, this cameo, like the Nero/Trajan cameo played in Egypt, in this instance a veiled portrait
in Berlin, was not reworked until considerably invoking Nero’s role as Pontifex Maximus.
after Nero’s own death and damnatio.
Nero/Constantinian Emperor
A colossal head in the Terme provides additional
Nero’s sculpted images could also be warehoused important evidence for the warehousing of Nero’s
for centuries as evidenced by a portrait in Co- images for long periods of time (cat. 2.63; fig.
lumbia, Missouri which was not recarved until
the middle of the third century, when it was
altered into a likeness of Gallienus (cat. 2.62; fig. 160 S. Wood (1986) 101.
72a-d).159 The portrait comes from Egypt and is 161 Gallienus’s first portrait type dates to the period of
worked for insertion into a togate statue, capite co-rule with his father Valerian (253-60), while the three
velato. The togate statue to which this head origi- later types (“Terme,” “Louvre,” and “Lagos,” all date to
his reign as sole emperor (260-68); On Gallienus’s portrait
nally belonged was almost certainly reused after typology see Fittschen and Zanker I, 134-139, nos. 112-
Nero’s portrait head had been removed. The 115, pl. 142; K. Fittschen (1993). The Columbia head finds
insertion of a new head, probably a Flavian like- close parallels to a replica of the Lagos type in the Palazzo
Quirinale, Sala delle Quattro Stagioni SM 5071; M.E.
ness, would have transformed the statue into a Micheli in L. Guerrini and C. Gasparri (1993) 92-5, no.
new and serviceable portrait. In the head itself, 33, pl. 32; K. Fittschen (1993) 212, pls. 27b, 29b, 35b.
162 M. Fuchs suggestion that the Nero/Gallienus is a
the long curving locks of Nero’s third coiffure
remain visible behind the ears and over the fore- type 4 Nero with beard reworked from a portrait of Caligula,
(1997) 88 does not seem persuasive. The likeness preserves
head. The mouth retains the Neronian full re- no traces of a pre-existing Caligulan likeness. Indeed, de-
ceding under lip; but the upper lip has been tails such as the fleshy underchin and the girth of the por-
recarved, giving it the pronounced central dip trait in profile are features of Nero’s representations and
not Caligula’s and would be virtually impossible to add in
characteristic of Gallienus’s likenesses. Moreover, terms of sculptural volume to a recut image. The stippled
the profile with its fleshy underchin is an unmis- beard is more typically a third century feature. In Nero’s
takable feature Nero’s last two portrait types. A type 3 portrait in the Museo Palatino, the slight beard under
the chin is incised as a series of long, curving locks, not
stippled. The beard of the gilded bronze portrait now in
an American private collection (fig. 87a-b) is fully modeled.
158 Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles, 238, The beards on Neronian and later Hadrianic private por-
5.9 x 4.8 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 97, n. 294, 111, 113- traits which Fuchs sites are also fully modeled rather than
14, 308, no. E6, pl. 42.10 (with previous literature). stippled (Hannover, private collection, and Budapest,
159 University of Missouri, Museum of Art and Archae- Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, inv. 3942, M. Fuchs [1997] 88-
ology, acc. no. 62.46. 89, pls. 9-10).
nero and poppaea 65

78).163 The portrait, originally of Nero’s fourth stantinian period also evinces a predilection for
type, was not recut until the fourth century. Like over life-sized and colossal imperial images.
the Columbia Nero/Gallienus, the Terme head
must have been accessible and well enough pre-
served to make its reuse viable. The over life-sized Nero’s Images Altered into Private Individuals
scale of the Terme portrait virtually assures that
it was reused as an imperial likeness. The prov- In addition to the recarved portraits of Vespasian,
enance of the Terme head is unknown, but it is Domitian, Titus, and Claudius, an unidentified
likely to have been discovered in Rome or its child’s portrait in Hannover may have been re-
vicinity. Despite the portrait’s poor state of pres- worked from a likeness of Nero (cat. 2.64).166 The
ervation, the remains of Nero’s type IV coiffure portrait was discovered in Rome in the eighteenth
are discernible. The hair over the forehead has century and traces of Nero’s type I coiffure are
been recarved, but Nero’s hairstyle, with its still visible on the back of the head and on the
parallel arrangement of curving locks across the nape of the neck. The recarved arrangement of
forehead, from right to left, has been substantially the hair, with its comma shaped locks is found
in private portraits from the Julio-Claudian
retained. The resulting arrangement closely re-
through the Trajanic periods. K. Fittschen has
sembles a colossal marble portrait in the Cortile
suggested that the reconfigured image was in-
of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, representing one
tended to represent one of the sons of Vitellius,
of the sons of Constantine.164 The classicism of
whose likenesses appear on some of their father’s
the Terme image would also be consistent with
coins, but whose names are not recorded.167
a Constantinian date for its recarving. The eyes
Given Vitellius’s very public rehabilitation of
of the image have been recut in order to make
Nero’s memory, this seems unlikely and the
them larger. The pupils have been drilled as half
possibility that this portrait was recarved into an
circles, with the irises incised around them, a unknown private individual should not be dis-
pattern also consistent with other Constantinian counted. In any case, the Hannover portrait
portraits.165 The Constantinian period witnesses remains a unique (and puzzling) example of a
a resurgence in the practice of recarving impe- recarved replica of Nero’s first type.
rial images, especially in the city of Rome, as A portrait in the Yale University Art Gallery
attested by several portraits of Maxentius refash- may also have been recarved into a representa-
ioned to represent Constantine and the recut tion of an unknown private individual of the
relief portraits from the Great Trajanic Frieze, Hadrianic period (cat. 2.65; fig. 79a-d).168 The
the Hadrianic tondi, and originally the Aurelian arrangement of the locks over the forehead, with
panels on the Arch of Constantine. The Con- a part in the hair over the outer corner of the
right eye recalls the type 3 replica in the Terme.
The slightly wavy treatment of the hair on the
163 Inv. 126279 top of the head also clearly resembles the coma
164 Inv. 2882, H. 0.65 m.; K. Fittschen and P. Zanker in gradus formata coiffures of Nero’s last two por-
(1985) 156-58, no. 125, pl. 156. trait types. Additionally, the small, fleshy eyes find
165 This treatment of the pupils and irises occurs in other

Constantinian portraits; for example and marble portrait parallels in Nero’s type 3 and 4 likenesses. If the
of a son of Constantine in Sara, San Donnato, H.P. portrait is, indeed, a recarved portrait of Nero,
L’Orange (1984) 138, pl. 61c-d; a marble portrait of then it is another unusual example of an impe-
Constantine in Carthage, Museum, inv. C 0032, H.P.
L’Orange (1984) 87, 121-22, pl. 56a-b; and three recarved
rial image reworked into the likeness of a priv-
portraits from the Hadrianic tondi of the Arch of ate individual. The Yale piece may have been
Constantine: a recarved portrait of Constantine on the
northwest (left) medallion, lion hunt, H.P. L’Orange (1984)
43, 45, 124, pl. 33a-b, two recarved portraits of Licinius, 166 Sammlung des Herzogs von Braunschwieg.
on the northeast side, offering to Apollo, and northwest side, 167 K. Fittschen in Die Skulpturen der Sammlung Wallmoden
offering to Hercules, H.P. L’Orange (1984) 43-45, 116-17, (Göttingen 1979) no. 27.
pls. 28a-b, 29a-b. 168 Inv. 1961.30.
66 chapter three

removed from public display following Nero’s The Colossus, however, was clearly unfinished at
damnatio and warehoused, its reuse occasioned by the time of Nero’s suicide in A.D. 68,172 and was
the continued popularity of coiffures inspired by only eventually erected on the Velia in c. A.D. 75,
Nero’s coma in gradus formata arrangement into the when it was dedicated as an image of the Sun.173
Hadrianic period.169 The long span of time be- Cassius Dio suggests that the portrait features of
tween Nero’s overthrow and the Yale image’s the Colossus may have been altered to resemble
putative transformation suggests that the portrait Titus (JÎ gÉ*@H @Ê μ¥< JÎ J@Ø ;XDT<@H @Ê *¥ JÎ J@Ø
was warehoused in a safe location prior to its I\J@L §Pg4<).174 Hadrian had the statue relocated
reuse. If the Hannover and Yale portraits are in to a position closer to the Colosseum in order to
fact representations of Nero reworked into pri- clear the Velia for construction of the Temple of
vate individuals, then, like the altered head of Venus and Roma.175 In the later second century,
Caligula in Algiers (cat. 1.38), they are extremely the Colossus was altered into an image of Her-
rare examples of imperial images which have not cules with the portrait features of Commodus.176
been transformed into representations of other The Commodan alterations were removed fol-
emperors. lowing his death and damnatio. Finally, in the early
fourth century the Colossus was rededicated to
the memory of Maxentius’s deified son, Romu-
The Colossus lus.177 Despite the changes of its location, at-
tributes, and portrait features, the Colossus con-
The Colossus is perhaps the most famous tinued to be associated with Nero throughout its
Neronian image to have undergone transforma-
tion in antiquity.170 Nero commissioned the re-
nowned sculptor Zenodorus to design a ca. 100- the Colossus as a portrait of Nero (2000) 536-7. Although
Smith claims that the notion of the Colossus as a portrait
120 Roman foot talll bronze representation of the of Nero is derived solely from the Pliny and Suetonius
sun-god, Sol/Helios with Neronian facial fea- passages, Dio 65.15.1 also entertains the notion of Neronian
tures, ultimately intended to be the spectacular portrait features and the three passages taken together seem
fairly unequivocal. Smith is surely right, however, in rais-
centerpiece for the atrium of the Domus Aurea ing the possibility that the Colossus was not, in fact, in-
on the Velia which allowed access to the villa/ tended by Nero as a portrait of himself as the sun god, but
palace complex from the Forum Romanum.171 rather the sun-god with facial features resembling those of
Nero. The image would then have been intended to invoke
the concept of Sol Augustus (or Apollo-Helios-Augustus).
172 P. Howell (1968) 293-4 was the first entertain the
169 For instance, a portrait of a private Hadrianic man possibility that Colossus was not completed during Nero’s
in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 544, inv. 1641, F. Johansen principate by pointing out that Pliny’s description of the
(1995a) 166-7, with figs. (with earlier literature); For pri- statue as destinatum illius principis simulacro (intended as a
vate versions of Nero’s coiffures, see P. Cain (1993) and likeness of that emperor [Nero] implied that it was not
M. Fuchs (1997). completed in that form. Similarly Howell noted Suetonius’s
170 P. Howell (1968) 291-99; C. Lega, (1989-90) 339- use of staret to describe the placement of the Colossus in
78; M. Bergmann (1993). C. Lega (1993); F. Albertson (1996) the vestibule of the Domus Aurea (in quo colossus CXX pedum
802-3; M. Bergmann (1998) 189-201, fig. 3 ; S. Ensoli in staret ipsius effigie [in which would stand the 120 foot tall
S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 66-71; R.R.R. Smith Colossus as a representation of him{Nero}])suggesting that
(2000) 532-8; F. Albertson (2001). S. Ensoli’s attempt to these were Nero’s intentions, rather than the statue’s ulti-
identify the bronze colossal head of Constantine from the mate outcome. See also M. Bergmann (1993 [1994]) 9; F.
Lateran (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Orazi e Albertson (1996) 803; M. Bergmann (1998) 190; R.R.R.
Curiazii, [ex Sala dei Bronzi] inv. 1072; h. 1.77 m.; K. Smith (2000) 537; F. Albertson (2001).
Fittschen and P. Zanker (1985), as belonging to the colos- 173 Suet. Vesp. 18; Dio 65.15.1; P. Howell (1968) 294

sus of Nero are largely unconvincing as it is far smaller than with supporting evidence from later Chronicles.
the ancient descriptions of the colossus itself. If the 174 65.15.1.

Constantinian bronze has been modified from an earlier 175 HA.Had. 19.12.

portrait, It seems much more likely that it has been altered 176 HA. Comm. 17.9-10; Dio 72(73).22.3; Herod. 1.15.9;

from an earlier portrait of Trajan, as suggested by the ChronPasch (Bonn ed.I 492) A.D. 187.
arrangement of the hair at the back of the head. 177 195. A. Cassatella and M.I. Conforto (1989) 41; P.
171 Pliny, NH 34.18.45; Suet. Nero 31.1. R.R.R. Smith Peirce (1989) 404; M. Cullhed (1994) 61; S. Ensoli in S.
has recently raised a note of scholarly caution concerning Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 86.
nero and poppaea 67

history. The Colossus may also have been re- Borghese Collection, was discovered at Gabii,
flected in a painted portrait of Nero, also 100 and was likely stored there following Nero’s
Roman feet tall, which was displayed in the Horti damnatio.184 In contrast, the Detroit statue, said
Maiani and destroyed by lightning before Nero’s to be from Asia Minor, provides evidence for the
death.178 removal and storage of Nero’s boyhood images
in the provinces.
The upper half a nude type 4 portrait with a
The Removal of Nero’s Images chlamys draped over the shoulder has also sur-
vived.185 The images’s current whereabouts are
Portraits of Nero were removed and then ware- unknown, but it depicted the emperor n with
housed under Galba, as corroborated by Sueto- Diomedes body type. Like the Nero as Diomedes
nius in the Life of Otho: Certe et imagines statuasque statue in Munich reconfigured as Domitian (cat.
eius reponi passus est (It is certain that he [Otho] 2.46; fig. 62a-c) the lost portrait provides further
allowed his [Nero’s] portraits and statues to be important evidence for the association of Nero
re-erected).179 Suetonius’s use of the verb reponere with the Greek hero at Troy in visual art.
(literally to set up again) is extremely significant Sixteen surviving marble heads representing
because it indicates that images previously re- Nero have clearly been removed from their origi-
moved during Galba’s brief tenure as princeps were nal context as a consequence of the damnatio. In
readily accessible and survived in suitable con- the case of heads worked for insertion, the stat-
dition to be returned to public display.180 Tacitus ues to which they originally belonged would have
also confirms that portraits of Nero were dis- been reused with the addition of new likenesses,
played under Otho (Et fuere qui imagines Neornis undoubtedly depicting the same individuals as his
proponerent).181 reworked portraits, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian,
Most surviving representations of Nero were Claudius and Augustus. Two of Nero’s well-pre-
not intentionally vandalized after his death. On served portraits were discovered in a cryptopor-
the contrary, like the portraits of Caligula before ticus beneath the Temple of Apollo complex on
him, they were removed and stored in secure the Palatine where they must have been stored
locations. Two of these surviving images are full- following his overthrow.186 The Neronian heads
length, togate statues, replicas of Nero’s earliest were discovered with other sculptural remnants,
boyhood type, in Detroit,182 and the Louvre (fig. including an under-life-sized Julio-Claudian fe-
80).183 The Louvre portrait, originally part of the male portrait, and heads of an Isiac priest and
an ephebe.187 The earlier portrait of Nero is a
type 2 replica worked for insertion and depicts
178 Pliny, HN 35.33.51; M. Cima, in M. Cima and E.
the emperor capite velato (fig. 81a-c).188 Like the
La Rocca, eds. (1986) 39.
179 Suet.Otho 7.1.
180 Reponere is also used by Tacitus in conjunction with

the statues of Poppaea which were returned to public dis-

play under Otho (Hist 1.78) as part of the emperor’s cam- 10.4, 94.3; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 70-71, figs.
paign to rehabilitate the memories of Nero and Poppaea. 18-19; J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 2. The statue exhibits
181 Hist. 1.78. minimal signs of damage; the left hand and sections of both
182 Institute of Arts, acc. no. 69.218, H. 1.40 m.; H.R. feet are restorations.
Goette (1989) 39, n. 180, 125, no. 249, pl. 11.3; E.R. Varner 184 H.R. Goette (1989) 124.

in D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson, eds. (1996) 63, no. 185 H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 72, 94-5, 102, fig.

15 (with earlier literature); J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 34.

4. The portrait head of the statue in Detroit has been broken 186 The likenesses were discovered by Pietro Rosa in 1869

off at the neck and reattached. The statue lacks its left foot during his excavations for Napoleon III; see M.A. Tomei
and there is slight damage to the ears, nose, right hand and (1990) 85 and M.A. Tomei (1997) 78, 79, nos. 53 and 55;
drapery folds. M.A. Tomei (1999) 171.
183 Louvre, MA 1210, h. 1.38 m.; K. de Kersauson (1986) 187 M.A. Tomei (1999) 171, fig. 110 (Julio Claudian

210-11, no. 99, figs. (with earlier literature); S. Maggi (1986) Female Portrait, Museo Palatino, inv.115176.
50, n. 15; H.R. Goette (1989) 37-38, 124-125, no. 245, pls. 188 Museo Palatino, Sala 7; formerly Museo Nazionale
68 chapter three

veiled statue in Aquileia reworked to represent traits’ possible association with the Temple of
Augustus, or the Nero/Gallienus in Columbia, Apollo Palatinus is intriguing, given Nero’s iden-
this portrait celebrates Nero’s position as Pontifex tification with Apollo and the solar iconography
Maximus. The second Palatine likeness is the only of many Neronian images.
surviving replica of Nero’s third portrait type (fig. Well-preserved likenesses in the Museo Capi-
82a-c).189 These two extremely well-preserved tolino,191 the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek,192 the
representations were likely displayed somewhere Vatican,193 Munich (fig. 83),194 Worcester (fig.
within the context of the structures covering the 84a-b)195 and a Swiss private collection,196 fur-
Palatine, perhaps the Temple of Apollo Palatinus
complex or Nero’s palaces (the Domus Transi- 8.4); a bust of Antoninus Pius (Museo Palatino, Sala 7,
toria and the Domus Aurea), and were ware- formerly Museo Nazionale delle Terme, inv. 1219, M.A.
housed following Nero’s overthrow. Indeed, there Tomei [1997] 84, no. 58 (with fig.) (with earlier literature);
are surprisingly few imperial images which are and a portrait of Julia Domna (Museo Palatino, Sala 8,
formerly Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme, inv. 12438,
known to have come from the Palatine, and the M.A. Tomei [1997] 94, no. 67 (with fig.) (with earlier lit-
warehousing of these portraits must account for erature), and a replica of the Lepcis-Malta type (Julia Livilla),
their survival on the hill.190 In addition, the por- Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Massimo alle Terme,
inv. 620.
191 Stanza degli Imperatori 4, inv. 418, H. 0.32;

Fittschen-Zanker I, 17-18, no. 17, pl. 17 (with earlier lit-

Romano delle Terme, inv. 616, h. 0.43 m.; E. Talamo, erature); S. Maggi (1986) 50, n. 15; G. Legrottaglie (1999)
MusNazRom 1.1, 273-74, no. 169, with fig. (with earlier 80, pl. 19.d-e; H. Meyer (2000) 50, fig. 90. The portrait, a
literature); Bergmann and Zanker (1981)322; Fittschen- type 2 replica, has been attached to a modern bust and
Zanker I, 17-18, n. 5; S. Maggi (1986) 50, n. 15; H.R. Goette displays signs of modern reworking. Restorations include
(1989) 39, n. 179, 2b; M.A. Tomei (1990) 85; H. Born and the tip and bridge of the nose, the right cheek, portions of
K. Stemmer (1996) 72, 92-3, 102-3, fig. 22; M.A. Tomei both ears, and portions of the neck.
(1997) 78, no. 53 (with fig.); J.M. Croisille (1999) 399, fig. 192 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 628, inv. 750, h. 0.27 m.;

11; M.A. Tomei (1999) 171, fig. 111. V. Poulsen (1962) 99 no. 65, pl. 110-11 (with earlier litera-
189 Museo Palatino, Sala 7, formerly Museo Nazionale ture); U. Hiesinger (1975)116, n. 20, pl. 20.28; M. Bergmann
Romano delle Terme, inv. 618, h. 0.31 m.; E. Talamo, and P. Zanker (1981)322, n. 7; S. Maggi (1986) 48, 50, n.
MusNazRom 1.1, 272-3, no. 168, with fig. (with earlier lit- 15, fig. 5. F. Johansen (1994) 158, no. 67 (with figs.); J.M.
erature); K. Vierneisel and P. Zanker (1979) 101, fig. 11.1; Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 6; The head is a type 1 replica
M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 322-326, fig. 5. and has suffered abrasions to the brows, cheeks lips and
Fittschen-Zanker I, 19, n. 4; M.A. Tomei (1990) 85; N.H. chin and the nose is no longer extant. The piece was pur-
and A. Ramage (1991) 111-12, fig. 4.10; D..E.E. Kleiner chased in Rome, and should be considered a metropolitan
(1992) 138, fig. 112; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 72- replica of Nero’s initial portrait type.
3, 102-3, figs. 23-4; M.A. Tomei (1997) 80, no. 55 (with 193 Museo Gregoriano Profano 595, inv. 10198, H. 0.27

fig.); J.M. Croisille (1999) 400, fig. 14; M..A. Tomei (1999) m.; A. Giuliano (1957) 13, no. 16, pl. 11 (with earlier lite-
171, fig. 109; H. Meyer (2000) 131-2, fig. 242; A. La Regina, rature); U. Hiesinger (1975)116, n. 18. The portrait is a
ed. (2001). The occiput, nape of the neck, and a portion of type 1 replica. Restorations in stucco include the nose, a
the neck are now missing from the portrait and may have portion of the chin, the brows, sections of the hair, and
been worked separately. A rectangular channel in the top portions of the ears.
of the head suggests ancient modifications or repairs (pos- 194 Glyptothek, 321, h. 0.44 m.; J.J. Bernoulli (1886) 399,

sibly for the addition of a radiate crown), which perhaps no. 40, pl. 23; A. Furtwängler (1910) 346, no. 321; K.
mitigated against recarving the portrait. The tip of the nose Vierneisel and P. Zanker, eds. (1979) 101; M. Bergmann
has been broken off and there is damage to the chin. Other and P. Zanker (1981)326, figs. 9a-d; Fittschen-Zanker I, 18-
type 3 portraits apparently survived but their whereabouts 19, n. 4, 35, n. 2; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 73, 92,
are no longer known. Modern portraits in Modena and 94, figs. 25-29; H. Meyer (2000) 128-30, figs. 239-244. The
Florence are based on ancient replicas of type 3 which are portrait is from Rome, originally in the Palazzo Ruspoli.
now lost, and a fragmentary portrait, whose whereabouts The surface of the portrait is somewhat weathered and the
are also currently unknown, was a type 3 replica as well right cheek is slightly chipped. The portrait has been cut
(EA 5063, DAI neg. 3074) M. Bergmann and P. Zanker or broken from the bust or statue to which it originally
(1981)324-26, figs. 6a-c, 7, 8a-d. belonged.
190 Images which remained on display on the Palatine 195 Art Museum, acc. 1915.23, h. 0.38 m.; Bergmann

would have fallen prey to the same kind of despoliation which and Zanker (1981)326-31, figs. 10a-e; H. Jucker (1981a) 307-
afflicted the architectural structures on the hill. Other 9; C.C. Vermeule (1981) 298, no. 254, with fig. (with ear-
imperial portraits from the Palatine include a deliberately lier literature); Fittschen-Zanker I, 18-19, nr. 18, n. 4; N.
damaged head of Maximinus Thrax (Museo Palatino, Sala Hannestad in N. Cambi and G. Rizza, eds., (1988) 327;
8, formerly Museo Nazionale delle Terme, inv. 526817, cat. D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 138-39, fig. 113 (photo reversed);
nero and poppaea 69

ther attest to the removal and storage of Nero’s may have been displayed on the extensive impe-
images at Rome and its environs. The Capitoline rial holdings on Sardegna which included ce-
portrait was discovered at Tusculum in 1818 by ramic and brick factories.200 A generally well
Lucien Bonaparte, while the other portraits are preserved type 1 portrait in Stuttgart has been
said to come from Rome. The Munich and broke from a statue or bust of Luna marble and
Worcester likenesses are type IV replicas (and it, too is likely from Rome or elsewhere in Italy.201
both include holes for the addition of radiate Evidence for the removal of Nero’s images in
crowns). The Worcester portrait has been up- Gaul is provided by a type 1 likeness in Gene-
dated from a type 2 or 3 image, which probably va.202 The portrait depicts the young prince
precluded further recutting after Nero’s condem- wearing the corona civica and possibly comes from
nation.197 Vienne. If so, it suggests that Nero’s images were
Images from elsewhere in Italy were also re- removed at Vienne, in addition to being attacked
moved and warehoused, including likenesses in and damaged as attested by the fragmentary type
Cagliari,198 and Mantua,199 The Cagliari portrait 4 portrait from the Odeum (cat. 2.5; fig. 44).
An unusual portrait of Nero from Rome, now
in the Sala dei Busti of the Vatican was also
Johansen (1994) 21, fig. 21; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) removed from public display and stored (fig.
73, 93-5, figs. 30-33; J.M. Croisille (1999) 401, fig. 16. The 85).203 This likeness is unique in that it has been
head has been broken from a bust or statue. Sections of
the shoulders are still preserved. There is damage to the reworked from a preexisting portrait of Gaius
nose and the chin. Caesar, the eldest grandson and one of the pre-
196 Aniken-Sammlung Ennetwies, h. 0.325 m.; H. Jucker
sumptive heirs of Augustus.204 Like the Worces-
and D. Willers, eds. (1982) 101, no. 40, with figs.; I. Jucker
(1995) 23-24, no. 10, pls. 21-22; The portrait, a type II
replica, has been cut or broken from a statue or bust. The
nose has been restored in plaster, and the left ear is miss-
ing. There are slight abrasions to the brows, nose, cheeks (1975)113-15, pl. 22.35-36; Z. Kiss (1975) 143-44; H. Jucker
and chin. The portrait was originally attached to a togate (1981a) 289, figs. 63-64; Bergmann and Zanker (1981)321-
statue to which it did not belong and displayed in gardens 2; Fittschen-Zanker I, 18, n. 7; S. Maggi (1986) 47-51, figs.
at the junction of the Via Flaminia and the Via di Villa 1-3; J.M. Croisille (1999) 399, fig. 10. The portrait has been
Giulia in Rome. attached to a modern bust. The right ear is broken. The
197 Punch marks which are still visible on the right side nose, portions of the lips, the right half of the chin, and
of the neck indicate that the hair on the nape of the neck part of the left ear are restorations. The portrait originally
was cut back in antiquity. The ears of the portrait were formed part of the collection of antiquities accumulated by
also removed and square holes cut into the head, presum- the Gonzaga in their villa at Sabbioneta. The piece was
ably for the attachment of new ears. Two rows of small certainly discovered in Italy and may have come from the
holes, some still containing the remnants of metal dowels, area around Mantua (alternatively, the Gonzaga may have
were drilled in the hair, in order to affix an metal crown purchased it in Rome).
or diadem to the portrait. This evidence for the reworking 200 C. Saletti (1989) 79. Saletti also notes a dedicatory

of the Worcester head suggests that an earlier portrait of inscription from a Temple of Ceres erected by Nero’s
Nero was reworked in an effort to update the image of the mistress, Acte, discovered on Sardinia, n. 62.
emperor from replica of type 2 or 3. 201 Würtembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. arch. 65/
198 Museo Nazionale, inv. 35533, h. O.42 m.; U. 11, h. 0.22 m.; U. Hausmann (1975) 30, no. 7 123, fig. 18-
Hiesinger (1975)114-15, pl. 21.33-34 (with earlier literature); 20, 24; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)321, n. 6; S.
Z. Kiss (1975) 11, 144-45, 147-48, 154, figs. 502-3; H. Jucker Maggi (1986) 50, n. 10; J.M. Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 5.
(1981a) 287-88, skizze 4; Bergmann and Zanker (1981)321- 202 Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, inv. C 186, h. 0.122.; I.

22, fig. 2a-b; J. Pollini (1984) 553-54, pl. 73.13-14; Fittschen- Rilliet-Maillard (1978) no. 9; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker
Zanker I, 17, no. 17; S. Maggi (1986) 47-48, 50, n. 10; C. (1981)321, n. 6; S. Maggi (1986) 48, n. 19, fig. 7. H. Jucker
Saletti (1989) 79, pl. 7; D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 138, fig. 111; and D. Willers, eds. (1982) 103, no. 41, with figs.; J.M.
H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 71-2, 92-3, figs. 20-21; Croisille (1999) 398, fig. 7. Much of the nose and chin of
J.M. Croisille (1999) 399, fig. 9; H. Meyer (2000) 30, 46, the Geneva portrait have been restored in marble and there
figs. 47, 82-3. The portrait, said to be from Olbia, has been is slight damage to both ears.
inserted into a modern bust. The head is exceedingly well 203 385, inv. 591, H. 0.28 m; J. Pollini (1987) 13, 62,

preserved; only the right ear has been restored. 66-67, 101, no. 20 (with earlier literature); J.M. Croisille
199 Palazzo Ducale h. 0.24 m.; A. Levi (1931) 58, no. (1999) 405, fig. 26; H. Meyer (2000) 56, fig. 102.
111, pl. 64b (with earlier literature); R. Bianchi Bandinelli 204 The locks over the forehead have been recut into

(1932) 159, no. 7; V. Poulsen (1951) 120, no. 6; U. Hiesinger Nero’s characteristic type 2 arrangement with central part.
70 chapter three

ter head, the fact that the portrait had already an unidentified Julio-Claudian prince.210 The
been subjected to recarving, with adjustments to portraits comprised a collection of Julio-Claudian
the coiffure, eyes, and mouth, and general reduc- images which were displayed in a first century
tion in the volume of marble, probably precluded A.C. villa located to the east of the Via Flaminia
a second transformation after Nero’s death and in the Campus Martius. The portraits were dis-
damnatio. covered in a subterranean passage of the villa,
A bronze portrait discovered in 1880 during where they may have been deposited for safe-
the construction of the Anglican Church on the keeping during the chaos which ensued in Rome
Via Babuino in Rome furnishes additional com- following Nero’s death and the subsequent civil
pelling archaeological evidence for the storage wars.211
of Nero’s images (fig. 86).205 The portrait, a con- A gilded bronze type 4 head now in an Ameri-
flation of Nero’s second and third portrait can private collection, has also been severed from
types,206 formed part of a cache of bronze Julio- its original statue (fig. 87a-b).212 Damage sustain-
Claudian busts207 which included two portraits ed to the back of the neck is the result of a blow
of Augustus,208 a portrait of Gaius Caesar,209 and or blows which beheaded the image. The bronze
in the damaged area has aged differently than un-
damaged areas and is chemically consistent with
Although Gaius’s original forehead locks, a reversed ver- ancient depredations. The quality and style of the
sion of Augustus’s Prima Porta coiffure, are currently vis- portrait suggest that it was produced in Rome.213
ible, they were probably covered over with stucco when
the portrait was reused. The eyes have been slightly recarved;
Significantly, the image was not melted down
the inner corner of the left eye has been more deeply cut after its decapitation, but perhaps ritually bur-
than the outer corner and the entire reworking has caused ied or disposed of in a more cursory fashion. The
the left eye to appear smaller than the right. The inner corner fact that the valuable metal content of the head
of the mouth has also been more deeply cut as a result of
the reworking. The reuse of the bust was not occasioned
by a damnatio memoriae but rather for economic or practical
reasons. In the Neronian period, likenesses of Gaius (and I, 24, n. 1b; C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.5, pl. 118.
his brother Lucius) would no longer have held the propa- 209 Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale

gandistic importance which they had during the Augustan Montemartini 1.252, inv. 2171; Fittschen-Zanker I, 21-25,
period and the typically Julio-Claudian classicism with which no. 20, pls. 20-21; C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.3, pl. 120.
the facial features of Gaius were imbued, as well as the 210 Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, inv. 23.190, D. K.

comparable ages of Gaius and Nero would have rendered Hill (1939) 404-5, figs. 4, 8-9; C. Pietrangeli (1946-48) 58,
the bust especially appropriate for reuse. no. 2; Fittschen-Zanker, I, 24, n. 1c; C.B. Rose (1997) 115,
205 The face of the portrait is preserved in the Centrale cat. 43.2, pl. 119.
Montemartini while the remainder is in the Walters Art 211 As first suggested by D. K. Hill (1939) 408-9; see

Museum in Baltimore. Sala dei Bronzi (Vitrine), inv. 2835 also, D. von Bothmer in L. Bonfante and H. von Heintze,
(Centrale Montemartini 1.25b) and Walters Art Gallery, eds. (1976) 158. None of the finds postdate the Neronian
23.104, total h. 0.433 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 18-19, no. period.
18, pl. 18 (with earlier literature); C.B. Rose (1997) 115, 212 Connecticut, Private Collection (W. Conti); h. 0.377

cat. 43.4, pl. 121. m.; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996), figs. 1-17, 105-14.
206 The hairstyle with its central part is clearly derived Both the technique of gilding and the corrosion of the bronze
form Nero’s second portrait type, but the heavy facial fea- argue in favor of the head’s authenticity; see H. Born and
tures, with addition of a light beard, are characteristic of K. Stemmer (1996) 163-7. The height of the original statue
his third type. The cuirassed portrait of Nero recarved to is estimated between 2.15-2.25 m., H. Born and K. Stemmer
represent Domitian in the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican (1996) 125.
originally exhibited a similar combination of type II coif- 213 The thickness of the bronze is remarkably consis-

fure and type III physiognomy. See cat. 2.X. tent for ancient bronze working and the artists have taken
207 NSc (1880) 467 (Dec.); R.Lanciani BullCom 9 (1881) great care to add additional feeding channels so that the
30. molten bronze could reach complicated areas of the coif-
208 Augustus (Prima Porta type), Baltimore, Walters Art fure and head, all of which indicates that the workshop
Gallery, inv. 23.105; D. Kent Hill (1939) 401-2; figs. 3, 6- responsible for the piece was operating at the highest lev-
7; C. Pietrangeli (1946-48) 58, fig. 1; Fittschen-Zanker I, els, likely producing imperial commissions. I would like to
24, n. 1a; C.B. Rose (1997) 115, cat. 43.1, pl. 117. Augustus thank Renee Stein, Conservator at the Michael C. Carlos
(?) (Forbes Type?), private American collection, R. Lanciani, Museum for sharing her invaluable insights and expertise
BullCom 9 (1881) 246, no. 1/2, pl. 1.3; D. Kent Hill (1939) concerning the production and chemical properties of the
407, fig. 2; C. Pietrangeli (1946-48) 59; Fittschen-Zanker head.
nero and poppaea 71

was not recuperated indicates that the act of firmed by the kneeling Arimaspes, who were
mutilation overrode any economic considerations legendary one eyed people from central Asia,
in this instance. The original statue body, possi- offering bowls in submission to winged griffins,
bly cuirassed may, have been reused through the the creatures of Apollo (and by extension Nero),
addition of a new head. Both the scale and quality which occur directly below the scene of Nero/
of the original portrait suggest that it was Helios. Despite its specifically Neronian conno-
an important and probably highly visible monu- tations, the cuirassed statue body is of extremely
ment. high artistic quality and was likely reused with
A bronze statuette in Venice, has also been the insertion of a new portrait head. The origi-
dissociated from original context following Nero’s nal representation of Nero provides additional
damnatio.214 The statuette depicts the emperor important evidence for the production of
cuirassed and seated. He extends his right arm Neronian military images, which also draw on
in gesture of clementia. This small bronze may solar iconography. The portrait further attests to
reflect the statue of Nero in Armenia to which Nero’s inclusion among the important cycle of
Tiridates surrendered his crown in 63, prior to Julio-Claudian statues at Caere. A nearly iden-
receiving it back from the Nero’s own hand in tical cuirass in Turin discovered at Susa, now
Rome in 65. Although L. Sperti has attempted completed with a private third century likeness
to link this statuette to the elaborate ceremonies may have originally been another military rep-
surrounding Tiridates visit to Rome in 66, the resentation of Nero from which the head was
use of Nero’s second portrait type, in use from removed.217 The conflation of Neronian portrait
54 to 59 probably precludes the statuette’s asso- features and solar imagery also recalls the Co-
ciation with these events. The image comes from lossus, as well as the altar of Eumolpus, a slave
Opitegerium and its small scale suggests that it at the Domus Aurea, which is dedicated to Sol
may have been associated with a shrine, or was and Luna and includes a representation Sol with
a fitting for furniture or horse trappings. Neronian type 4 facial features and coiffure.218
A portrait of Nero originally inserted into a A cuirassed statue in Istanbul, whose head has
cuirassed portrait from Caere has also been re- not been preserved, survives together with its
moved (fig. 88).215 The head itself no longer sur- plinth and dedicatory inscription: ;gDT;"
vives, but the imagery on the cuirass suggests that 58"L*4< 1g@L 58"L*4L 5"4FgD@F L4@<.219 The
it was originally combined with a portrait of statue was discovered at Tralles and the head has
Nero. On the upper portion of the breastplate, been cut or broken from the body. Because the
Apollo-Helios, driving the chariot of the sun, is inscription has not been erased or altered, it is
represented with facial features and coiffure as- clear that the statue was either removed entirely
similated to Nero’s with type 4 portrait type. This
imagery evokes the decoration of the purple and
217 Turin, Museo di Antichità, without inv. no., h. 1.95
gold covering designed for the Theater of m.; K. Stemmer (1978) 96, pl. 64.1-2; C.B. Rose (1997)
Pompey during the visit of Tiridates in 66.216 The 85, and n. 17.
218 Florence, Museo Archeologico, inv. 86025; CIL
association with the events of 66 is further con-
6.3719=31033; ILS 1774; M. Bergmann (1993[1994]) 9,
pl. 5.3; M. Bergmann (1998) 194-201, pl. 38; R.R.R. Smith
(2000) 539. Eumolpus apparently oversaw the imperial
214 Museo Archeologico, Sala 18, vetrina b, inv. 276; furnishings at the Domus Aurea (a suppelectile Domus Auriae).
h. .011 m.; L. Sperti (1990) (with earlier literature). 219 Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, 584, h. ; G. Mendel
215 Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, inv. (1914) 315-16, no. 584, with fig.; G. Mancini (1922), no.
9948; h. 2.30 m.; M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani, P. 22; F.W. Goethert (1935) 137, pl. 52.3; H. Muthmann (1951)
Santoro, eds. (1989) 68-70, no. 5, with figs. (with previous 50-51, 211, pl. 8; G.M.A. Hanfmann and C.C. Vermuele
literature); R. Gergel (1994) 196-97; C.B. Rose (1997) 83- (1957) 232; C.C. Vermeule (1959) 43, no. 76; J. Inan and
6, cat. 5, pl. 64 (identification as Germanicus). E. Rosenbaum (1966) 69; C.C. Vermeule (1968) 43, 389,
216 Dio 53.6.2. The imagery also has obvious parallels no. 6; K. Stemmer (1978) 17, n. 62, 171, no. 185; H. Born
with the Colossus. See M. Fuchs in M. Fuchs, P. Liverani, and K. Stemmer (1996) 100, 102, fig. 36; M. Fuchs (1997)
P. Santoro, eds. (1989) 69. 92-3.
72 chapter three

from public display to await some form of even- towards the trophy and the portrait head that
tual reuse, or conversely, it may have been al- originally completed the statue. The Palazzo
lowed to remain on view. It is also within the Colonna cuirass also includes a foreign child, at
realm of possibility that the portrait continued to the feet of a bound foreigner beneath a trophy.
be displayed publicly, although without its head, Additional cuirasses which are possibly Neronian
in order to denigrate Nero’s memory. The men- in date include Schloss Erbach,225 Berlin,226
tion of the deified Claudius in the inscription Sassari,227 and formerly Sikyon.228 Unfortunately,
suggests that the statue was dedicated early in none of these statues survives with its original
Nero’s reign and that the original portrait was a head, but taken together with the Istanbul and
replica of Nero’s second type in use until A.D. Caere statues, the Venice bronze statuette and
59.220 the cuirassed portraits altered to represent Titus
Two fragmentary cuirassed statues in the and Domitian (Olympia, Vaison, and the
Louvre221 and Durres (fig. 89) 222 have nearly Vatican), they attest to the surprising breadth and
identical relief decoration to the Nero/Titus in vitality of militaristic representations of Nero, as
Olympia, and, as a result, appear to have origi- well as experimentation and innovation in cui-
nally represented Nero. Other extant cuirassed rass imagery.
statues which are Neronian in date and may have In contrast to the warehoused images, the cor-
been combined with portraits of the emperor rosion suffered by a head in Oslo suggests that
include a statue in Grosseto from the Julio- it was thrown into a body of water after it was
Claudian group dedication at Rusellae 223 and removed from the togate statue to which it origi-
one restored as a portrait of Fabrizio Colonna in nally belonged.229 This type four likeness was
the Palazzo Colonna in Rome.224 The Grosseto purchased in Rome and is presumably from the
cuirass is nearly colossal in scale and remarkable capital or its surroundings.230 Although details of
for its sculptural quality. The imagery on the its discovery are lacking, the image may come
cuirass is striking and unique. A trophy is de- from the Tiber, where it would have been thrown
picted above an eagle with outstretched wings. following Nero’s suicide and damnatio in an act
To the trophy’s left is a seated mourning female of poena post mortem similar to disposal of the three
foreigner looking frontally out of the relief. To miniature busts of Caligula.231 The treatment of
the right, an adult male rushes towards the tro- images related to post mortem corpse abuse may
phy with cloak flying behind and a child clutched also explain the discovery of a bronze portrait of
in his arms. Both the adult and male look up Nero in the River Alde at Rendham near
Saxmundham in Sussex, (fig. 90).232 The head,

220 It seems highly unlikely that the statue is Antonine

and represents a revival of Nero’s portraits in the second 225 No. 20; Stemmer (1978) 24, no. II.2, pl. 11.2-3.
century, as suggested by K. Fittschen (1970), K. Stemmer 226 Staatliche Museen, 368; Stemmer (1978) 19, no. V.18,
(1978) 17, n. 62, and M. Fuchs (1997) 92-3. Indeed, the pl. 36.4.
unusual combination of patrician calcei with a cuirass also 227 Museo Sanna 7890: Stemmer (1978) 87-88, no. 7.23,

occurs in the Nero and Agrippina panel from Aphrodisias pl. 61.3.
and the small seated bronze in Venice (Museo Archeologico 228 Museum; Stemmer (1978) 19, no. I.18, pl. 94.

276) and seems to be a characteristic of certain Neronian 229 Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. 1248, h. 0.385 m.; from the

military imagery. Hartwig collection in Rome; S. Sande (1991) 48-50, no.

221 inv. 3384, h. 1.20 m.; G. Koch (1995) 324-6, pl. 74.3 35, pl. 35 (with earlier literature); H. Born and K. Stemmer
(with earlier literature). (1996) 71, 94-5, fig. 35.
222 inv 4415 (earlier 825) h. 1.67 m.; G. Koch (1995) 230 The more youthful facial features of the likeness are

321-6, pls. 71-74.1 (with earlier literature). a contamination from Nero’s second portrait type; M.
223 Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma; K. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)232.
Stemmer (1978) 28, no. 11a 3, pl. 14.3; C.C. Vermeule 231 The Hartwig collection was assembled in Rome at

(1980b) 16; H.R. Goette (1988) n. 36; A. Kuttner (1995) the end of the nineteenth century, during which time, great
166, n. 16: C.B. Rose (1997) 118. quantities of sculpture were being recovered from the Tiber
224 K. Stemmer (1978) 393; C.C. Vermeule (1980b) 93, as a result of the construction of the river’s embankments.
fig. 53; A. Kuttner (1995) 166, n. 17. 232 London, British Museum, PRB, inv. 1965.12-1.1; h.
nero and poppaea 73

perhaps originally from ancient Comilodunum, panel depicting the hero fleeing Troy with
has been decapitated from its original statue and Anchises and Ascanius/Iulus.236 One of the re-
its disposal in the Alde provides an illuminating liefs presents Nero at the proper right, wearing
provincial counterpart to the disposal of images a cuirass, while Agrippina stands to his left as a
and corpses in the Tiber.233 A badly weathered conflation of the goddesses Roma and Concordia
type 2 likeness in the Louvre, whose provenance extending the laurel wreath of the triumphator (fig.
is unknown, may also have been disposed of in 91).237 The depiction of Nero and Agrippina is
a similarly destructive fashion.234 modeled on the cult group from the temple of
Relief portraits of Nero from the Sebasteion Roma and Augustus at Pergamum, as depicted
at Aphrodisias present conflicting approaches to in Claudian cistophoroi.238 The use of Nero’s sec-
Nero’s images. The Sebasteion complex, begun ond portrait type in the relief and the prominent
during the reign of Tiberius and finished under divine iconography for Agrippina and her depic-
Nero, was dedicated to Venus-Aphrodite, the tion as the guarantrix of Nero’s imperium indicates
Theoi Sebastoi, and the Demos.235 The complex that the relief was created after Nero’s accession
was entered through an arch and consisted of two in A.D. 54, but probably not long after
monumental three-storied porticoes on the north Agrippina’s diminishing political prominence
and south which enclosed a long rectangular which commenced c. A.D. 55. Although the cir-
open space culminating in a temple of Venus- cumstances surrounding the fate of the relief after
Aphrodite. The entire complex stressed the city’s Nero’s downfall are somewhat enigmatic, it was
close ties to the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Sculpted removed from the colonnade and used, face
relief panels, set between the columns of the down, as a paving slab in one of the north shops
upper two stories of the colonnade, honored at the Sebasteion’s ground level.239 The panel
members of the dynasty and depicted mythologi- contains clear indications of secondary use, in-
cal scenes (many having to do with Aeneas), the cluding the loss of its upper corners, smoothing
various Ethnoi of the empire, as well as other of the picked surfaces at the back, two cuttings
geographical and chronological personifications. near the top, and a hole cut through the back-
Nero appeared in three of the imperial panels, ground emerging above Agrippina’s right arm.
two of which are extant, and, in the mythologi- The relief is generally well preserved, and this,
cal series, Aeneas is represented with portrait-like together with the signs of secondary use, suggest
features resembling Nero’s last two types in a that the panel was reused sometime after Nero’s
condemnation in 68.240 The panel may have

0.33 m.; U. Hiesinger (1975)116, n. 17; H. Jucker (1981a) 236 R.R.R. Smith (1990) 97, fig. 9; C.B. Rose (1997) 167.
307-9, figs. 75-6 (with earlier literature); S. Maggi (1986) 237 K.T. Erim (1986) 4 (with fig.), 30 (fig.), 122 (with
50, n. 15; M. Donderer (1991-2) 260, no. 6; A. Oliver (1996) fig.); R.R.R. Smith (1987) 127-32, pls. 24-26; R.R. Smith
152. Although it is has been variously identified as Claudius (1988b) 53; T. Mikocki (1995) 181, no. 210; C.B. Rose (1997)
or even Trajan, the head is clearly a provincial variant of 164-7, no. 105.10, pl. 207; S. Wood (1999) 302-3, fig. 142;
Nero’s second type with centrally parted hair; see H. Jucker H. Meyer (2000) 28, fig. 44. Agrippina appears in a simi-
(1981a) 307-9. lar guise, as the guarantor of Nero’s auctoritas and military
233 H. Jucker, compares the portrait’s disposal in the victory, in a cameo in Cologne (Cathedral, Dreiköni-
Alde to the proposed disposal of Tiberius’s corpse in the genschrein I B a 17, W.R. Megow (1987) 213-4, no. A 98,
Tiber in 37 at which time the Roman mob shouted “Tiberium pl. 35.1-2).
in Tiberim!.” Jucker speculates that the inhabitants of Ro- 238 RPCi 2221-2; BMCRE 1, 196, no. 228; RIC2 1, 131,

man Britain may have shouted the equivalent of “‘In die no. 120; CNR 14.130-48; R. Mellor (1975) 140-1; C. Fayer
Alde mit Nero!’,” (1981a) 308-9. (1976) 110; S.R.F. Price (1984) 182, 252, no. 19; L. Sperti
234 Musée du Louvre, MA 3528, h. 0.26 m; K. de (1990) 10, plate 13, fig. 30; C.B. Rose (1997) 47, pl. 208.
Kersauson (1986) 214-15, with figs. (with earlier literature); 239 Room 9 of the north portico; R.R.R. Smith (1987)

M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)322, n. 7; S. Maggi 128.

(1986) 48, 50, n. 10, fig. 4. The portrait has suffered dam- 240 R.R. Smith (1987) 128. Alternatively, the panel could

age to the forehead, nose, and lips and the back of the head have been reused much later, after the collapse of the north
is missing. portico, which occurred much earlier than the south. If so,
235 R.R.R. Smith (1987) 90. then the Nero and Agrippina panel would have remained
74 chapter three

come from the north portico, whose primary 57!K)3?G )C?KE?G 5!3E!C E+#!EI?G
decoration consisted of geographical (and tem- '+C9!;35?G , rather generic Julio-Claudian
poral) personifications, which would make it names which could be linked with other mem-
unique, as all of the other imperial panels are bers of the dynasty.245 The use of Nero’s second
from the south. The humble, utilitarian reuse of type on the relief, and its great similarity to ear-
the panel with its grandiose military and divine lier Julio-Claudian likenesses, allowed the relief
imagery stands as a potent reminder of Nero’s to remain in situ, the only modifications neces-
posthumous denigration in the city which had sary for reuse being the alteration to the accom-
such close ties to his dynasty. panying inscription. Dio Chrysostom attests to
In contrast, the second Neronian panel, from this kind of reuse of portrait statues by simply
the south portico, was never removed from the changing the dedicatory inscription.246 Neverthe-
colonnade (fig. 92a-c).241 In another explicitly less, the erasure of Nero’s name from the inscrip-
militaristic scene, the emperor, helmeted and tion also constitutes a posthumous, and highly
nude with a paludamentum draped over his shoul- visible, denigration of his memory at Aphrodisias.
ders, supports the slumping figure of Armenia in A third imperial panel also depicts Nero in his
his arms.242 Although Nero’s portrait features second portrait type; the emperor is nude and
have not been damaged or recut, the inscription holding a globe in his extended left hand (fig.
has been altered.243 The inscription originally read: 93).247 Nero’s raised right hand presumably held
a scepter and he wears a paludamentum over his
!C9+;3! [;+CS;(3)] right shoulder. A diminutive male foreigner is at
57!K)3?G Nero’s right. The relief was discovered in the
)C?KE?G remains of rooms 9-10, together with a panel
5!3E!C E+# often identified as “Augustus by Land and
!EI?G '+C Sea.”248 This panel more likely represents
9!;35?G.244 Claudius, perhaps as divus, suggesting that both
NEPON(I) in the second half of the top line was reliefs may have been created early in Nero’s
erased. The altered inscription thus refers to reign. Like the Nero and Armenia panel, the ar-
chaeological context of the Neronian panel sug-
on display, as did the Nero and Armenia panel. This seems gests that it was never removed from display.
highly unlikely given the very specific Neronian imagery Again, the rather generic Julio-Claudian appear-
of the Nero and Agrippina relief, combined with its rela- ance of the portrait features may have allowed
tively good state of preservation and the secondary signs
of reuse. In addition, none of the other panels seems to have it to be re-interpreted following Nero’s downfall
been reused in this way. by redacting the inscription. Indeed, the portrait
241 K.T. Erim (1986) 116-17 (with fig.), 180 (fig.); R.R.R.
has often been associated with Nero’s father,
Smith (1987) 117-120; H. Meyer (2000) 30-32, figs. 45-6, Germanicus.249
48. Like the remains of other reliefs from the south por-
tico of the Sebasteion, the fragmentary portrait head of Nero Inscriptional evidence suggests that there was
and the slab itself were discovered above the latest paving a fourth panel from the imperial cycle depicting
levels of the complex, indicating that the relief remained Nero and Helios.250 The inscription has been
in place until the ultimate collapse of the south portico in
the Late Roman Period; R.R. Smith (1987) 119-20.
242 The composition has iconographic parallels with the 245 R.R.R. Smith (1987) 118.
Pasquino group as well as coin reverses and is intended to 246 Or.31. Additionally, such reuse may have been more
show the emperor aiding or succoring the province, rather liable to occur in the provinces, where the imperial image
than merely conquering it. On these and similar scenes was not as widely disseminated as at Rome, and where
representing parocinium, see A. Kuttner (1995) 77. discrepancies in portrait typologies were more likely to be
243 Although the head is fragmentary and the facial overlooked.
features are now missing, there is no evidence that the R.R.R. Smith (1987) 110-11, no. 4 (with fig.).
damage to the head is intentional; R.R.R. Smith (1987) 119- R.R.R. Smith (1987) 104-6, no. 2 (with fig.); D.E.E.
120. Kleiner (1992) 138, fig. 133.
244 R.R.R. Smith, (1987) 117-18. The superfluous iota 249
R.R.R. Smith (1987) 110-11.
in Nero’s name may have been removed immediately af- SEG 31 (1981) no. 919; J. Reynolds (1981) 324, no.
ter the inscription was first carved. 9; C.B. Rose (1997) 48, 165, no. 105.
nero and poppaea 75

altered in an identical manner to the Nero and Agrippina Maior (whose Scheitelzopf coiffure is a
Armenia panel, with Nero in the first line erased: later restoration), Tiberius enthroned as Jupiter,
Livia enthroned as Ceres, Claudius, and Agrip-
[;+CS;] 57!K)3?G /73?G
pina Minor seated on a throne decorated with
)C?KE?G 5!3E!C
sphinxes; above the central register, Augustus,
veiled, wearing a radiate crown and holding a
scepter, is carried aloft on the back of Apollo-
As with the other panels, it seems that Nero’s Mithras or Aeneas. Augustus is flanked on his
image was left intact, with only the most individu- right by Drusus Minor and on his left by Eros
alized part of his nomenclature obliterated. 251 and Drusus Maior.253 The Grand Camée clearly
In addition to his sculpted, bronze, and relief links the reigning princeps Claudius with his illus-
portraits, Nero’s image has survived on ten cam- trious relatives, and furthermore, honors the
eos. Although there is much scholarly controversy distinguished lineage of Claudius’s adopted son
concerning its date, the Grand Camée de France Nero, through Agrippina Minor and Maior. The
was likely created under Claudius to commemo- cameo’s central scene alludes to Tiberius’s adop-
rate his adoption of Nero (fig. 94).252 H. Jucker tion of Nero’s grandfather Germanicus, the char-
has convincingly identified the principal figures ismatic general whose memory continued to be
on the gem; the central band depicts, from proper revered and whose name Nero took at the time
right to left, Providentia (?), Nero, Germanicus, of his adoption into the gens Iulia. Tiberius’s
adoption of Germanicus is implicitly compared
to Claudius’s adoption of Nero.254 Furthermore,
Nero may also be represented in a fifth imperial panel,
together with Britannicus. The panel depicts two boys, nude the prominence of the two Agrippinae stresses
and wearing paludamenta. The boy at the right of the relief their importance for the continuum of the Julio-
is clearly singled out as being of higher status because he Claudian dynasty, and strongly suggests that the
holds an aplustre (ship’s rudder) and globe, symbols of domi-
nation over sea and land. C.B. Rose has proposed that the Grand Camée may have been created for, or at
relief depicts Nero and Britannicus after Claudius’s adop- the instigation of, Agrippina Minor.255 Although
tion of Nero, with Nero’s senior status reinforced by the Nero appears on this gem, the Claudian content
attributes he holds (1997) 164-8, no. 105.8, pl. 205. While of the cameo, as well as its complicated iconog-
Rose’s theory is attractive and logical in terms of Claudian
dynastic propaganda, the coiffure of the proposed Nero raphy, may have precluded any recarving under
figure lacks the characteristic central part of Nero’s estab- the Flavians and its value as a precious stone and
lished type I portraits and an identification as Gaius and work of art may have prevented outright destruc-
Lucius may be more tenable, R.R.R. Smith (1987) 124-5.
Smith has also noted in conversation that its placement on tion. Agrippina Maior’s Scheitelzopf is a resto-
the portico after the other Neronian reliefs gives it a likely ration or adaptation, likely carried out in the third
Neronian, rather than Claudian, context, making the ap- or the fourth century and suggests that the cameo
pearance of Britannicus highly unlikely. continued to be an important part of some col-
Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, 264,
31.0 x 26.5 cm.; K. Jeppesen (1974); W.R. Megow (1987) lection.256 The Grand Camée may have remained
1, 4, 9, 24, 31-2, 42, 49, 51-2, 80, 84-5, 88, 99, 103-4, 123,
130-4, 139, 142-44, 146, 202-07, no. A85, pls. 32.5-10, 33
(with previous bibliography); D. Boschung (1989) 64-6, 85, H. Jucker (1976) 211-50; for a review of the schol-
88, 92, 95-6, 119, no. 4, pl. 35.6; D. D. Boschung (1993a) arship on the Grand Camée and the stylistic and icono-
195, no. 215, pl. 205.4; N.B. Kampen (1991) 235, fig. 13; graphic reasons which support a Claudian date for the
D..E.E. Kleiner (1992) 149-51, fig. 126; K. Jeppesen (1993) creation of the gem, see W.R. Megow (1987) 203-7. K.
141-75, pl. 34; C. Mango in M. Henig and M. Vickers, Jeppesen’s attempts to identify the figures on the gem on
eds. (1993) 59, 62, fig. 4.11; C. White in M. Henig and M. the basis of age and body type are entirely unconvincing
Vickers, eds. (1993) 79-82, figs. 5.1-2; A. Kuttner (1995) and fail to accurately recognize the youthful cuirassed fig-
166, n. 18; T. Mikocki (1995) 157-8, no. 45,pl. 8; H. Born ure as Nero, with a clear version of his type I physiognomy
and K. Stemmer (1996) 97, fig. 50; H. Guiraud (1996) 116- and coiffure (1993) 141-75. See also infra.
21, figs. 81a-b; C.B.Rose (1997) 24; E. Bartman (1999) 112- W.R. Megow (1987) 206.
4, fig. 90; S. Wood (1999) 308-13, fig. 145.; E. Borea and See S. Wood (1988) 409-26 for Agrippina Minor’s
C. Gasparri, eds. (2000) 558, no. 44, with fig.; H. Meyer manipulation of her mother’s image in order to legitimize
(2000) 11-28, figs. 1-11, 13, 16, 18-19, 21, 23, 25-26, 28- her own and Nero’s position within the dynasty.
30, 35, 39-43. H. Jucker (1981b) 674-5.
76 chapter three

imperial property for a considerable time as it was laurel crown of the triumphator.266 As in the
eventually given by the Byzantine emperor, Sebasteion relief, Agrippina appears as the
Badouin II to Louis IX of France for the Sainte guarantrix of Nero’s auctoritas and victory. A
Chapelle.257 sardonyx cameo in Nancy, with a type 3 portrait
Nero’s profile appears nine times on gems, of Nero, also represents the emperor in overtly
including: two type I likenesses on sardonyx divine guise.267 Nero is shown in a scene of apo-
cameos in the British Museum;258 four laureate theosis, borne heavenward on the back of an
type 2 likeness in St. Petersburg,259 in Bonn, 260 eagle. Nero appears as Jupiter, with hip mantle,
in the British Museum,261 and the Content Col- sandals, aegis and laurel crown. The emperor
lection;262 and two type 4 replicas in Berlin,263 and holds a figure of victory extending a wreath in
Geneva.264 Nero also appears as a small head his right hand and cradles a cornucopia in his left.
rising from a cornucopia with Agrippina Minor The divine symbolism and inflated visual rheto-
on a sardonyx cameo in Paris.265 These portraits ric of the Cologne and Nancy gems may have
are likely to have survived because of their in- been judged as iconographically inappropriate for
trinsic value as gems and/or their perceived the first two Flavian emperors, Vespasian and
worth as collectors’ items. Titus, and thus unsuitable for recutting during
Two additional glyptic portraits survive on their principates. In any case, these images un-
cameos with more complicated iconography. A doubtedly survived because of their value as semi-
sardonyx cameo in Cologne depicts Nero en- precious stones, as objects d’art, or as curiosities.
throned with the attributes of Jupiter; at his left In addition to the cameos, Nero’s image sur-
stands Agrippina Minor again in the guise of vives on three intaglios. A chrysolite in London,268
Roma-Concordia, crowning her son with the a carnelian in Paris,269 and a another carnelian
in New York (fig. 95),270 are all based on Nero’s

J.J. Bernoulli (1886) 275; and K. Jeppesen (1993) 174,
n. 160. Dom, Dreikönigenschrein I B a 17, 8.0 x 6.4 cm.;
3621, inv. no. R.P.K. 21, 2.2 x 1.3 cm.; ex Payne W.R. Megow (1987) 4, 96, 101-2, 109, 137, 143, 149, 213-
Knight Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 88, 99-101, 212-13, no. 14, no. A 98, pl. 35.1-2; T. Mikocki (1995) 182, no. 213,
A 96, pl. 34.7 (with earlier literature). 3618, h. 3.2 x 2.4 pl. 14; H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 72, 100, fig. 51.
cm.; ex Blacas Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 98, 141, n. 438, Nero wears a mantel draped across his hips, holds a scep-
215, no. A 101, pl. 34 (with earlier literature). ter in his raised right hand and an ornamented ship’s stern
Sardonyx cameo; Ermitage, inv. J 275, 2.0 x 1,8 cm.; (aphlaston) in his left hand. He wears a laurel crown and a
W.R. Megow (1987) 215-16, no. A 103, pl. 34.11 (with earlier star, an attribute of solar divinity, rises from his head. An
literature). eagle decorates his throne. Agrippina holds aloft a second
Fragment from a sardonyx cameo; Private collection, laurel crown in her right hand and cradles a cornucopia in
2.3 x 1.8 cm.; W.R. Megow (1987) 212, no. A 94, pl. 34.9- her left arm. She wears a tunica with a palla draped around
10 (with earlier literature). her hips. She, too, wears a laurel crown. Three sheaves of
Fragment from an onyx cameo; 3600, inv. 68.5-20.2, wheat spring from her head.
2.8. x 2.1 cm; ex Pulsky Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 88, 96, Bibliothèque Publique, h. 7.1 x 6.0 cm.; W.R. Megow
100, 113, n. 353, 212-13, no. A. 95, pl. 34.4-5 (with ear- (1987) 86, n. 265, 96, 101-3, 114, 142, n. 440, 144, 214-
lier literature); H. Born and K. Stemmer, 97, fig. 58. 15, no. A 99, pl. 35.3 (with earlier literature); J. Arce in S.
Sardonyx cameo, 3.03 x 2.8 x .52 cm,; M. Henig Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 551, no. 295 (Caracalla).
(1990) 34, no. 59. The profile, coiffure and beard closely resemble the sculpted
Fragmentary sardonyx cameo; Staatliche Museen, inv. replica of Nero’s third portrait type in the Terme. The Nancy
30219.710, h. 2.15 cm; ex von Gans Coll.; W.R. Megow gem has been identified with Caracalla, but the coiffure
(1987) 96, 98, 215, no. A100, pl. 35.4 (with earlier litera- does not correspond to any of Caracalla’s hairstyles.
ture); H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 97, fig. 56. British Museum, Blacas 497, 16 x 13 mm; G.M.A.
Glass cameo; Musée d’Art et d’Histoire 224, 1.7 x Richter (1971) 109, no. 523, fig. 523 (Nero in his younger
1.3 cm.; ex Fol Coll.; W.R. Megow (1987) 215, no. A 102, years)(with earlier literature).
pl. 35.5 (with earlier literature). Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, 17
Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, inv. x 13 mm; Chabouillet, Cat, no. 2083; G.M.A. Richter (1971)
276, 8.3 x 7.6 cm; S. Wood (1999) 305-6, fig. 133; T. Mickoki 109, no. 524, fig. 524.
(1995) 39, 180, no. 203 (with earlier literature); W. Megow Metropolitan Museum of Art, 41.160.762, 14 x 12
(1987) 27-8, no. A86, pl. 27.3. mm.; G.M.A. Richter (1971) 109, no. 525, fig. 525 (with
nero and poppaea 77

fourth portrait type. Intaglios were often used as Senate in 58 and begun in 62, commemorated
seals for important documents and clearly, Nero’s Gn. Domitius Corbulo’s victories in Parthia, for
image would no longer have been appropriate for which Nero took credit. The arch was demolished
such a use after his damnatio. Because they are under Galba or Vespasian274 Despite the
carved in negative relief, in very small-scale, monument’s destruction, it had an enormous
intaglios are virtually impossible to recarve and impact on subsequent arch design.275
indeed only one surviving intaglio seems to have Nero was a prodigious builder, and his main
been reconfigured as a result of Geta’s condem- building projects were either demolished or ex-
nation (cat. 7.9). They may simply have been propriated.276 The Domus Aurea, the sprawling
discarded, or again, valued as curiosities or pre- villa/palace which Nero built linking the Palatine
served by Nero’s former partisans after his death. and the Esquiline outraged the Senatorial aris-
A graffito from an arched room in the sub- tocracy on account of its lavish decoration and
structures of the “Domus Tiberiana” in Rome the extent of its grounds in the heart of Rome.277
may have been intended a caricature of Nero’s Although Otho lived in the Domus Aurea and
third portrait type.271 The grafitto is signed devoted substantial sums to its completion, the
TVLLIVS ROMANUS MILES and depicts an in- palace was subsequently destroyed or transformed
dividual in right profile. The light beard, short and the elaborately landscaped grounds were
aquiline nose, and slope of the underchin recall reclaimed by Vespasian for other purposes.278
Nero’s third portrait type. The handling of the The great artificial lake was drained and the
hair over the forehead parodies Nero’s carefully Amphitheatrum Flavium erected on its site. The
arranged coiffures. If the graffito is indeed a like- surviving Esquiline wing of the palace was incor-
ness of Nero, it lies far outside the realm of of- porated into the substructures of the baths of
ficial portraits of Nero. This humorous image Trajan. It is likely that the Baths of Titus on the
would have been exempted from the damnatio as Oppian represent modifications to the pre-exist-
a result of its satiric and unflattering nature. The ing baths of the Domus Aurea, opened to the
room in which it was found lies in an area of the public in A.D. 80.279 The works of art which had
Palatine used as barracks for soldiers and sleep- decorated Nero’s palace were expropriated by
Vespasian for public display in the nearby
ing quarters for slaves.272
Templum Pacis.280 Like the destruction of the
The removal of Nero’s public images repre-
sents an attempt to obliterate him from the his-
torical record and communal consciousness, 274
Both Otho and Vitellius were sympathetic towards
comparable to the erasure of his name in inscrip- Nero’s memory. F.S. Kleiner (1985) 70-72. The arches of
Domitian were similarly destroyed, F.S. Kleiner (1985) 94.
tions and the destruction, dismantling, or appro- 275
F.S. Kleiner (1985) 94-6.
priation of his commemorative monuments and 276
On Nero’s building projects and their negative pre-
works of architecture. Not surprisingly, no ar- sentation in hostile literary sources, see J. Elsner in J. Elsner
chaeological trace remains of the triumphal arch and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 112-27.
The palace is censured in a contemporary epigram
which was erected in Nero’s honor on the Arx of recorded by Suetonius: “Rome is becoming a house; emi-
the Capitoline Hill, but its appearance can be grate to Veii, Romans, unless that house takes over Veii,
reconstructed on the basis of numismatic evi- too” (Roma domus fiet; Veios migrate, Quirites, Si non et Veios occupat
ista domus, Nero 39.2). And later, Martial quips “One house
dence.273 The arch, which was vowed by the took up the whole of Rome,” (Lib.Spect. 2.4).
Suet. Otho 7.1; L.F. Ball has also distinguished post-
Neronian phases of construction in the Esquiline wing of
earlier literature); K.M. Dickson in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) the Domus Aurea, portions of which he assigns to modifi-
132, no. 25, with fig . cations carried out under Otho, (1994) 226-27 and (2003)
L. Correra (1894) 89-90, pl. 2.4; R. Lanciani (1897) 168-69.
147, fig. 55; W. Binsfeld (1956) 31; H. Jucker (1963) 87- F. Coarelli (1974) 203; L.F. Ball (forthcoming) 249-
88, fig. 8. 53.
272 280
R. Lanciani (1897) 146. Pliny, NH 35.120. On the political implications of
F.S. Kleiner (1985); S. de Maria (1988) 283-84; F.S. the Templum Pacis as a reaction against the Domus Aurea,
Kleiner in E.M. Steinby, ed. (1993) 101. see C. Kerrigan (1996) 359 (abstract).
78 chapter three

house of Julia Minor earlier in the first century, Nero’s name has been erased in the majority
or the destruction of the house of C. Calpurnius of his inscriptions.285 In addition to the expected
Piso under Nero himself, the dismantling, demo- erasure of the princeps’ name in portrait dedica-
lition, and reconfiguration of the Domus Aurea tions and other commemorative inscriptions, a
reflects the earlier republican practice of razing bronze inscription, honoring Nero which was
the houses of individuals subjected to a damnatio.281 added to the architrave of the Parthenon in A.D.
The Esquiline wing of the Domus Aurea, not 61-2, was entirely removed from the temple.286
incorporated into the Baths of Trajan until it was The inscription was inserted between the bronze
ravaged by the fire of A.D. 104, was degraded shields which had been affixed below the
by alterations which turned its grand public metopes, probably under Alexander. 287 Indeed,
rooms and spaces into utilitarian barracks or of the seven (or possibly eight) inscriptions from
storerooms.282 The modified Esquiline remnant Athens which originally mentioned Nero, his
of the Palace, in a semi- ruinous and highly vis- name has been erased on all but two.288 Nero’s
ible state near the Colosseum would have func- name has also been erased in an important public
tioned as yet another pertinent manifestation of inscription from Akraiphia in Boetia, which re-
Nero’s disgrace and downfall. The combination corded the speech delivered by the emperor at
of Neronian ruin with the new Flavian architec- the time of the liberation of Achaea and addi-
tural showpiece would have been extremely ef- tionally honored the emperor as Nero Zeus Eleu-
fective visual propaganda for the new regime.
The circus which was begun by Caligula and
completed by Nero in the valley of the Mons
Vaticanus may also have been given over to quip “Quid Nerone peius? Quid thermis melius Neronianis?
public use following Nero’s death and damnatio.283 (7.34.4-5).
M. Stuart lists portrait dedications which originally
Interestingly, Nero’s greatest public building honored Nero (1939) 609. Stuart’s list is reproduced here:
project, the Baths which he constructed in the ROME: CIL 6.927, 31288, 921 = Dessau 222, 4; REGIO
Campus Martius continued to be known as the I: Casinum (CIL 10.5171); Pompeii (CIL 10.932); REGIO
II: Aeclanum (CIL 9.1108); REGIO IV: Aequiculi (CIL
Baths of Nero despite his damnatio.284 9.4115); REGIO VII: Luna (CIL 11.1331 = Dessau 233,
1332, 6955 = Dessau 8902); BAETICA: Marchena (CIL
2.1392); Salpensa (CIL 2.1281; LUSITANIA: Olisipo (CIL
2.183,184); Emerita (EphEpigr 8 (Hisp) 24); AQUITANIA:
Mediolanum Santonum (CIL 13.1040); LUGDUNENSIS:
F.C. Albertson (1993) 139; V. Santa Maria Scrinari Metiosedum (CIL 13.3013); BRITANNIA: Regni (CIL 7.12
(1997) 9. plus EphEpigr 9, 24; NORICUM: Virunum (CIL 3.4825);
Plans for the baths on the Oppian may have been MACEDONIA: Hripishta (AE [1914] 216); ACHAEA:
initiated late in the reign of Domitian. L.F. Ball (1994) 227- Delphi (AE [1937] 52 = Sylloge3 808); Athens (IG 2-32 3277-
28. 3278); Megara (IG 6.68); Sparta (IG 6.1, 376); Messene (IG
The circus was begun by Caligula. It’s dimensions 5.1, 1449-1450); Olympia (Olympia 5.373, 375, [374?]);
were comparable to the Circus Maximus. Caligula was BOSPORUS: Panticapaeum (IGR 1.876); ASIA: Ilium (IGR
responsible for bringing the obelisk, now in the piazza of 4.209d); Alexandria Troas (CIL 3.382); Pergamum (IGR
San Pietro, to the circus. Claudius continued work on the 4.330); Halasarna (IGR 4.1097); Cos (IGR 4.1053); Hippia
circus and Nero completed it. Both Caligula and Nero used (IGR 4.1090); Aphrodisias (CIG 2740); Tralles or Nysa (CIG
it as a private venue for their own chariot racing. No re- addendum 2942d); Omarbeili (AE 1891, 151); LYCIA AND
liable references to races, games or performances held in PAMPHYLIA: Sagalassus (IGR 3.345); CYPRUS: Salamis
this circus postdate the Neronian period. After the death (IGR 3.986); Curium (IGR 3.971); EGYPT: Talit (IGR
of Nero, the area may have been used as public gardens. 1.1124).
Tombs eventually encroached on the area of the circus. HA, K.K. Carroll (1982) 59-63; Carroll argues per-
Elag. 23.1 mentions Elagabalus racing in this circus, but suasively that the inscription did not commemorate the dedi-
the reference is probably fictional, designed to link the cation of the Parthenon in toto to Nero, nor did it commemo-
character of Elagabalus with those of Caligula and Nero. rate a statue set up to Nero in or near the Parthenon.
See A. Barrett (1989) 200 and J. Humphrey (1986) 550- The channels cut for the attachment of the bronze
54. letters are still visible and allow the text of the inscription
For instance, ILS 5173 (thermis...Neronis); and Mar- to be reconstructed. The bronze letters themselves were
tial (2.48.8 [thermas...neronianas]; 3.25.4 [Neronianas... removed in their entirety following the damnatio.
therms]; 7.34.9-10 [Neronianas thermas]; and his famous K.K. Carroll (1982) 31.
nero and poppaea 79

therios.289 The inscription also mandated the The Continued Display of Nero’s Images
erection of portraits of Nero and his third wife
Satilia Messalina in the temple of Ptoan Apollo. In contrast to those images which were mutilated,
Significantly, Statilia Messalina’s name is allowed transformed, or removed, a third full-length
to remain in the inscription. Given the relatively togate statue of Nero’s first type in Parma may
short period which elapsed between the Nero’s have remained on public display (fig. 96).293 The
liberation of Achaea and his death in 68, it is statue was discovered substantially intact in the
unlikely that these honorific images were ever set Julio-Claudian Basilica at Velleia on 11 June
up. However, if they were, Nero’s would un- 1761 in the colonnade where the representations
doubtedly have been removed from the temple. of other members of the Julio-Claudian family
Nero’s name has also been excised from another were also uncovered. Like the two portraits of
prominent provincial monument, the Jupiter Caligula excavated at Gortyna on Crete, the
Column at Mainz. The column was originally discovery of the Parma portrait of Nero in the
dedicated PRO SALUTE NERONIS, but after the Velleian Basilica, together with numerous other
emperor’s death and condemnation his name was Julio-Claudian representations, strongly suggests
eradicated from the inscription.290 In addition, that it was never removed from public view. As
Nero’s name has been erased in an honorific already noted, the original cycle of portraits was
inscription from the imperial cult building at created under Caligula and included portraits of
Boubon in Turkey. 291 Although not a portrait Augustus, Tiberius, Germanicus, Tiberius Ge-
inscription, the erasure of Nero’s name and titles mellus, Caligula, Drusilla, Agrippina Maior, and
at Boubon suggest that his statue was also re- Livia. Subsequently, the portrait of Caligula was
moved from the cycle of imperial images which reworked to an image of Claudius (cat. l.32; fig.
decorated the building.292 34a-b) and a portrait of Messalina was added to
the cycle and ultimately transformed into an
image of Agrippina Minor (cat. 3.4; fig. 100a-c),
at which time the statue of Nero was also
added.294 Like the Julio-Claudian Basilica at Otri-
coli, the Velleian Basilica was dedicated to the
SIG3 814; T. Pekary (1985) 62; S.E. Alcock in J. Elsner
worship of the imperial gens. It is especially sig-
and J. Masters, eds. (1994) 99; C.B. Rose (1997) 136-38, nificant that the boyhood image may have been
cat. 67.
G. Bauchhenss and P. Noelke (1981) 162-3; G.
Bauchhenss (1984). 293
Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 826, H. 1.53 m.;
SEG 27 (1977) 916; J. Inan and C. Jones (1997-98) C. Saletti (1968) 49-52, 91-2; 122-23, pls. 35-38 (with ear-
268-95; S.R.F. Price (1984) 160, 263-64; C.B. Rose (1997) lier literature); 14; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981)321,
171, cat. 109. n. 6; H.R. Goette (1989) 33, 37, 125, no. 246 (reworked
[erased line ca. 20 characters] portrait of Britannicus?)(with earlier literature); D..E.E.
[erased line ca. 20 characters] Kleiner (1992) 136, fig. 110; F. Johansen (1994) 21, fig. 20;
[erased line ca. 20 characters] C.B. Rose (1997) 122-3, cat. 48.13, plates 133, 150-51;
#@L$T<XT< º #@L8¬ 6"4 Ò *0 y S.Wood (1999)195 . There is slight damage to the tip of
:@H •N4XDTFg< *4• '"\@L !4 the nose, the edges of the ear and the top of the skull and
64<\@L 9@L64"<@Ø BDgF both forearms are missing. Rose has suggested that the body
$gLJ@Ø [;XDT<@H] Gg$"FJ@Ø is reused from an earlier image. He notes the awkward join
•<J4FJD"JZ(@L between head and neck and the fact that the back is not
A portrait inscription contemporary with the erased nearly as summarily worked as the other statues in the group
inscription honoring Nero which commemorates Poppaea and lacks the flat profile of the others. However, the dis-
was also found at Boubon (SEG 27 (1977) 917). The inscrip- crepancies between the statue of Nero and the other two
tion is not erased and seems to date between A.D. 62, the Claudian portraits, those of Claudius and Agrippina Mi-
year of Poppaea’s marriage to Nero and 63, the year in nor may simply reflect the fact that the Nero has been
which she was awarded the title of Augusta, see C.B. Rose created ex novo in the Claudian period, whereas the Claudius
(1997) 171, cat. 109. The lack of erasure in the portrait and Agrippina Minor have been reworked from pre-exist-
inscription may indicate that her image was not removed, ing images of Caligula and Messalina.
but rather allowed to remain on public display. C. Saletti (1968) 91-2.
80 chapter three

retained in the Velleian group dedication which of the same imperial personages are commemo-
presents ample evidence of adult alterations as rated, including Diva Drusilla. In addition, both
the result of damnatio including the transformed contained images of Caligula transformed to
Caligula/Claudius and Messalina/ Agrippina.295 Claudius, as well as a boyhood togate portraits
The impressive statuary cycle displayed at the of Nero with bulla, and cuirassed portraits of Nero
Collegium of the Agustales of Rusellae which as imperator. Like the cuirassed statue of Nero from
yielded the likeness of Caligula recut to Claudius Rusellae, the togatus with hidden bulla lacks its
and the Neronian cuirass also included a two head so it is impossible to confirm its ongoing
headless togate portraits of boys, one of which public display. Alternatively the statue exhibits
is likely to have depicted Nero.296 C.B. Rose has an unusual large rectangular cutting in the
intriguingly suggested that the togatus which in- marble on the upper chest below the mortis and
cludes a partially hidden bulla, as a sign of incipi- this appears to be an area of repair to the drap-
ent manhood, belonged to a portrait of Nero and ery which possibly indicate an attack on the
stressed his seniority over Britannicus, whose image after Nero’s suicide.
corresponding statue has a prominently displayed Inscriptional evidence, however, seems to
bulla.297 This large dedication appears to have confrim that Nero’s boyhood portraits were al-
been initiated under Augustus with substantial lowed to remain in important group dedications.
additions under Caligula and Claudius, and Nero’s name has not been erased from an inscrip-
perhaps two images added under Nero. Evidence tion belonging to a group dedication set up near
consisting of portrait heads and statue bodies are the Britannic Arch of Claudius in Rome.299
preserved for seventeen and are likely to repre- Nero’s portrait may not have been removed from
sent Germanicus (head and body), Agrippina the statuary group, given the fact that his name
Maior (body), Diva Drusilla (body), Julia Livilla and titles have not been effaced. Nero may also
(head and body), Nero Caesar (head), Drusus have been present in another Claudian group
Caesar (head and upper torso), Antonia Minor dedication, which included a gilded bronze imago
(head), Divus Augustus (body), Diva Livia (head clipeata of Agrippina Maior with an inscription
and body), Caligula/Claudius (head; cat. 1.20), identifying her as the grandmother of Nero.300
Nero as Caesar (body), Britannicus (body/head The survival of boyhood images of Nero in the
and body), Claudia Octavia (head and body), context of Julio-Claudian statuary cycles suggests
Divus Claudius (head) and Nero as imperator that the continuum of imperial auctoritas as em-
(body), as well as an unidentified cuirass and bodied in group portraits may, in isolated cases,
unidentified togate boy.298 have been deemed more important than dishon-
The Rusellae dedication presents tantalizing oring the memory of condemned emperors.301 In
parallels to the Velleia group. Naturally, many addition boyhood portraits of Nero, which natu-
rally were created prior to his accession, may
have been seen as less threatening and less rep-
S. Wood (1999) 195 notes the discrepancies in en- resentative of Nero as tyrannus.
forcing condemnations present at Velleia. The third altered
adult image, the cuirassed portrait of Nero himself recut
to Domitian and ultimately transformed into a representa-
tion of Nerva was apparently not an original part of the
Julio-Claudian dedication, but added later, after its trans- CIL 6.921; S. de Maria (1988) 112-3, 280-2, no. 69;
formation. E. Rodríguez Almeida in E.M. Steinby ed. (1993).85-6; this
Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Marem- inscription has often been assumed to belong to the arch,
ma; C.B. Rose (1997) 116-18, no. 45.6. but C.B. Rose has pointed out that this is impossible and
C.B. Rose (1997) 118. The portrait of Octavia is also that the inscription belongs to a nearby, perhaps contem-
remarkable for its similarities of coiffure and physiognomy porary group dedication, (1997) 113-5, no. 42, pl. 116 (with
to Nero’s type 1 portraits. earlier literature).
298 300
Inscriptional evidence suggests that the earliest phase C.B. Rose (1997) 90, no. 13; S. Wood (1999) 237.
of the cycle included representations of Augustus as em- On the importance of continuity in the context of
peror, Agrippa, and Lucius Caesar C.B. Rose (1997) 116. the imperial cult, see S.R.F. Price (1984) 161.
nero and poppaea 81

Portrait dedications from which Nero’s name for retaining the coinage of all three of his im-
has not been erased may also suggest the con- mediate predecessors, Nero, Galba and Otho.310
tinued display of his images. Nero and Poppaea However, Nero’s rehabilitation was short-lived,
were honored with two portrait groups at Luna, for his damnatio was once again actively enforced
one including their deified infant daughter Vespasian.311
Claudia,302 and a highly unusual group dedica- Despite his damnatio, the memory of Nero
tion from Amisus originally honored Nero, Pop- continued to be esteemed by the plebs after his
paea and Britannicus.303 The lack of erasure in death. Loyal followers frequently decorated his
the Luna dedications may simply indicate that the tomb with flowers and displayed togate images
statues and their bases were removed (or de- (imagines praetextatae) and edicts of the emperor on
stroyed) in toto, but the appearance of Britannicus the Rostra in the Forum Romanum, “as if he
in the Amisus group suggests that it may have were still living” (quasi viventis).”312 It is unclear
remained on display. whether imagines refer to sculpted or painted
portraits, but the context of Suetonius’s statement
suggests that these portraits were not heavy
The Rehabilitation of Nero’s Memory marble or bronze likenesses; rather, it is more
likely that they were easily transportable painted
Following Nero’s official condemnation under or small scale images. Nero’s posthumous popu-
Galba, Otho attempted to rehabilitate his me- larity also led to imposters.313 Interestingly, all of
mory in an effort to curry favor with the plebs.304 the known Nero imposters seem to have come
As noted earlier, Otho ordered Nero’s portrait from the eastern portions of the empire, where
statues returned to public display, allowed him- the emperor would only have been largely known
self to be called Otho Nero, allocated large sums through his images and not through actual per-
for continued work on the Domus Aurea, and sonal appearances. Dio Chrysostom, writing at
courted Nero’s widow Statillia Messalina.305 Otho the end of the first century, was able to claim:
also forced the Senate to re-erect the statues of “Even now his subjects wish he were still alive
Poppaea, who had been Otho’s wife before she and most men believe he is,”314 More alarmingly,
married Nero.306 Upon his accession, Vitellius the Sibylline Oracle prophesied that in A.D. 195
continued Otho’s policy of honoring Nero’s Nero would return and Rome itself would fall.315
memory.307 Vitellius offered sacrifices to Nero’s In the mid third century, Nero was again invoked
manes, had his songs performed in public, and when the Neroniana, the games he had instituted
generally wished to imitate him.308 In fact, nu- in 60, were revived under Gordian III.316
mismatic portraits of both Otho and Vitellius In the late fourth and early fifth centuries,
depict them with versions of the coma in gradus Nero’s memory was again rehabilitated when his
formata coiffure which function as recognizable portrait was introduced on contonoriate medal-
visual links to Nero.309 Dio even praises Vitellius
In addition, Vespasian also denigrated Nero and his
CIL 11.1331; C.B. Rose (1997) 95, no. 22; CIL reign through his choice of coin reverses, E.S. Ramage (1983)
11.6955; C.B. Rose 94-5, no. 21. 201, 209-10.
303 312
G. Bean (1956) 213-6; SEG (1959) 748; C.B. Rose Suet. Nero 57.1; see also C. Wells (1992) 168.
(1997) 161, no. 98. Suet. Nero 57.2; Tacit. Hist. 2.8-9; Dio 66.19.3; B.W.
Tacit. Hist. 1.78. Jones (1983) 516-21, Jones believes that the execution of
Suet. Otho 7.1, 10.2, Tacit. Hist. 1.78 (imagines Neronis G. Vettulenus Civica Cerialis, Domitian’s proconsul in Asia,
proponeret), Plut. Otho 3, see supra xxx. in 88 might be tied to the appearance of the third of these
Statuas Poppaeae per senatus consultum reposuit, Tacit. Hist. pretenders.
168, and see infra. Disc. 21.10.
307 315
Vitellius and Otho seem to have played on the plebs’ OrSib 8.139ff; R. Syme (1958) 773; A. Birely, Septimius
nostalgia for Nero, M. Griffin (1984)186. 157.
308 316
Dio, 64.7.3; Suet. Vit. 11.2. F. Friedländer (1907) vol. 2, 120, vol. 4, 548-9; B.W.
See infra. Jones (1992) 103.
82 chapter three

lions.317 Nero is often represented in a chariot and Uffizi,323 the Louvre, 324 the Vatican 325 the
is invoked as a famous patron of the Circus Museo Capitolino,326 the Palazzo Corsini,327 the
Maximus.318 These contorniates were minted by Palazzo Quirinale328 the Villa Borghese,329 Palaz-
Rome’s elite and have a predominantly pagan zo Mattei,330 and Palazzo Farnese331 which range
iconography. Presumably distributed at the games in date from the 16th to the 19th centuries. In the
held in the Circus, they are often used as evidence Renaissance and Baroque periods, the majority
for the existence of a “pagan aristocracy” dur- of these modern portraits were probably not
ing this period at Rome.319 Nero’s later reputa- intended as forgeries, but rather to fill gaps in
tion as a persecutor of Christians may have collections, especially series of the twelve cae-
instigated his appearance on the staunchly pa- sars.332 However, an unusual portrait of Nero in
gan contorniates. A chalcedony cameo which is the British Museum does appear to have been
contemporary with the contorniates also repre- fashioned as a forgery, created with the express
sents him with circus regalia .320 Nero is depicted purpose of deceiving its buyer that it was an
frontally in a quadriga. He wears a paludamentum
and the radiate crown of Apollo. He holds a
mappa in his right hand and a scepter in his left Inv. 1914.123; G.A. Mansuelli (1961) 68-69, no. 62,
fig. 61a-b (ancient). U. Hiesinger (1975)122 (modern); J.M.
and is accompanied by the inscription: NEPVN Croisille (1999) 404, fig. 24.
A O/ VCTE (Neron Auguste). Significantly, all of 324
MA 1222, ex Coll. Borghese; K. de Kersauson (1986)
the late portraits of Nero include accurate, al- 239, no. 120, with figs; M Fuchs (1997) 83-96, pl. 7.1-4;
J.M. Croisille (1999) 403, fig. 22 . While Fuchs considers
though stylized, versions of the coiffures and this portrait to be a revival of the Gallienic period, the
physiognomies of his third and fourth portrait emphatic modeling of the facial features and the dramatic
types, which indicates that Nero’s portrait iconog- undercutting of the stiffly arranged coiffure over the fore-
raphy was still known into the fifth century. These head is not consonant with such a date betrays the image’s
post antique origins. Gallienic sculpture is more often
remarkably accurate details of Nero’s portraiture characterized by smoothly modeled and classicizing features.
were likely transmitted to the late Roman die and In addition, portraits of Gallienus and private individuals
gem cutters via coins and gems themselves. created during his reign do not have nearly as strong a visual
correspondence to Neronian portraits as Fuchs suggests. Nor
During the Renaissance and later, the scarci- is there any historical, epigraphic, or numismatic evidence
ty of unaltered portraits of Nero led to the cre- for the Neronian revival under Gallienus which Fuchs posits.
ation of numerous modern forgeries and copies Bilblioteca K. Kluge and K. Lehmann-Hartleben
(1927) 25-30, fig. 4 (ancient); B.M. Felletti Maj (1963) 425-
of his likeness.321 These modern portraits reflect 26, fig. 555 (ancient); Helbig4I, nr. 476 (ancient); U. Hiesinger
Nero’s last two portrait types. Modern portraits, (1975) 120, n. 34 (modern); G. Lahusen and E Formigli,
like those in Florence and Modena, are fairly (1993); J.M. Croisille (1999) 403, fig. 31. The head is docu-
mented as belonging to the Mattei in 1613 and was
close copies of ancient originals which are now entered the Vatican collections in 1770 under Clement
lost.322 Or they can be freer adaptations, strongly XIV.
reflecting the artistic tastes of the period in which Stanza degli Imperatori, ex Albani collection B 167;
they were created, as in the examples in the H. Stuart Jones (1926) 191, no. 15.
Scalone, 2nd pianerottolo, nicchia a destra e nicchia
a sinistra, De Luca, 135, nos. 75, 76, pls.
Sala del Bronzino, DP 100; M.E. Micheli in L.
See, W. Jakob-Sonnanbend (1990). Guerrini and C. Gasparri eds. (1993) 209-11, no. 84, pl.
A. Alföldi and E. Alföldi-Rosenbaum (1976) pls. 58.1- 61 (19th century).
9, 73.2-3, 87.3-12, 88.1-4, 94.6-8. Porphyry and marble portrait, Sala IV; I. Faldi (1954)
C.W. Hedrick, Jr. (2000) 59. 16-17, fig. 11h; P. Moreno and C. Stefani (2000); Marble
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles bust, Salone del Ingresso; I. Faldi (19540 49-51; P. Moreno
129, 287, diam. 3.4 cm.; E. Babelon (1897) 149-50, nr. 287, and C. Stefani (2000) 59.
pl. 32; O. Neverov (1986) 192, fig. 8; W.R. Megow (1987) Modern type 3 head on an ancient statue, F. Carinci
216, no. A104, pl. 35.6; M. Fuchs (1997) 94; S. Ensoli in in L. Guerrini, ed. (1982) 115-7, no. 7, pl. 23.
S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 68, fig. 6. type 4; Sala delle Guardie (del Ercole Farnese); part
H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 117; on the rela- of a cycle of 18 imperial busts.
tionship of the post-antique portraits to surviving replicas, Such Suetonian displays were particularly important
see J.M. Croisille (1999). in the 17th century and less so in the 18th; J. Fejfer (1997)
See supra. 12-13.
nero and poppaea 83

authentic ancient likeness of Nero.333 The por- Although Poppaea was deified after her
trait is said to have been purchased by Dr. An- death,341 her apotheosis was rescinded in 68 when
thony Askew in 1740 in Athens where it was recut her memory was collaterally condemned together
from an ancient portrait of Hadrian; the scarci- with that of Nero. During the reign of Galba,
ty of authentic representations of Nero motivat- Poppaea’s images, like those of Nero, were re-
ed the forgers to create an image of Nero from moved from public display and warehoused.342
one of the numerous surviving likenesses of Upon his accession Otho reversed Galba’s poli-
Hadrian.334 cies and had the statues of his former wife re-
turned to public display, expressly by order of the
Senate: ne tum quidem immemor amorum statuas
The Collateral Condemnation of Poppaea Sabina Poppaeae per senatus consultum reposuit.343 As was the
case with Nero’s likenesses, the use of the verb
Poppaea’s images suffered a similar fate to those reponere (literally, to set up again) indicates that
of her husband, and as a result, securely identi- statues of Poppaea were accessible and well pre-
fied sculptural representations of the empress are served during Otho’s principate. Vitellius, con-
completely lacking.335 Poppaea was married ini- tinued Otho’s practice of honoring the memories
tially to Rufius Crispinus and then to the future of Nero and Poppaea.344 However, during the
emperor Marcus Salvius Otho.336 While still principate of Vespasian, portraits of Poppaea and
married to Otho, Poppaea became Nero’s mis- Nero were once again removed from public dis-
tress, sometime in A.D. 58.337 Nero and Poppaea play as their damnationes were re-enforced.345
were finally married in A.D. 62, only twelve days Although images of Poppaea, celebrating her
after Nero’s divorce from Claudia Octavia.338 At position as Augusta and later as diva were cre-
that time Poppaea was awarded the title of Au- ated and disseminated under Nero, her damnatio
gusta. She bore Nero one child, Claudia Augusta, has ensured that no sculpted portraits are ex-
who died in infancy.339 Poppaea’s death in 65 was tant.346 Her likeness is, however, preserved on
rumored to have been caused by a miscarriage
induced when Nero kicked her in the stomach.340
CIL 11.1331a = ILS 233; Tac. Ann. 16.21.
Poppaea’s images were also targeted in A.D. 62,
during demonstrations against Octavia’s banishment and
divorce, (Effigies Poppaeae proruunt, Tac. Ann. 14.61, Octavia
BM GR 1805.7-3.246; B.F. Cook (1985) 27; P. 684-7. See also, S. Wood (1999) 3 and E.R. Varner (2001a)
Craddock in M. Jones, ed. (1990) 270-72, no. 301, with fig.; 45-6, n. 33.
E. Köhne, C. Ewigleben, and R. Jackson, eds. (2000) 22, Tac. Hist. 1.78. See also M.B. Fory (1993) 303-4,
no. 7, with fig. Suet. Vit. 11.2; Dio 65(64).7.3.
334 345
P. Craddock in M. Jones, ed. (1990) 270-72. Nero’s image was not revived again until the late
See E.R. Varner (2001a) 45-47. fourth century when his portrait is appears on contorniate
M. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987) 523-24, no. 646. On medallions minted in Rome; A. Alföldi and E. Alföldi-
her marriage to Crispinus, see Suet. Nero 35.5; Tac. Ann. Rosenbaum (1976) pls. 58.1-9, 73.2-3, 87.3-12, 88.1-4, 94.6-
13.45; Plut. Galba 19.4; on her marriage to Otho, see Suet. 8.
Otho 3.1-2; Tac. Ann. 13.46; Tac. Hist. 1.13; Dio 61(62) 11.2. Three portrait inscriptions have survived from A.D.
Suet. Otho 3.1; Tac. Ann. 13.46; Tac. Hist. 1.13; Dio 63-66; CIL 11.6955 (Luna, A.D. 63); CIL 11.1331 (Diva
61(62).11.2; Plut. Galba 19.4-5. Poppaea, Luna, A.D. 66); Türk Tarih Kurumu Belleten 20 (1956)
Suet. Nero 35.2. On Octavia Augusta, see infra. 213-15, pl. 1 (Amissus, A.D. 63-65); Several sculpted por-
Poppaea was given the title of Augusta, at the time traits have been associated with Poppaea, most notably a
of Claudia’s birth in 63, see Tac. Ann. 15.23; CIL 10.6787 marble head worked for insertion, now in the Terme, inv.
= ILS 3873; CIL 11 1331 a = ILS 233; CIL 11. 6955 = ILS 124129; V. Picciotti Giornetti, MusNazRom 1.1 286-7, no.
8902; Suet. Nero 35.3; Claudia Augusta was deified after 178, with fig. While the heavier treatment of the facial featues
her death; Tac. Ann. 15.23, 16.6; M. Raepsaet-Charlier in the Terme portrait, together with the treatment of the
(1987) 198-199, no. 213. eyes find parallels in Nero’s last two portrait types and would
Suet. Nero 35.3; Tac. Ann. 16.6; Dio 62.28.1. This lend support to an identification as Poppaea, the hairstyle
incident should probably also be read in the light of anti- of Terme head, with its formal arrangement of two rows
Neronian rhetoric which informs all of these authors. curls, pin curls framing the forehead, and heavy shoulder
84 chapter three

coins issued by eastern mints347 and two cameos Bonn cameo has been quite literally defaced; the
in Florence348 and Bonn349 which are nearly iden- nose, lips, and chin have all been entirely de-
tical representations of Poppaea as diva (figs. 97- stroyed as a dramatic repudiation of her deifica-
98). The coiffure seen on the cameos, with three tion. In addition, the destruction of the cameo
rows of large curls massed over the forehead and may be intended to deprive the piece of any
running back over the top of the head, as well magical or supernatural qualities believed to
as the physiognomy with large almond shaped reside in the gem itself. The virulent mutilation
eyes, arching brows, long oval face, and grace- of the Bonn cameo is all the more remarkable
ful neck are paralleled on the numismatic like- as it is one of only two cameos with imperial
nesses.350 These cameo’s highly unusual use of the portraits to have been vandalized.352 Unlike their
aegis as a headdress equates the Poppaea with sculpted counterparts, imperial gems were not
Juno-Isis and underscores her role as diva.351 The part of the public visual discourse, and so lay
outside the scope of usual condemnation prac-
locks does not appear in Poppaea’s numismatic likenesses. tices. In addition, they were presumably designed
The portrait may, in fact be Poppaea’s predecessor, Octavia for more partisanal audiences, such as members
Augusta. For a brief discussion of the problems surround- of the imperial family and entourage.353
ing Poppaea’s portraiture, see D. Boschung (1993b) 77. In
addition to sculpted, glyptic, and numismatic representa-
tions of Poppaea, Dio mentions posthumous theatrical masks
which bore the likeness of Poppaea, 62(63) 9.5 (and Suetonius Conclusion: Rome’s First Official Imperial Condemnation
21.3 where Poppaea is not mentioned by name; see also S.
Bartsch.(1994) 47. I would like to thank Niall W. Slater for
bringing these masks to my attention. Although Caligula’s condemnation had an offi-
J.J. Bernoulli (1886) 417, pl. 35.20 (unspecified Asia cial implication in terms of the senatorial recall
Minor mint). Alexandrian issues: A. Geissen (1974) 58, nos. of his coinage, it was essentially a de-facto damnatio.
155, 157-59, 60, nos. 168-69.
Florence, Museo Archeologico, inv. 14519, 2.6 x 1.8 The repression of Nero’s memory was, however,
cm; A. Giuliano, ed. (1989) 274, no. 229 (with figs.) (with officially sanctioned by the Senate and initiated
earlier literature); E.R. Varner (2001b) 48, fig. 1. when he was declared a hostis while still living.
Private collection, 2.4 x 1.5 cm.; W.R. Megow (1973)
244-45, no. 393, pl. 181; Megow (1987) 260-61, no. B 28, The senatorial measures passed to restore his
pls. 34.14-16.; T. Mickoki (1995) 188, no. 257, pl. 24; H. images, as well as those of Poppaea, underscore
Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 30, 97, fig. 57; S. Wood (1999) the official nature of the initial sanctions. Nero
289; E.R. Varner (2001) 48. E.R. Varner (2001 a) 48, fig.
2. Wood suggests that the portrait might in fact represent is the first princeps whose memory was officially
Octavia Claudia, but the coiffure is much closer to the condemned and his damnatio follows the proce-
Alexandrian coins of Poppaea and the divine assimilation dural precedents set for Caligula’s condemnation
and Egyptianizing implications of the headdress seem more
suited to Poppaea.
and included the outright destruction, mutilation,
While Poppaea’s coiffure is similar to that of her transformation, and warehousing of his sculpted
mother-in-law Agrippina Minor, the curls massed over the likenesses. His coins were also effaced and coun-
forehead are larger and run much farther back over the termarked and his name erased in honorific in-
top of the head, as is especially visible in the Alexandrian
issues. The braids on the back of the head are gathered scriptions.
together and looped back up, forming a long and thick pony As with Caligula, the bulk of the evidence for
tail on the nape of the neck. Poppaea’s ears are usually shown Nero’s damnatio is centered around a vast num-
uncovered, and she is depicted with a long, fairly straight
shoulder lock. In addition, Poppaea’s face and neck are
longer than that of Agrippina Minor. It is likely that
Poppaea’s hairstyle is closer to those popular in the early A sardonyx cameo with facing portraits of Macrinus
Flavian period, for instance, that worn by Domitia in her and Diadumenianus has suffered similar mutilation of the
first portrait type, ca. A.D. 71, see E.R. Varner (1995) 189- facial features, Bonn, Rheinishces Landesmuseums, inv.
93, figs. 1-2. 32300; cat. 7.11.
351 353
The aegis headdress may also be meant to recall the Thanks are due to M. Koortbojian for perceptive
headdress of the Egyptian goddess Hathor. I would like to comments on this gem and its relationship to mutilated
thank Gay Robins and Saskia Benjamin for alerting me to sculpted images. On the more flamboyant imagery and
the Egyptian implications of this headdress. restricted audiences of imperial cameos, see R.R.R. Smith
(2000) 542.
nero and poppaea 85

ber of portraits which have been recycled, usually in periods of political transition as a new regime
into representations of the succeeding Flavian attempts to establish power. In addition, the
emperors, but also into his great-great grand- existence of two stylistic possibilities implies at
father, Augustus, as well as Claudius, Galba, least two distinct audiences for the imagery; the
Trajan, Antinous, and Gallienus. Indeed the veristic images likely resonated with the disaf-
Neronian material is the chronological, as well fected senatorial aristocracy who had entertained
as qualitative and quantitative fulcrum for the full the possibility of dismantling the principate after
blown practice of sculptural transformations. Caligula’s overthrow, while the more classicizing
More portraits of Nero were reconfigured than likenesses, with their intimations of continuity
for any other emperor and into a wider variety with the Julio-Claudians would have appealed to
of new identities. Nero’s images which have been those who had benefitted under their rule.
recycled into likenesses of Vespasian had the Nero was not only the first princeps to be of-
same critical stylistic impact on the development ficially condemned, but also the first whose
of portraiture as Caligula’s images refashioned memory and images were subsequently rehabili-
into Claudius. Vespasian’s most insistently veristic tated, first under Otho and Vitellius, and much
representations, as well as his most cooly classi- later in the mid third and the end of the fourth
cizing, are the products of sculptural recycling. century. Nero’s rehabilitations, as well as the
Vespasian’s revival of verism with its republican phenomenon of the “false Neros” which contin-
connotations clearly signaled a period of transi- ued into the second century, underscore his con-
tion from the Julio-Claudian to the Flavian re- tinued posthumous popularity and highlight the
gimes. On the other hand, his continued use of complexities of the condemnation process. The
classicizing representations promoted his legiti- practice itself necessarily had to be remarkably
macy by visually connecting him to the founder flexible, but it also had to take into account
of the Empire, Augustus. The simultaneous use widely differing assessments, both negative and
of two oppositional portrait modes underscores positive, of the overthrown ruler and regime.
the potentially volatile nature of style, especially
86 chapter four



Julia Maior against Augustus.9 Pliny explicitly links the charg-

es of adultery and conspiracy: adulterium et consil-
In addition to the damnationes leveled against ia parricidae palam facta and the two need not be
Caligula and Nero, the Julio-Claudian period mutually exclusive.10 Also implicated in the plot
witnessed several other condemnations of mem- were Sempronius Gracchus, Appius Claudius,
bers of the imperial family. Julia, Augustus’s only Quintus Crispinus, Scipio, and Iullus Antonius,
child by his second wife Scribonia, is the first of the second son of M. Antony and Fulvia.11 Dio
the imperial women whose memory was con- reports that Iullus was executed for attempting
demned.1 Julia was born in 39 B.C. and married to seize the principate.12 The charges of adultery
her cousin M. Marcellus in 25 B.C.2 Marcellus and sexual promiscuity leveled against Julia ef-
died in 23 B.C., and in that same year Julia fectively blackened her reputation and destroyed
married M. Vipsanius Agrippa and ultimately her political influence. Indeed sex and politics are
bore him five children.3 Their two eldest sons inextricably bound together in the rhetoric sur-
Gaius and Lucius Caesar were formally adopt- rounding Julia’s downfall and two of the locales
ed by Augustus as his heirs.4 Following Agrippa’s of her alleged assignations, the Statue of Mars-
death, Julia married Augustus’s stepson, Tiberi- yas and Rostra in the Forum Romanum, are
us, in 11 B.C.5 The couple had one son, Clau-
dius, who died in infancy.6 Their marriage
proved unhappy, however, and Tiberius left 9 B. Levick (1976) 306. G. Williams also links the char-
Rome for retirement on Rhodes in 6 B.C. While ges of adultery with “other transgressions, in D.E.E. Klei-
Tiberius was absent from Rome, Julia was ac- ner and S.B. Matheson, eds. (1996)128, 133. A. Ferril denies
cused of adultery and banished by Augustus to that there was a plot, but does not adequately explain
Pliny’s explicit statement and Julia’s known involvement
Pandateria in 2 B.C.7 Upon his accession, Tibe- with other conspirators who were condemned for maiestas.
rius refused to end Julia’s exile, and further re- Ferril also neglects to account for subsequent charges of
stricted her liberty, which reportedly hastened her adultery against imperial women involved in conspiracies
against the reigning princeps, nor does he acknowledge that
death from starvation, in A.D. 14.8 elite male historians might have deliberately suppressed,
Although charges of adultery were leveled minimalized, or trivialized the roles of powerful imperial
against her, Julia’s exile was more likely motivat- women who attempted to overthrow the current regime
ed by her involvement in political intrigues (1980)332-46. In his study of maiestas, R.A. Bauman also
reviewed the evidence concerning Julia, and felt that there
was no full blown conspiracy (1967) 198-206 and (1992)
1 E. Meise (1969) 3-34; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier 108-119. Nevertheless, in his later study of maiestas in the
(1987)358-59, no. 421; E.R. Varner (2001a) 57-60. early empire, he fully acknowledges the use of accusationes
2 Suet. Aug. 63.1; Vell.Pat. 2.93.2, Dio (48.34.3; 53.27.5; adulterii as substitutions for charges of maiestas in reference
54.65, 8.5, 18.1, 31.1-2, 35.4; 55.2-4, 10.14; to Valeria Messalina, (1974) 177-88. K.A. Raaflaub and
3 Gaius, Lucius, Julia Minor (Vipsania Julia), Agrippi- L. J. Sammons II review the ancient evidence and modern
na Maior (Vipsania Agrippina), and Agrippa Postumus, scholarship concerning Julia’s involvement in a conspira-
Suet. Aug. 65.1., Cal. 7.1.; Vell.Pat. 96.1. cy, and suggest that it may have been a kind of internal
4 Suet. Aug. 64.1.; Vell.Pat. 96.1. palace intrigue revolving around the succession, in K.A.
5 Dio 54.35.4. Raaflaub and M. Toher, eds. (1990) 428-30; E.R. Varner
6 Suet. Tib. 7.3. (2001a) 58.
7 Suet. Aug. 54.1; Tac. Ann 1.53; Vel.Pat. Hist. 2.100. 10 HN 7.45; S. Wood (1999) 138-40.
8 Tac. Ann 1.53.1-2; Dio 57.18.1a. On the political mo- 11 Vel.Pat. Hist. 100.4-5.

tives behind Tiberius’s actions, see J. Linderski (1988) 198. 12 Dio 55.10.15.
other julio-claudians 87

politically charged prominent public spaces.13 an accompanying inscription,19 on coins, includ-

Ultimately accusations of sexual impropriety ing a group portrait with her two sons on the
would become the standard way of discrediting obverse of a denarius minted in Rome in 13 B.C.,20
later imperial women embroiled in political in- on a bronze issue from Pergamum where she is
trigues against the reigning emperor.14 Julia identified as Julia Aphrodite,21 and possibly on
herself continued to be a potential threat to her a scabbard with Gaius and Lucius.22 Indeed, the
father even in exile.15 Late in A.D. 7, or early 8, only inscriptional evidence for Julia’s inclusion in
a conspiracy was formed to liberate Julia and her group dedications comes from the eastern por-
son Agrippa Postumus, who had been exiled in tions of the empire.23 While it is conceivable that
A.D. 7, and bring them to disaffected troops her image was allowed to remain on view in the
stationed nearby.16 east, most of her portraits must have been de-
In addition to formally requesting the Senate stroyed or warehoused following her condemna-
to banish his daughter, Augustus forbade her tion.24 Although attempts have been made to
interment in his Mausoleum and formally disin- identify likenesses from Béziers and in Kiel as
herited her in his will, thus revoking her mem- Julia, these portraits are more plausibly associ-
bership in the gens Iulia.17 After 2 B.C., it would ated with Livia.25 Similarly, C.B. Rose’s sugges-
no longer have been politically expedient to
commemorate the emperor’s daughter with por-
traits. Nevertheless, before her banishment, Julia’s
4, cat. 87); Palaephahus, IGR 3.943, BSA 42 (1947) 228,
portrait honors are attested by seven surviving no. 12 (together with Tiberius; C.B. Rose [1997] 156, cat.
inscriptions from the Greek speaking east.18 91; Sestos, IGR 1.821 (together with Agrippa; C.B. Rose
Julia’s likeness is preserved on a lead tessera with [1997] 180, cat. 122); Thasos, IG 12.8.381 = ILS 8784 =
IGR 1.835 (12-2 B.C., together with Livia and Julia Mi-
nor; C.B. Rose [1997] 158-59, cat. 95; Thespiae, BCH 50
(1926) 447, nos. 88-89 (after 14 B.C., together with Livia,
Agrippa, Gaius and Lucius, and Agrippina Maior; C.B.
13 Sen. Ben 6.32.1; Pliny HN 21.6.9; Dio 55.10.12; S. Rose [1997] 149-51, cat. 82}.
Wood (1999) 37-40. 19 Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme; the
14 Julia was even accused of adultery with the actor, De- lead tessera is very badly deteriorated, but its inscription
mosthenes and such accusations of adultery with actors and reads (IV)LIA AVGVSTI and Julia is depicted with a no-
other lower class males, served as a kind of literary and bio- dus coiffure, wide eyes, and aquiline nose; see G.Grimm
graphical topos used to denigrate the reputations of impe- (1973) 279, pl. 87.2 (with earlier literature); C.B. Rose
rial women. (Macr. Sat. 1.11.17); see M.P. Vinson (1989) (1997) 61; S. Wood (1999) 69.
440. 20 Minted by G. Marius; BMCRE 1.2, nos. 106, 108-9,
15 Dio 55.12.1; B. Levick (1976) 310; A. Richlin has spe- pl. 4.3,5; RIC 1,76, nos. 166,166a, pl. 2.19; 10J.B. Girard
culated that Julia’s well known witticisms preserved by Ma- (1976) 111, pl. 25.529; P. Zanker (1988) 216, fig. 167a-b;
crobius, may function as a form of subversive humor indi- C.B. Rose (1997) 14-15, pl. 8; S. Wood (1999) 63-8, fig.20.
cative of her personal opposition to the status quo (1992) 21 London, British Museum 096524; J. Pollini, in K.

74-9. Raaflaub and M. Toher, eds. (1990) 354, fig. 31; S. Wood
16 Suet. Aug.19.2; B. Levick, (1976) 337-38; J. Linders- (1999) 64, 69, fig. 21.
ki, (1988) 198. B. Levick has further suggested that Julia 22 Bonn, Rheinisches Landesmuseum; P. Zanker (1988)

the Younger may have been responsible for the attempt 218, fig. 172; A. Kuttner (1994) 174-75, fig. 114; E. Bartt-
to free her mother and brother, (1976) 337-38. man (1999) 12, 20, 82-3, 95, 96, n. 9; 98, n. 69; S. Wood
17 On the letter to the Senate, see, Plin. NH 21.9; On (1999) 106-7; E.R. Varner (2001a) 59. An aes from Perga-
Augustus’s refusal to allow Julia’s burial in his mausoleum, mum, c. 11 B.C., may represent Livia on the obverse as
see, Suet. Aug. 101.3; Dio 56.32.4) on Julia’s disinherison, Hera, and Julia on the reverse as Aphrodite, Paris Biblio-
see J. Linderski (1988) 190. thèque Nationale, no. 1195; W.H. Gross (1962) 29, n. 17,
18 D. Boschung (1993b) 48, n. 50 and C.B. Rose (1997) pl. 4, figs. 6-8; M.L. Anderson (1987) 130, fig. 4.
61. Julia’s seven surviving inscriptions are: Delphi, SIG 779 23 C.B. Rose (1997) 20-21; S. Wood (1999) 20.

A, B, D (14-2 B.C., together with Agrippina Maior, Lu- 24 S. Wood (1999) 27, 30; E.R. Varner (2001a) 59-60.

cius and Gaius(?), C.B. Rose [1997] 139-40, cat. 70; Ephe- 25 D Boschung (1993) 48-50 identifies the Béziers-Kiel

sus, Forsch.Ephes 3.52 = ILS 8897 = IvEph 3006, Mithrada- type as Julia; see also J.C. Balty in Lo sguardo di Roma 204,
tes tower (4 B.C., together with Augustus, Livia, Agrippa, no. 143;. R Winkes correctly assigns to type to Livia (1995)
and Lucius Caesar; C.B. Rose [1997] 172-4, cat. 112); 112-13, no. 38, 181, no. 104; C.B. Rose (1997) 126-8, cat.
Lindos, C. Blinkenberg (1941) no. 385 (9-2 B.C., together 42, pl. 161, and E. Bartman (1998) 145, 167, no. 47, fig.
with Tiberius and Drusus Maior; C.B. Rose [1997] 153- 92. Wood’s identification of the female portraits in the Be-
88 chapter four

tion that another portrait from the Beziers group, been refashioned into someone else. The ques-
as well as a portrait in Copenhagen reputedly tion of Julia’s appearance on the altar, or erasure
from Caere represent Julia, seems unlikely.26 or alteration are further compounded by the
These portraits bear a strong physical resem- monument’s current alignment, which, as D.
blance to Agrippa, and S. Wood is certainly Conlin has amply demonstrated, has mis-restored
correct to identify them as Agrippa’s daughter, and missing figures.31 Although Julia has been
Vipsania Agrippina who was also married to recognized as the female figure wearing a ricin-
Tiberius and the mother of his heir, Drusus ium, the traditional fringed cloak of the Roman
Minor.27 Ultimately, a portrait from Corinth is widow, on the north frieze of the Ara Pacis (N
the most likely candidate as representation of 36), the identification is not especially persuasive
Julia, and it was apparently produced by the same and as the figure is headless, the question of a
sculptural workshop as the well known statues of possible reconfiguration of the portrait features
Augustus, Gaius and Lucius from the Basilica.28 remains open.32 Attempts to identify the female
If the head does depict Julia, as seems probable, figure behind Agrippa on the South Frieze (S 32),
then it was presumably removed from its origi- usually identified as Livia, as Julia are similarly
nal context and stored or buried in the vicinity unconvincing and present even more insurmount-
of the basilica and forum. The absence of Julia able interpretive difficulties.33
in a large Julio-Claudian group dedication from
Velia, which included in its initial phase repre-
sentations of Gaius, Lucius, Octavia and Livia Agrippa Postumus
may further indicate that Julia’s likenesses were
removed after her condemnation in 2 B.C. 29 The The youngest child of Julia and Agrippa, Agrip-
portrait group appears to have decorated some pa Postumus was adopted by his grandfather
kind of medical collegium and may have been Augustus, together with Tiberius, in A.D. 4, fol-
commissioned in honor of Gaius’s taking of the lowing the death of his eldest brother Gaius. Just
toga virilis in 5 B.C.30 three years later, in A.D. 7, Ausgustus had his
Grave difficulties surround the secure identi- only surviving grandson banished, first to Surren-
fication of Julia on the greatest dynastic monu- tum, and later to the island of Planasia off the
ment of the Augustan period, the Ara Pacis coast of Etruria, where he was also placed un-
Augustae, and indeed she appears to be conspic- der guard (insuper custodia militum).34 Upon the
uously absent as a result of her banishment and accession of Tiberius in A.D. 14, Postumus was
consequent condemnation. Although the Ara murdered by one of his guards; the orders for the
Pacis preserves no evidence for the excision of murder are variously attributed to Tiberius, Livia,
any figure from the monument, Julia may have or, posthumously, to Augustus.35 Although Sue-
tonius attributes his downfall to his sordid and

ziers group as Livia, Vipsania Agrippina, Antonia Minor

(?), and a prominent local woman seems most convincing 31 D.A. Conlin (1992) 209-5; G. Koeppel (1992) 216-

(1997). 8; D.A. Conlin (1997) 45-56.

26 Toulouse, Musée St. Raymond, inv. 30.004; C.B. 32 See C.B. Rose (1990) 463, R. Billows (1993) 91 and

Rose (1997) 61, 126-8, cat. 52, pl. 45, 159; Copenhagen, A. Kuttner (1995) 100; E. Bartman (1998) 44; see also E.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, inv. 1282; C.B. Rose (1997) 61, Simon (1967) 21 on the controversy surrounding the iden-
pls. 43-5. See also E. Bartman (1999) 215-6. tification of this figure and the nature of the ricinium see
27 It seems inconceivable that images of Augustus’ only J.L. Sebesta in J.L. Sebesta and L. Bonfante, eds. (1994)
child would not stress her resemblance to him as S. Wood 50 and E.R. Varner (2001a) 60.
has noted (1999) 187-88. 33 A. Bonnano (1976) 28. D. Boschung (1993b) 49; for
28 E. de Grazia Vanderpool (1994) 285; J. Pollini (forth- the difficulties inherent in maintaining an identification of
coming). S 32 as Julia rather than Livia, see E.R. Varner (2001a)
29 C.B. Rose (1997) 120-21, cat. 49, pls 122-31; E. Bart- 60-61.
man (1999) 80, n. 47. 34 Suet. Aug. 65.4; Tac. Ann.1.3.
30 C.B. Rose (1997) 121. 35 Suet. Tib. 22; Tac.Ann. 1.6.
other julio-claudians 89

ferocious temperament36 and Tacitus claims that reclaimed and celebrated posthumously, like
he had been convicted of no crimes37 Postumus’s them, as victims of Tiberius.
exilium and eventual relagatio ad insulam may, in After his banishment, Agrippa Postumus was
fact, have been politically motivated, as suggest- naturally excluded from group dedications, in-
ed by the plot to liberate him, as well as his cluding one set up in A.D. 8 at Eresus on Les-
mother, late in A.D. 7 or early in A.D. 8.38 bos.47 There is no surviving evidence for Agrip-
Postumus also seems to have been somehow in- pa Postumus’s appearance in any of the
volved in the intrigues which led to his sister Julio-Claudian group dedications in the East.48
Julia’s downfall and banishment in A.D. 8.39 In Agrippa Postumus is conspicuously absent from
addition, a plot to avenge Agrippa was led by his a group dedication set up on the Acropolis at
slave Clemens and it is enumerated by Suetonius Athens.49 The base for the statues consists of a
together with the sedition of Lucius Scribonius reused 3rd century B.C. inscription and honors
Libo whose brother M. Scribonius Libo Drusus Augustus, Tiberius, Drusus Minor, and German-
was eventually condemned for maiestas in A.D. icus. There is a base for a fifth honorand, possi-
16), and mutinies in Illyricum and Germany at bly Agrippa Postumus, which was never used.
the outset of Tiberius’s principate.40 The portraits were erected after the adoption of
Agrippa Postumus’s image appears on coins Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus in A.D. 4, and
minted at Corinth in A.D. 5.41 In addition, a Tiberius’s adoption of Germanicus in that same
statue base of Agrippa Postumus at a building year. It may originally have been intended to
associated with the Augustales at Lucus Feroniae honor the male members of the Julian gens as they
attests to the creation of his portraits,42 and he existed in A.D. 4, namely the emperor, his two
is honored as a boy of 7 at Forum Clodii in 5 adopted sons, Agrippa Postumus and Tiberius,
B.C. in a group dedication which included is and Tiberius’s natural son, Drusus Minor, and
brother Lucius, and almost certainly his oldest adopted son Germanicus. News of Agrippa Pos-
brother Gaius as well.43 His name occurs on an tumus’s condemnation and banishment may have
altar together with Gaius and Lucius at Ephesus, interrupted the erection of this group and ulti-
also probably erected c. 5 B.C,44 as well as an mately precluded his inclusion, thus accounting
inscription from Samos.45 The memory and rep- for the empty base, which was left vacant until
utation of Postumus appears to have been reha- the reign of Trajan, when an image of that
bilitated under his nephew, Caligula as his name emperor was added to the ensemble.
appears on an altar together with those of his
father and Caligula’s siblings.46 The linkage of
Agrippa Postumus with Caligula’s brothers, Nero Julia Minor
and Drusus Caesar, suggest that he was being
Shortly after Agrippa Postumus’s exile, in A.D.
8 his eldest sister Julia Minor (Vipsania Julia), was
36 Suet. Aug. 65.1 (ob ingenium sordidum ac fercox). also banished. 50 As was the case with her mother,
37 Tac. Ann. 1.3 (nullius tamen flagitii conpertum). Julia Minor may also have been involved with an
38 Suet. Aug.19.2; B. Levick, (1976) 337-38; J. Linderski,
anti-Augustan faction. Most tellingly, shortly after
(1988) 198.
39 E. Meise (1969) 37. Julia’s banishment to the Island of Trimerus, her
40 Suet.Tib. 25.1. husband Lucius Aemilius Paullus was actually
41 RPC 252, no. 1141 (as); F. Salviat and D. Terner

(1982) 237-41.
42 L. Sensi (1985-86) 284, no. 5; AE (1988) 548; C.B.

Rose (1997) 93. 47 C.B. Rose (1997) 152.

43 C.B. Rose (1997) 88, no. 10. 48 C.B. Rose (1997) 20, 157.
44 I. Ephesos 253; C.B. Rose (1997) 221, n. 97. 49 C.B. Rose (1997) 138, no. 66.
45 IGR 4.1718; C.B. Rose (1997) 224, n. 148. 50 E. Meise (1969) 35-48; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier
46 IG 12.2.172; IGR 4.78; C. Hanson and F.P. Johnson (1987)635-6, no. 813; D.E.E. Kleiner in E.R. Varner, ed.
(1946) 399; C.B. Rose (1997) 35, 233-4, n. 63 (2000) 48; E.R. Varner (2001a) 60.
90 chapter four

executed on charges of maiestas.51 As already Agrippina Maior

noted, Agrippa Postumus may also have been
implicated at an earlier stage in the conspiracy, Julia Minor’s sister, Agrippina Maior, was pub-
and possibly Ovid as well.52 Julia survived in exile licly condemned for her outspoken opposition to
for twenty years, and finally died in A.D. 28.53 her uncle, Tiberius. Agrippina was born c. 14
In addition to ordering her banishment, Augus- B.C., married to Germanicus in A.D. 5, and bore
tus commanded that the child Julia Minor was him nine children.59 After the death of German-
expecting was to be exposed at birth: ex nepte Iulia icus, under mysterious circumstances involving
post damnationem editum infantem adgnosci alique vetu- Gn. Calpurnius Piso, at Antioch in A.D. 17,
it.54 Like her mother befor her, Julia Minor was Agrippina Maior returned to Rome with her
refused burial in the Mausoleum of Augustus,55 children. Agrippina’s position as the widow of the
and so symbolically disinherited her from the enormously popular Germanicus, whom Tiberius
Julia-Claudian family for all posterity.56 In ad- had formally adopted, and the granddaughter of
dition, Augustus ordered one of Julia’s villa’s Augustus, insured her an elevated position at the
razed to the ground, an act which would have capital, but relations between the emperor and
had strong conceptual resonances with the de- Agrippina quickly deteriorated.60 Tiberius refused
struction of domås belonging to condemned indi- to let her remarry, perhaps fearing that any
viduals in the Republic.57 Inscriptional evi- husband of Agrippina could stand as a potential
dence confirms the inclusion of Julia Minor’s rival to his own son, Drusus Minor, for the suc-
portraits in group dedications, but, as a direct cession.
consequence of her disgrace and downfall, no In A.D. 29, Tiberius finally prevailed upon the
surviving sculpted representations can be iden- Senate to exile Agrippina to Pandateria where
tified with certainty.58 she eventually starved herself to death in A.D.
33.61 After her death, Tiberius officially com-
memorated his merciful treatment of Agrippina
for refraining from having her strangled and her
corpse thrown down the Gemonian steps in an
51 nupta Aemilio Paulo, cum in maiestatis crimine perisset, ab act of poena post mortem.62 Agrippina’s exclusion
avo relegata est, post revocata cum semet vitiis addixisset perpetuo from the Mausoleum of Augustus posthumously
damnata est supplicio, Schol.Iuv. 6.158; Suet. Aug. 19.1; Tac.
Ann 3.24; 4.71; Pliny HN 7.45.149; Schol.Juv. 6.158. canceled her membership in the imperial fami-
52 On Ovid’s involvement, see R. Syme (1955) 488; and ly, as had happened to her mother and sister
E. Meise (1969) 47. B. Levick has further suggested that before her. Agrippina’s memory was further
after Agrippa Postumus’s banishment late in A.D. 7, Julia
may have formed a plot to rescue her brother and mother
publicly dishonored when her birthday was pro-
from exile, ultimately ensuring her own banishment (1976)
337-38. Again, K.A. Raaflaub and L.J. Sammons II sug-
gest that any intrigue may have centered on the question 59 For their marriage, see CIL 6.886 = ILS 180; CIL
of the succession in K.A. Raaflaub and M. Toher, eds. 6.4387, 5186, 5772, 17146 CIL 9. 2635; CIL 11.167 = ILS
(1990) 430-31. 179; AE (1968) 476 = IvEphes. 256; AE (1980) 874; ZPE 55
53 Tac. Ann. 4.71. (1984) 58.1.7; 59.1.21; Suet. Aug. 64.1; Tac. Ann.1.33. For
54 Suet. Aug. 65.4. the children, see Suet. Calig. 7; Plin. HN 7.13.57.
55 Suet. Aug. 90.3. 60 Tiberius is said to have remarked to Agrippina, “Is
56 J. Linderski (1988) 191. it your opinion, my little daughter, that you have been un-
57 Suet. Aug.72.3; C. Edwards (1993) 166, n. 74; M.. justly treated if you are not completely in charge?.” “Si non
Bergmann (1994) 225-226, n. 4; J. Bodel (1997) 10; P.J.E. dominaris,” inquit, “filiola, iniuriam te accipere existimas?” Suet.
Davies in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 38; E.R. Varner (2001a) Tib. 53.1.
61. 61 Suet. Tib. 53.2. Suet. Cal. 10; Tac. Ann. 25; Dio
58 Thasos, IG 12.8.381 = ILS 8784 = IGR 1.835 (with 58.22.4-5. Tiberius apparently also accused her of impudi-
the elder Julia), C.B. Rose (1997) 158-9, no. 95 and supra. citia and adultery with Asinius Gallus, Tac. Ann 25; see also
E.R. Varner (2001a) 61; Julia Minor may also have been M.P. Charlesworth (1922) 260-1; E.R. Varner (2001a) 61-
present in a dedication at Delphi, but it seems likely that 2.
the fragmentary inscription refers to her mother; SIG 3 62 Suet. Tib. 53.2; Tac. Ann. 25; D.G. Kyle (1998) 232,

779.A, B, D; C. B. Rose (1997) 139-40, no. 70. n. 34.

other julio-claudians 91

claimed a dies nefastus, an act against her memo- Nero and Drusus Caesar
ry with profound political implications.63 Agrip-
pina’s images had been widely disseminated and, Agrippina’s two eldest sons, Nero and Drusus
indeed, had played an important role in the Caesar also suffered in their mother’s downfall.
protests on her behalf when her supporters car- Nero was born in A.D. 6, and Drusus in A.D. 7.
ried her representations and those of her son Under Tiberius, both boys were declared hostes.
Nero around the Curia while the Senate deliber- Nero was exiled to Pontia, where he was starved
ated whether to pass sanctions against her (Simul to death in 31, and Drusus was imprisoned on
populus effigies Agrippinae ac Neronis gerens circumsis- the Palatine, and also starved to death in 33.68
tit curiam faustisque).64 Following her condemna- In an act of poena post mortem, both of their corpses
tion, however, it would no longer have been were dismembered and so thoroughly scattered
appropriate or prudent to display Agrippina’s that they could scarcely be gathered up (amborum
likenesses in either public or domestic contexts. sic reliquas dispersas ut vix quandoque colligi possent).69
Subsequently, after Agrippina Maior’s memory Their remains were also denied burial in the
was rehabilitated by her children Caligula and Mausoleum of Augustus. When their younger
Agrippina Minor, new images were created for brother Caligula attained the principate, he re-
her. In fact, one of Caligula’s first public acts as habilitated their memories together with Agrip-
emperor was to retrieve Agrippina’s ashes, togeth- pina, and also deposited their ashes in the Mau-
er with those of his brothers Nero and Drusus, soleum.70
and inter them in the Mausoleum of Augustus, Based on extant inscriptions and literary sourc-
thus rescinding their disinhersion and restoring es, portraits of Drusus and Nero Caesar were
them to their rightful membership in the Julio- created in three separate phases: in 19, just af-
Claudian gens.65 The production of new repre- ter the death of their father Germanicus; between
sentations in the Caligulan and Claudian peri- 23 and their downfall in 29; and under Caligu-
od suggests that many of her portraits had been la.71 During the 8 year period after their condem-
damaged or destroyed under Tiberius, and in nation in 29 and prior to Caligula’s accession in
fact, the majority of her surviving portraits are 37, continued display of their images would have
posthumous.66 As part of her rehabilitation, the been discouraged and existing portraits may have
proclamation of her birthday as a dies nefastus was been removed or destroyed. Many of the surviv-
also rescinded.67 ing images convincingly identified by C.B. Rose
as Nero and Drusus appear to be posthumous
and date to the principate of Caligula, as for
instance a cuirassed portrait of Nero Caesar from
the theater at Caere or a statue of Drusus in
63 AFA 49.1-4 = Smallwood 9.11-15; Suet. Tib. 53.2;
heroic nudity from Rusellae.72 As with their
A. Barrett (1989) 62.
64 Tac. Ann. 5.4.
65 Suet. Cal.15.1. 68 iudicatos hostes, Suet. Tib. 54.2; Neronem et Drusum se-
66 As, for instance, the well known bust in the Museo natus Tiberio criminante hostes iudicavit, Suet. Cal. 7.
Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperiatori 7, inv. 421, h. 0.31 69 Suet.Tib. 54.2.

m., Fittschen-Zanker III, 5-6, no. 4, pls. 4-5; S. Wood (1999) 70 Suet.Cal. 15.1; S. Wood (1999) 208.

221-2, figs. 91-2.. On Caligula and Agrippina Minor’s reha- 71 C.B. Rose (1997) 66.

bilitation of their mother’s memory, see S. Wood (1988) 72 Nero Caesar: from Caere, Musei Vaticani, Museo

409-26; S. Wood (1999) 178. Under Caligula, a portrait Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9963, C.B. Rose (1997) 67, 83-
of Agrippina Maior was also added to the cycle of Julio- 6, cat. 5.4, pls. 67-8; from Rusellae, Grosseto Museo Ar-
Claudian statuary in the Basilica at Velleia (Parma, Mu- cheologico e d’Arte della Maremma; C.B. Rose 67, 116-
seo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 828); a portrait from the 8, cat. 45.5; from Velia, Marna di Ascea, Soprintendenza
Domus dei Moasaici at Rusellae may also be posthumous, Archeologica, inv. 3994 (17486), C.B. Rose (1997) 67, 120-
either Caligulan or Claudian (Grosseto, Museo Archeolo- 21, cat. 49.7, p. 128; Drusus Caesar, from Rusellae, Gros-
gico e d’Arte della Maremma, inv. 1729148). seto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma, C.B.
67 AFA (Scheid) 221.3; AFA (Smallwood) 9.11-15; Bar- Rose 66, 116-8, cat. 45.6. The dedicatory inscription to
rett (1996) 51. Drusus has also survived:
92 chapter four

mother, these new Caligulan images may have liberating his fate: JVH Jg g\6`<"H "bJ@Ø BVF"H
been intended to replace damaged or destroyed 6"JX$"88@< 6"Â 6"JX6@BJ@< 6"Â 6"JXFLD@< ñH 6"\
likenesses. "ÛJÎ< ¦6gÃ<@< "Æ64>`:g<@4.78 The anthropomor-
phic implications are clear: attacks on Sejanus’
portraits were carried out as if they were attacks
Sejanus on his own person. Significantly, Sejanus witness-
es the anthropomorphic attacks on his images,
Lucius Aelius Sejanus was appointed co-Praefect thus forced to be a spectator to acts which pre-
of the Praetorian Guard, together with his father, figure and parallel his own execution and the sub-
Lucius Seius Strabo, at the accession of Tiberi- sequent defilement of his remains.79 Furthermore,
us in A.D. 14.73 Not long afterward, Strabo was Juvenal’s description of the burning of Sejanus’s
named Praefect of Egypt, and, as sole Praefectus bronze portraits is linked to partial cremation,
Praetorio, Sejanus wielded considerable power. another form of corpse abuse and he further deni-
Sejanus initiated a series of persecutions against grates his memory by emphasizing the transfor-
the supporters of Agrippina Maior in the capi- mation of Sejanus’s portraits into commonplace
tal, and in 29, was instrumental in engineering and derogatory objects such as pitchers, frying
her banishment to Pandateria. Sejanus, in con- pans, and slop pails.80 As an additional conse-
junction with the emperor’s niece and daughter- quence of the damnatio, Sejanus’s name is erased
in-law, Livilla, appears to have been planning to in inscriptions.81 No securely identified sculpted
seize the principate from Tiberius, but the em- likenesses of Sejanus exist,82 but honorary por-
peror was warned of the plot by Antonia Minor
and Sejanus was executed for treason, by order
of the Senate in 31; in an extended example of
poena post mortem, the populace of Rome is report- 78 58.11.3. Juvenal also describes the destruction of Se-

ed to have abused his corpse for three days be- janus’s images in graphic terms, 10.56-64: Quosdam praeci-
pitat subiecta potentia magnae/invidiae, mergit longa atque insignis
fore throwing it into the Tiber.74 Sejanus is the honorum/pagina: descendunt statuae restemque sequuntur,/ipsas
first person to suffer a damnatio memoriae in the deinde rotas bigarum inpacta securis/caedit et inmeritis franguntur
imperial period whose corpse was so publicly crura caballis;/iam strident ignes, iam follibus atque caminis/ ar-
det adoratum populo caput et crepat ingens/ Seianus; deinde ex fa-
desecrated and then discarded in the Tiber.75 His cie toto orbe secunda/ fiunt urceoli pelves sartago matellae.
children were also killed and his wife, Apicata, 79 D.G. Kyle (1998) 221.
80 10.61-4 And the head of powerful Sejanus, adored
committed suicide.76
by the people, is crackling in the flames and out of that
The Senate’s pronouncements against Sejan- face, just now second in the whole world, are made pitchers,
us included sanctions against his memory and bowls, frying pans & chamber pots; also 10.81-2; D.G. Kyle
monuments and mandated that the day of his (1998) 183, n. 106.
81 R. Cagnat (1914) 173.
death was to be celebrated with public rejoicing.77 82 K. Jeppesens’ attempt to identify the imperator who
Dio vividly describes the destruction of the prae- stands in front of Tiberius in the Grand Camée de France
fect’s images in Rome while the Senate was de- as Sejanus, rather than Germanicus is entirely unconvin-
cing (1993) 141-75. Jeppesen’s conclusions stem largely from
his unwillingness to see the scene as retrospective (i.e, com-
bining both living and deceased figures in the same sce-
DRVSO CAESARI ne). However, retrospective combinations of living and de-
GERMANICI CAESARIS ceased individuals can be found in other monuments, for
F TI CAESARIS AVG N instance the Gemma Claudia, which has facing portraits
DIVI AVG PRONEPOTI of Claudius and Agrippina Minor vs. Germanicus and
EX DD PP Agrippina Maior (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum 19,
73 On the career of Sejanus, see D. Hennig (1975). inv. IX a 63), or, in the following century, the inclusion of
74 Dio 58.11.5; see also D.G. Kyle (1998) 221-2. Faustina Maior in the joint apotheosis scene on the base
75 On post mortem corpse abuse of imperial individu- of the Column of Antoninus Pius, despite the fact that she
als, see E.R. Varner (2001b). had died and been divinized in A.D. 141, 20 years before
76 Tac. Ann 5(6).9; Dio 58.11.5-6. the death of her husband. Additionally, Jeppesen’s identi-
77 Dio 58.12.2. fications fail to accurately take into account the coiffures
other julio-claudians 93

traits, known to have been created in great num- Livilla

bers, were removed from public display and
destroyed in the capital and elsewhere in the Livilla, Sejanus’s accomplice in the plot to over-
Empire.83 throw Tiberius was also condemned.86 Livilla was
As a mark of his denigration and the wide- born sometime between 14 and 11 B.C., the only
spread nature of his damnatio, Sejanus’s tria nom- surviving daughter of Drusus Maior and Anto-
ina have been eradicated from the reverses of two nia Minor.87 She was first married to Augustus’s
coins from the mint of Bilbilis in Spain.84 The grandson, Gaius Caesar, and after his death, she
obverses of these coins depict laureate profile married Tiberius’s son Drusus Minor (Drusus
portraits of Tiberius, while the reverses commem- Iulius Caesar), to whom she bore one daughter
orate the joint consulship of Tiberius and Seja- Julia, and twin sons, Germanicus Julius Caesar
nus in 31. The reverses depict a laurel wreath, and Tiberius Gemellus.88 Drusus died in A.D. 23,
originally surrounded by the legend NV AUGUS- allegedly poisoned by Livilla and Sejanus.89 Af-
TA BILBILIS TI CAESARE V L AELIO SEIANO. ter the death of Drusus, Sejanus, although only
Sejanus’s names have been removed in both of equestrian origins, wished to marry Livilla.90
coins, as has COS within the laurel wreath in one Tiberius, however, refused to permit the mar-
of the coins. The appearance of Sejanus’s name riage91 and, as already noted, Sejanus was even-
on the Tiberian coins attests to his extraordinary tually executed for plotting against the emperor
prominence and influence during his tenure as in A.D. 31.92 Charges of adultery with Sejanus
praefect. The erasure of his names from the coins and complicity in the murder of Drusus Minor
is the earliest example of numismatic damnatio in were then brought against Livilla and she was
the imperial period and dramatically underscores either executed or forced to commit suicide.93
his precipitous fall from power and prefigures the
random destruction of numismatic images and
inscriptions of later emperors beginning with
figures that of another powerful praetorian praefect, Plau-
Caligula.85 tianus, at the beginning of the third century; see infra.
86 E. Meise (1969) 49-90; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier

(1987)216-8, no. 239.

87 Suet. Claud. 1.6.

and portrait iconography of the figures depicted in the 88 On the birth of the daughter see, Suet. Aug.99.1; Tac.

upper two registers. In fact, the gem must be Claudian, ce- Ann. 3.29.3; and Raepsaet-Charlier; On the twin sons, see,
lebrating Nero’s adoption by Claudius in A.D. 50, as pro- Tac. Ann. 2.84; CIL 5.4311 = ILS 170; Forsch.Eph. 4.3.37
posed by Jucker (1976) 210-50. = IvEph 4337; Germanicus Julius Caesar died the same year
83 Sejanus’s portraits are attested in a remarkable va- as his father, in A.D. 23; Tiberius Gemellus was killed at
riety of sources: Sen. Dial. 6.22.4 (Decernebatur illi statua in the outset of Caligula’s reign in 37 .
Pompei theatro ponenda, quod exustum Caesar reficiebat: exclama- 89 Suet. Tib. 62.1; Tac. Ann. 4.3, 4.10; Dio. 57.22.1-4.

vit Cordus tunc vere theatrum perire); Suet. Tib. 65.1 (et imagines 90 Undoubtedly in order to strengthen his ties to the im-

aureas coli passim videret); Tac. Ann. 3.72 (et censuere patres ef- perial house and legitimize his own claims as a successor
figiem Seiano quae apud theatrum Pompei locaretur); Ann 4.2 (ut to Tiberius’s imperium; Tac. Ann.4.3, 4.40.
socium laborum non modo in sermonibus, sed apud patres et popu- 91 There is a slight possibility that the two were be-

lum celebaret colique per theatra et fora effigies eius interque princi- trothed or even married prior to their deaths. Sejanus is
pia legionum sineret); Ann.4.7.2 (cerni effigiem eius in monumentis twice referred to as the son-in-law (generum) of Tiberius in
Cn. Pompei); Ann 4.74.2 (effigiesque circum Caesaris ac Seiani Tacitus, Ann. 6(5).6, 6.8; and Dio refers to Sejanus as ha-
censuere); Dio 57.21.3 (JÎ< *¥ *¬ Ggï"<Î< .ä<J" X< Jè 2gV- ving married Julia, daughter of Drusus, prior to his down-
JDå P"86@Ø< §FJ0Fg. 5•6 J@bJ@L B@88"Â :¥< ßBÎ B@88ä< fall. Perhaps Livilla (Claudia Livia Julia), the daughter of
g\6`<gH "bJ@Ø ¦B@4Z2F"<); Dio 58.2.7 (JÎ (VD J@4 B820y@H Drusus Maior is meant here. Alternatively, Livilla’s daugh-
Jä< V<D4V<T< ô< » Jg $@L8¬ 6"Â º ÂBB"H "Ë Jg ML8"Â 6"Â @Â ter Julia Drusilla, the daughter of Drusus Minor and wife
—<*DgH @Ê BDäJ@4 ¨FJ0F"< "bJ@Ø, @b*g X>0D\2:0Fg< –< J4H); of Nero Caesar may also be intended although Nero Cae-
Dio 78.7.1 (V<*D4V-<J@H J4<ÎH "bJ@Ø). See also C.B. Rose sar himself did not die until A.D. 31, so it is uncertain if
(1997) 31. this Julia was even available for marriage prior to Sejanus’s
84 Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médail- death on 18 October A.D. 31, Fasti Ostiensis; see also K.
les, Espagne, no. 444; R. Mowat (1901) 444-46; K. Regling Jeppesen (1993) 173 and n. 158.
(1904) 144; RPC 1, 129, nos. 398-99 (for the coin type). 92 Suet. Tib. 62.1; Dio 58.11.5-7.
85 Sejanus’s downfall and subsequent condemnation pre- 93 Suet. 62.1; Dio 58.11.6-7; Octavia 941-43. Dio also
94 chapter four

Livilla was clearly complicit in Sejanus’s plot to nature of Livilla’s damnatio should argue against
overthrow Tiberius, and as a result, Livilla is the the identification of the type as Livilla.100 Indeed,
first imperial woman against whom the Senate no surviving sculptural portraits can be securely
brought formal sanctions, voting to condemn her associated with her as a direct result of her con-
memory and decreeing the destruction of her demnation.
images (atroces sententiae dicebantur, in effigies quoque Glyptic images of Livilla are less problemati-
ac memoriam eius).94 cal and her likeness has survived on thirteen
Livilla’s position as the widow of the emper- cameos.101 These gem portraits are remarkably
or’s son, and mother of a potential heir, Tiberi- consistent in their portrayal of Livilla, depicting
us Gemellus ensured her commemoration with her with a waved and centrally parted coiffure.102
numerous portraits. But after her condemnation, The hair at the back of the head is rolled or
the senatorial sanctions mandated the erasure of
her name in inscriptions and the destruction of
her images.95 A portrait type (the Lepcis-Malta 100 K. P. Erhart (Mottahedeh) (1978) 202-204; C.B.

type) which survives in at least eight replicas has Rose (1997) 68-9, 117-8; S. Wood (1999) 193.
101 As identified by W.R. Megow: 1.) Aquileia, Museo
been associated with Livlla (and also with Anto-
Archeologico, (1987) 298-99, no. D 27; T. Mikocki (1995)
nia Minor and Julia Livlla), but there are many 170, no. 136 ; 2.) Berlin, Staatliche Museen 11096, (1987)
difficulties in maintaining the identification as 295-96, no. D 22, pl. 12.7; 3; T. Mikocki (1995) 34-5, 174,
Livilla.96 With one exception, a portrait from no. 161, pl. 4; S. Wood (1999) 196-7, fig. 79; 3.) Cambridge,
Fitzwilliam Museum, (1987) 300-301, no. D 32, pl. 14.4;
Tindari which has a crack through it, none of the 4.) London, British Museum 3434, inv. no. 1923.4-1.946,
portraits exhibits any signs of deliberate damage (1987) 297, no. D 26, pl. 12.9; 5.) London, British Museum,
which could be associated with damnatio.97 The 3581, inv. 72.6-4.1420, (1987) 293-94, no. D 19, pl. 10.4;
portrait of this type in Lepcis was part of the 6.) Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 131,
(1987) 299-300, no. D 30, pl. 12.8; 7.) Paris, Bibliothèque
Julio-Claudian group dedication at the Temple National, Cabinet des Médailles 242, (1987) 296, no. D 24,
of Roma and Augustus and does not appear to pl. 12.5; T. Mikocki (1995) 175, no. 164; 8.) Paris, Bibli-
have been removed from public display, despite othèque National, Cabinet des Médailles 243, (1987) 296,
no. D 23, pl. 12.6; T. Mikocki (1995) 174, no. 162, pl. 4;
the fact that her name has been erased from the S. Wood (1999) 196-7, fig. 78; 9.) Paris, Bibliothèque
dedicatory inscription.98 Similarly, a replica from National, Cabinet des Médailles 244, (1987) 296-97, no.
the Julio-Claudian cycle at Rusellae appears to D 25, pl. 12.3; 10.) Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheili-
gen, (1987) 298-99, no. D 29, pl. 12.1,2,4; T. Mikocki (1995)
have remained on public view.99 The vehement 175, no. 165, pl. 11; 11) Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Mu-
seum, inv. XI 1160, (1987) 293, no. D 18; 12) Vienna,
Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. 1821.161. no. 45, (1987)
300, no. D 31; 13.) Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum 23,
records the alternative story that Livilla was not executed inv. IX a 34, (1987) 298, no. D 28; T. Mikocki (1995) 174-
she was forced to starve to death by her mother Antonia 5, no. 163, p. 4. Although Megow identifies two additio-
Minor. nal cameos as likenesses of Livilla, the coiffure is slightly
94 Tac. Ann. 6.2; see also M.B. Fory (1993) 303-4; E.R. different, with the ears covered, and these are more likely
Varner (2001a) 63. to be representations of Antonia Minor (Paris, Bibliothè-
95 The erasure of Livilla’s name in the portrait inscrip- que National, Cabinet des Médailles 260, (1987) 294, no.
tions from the Temple of Roma and Augustus at Lepcis D 20, Pl. 7.18; Paris, Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des
Magna indicates that her portrait was also likely eradica- Médailles 261, (1987) 294, no. D 21, Pl. 7.17); see also T.
ted from the group diedication; H. Donner and W. Röllig Mickoki (1995) 174-5, nos. 163-5, pls. 4, 11 and B.S. Spaeth
(1968) 128, no. 122. (1996) 121, 146, 173-4; E.R. Varner (2001a) 63-4. It is also
96 S. Wood reviews the complicated evidence (1999) important to note that these glyptic images are not repli-
190-6. Wood has further demonstrated that another por- cas of the Lepcis-Malta type, S. Wood (1999) 195.
trait in a Swiss private collection, identified by D. Kaspar 102 K. Jeppesen misreads the coiffure of the seated fe-

as Livilla (H. Jucker and D. Willers, eds. [1982] 91, no. male at the left of the Grand Camée which leads him to
35), is actually a Caligulan likeness of her niece, Agrippi- identify her as Livilla; however, the coiffure is not a ver-
na Minor (1995) 465, n. 45. sion of Livia’s later, centrally parted hairstyle, but rather
97 Palermo, Museo. S. Wood (1999) 193. a version of Agrippina Minor’s Claudian coiffure with rows
98 H. Donner and W. Röllig (1968) 128, no. 122; C.B of pin curls framing the face, (1993) 148 and n. 22. The
Rose (1997) 182, no. 125, 238, n. 44. figure also clearly displays Agrippina Minor’s receding
99 C.B. Rose (1999) 117-8. lower lip.
other julio-claudians 95

twisted into a small chignon. The ears are left growing power of Claudius’s freedmen and his
uncovered, or with only the very tops covered. niece, Agrippina Minor.108 Informed of the cer-
The facial features are regular with an aquiline emony while in Ostia, Claudius immediately
nose, small mouth with pronounced downward returned to Rome and Silius, Messalina, as well
curve at the outer corners, and a distinctive full, as eight of their associates were executed.109
rounded chin. Two of the cameos emphasize Tacitus specifically records that Messalina’s
Livilla’s prominence as the producer of potential portraits (as Livilla’s had been before her) were
heirs for Tiberius, showing her with her twin included in the senatorial sanctions: nomen et ef-
sons, Tiberius Caesar Gemellus and Germanicus figies privatis ac publicis locis demovendas.110 Tacitus’s
Caesar.103 In another of the cameos, Livilla is statement is supported by extant inscriptions in
shown in the guise of the goddess Pax.104 The which Messalina’s name is erased including a
great quantity of glyptic likenesses of Livilla which funerary inscription belonging to one of her
have survived contrasts vividly with the complete freedmen111 and from the Forum of Augustus in
lack of marble or bronze portraits and under- Rome, as well as honorific inscriptions from
scores the eradication of her public images as a Lepcis Magna, Lindos, and Arneae which have
result of the senatorial sanctions. been damaged or reused in other contexts.112 The
erased inscription from Lepcis also attests to the
removal of Messalina’s portrait from the Clau-
Valeria Messalina dian group of portraits at the Temple of Roma
and Augustus, just as Livilla’s image had been
Like Livilla, Valeria Messalina, the third wife of removed and her name erased from the earlier
Claudius was officially condemned by the Senate Tiberian dedication.113 Messalina’s damnatio was
for her role in a conspiracy against the reigning even extended to coins as attested by issues from
emperor.105 Well-connected within the Julio- Tralles that have her name intentionally chiseled
Claudian family, Messalina was a great-grand-
daughter of Octavia through both her father,
Marcus Valerius Mesalla Barbatus and her moth- 108 Tac. Ann. 11.28, 30 suggests that Silius was aiming
er, Domitia Lepida. Messalina married the future for the principate, while Dio indicates that Messalina wis-
emperor Claudius in A.D. 38 or 39, and pro- hed to place Silius on the throne, 60(61).31.5 . On the plot,
see also, M. Griffin (1984) 27-29; B. Levick(1990) 64-7; S.
duced two children, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Wood (1992) 233-4; S. Wood (1999) 255.
Britannicus and Claudia Octavia.106 In A.D. 48 109 Suet. Claud. 26.2, 39.1; Tac. Ann. 11.28-38; Dio

Messalina was involved in an intrigue with the 60(61).31.5; The others executed were: Titius Proculus, Vet-
tius Valens, Pompeius Urbicus, Saufeius Trogus, Decrius
consul designate, Gaius Silius, culminating in the Calpurnianus, Sulpcius Rufus, Iuncus Vergilianus, and the
celebration of a marriage ceremony between the actor Mnester. Mnester was widely reported to have been
two.107 This “marriage” was likely designed to Messalina’s paramour and Dio suggests that Messalina had
lend legitimacy to Silius, who hoped to replace recalled coins of Caligula converted into bronze images of
Mnester 60.22.3; If such images were in fact produced, they
Claudius as emperor, and also to restrain the would have been subject to sanctions after the actor’s
110 Ann. 11.38.3. The Senate’s specification of public and

private locations signals the sweeping nature of the sanc-

103 Berlin, Staatliche Museen, inv. 11096; Paris, Bibli- tions against Messalina’s representations.
othèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles, inv. 243; S. 111 CIL 6.4474.

Wood (1999) 196-7, figs. 78-9. 112 Forum of Augustus Inscription: CIL 6.6918 = ILS
104 Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheiligen, 9.5 x 7.8 210 (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Museo Nuovo inv. 6944)
cm. and H. Flower in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 61, fig. 3; For
105 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)606-8, no. 774; E.R. the reused inscriptions see AfrIt 8 (1941) 34 (Lepcis Mag-
Varner (2001a) 64-68. na); IGR 4.1146 = IG 12.1.806 (Lindos); TAM 2.3.760 (An-
106 Suet. Claud. 27.1, 39.2; Tac. Ann. 11.26, 32, 34, 38; reae, Lycia); C.B.Rose (1997) 41, and n. 43; S. Wood (1999)
Dio, 40.12.5. 274-5.
107 Tac. Ann. 11.25-38; Suet. Claud. 26.2; Juv. Sat. 113 J. Reynolds and J.B. Ward-Perkins (1952) no. 340;

10.329-45; Dio 60.31.35; Aur.Vict. Caes. 4. 11. C.B.Rose (1997) 184, no. 126.
96 chapter four

off.114 C.B. Rose has also plausibly suggested that empress’s downfall.120 The statue depicts Messal-
Messalina may have originally appeared in the ina cradling a male infant in her left arm. Al-
Ravenna relief (and the statue group it may re- though the head of the infant is a modern resto-
flect) and if so, her image would have been re- ration, it originally must have represented
moved, replaced, or recut.115 Messalina’s son Britannicus. The pose of both
As a direct result of her damnatio memoriae and mother and child are intended to evoke the Eir-
the virulence of the feeling against her, Messal- ene and Ploutos of Kephisoditos, while the tuni-
ina is the first empress for whom there is extant ca and palla which the empress wears, and her
physical evidence for the deliberate mutilation of gesture of raising to right hand to the veil cov-
her images. Two portraits of Messalina, in the ering her head are clearly intended to evoke her
Galleria Chiaramonti of the Vatican (cat.3.2; fig. role as traditional Roman matrona. As a power-
99),116 and Dresden (cat. 3.1)117 were vandalized ful piece of Claudian dynastic propaganda, the
with hammers or chisels. Both portraits represent Louvre portrait would have been entirely unsuit-
Messalina with complex divine attributes. The able for display after Messalina’s condemna-
Chiaramonti head combines a crested helmet, tion.121 A papyrus in London preserves a letter
reminiscent of that of the Athena Parthenos and written by Claudius granting permission for a
decorated with the Augustan symbols of the grif- group of portraits to be erected in Alexandria,
fin of Apollo and the winged horse of Mars, with including representations of Claudius, Messalina,
a turreted crown associated with, Cybele, Tyche, Antonia Minor, Britannicus, Octavia Claudia,
and Roma.118 Restorations to the nose and lips and Claudia Antonia.122 Like the Louvre statue,
of the portrait conceal intentional mutilations and Messalina’s image was undoubtedly removed
the headdress itself has suffered extensive dam- from the Alexandrian group dedication.
age. The corrosion of the portrait’s surfaces in- Messalina’s portrait has also been removed
dicate that it may have been thrown into a body from a full length statue in the Julio-Claudian
of water following its defacement. Substantial Basilica at Velleia, and replaced with a likeness
blows to the Dresden portrait have split the image of Claudius’s fourth wife, Agrippina Minor (cat.
into four sections. It combines a turreted crown 3.4; fig. 100a-c).123 After her damnatio, Messali-
with a laurel or olive wreath. The overt divine na’s head was severed from the statue and the
iconography of the Chiaramonti and Dresden body prepared for the insertion of the new like-
representations may have provoked the violent ness of Agrippina. The pendant statue of Clau-
depredations which each image has suffered, as dius from the Velleian cycle was transformed in
tangible signs of the empress’s denigration.119 an identical manner from a pre-existing likeness
The removal of Messalina’s images is con-
firmed by a full-length portrait in the Louvre
120 MA 1224, h. 1.95 m.; K. de Kersauson (1986) 200-
whose generally excellent state of preservation
indicate that it was warehoused following the 1, no. 94, with earlier literature; S. Wood (1992) 219-34,
figs. 1-4; D. Boschung (1993b) 71, no. 166; T. Mikocki
(1995) 45, 187, no. 245; S. Wood (1999) 276-80, pls. 123-
5; E.R. Varner (2001a) 65, fig. 7. Because the portrait has
been restored from several large pieces, S. Wood has sug-
gested that the statue may have been deliberately attacked,
114 RPC 2654; BMC Lydia 345, no. 124. See also, thus accounting for its fragmentary nature. However, the
C.B.Rose (1997) 41, and n. 43. face has not been mutilated and it is likely that the dama-
115 Rose (1997) 102. ge which caused the statue to be broken is incidental, rat-
116 Galleria Chiaramonti 39.9, inv. 1814. her than a deliberate act resulting from damnatio.
117 Albertinum, Skulpturensammlung, cat. 358. 121 S. Wood has also suggested that the portrait may
118 S. Wood (1992) 225, and n. 18. owe its good state of preservation to protection by a pri-
119 Three portraits, in Dresden (Albertinum, Skulptu- vate owner, presumably a partisan of Messalina or her son
rensammlung, 352), Munich (Glyptothek, inv. 316), Schloss (1992) 334.
Fasanerie (cat. no. 23) have been identified as a second type 122 C.B. Rose (1997) 185-8, no. 128.

for Messalina, but these likenesses should be assigned to 123 Parma, Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv 146 (1870),

Drusilla. S. Wood (1995) 471-82, figs. 18-19, 24-26. inv. 830 (1952).
other julio-claudians 97

of Caligula (cat. 1.27; fig. 34a-b). As with the sculptural alterations must have contributed to
Caligula/Claudius, the fact that the portrait fea- the nearly total absence of recarved representa-
tures were replaced, rather than recut, strongly tions of fallen empresses. The random holes scat-
suggests that they were intentionally mutilated. tered throughout Agrippina’s coiffure which are
Messalina’s image may also have been removed remnants of Messalina’s earlier arrangement
and replaced with a statue of Bacchus in the attest to the enormous technical problems which
Julio-Claudian statuary group from Baiae.124 faced sculptors who attempted to reconfigure the
A portrait statue now in Naples of Agrippina images of imperial women. Apparently, sculptors
Minor, refashioned from a likeness of Messalina, determined that such challenges were nearly
is the first surviving female image to have been insurmountable and as a result, replacement,
physically transformed as the result of a damna- removal, or intentional disfigurement become
tio (cat. 4.3; fig. 101a-d).125 The statue is carved more standard responses to the sculpted likeness
from a single block of marble and the facial fea- of condemned women.
tures and coiffure have been substantially altered.
As a result, the head is disproportionately small.
The statue itself represented the empress as the Agrippina Minor
goddess Ceres, which like the Louvre image, was
designed to celebrate her role as producer of heirs Under Nero, three prominent imperial women
guaranteeing the stability of the empire. Not only were condemned for plotting against the emper-
is the Naples statue the first recarved imperial or. The first of these was the emperor’s own
female portrait, it is apparently the only likeness mother, Agrippina Minor. Agrippina had under-
of a condemned empress reconfigured in the first, gone an earlier condemnation when she and her
second and third centuries. Two sculpted por- sister Julia Livilla were exiled by their brother
traits of Lucilla (cat. 6.11 and cat. 6.12) would Caligula, as images of both are conspicuously
also be recut, but not until the Constantinian absent in later Caligulan group portrait dedica-
period and a relief portrait of Galeria Valeria (cat. tions.127 After Caligula’s death, Agrippina re-
9.8) appears to have been refashioned earlier in turned to Rome and gained supreme power as
the fourth century. The Naples statue’s unique the wife of Claudius. Agrippina eventually se-
status stands in marked contrast to the numer- cured the accession of her son over Claudius’s
ous private female likenesses which were altered own son by Messalina, Britannicus, and at the
or updated during these centuries.126 The spec- outset of Nero’s principate she appears to have
ificity of imperial female coiffures as badges of acted as a kind of regent for her son. Agrippi-
identity, as well as their often very elaborate and na’s preeminent position is broadcast on aurei and
delicate configurations which precluded extensive denarii from the mint of Rome which show facing
busts of Agrippina and Nero, with Agrippina’s
name and titles on the obverse and Nero’s rele-
124 S. Wood (1999) 285. Messalina is also absent from gated to the reverse and rendered in the dative;
the group dedication from Russelae which includes her Agrippina’s prominence is underscored in simi-
daughter Claudia Octivia, and presumably her son, Brit- lar extraordinary fashion on the Aphrodisias
tanicus. If these statues are part of an earlier Claudian phase
it is likely that Messalina was also represented and her Sebasteion relief and the Cologne cameo in
image removed after her condemnation. which she is depicted as Roma/Concordia and
125 Museo Nazionale Archeologico. inv. 6242.; P. Li-
the guarantrix of Nero’s imperium.128 However, per-
veriani identifies a statue from Caere (Musei Vaticani, Mu-
seo Gregoriano Profano, inv. 9952) as a representation
Agrippina Minor recycled from Messalina ( [1990-91] 66).
S. Wood, however, has situated the likeness within Drusil- 127 C.B. Rose (1997) 37. On the exile of the two sis-

la’s typology and suggested that the sculptural modifica- ters, see: Suet. Calig. 24.3; 29.1-2; Dio 59.22.5-9; A. Bar-
tions resulted from her deification (1995) 471-75. rett (1990) 106-10; A. Barrett (1996) 63-67; S. Wood (1999)
126 On reworked private female portraits, see S. Ma- 213-4.
theson in E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 70-81. 128 For the coins of 54 see, RIC 150, no. 1 (aureus and
98 chapter four

haps as early as 55 her power was in eclipse, and tions throughout the entire world under penalty
in 59 she was accused of conspiring to overthrow of death (for those who don’t comply) (simulacra,
Nero and, as a result, she was murdered.129 titulos destruit mortis metu totum per orbum).132 And
Tacitus specifically states theat supplicationes were indeed, Agrippina’s image has been attacked on
to be celebrated commemorating the failure of an aureus with her facial features slashed.133 Agrip-
Agrippina’s conspiracy and her birthday (6 No- pina’s name is also erased in selected inscriptions
vember) was to be a dies nefastus, as her mother and an effaced portrait dedication at Epidauros,
Agrippina Maior’s had been under Tiberius: further suggests that certain of her images were
Miro tamen certamine procerum decernuntur supplicationes
apud omnia pulvinaria, utque Quinquatrus, quibus apertae In addition, Agrippina’s image at Rome was
insidiae essent, ludis annuis celebrarentur; aureum Minervae certainly eradicated from a group commemora-
simulacrum in curia et iuxta principis imago statuerentur; tion erected by imperial musicians in 55-6 and
dies natalis Aprippinae inter nefastos esset ultimately destroyed in the fire of 64. The sur-
(However, in an astonishing spirit of rivalry among viving inscriptions honor Augustus, Nero, Clau-
the elite, supplicationes were decreed at all shrines, dius and Agrippina. After Agrippina’s murder,
and the Quinquatrus, the festival of Minerva on her portion of the base was dismantled and de-
which the plot was revealed, was to be celebrated stroyed and the remaining inscription altered as
with annual games; a golden image of Minerva
together with a portrait of the princeps was to be a result.135 Similarly, other important public
set up in the Curia, and the birthday of Agrippina
was to be counted among the days inauspicious
to the Roman state.130
132 Octavia 611-12.
In view of the charges which the emperor 133 BMCRE 1, 174, n. 72 (undamaged example of the
brought against his mother, it certainly would no issue); W. Eck (1993) 59, fig. 23; Va Morizio in C. Panel-
longer have been politically expedient to display la, ed. (1996) 216.
134 R. Cagnat (1901) 173; ILS 226.31; A. Barrett (1996)
portraits of Agrippina after her death. Dio con- 192, n. 39. For the portrait dedication from Epidauros, see
firms that some of Agrippina’s statues were re- C.B. Rose (1997) 10, n. 91, 48, 141, no. 72.
135 123. Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme; CIL
moved from display at Rome.131 In the Octavia
6.40307; AE (1996) 248; V. Morizio in C. Panella, ed.
Agrippina’s ghost mentions the destruction of her (1996). The dedicants, the aenatores, consisting of the tubi-
images and inscriptions, ascribed to Nero’s or- cines, the liticines and the cornicines, were listed in a conti-
ders: he (Nero) destroys my statues and inscrip- nuous line beneath the imperial dedications which were
oriented horizontally. Romani, modifying the musicians,
originally appeared in Agrippina’s section of the base, but
was reinscribed under Claudius’s name and titles, imme-
diately to Agrippina’s right. The inscriptions of Augustus
and Nero are on the same slab, while those of Claudius
denarius of Rome, A.D. 54); by 55 the facing portraits are and Agrippina were carved on separate slabs.
replaced by jugate busts, with Nero in the more prominent 1. IMP CAISARI DIVI F 2. NERONI CLAVDIO DIVI
frontal position, and his name and titles now on the ob- AVGUSTO CLAVDII F
verse in the nominative RIC 150, nos. 6-7 (Aureus and PONTIFICI MAXIMO COS XI GERMANICIS CAISARIS N
denarius of Rome); see also C.H.V. Sutherland (1987) 87, TRIBVNICIA POTESTAT XI TI CAISARIS AVG PRO N
figs. 35a-b; and C.B. Rose (1997) 47; and K. Dickson DIVI AVGVSTI AB N
129 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)365-7, no. 426; A. MAX TRIB POTEST II IMP COS
Barrett has suggested that Agrippina’s period of influence AENATORES TVBICINES
actually encompassed the first five years of her son’s reign,
the quinquennium Neronis, until her death in 59 (1996) 238- 3. TI CLAVDIO DRVSI F. 4. IVLIAE AV[GVSTAE]
130 Ann. 14.12. On Agrippina’s death and the alleged GERMANCO PONTIFICI GERMANIC[I CAISARIS F]
conspiracy, see also Suet. Nero 34.3; Tac. Ann. 14.7.6-7, 11; MAXIMO TRIBVNICIA POT DIVI CLA[VDI VXORI]
Dio 61(62).14; R. Bauman (1992) 190-203; W. Eck (1993) IMP COS II
88, n. 96; A Barrett (1996) 181-95, 244-6; C.B. Rose (1997)
131 61(62).16.2a; see also A.P. Gregory (1994) 94. ROMANI
other julio-claudians 99

portraits from Rome, such as the basanite image na’s absence is especially noteworthy and likely
of Agrippina as priestess of the Divine Claudius the result of her condemnation under Nero.
from the Claudianium on the Caelian would have Just as her mother Agrippina Maior had been
been removed from public display.136 It is also denied burial in the Mausoleum of Augustus,
possible that the damage which the statue body Agrippina Minor’s remains were never given a
has suffered, as it is composed from forty-one proper internment in Rome during Nero’s reign;
fragments, may have been the result of an attack subsequently, a tomb was constructed near the
carried out after her condemnation. Two bronze site of her death along the road to Misenum in
statues of Agrippina from Herculaneum137 em- the environs of a villa which had belonged to
ploy a priestly iconography similar to the basanite Julius Caesar.138 The great number of portraits
portrait and they may have been warehoused of Agrippina which survive from Rome and else-
following her murder. In addition, Agrippina’s where in the Empire may be partially the result
absence from the important Julio-Claudian cy- of the warehousing of her images after her death,
cle at Rusellae may not be coincidental. Most of but they ultimately indicate that the destruction
her immediate family members including both of of her likenesses was short-lived and necessarily
her parents, all of her siblings (Nero Caesar, limited in scope to the period shortly after her
Drusus Caesar, Julia Livilla, Diva Drusilla, and death; later in Nero’s principate, Agrippina’s
Caligula [cat. 1.20; altered to Claudius), her hus- memory is actually rehabilitated and games held
band Claudius (in altered Caligulan portrait and in her honor.139 Moreover, Dio praises Galba for
a second posthumous representation), and her son re-erecting representations of members of the im-
Nero (probably in two portraits: boyhood togatus perial family who had been murdered under
with bulla and cuirassed statue as imperator). The Nero, and this would likely have included imag-
inclusion of Nero with bulla in the cycle, togeth- es of Agrippina; in addition, he indicates that
er with Claudius’s children by Messalina, Clau- Galba also had murdered family members’ re-
dia Octavia and Britannicus, may suggest a date mains interred in the Mausoleum of Augustus,
of 50-51 for the Claudian statues. If so, Agrippi- which may indicate that Agrippina’s ashes were
ultimately transferred there.140 Posthumous im-
ages may also have been created for Agrippina.141
The dedication may have been associated with either
the temple to the Curiae Veteres or the Palatine birthpla-
ce of Augustus.
136 (body)Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori (Centrale

Montemartini 2.43), inv. 1.882, h. 2.12 m.; E. Talamo in

S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 599-600 (with ear-
lier literature); (head) Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glypto-
tek 634, inv. 753; h. 0.30 m.; F. Johansen (1994) 152-3,
with figs. (with earlier literature). The portrait represents 138 Tac. Ann. 14.9.2-5; A. Barrett (1996) 190.
Agrippina in her fourth and final Neronian portrait type, 139 Dio 61.17.1; A. Barrett (1996) 194.
in use from Nero’s accession in 54 until Agrippina’s death 140 63(64).3.4c; C. W. Hedrick (2000) 127.

in 59. At some point, the head was slightly modified by 141 A portrait in Cologne, the birthplace of Agrippina,

cuttings for anchoring additional headgear. The modifica- may also be posthumous, Romisch-Germanisches Museum,
tions to the portrait have led E. Talamo to suggest that the inv. 564; S. Wood (1988) 425-6, n. 47. A colossal head from
image has been refashioned from a portrait of Messalina, the Forum of Trajan has also been associated with Agrip-
in S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, eds. (2000) 599-600, with pina: Mercati Traianei, Magazzini, without inventory
figs. The adjustments are minor, however and are essen- number; Fittschen-Zanker III, 6, no. 5, pl. 6; L. Ungaro
tially limited to cuttings fro the attachment of a diadem and. M. Mielella, eds. (1995) 124 (with figs.); J.E. Packer
or priestly crown and the coiffure lacks the indications of 1 (1997) 781-2, no. 191, fig. 58; S. Wood (1999) 302-4, figs.
substantial reworking or traces of Messalina’s coiffure that 143-4. However, D. Boschung and W. Eck have suggested
the Naples portrait contains. The statue was, in fact, crea- that the colossal image, together with a related portrait in
ted ex novo as an important part of the sculptural decora- the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, may, in fact, represent
tion of the Temple of Divus Claudius. Trajan’s mother (1998) 73-81. The head exhibits strong sty-
137 Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 5609; listic and physiognomical similarities to Trajan’s sculpted
and Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 5602. portraits.
100 chapter four

Claudia Octavia notwithstanding, Octavia’s portraits must have

been removed from public display following her
In A.D. 62, Nero divorced and banished his wife, banishment and execution, out of fear of offend-
Claudia Octavia on contradictory charges of ing Poppaea or the emperor who had divorced
infertility and adultery with the flute-player Eu- her and ordered her execution.149 After death,
caerus.142 Subsequently Octavia was accused of public thanksgiving was decreed to celebrate the
plotting with Anicetus to overthrow the emper- emperor’s escape from Octavia’s treasonous
or.143 Octavia was finally relegated to Pandate- plot.150 Significantly, in the historical drama
ria where she was executed.144 Octavia’s corpse which bears her name, Nero declares his wife a
was beheaded and the head brought to Rome hostis a term associated almost always with male
where Poppaea is reported to have viewed it traitors to the state, but her downfall is also the-
(Additurque atrocior saevitia, quod caput amputatum matically linked to the condemnations of sever-
latumque in urbem Poppaea vidit: and an even more al earlier Julio Claudian women, including Agrip-
atrocious brutality was added, that is, her head, pina Maior, Livilla, Julia Minor, Messalina, and
having been amputated and taken to the city, Agrippina Minor.151 The Octavia itself stands as
Poppaea viewed it).145 This act of poena post mor- a post-Neronian resuscitation of Octavia’s mem-
tem has extraordinary political implications as it ory. As noted for Agrippina, Dio records the re-
was almost exclusively perpetrated on male corps- erection of portraits of those murdered under
es of overthrown emperors (Galba, Macrinus, Nero and the reburial of some of his victims
Diadumenianus, Maximus, Maximinus, and remains in the Mausoleum of Augustus and these
Maxentius), failed rivals for imperial power (Clo- measures would almost certainly have included
dius Albinus), or defeated foreign foes (Decebal- Octavia.152
us).146 Octavia’s likeness was represented on coins
As the daughter of the deified Claudius, Oc- minted in the east.153 One childhood portrait of
tavia was extremely popular with the plebs and a Octavia has survived from the Claudian group
public outcry ensued in Rome at the initial news dedications at Baiae,154 and two additional rep-
of her divorce and banishment.147 Demonstrators
who supported Octavia decked her portraits with
149 C.B. Rose (1997) 49.
flowers and paraded them around Rome and at 150 Tac. Ann. 14.63-4; S. Wood (1999) 271-2.
the same time attacked and overturned the im- 151 Octavia 865-6 (Nero: Quod parcis hosti/Praefectus: Fe-
ages of her rival Poppaea.148 Her popularity mina hoc nomen capit); and 932-57; R.A. Bauman (1996) 89-
90. Cleopatra seems to be the only woman for whom the-
re is historical evidence for a declaration as a hostis. Dio
142 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)223-4, no. 246; for 50.4.4.; Plut. Ant. 60.1; see also supra.
Octavia’s alleged involvement with Eucaerus, see Tac. Ann. 152 63(64).3.4c. S. Wood also entertains the idea of post-

14.60; Oct. 107. The accusations of adultery and sexual im- humous, post-Neronian images for Octavia, analogous to
propriety with a lower class male were intended to destroy the possibly posthumous portrait of her mother-in-law,
Octavia’s reputation; M.P. Vinson (1989) 440-43. Agrippina Minor in Köln (1999) 303, although there are
143 Tac. Ann 14.63. Suetonius also reports that Nero bri- no clearly identifiable images of Octavia which have sur-
bed Anicetus to confess to committing stuprum with Octa- vived.
via, Nero 35.2. 153 Two Alexandrian coins depict Octavia with curls
144 Suet. Nero 35.2, 57.1; Tac.Ann. 14.64; Dio 62.13.1; massed well over the top of the head and the plaits on the
Plut. Galba 19. back of the head drawn up into a small chignon; both nu-
145 Octavia, Tac. Ann. 14.64.2. mismatic images portray Octavia with very prominent ears,
146 J.L. Voisin (1984) 250-252; E.R.,Varner (2001b) 57- often a feature of her father’s iconography as well, A.
58. Geissen (1972) 52, no. 138, 54, no. 147. See also a coin
147 Tac. Ann. 14.60-61. from Corinth, which depicts Octavia with a hairstyle si-
148 Tac. Ann. 14.61; Octavia’s significance is, natural- milar to Livia’s centrally parted type and a coin from Si-
ly, stressed in the Octavia, where the fire of 64 is depicted nope whose hairstyle is very similar to Agrippina Minor
as Nero’s response to Octavia’s partisans’ attempt to burn (J.J. Bernoulli [1886] 415, pl. 35,17, 18).
the imperial palace (801, 831-3, 851-52). See also, G. Wil- 154 Museo dei Campi Flegrei, h. 1.20 m.; T. Mikocki

liams in J. Elsner and J. Masters, eds, (1994) 188-89; S. (1995) 188, no. 252; C.B. Rose (1997) 72, 82-3, cat. 4, pls.
Wood (1999) 271. 62-3 (with earlier literature); B. Andreae (1998) 32-4, with
other julio-claudians 101

licas are in Trieste and a Spanish private collec- removed from public view and warehoused af-
tion.155 A headless togata from the Claudian phase ter her downfall. A second replica of the same
of the portrait cycle at and Rusellae also presum- type, in Barcelona, also worked for insertion, may
ably represented Octavia as a child.156 Octavia’s have been similarly removed and stored and
condemnation has made the identification of her would then attest to the perpetuation of Octa-
mature portraits extremely difficult, and there are via’s damnatio in the provinces.160
no securely recognizable extant images which
date from the time of her marriage to Nero.157
R. Bol has recently attempted to identify a se- Claudia Antonia
ries of marble portraits as Octavia, but these
portraits are more plausibly associated with The half-sister of Octavia, Claudia Antonia,
Agrippina Minor’s third (Ancona) type.158 A daughter of Claudius and Aelia Paetina, was
portrait in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme executed for her involvement in the Pisonian
which includes a diadem (suggesting that the conspiracy of A.D. 65.161 After the murder of
woman portrayed is an Augusta) and displays a Octavia, Antonia was the last surviving child of
physiognomy strongly resembling that of Clau- Claudius and the most prominent living female
dius has the most likely claims to being a mature member of the imperial family. Antonia had
likeness of his daughter, Octavia.159 The head is previously been married to Gnaeus Pompeius
worked for insertion and very well preserved. If Magnus, as well as to Faustus Cornelius Sulla.
it does, in fact, represent Octavia, it was likely After the death of Poppaea, Antonia refused to
strengthen Nero’s political position by marrying
him. Indeed, Antonia seems to have been actively
involved with the anti-Neronian factions of the
figs.; S. Wood (1999) 283-4. aristocracy, and Suetonius confirms her condem-
155 S. Wood (1999) 283-4; for the Trieste and Spanish
nation on charges of sedition (Antoniam Claudi
portraits, see R. Amedick (1991) 378-80, pls. 99-100. T. filiam, recusantem post Poppaeae mortem nuptias suas,
Mickocki has tentatively identified a sardonyx cameo which
represents a young girl as Minerva as a Claudian repre- quasi molitricem novarum rerum interemit).162 Further-
sentation of Octavia, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabi- more, Tacitus, in his account of the Pisonian
net des Médailles, 21, Mickoki (1995) 188, no. 251, pl. 24. conspiracy, refers to Pliny’s report that Antonia
This identification is far from certain, however, as the
physiognomy is not sufficiently specific, and the helmet intended to accompany Piso in public after the
masks the coiffure. planned assassination of Nero in order to secure
156 Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Ma-
for Piso the approval of the masses (comitante
remma; C.B. Rose 72, 116-8, cat. 45; S. Wood (1999) 283-
Antonia, Claudii Caesaris filia, ad eliciendum vulgi fa-
157 On the difficulties of identifying mature likenesses vorem, quod C. Plinius memorat).163 As with the
of Claudia Octavia, see D. Boschung (1993b) 75-76 and images of Agrippina Minor and Octavia Clau-
C.B. Rose (1997) 72. dia, portraits of Antonia would have been re-
158 A marble portrait discovered in Rome on the Via

Varese has been associated with Octavia; Museo Nazio- moved from public display after her execution.
nale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 121316; Although she is attested in portrait inscriptions,
Fittschen-Zanker III, 7, no. 5, n. 4. For the identification her condemnation has made identification of her
as Octavia, see R. Bol (1986) 289-307. B. Di Leo, MusNa-
zRom 1.9.1, 155-6, no. R 111, with figs; and M.L. Ander- portraits difficult and none can be attributed to
son in M.L. Anderson and L. Nista, eds. (1988) 74, no. 14, her with certainty.164 Again, Dio’s statements
with figs.
159 Inv. 124129, h. 0.35 m.; V. Picciotti Giornetti,

MusNazRom 1.1 286-7, no. 178, with fig. (with earlier lite-
rature); S. Wood (1999) 313-4. The shape of the mouth, 160 Museo de la Historia de la Ciuidad, inv. 7440; see
chin, and fleshy underchin conform well with Claudius’s Fittschen-Zanker III, 48, no. 61, n. 1.
more realistic images, including the statue depicting him 161 M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)202-3, no. 217.

as Jupiter in the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, and the por- 162 Nero. 35.4.

trait recut from Caligula (no. 550, inv. 243) now in the Cen- 163 Tac. Ann 15.53; see also V. Rudich (1993) 136-7.

trale Montemartini 2.74 (cat. 1.31). 164 C.B. Rose (1997) 72; E.R. Varner (2001a) 72.
102 chapter four

concerning rehabilitation already mentioned in Julia Drusilla, the daughter of Julia Minor and
conjunction with Agrppina Minor and Octavia Drusus Minor, and wife of Rubellius Blandus was
Claudia, may equally apply to Antonia.165 murdered, supposedly another victim of Messal-
ina, in A.D. 43.169 Lollia Paulina, briefly the wife
of Caligula from A.D. 38-39, was also con-
Julia Livilla, Julia Drusilla, Lollia Paulina and demned, exiled and eventually murdered in A.D.
Domitia Lepida 49; Paulina may have posed a serious threat to
Agrippina as she was strongly considered as a
Three other imperial women were also execut- possible wife for Claudius after the death of
ed in the later Julio-Claudian period, and their Messalina and Agrippina was alleged to have
images are likely to have been treated similarly arranged for the execution of her rival.170 In any
to those of their more prominent relatives. Dur- case, Paulina’s legendary wealth and her position
ing the reign of Claudius, Messalina secured the as the surviving wife of a former emperor made
exile of Julia Livilla, the sister of Caligula and her potentially dangerous.171 Paulina’s head was
husband of Marcus Vinicius on charges of adul- severed from her body in a blatant political act
tery with Seneca and she was later executed.166 of poena post mortem and her corpse abuse may
C.B. Rose has persuasively identified the eight have provided a precedent for that of Octavia.172
surviving replicas of the Lepcis Malta type as Julia They are the only two imperial women whose re-
Livilla. 167 There are, however, serious problems mains are known to have been desecrated in this
in assigning all eight of the surviving replicas to fashion. After the downfall of Agrippina in 59,
the reign of Caligula, as Julia Livilla was banished Paulina’s memory was rehabilitated when Nero
in 39 and portraits are unlikely to have been allowed Paulina’s ashes to be returned to Rome
created for her after this date. Nevertheless, Julia and a tomb erected for their interment.173 In 54,
Livilla’s memory may have been revived by her Agrippina may also have engineered the destruc-
sister Agrippina once she had replaced Messal- tion her former sister-in-law, Domitia Lepida who
ina as the wife of Claudius and, as a result, some was executed after being condemned on maiestas
of her surviving portraits in Julio-Claudian group charges which included allegations that she had
dedications may in fact be posthumous.168 employed magic in an attempt on Agrippina’s
life; at her trial, Nero testified agains his aunt.
As the mother of Messalina and grandmother of
Britannicus, Nero’s principal rival as heir to Clau-
165 63(64)3.4c.
dius, Lepida may have been a real threat to her
Suet. Claud. 29.1; Tac. Ann 14.63.2; Sen. Apocol. 10.4;
Dio 60.4.1-2, 8.5; M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)380-81,
nephew’s succession and, as a result, she was
no. 443; Levick (1990) 56; S. Wood (1999) 214, 238. On
the charges of adultery being substitutions for maiestas, see
R.A. Bauman (1974) 177 and A. Barrett (1996) 81-2.
167 (1997) 68-9. Algiers, Musée; Berlin, Staatliche Mus- pina to rehabilitate the sister who was killed by her rival
een, inv. 1802; Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Messalina, it would help to explain the apparent discrepan-
Maremma, inv. 97740; Malta, La Valett; Munich, Resi- cies. Wood also underscores the difficulties present in iden-
denz, inv. 85; Palermo, Museo Nazionale, inv. 705; Rome, tifying Julia Livilla as part of the Julio-Claudian group
Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, dedication at Lepcis since there is no inscriptional eviden-
inv. 620; Rome Musei Vaticani, Ingresso 5, inv. 103; Spo- ce for Caligulan additions, but these objections can be dis-
leto, Collezione Antonelli, Tripoli, Museum; and former- pensed with if her portrait from Lepcis is actually part of
ly art market. D. Boschung’s attempts to associate a group Claudian activity at the site ([1999] 194-5).
of three portraits in Naples, Warsaw and Rome as Julia 169 Suet. Claud. 29.1; Sen. Apoloc. 10.4; Dio 60.18.4;

Livilla are not convincing (1993b) 69 S M.T. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)360-61, no. 422.
168 Wood has rightly pointed out that it is odd that Julia 170 Tac. Ann.4.20.1-2; 12.22; Dio 60(61) 32.4; A. Bar-

Livilla would have more surviving portraits than Caligu- rett (1996) 132.
lan images of her more prominent sisters, Drusilla and 171 On Lollia Paulina’s wealth and her celebrated pearls,

Agrippina Minor (type 1), ([1999] 195). However, if some see Pliny, HN 9.35.117-8.
of Julia Livilla’s surviving portraits were actually posthu- 172 Dio 60.32.4.

mous and part of a concerted effort on the part of Agrip- 173 Tac. Ann. 14.12.
other julio-claudians 103

eliminated.174 All four of these women appear to Rome in the Vatican,178 Villa Albani,179 and
have been executed because their positions within Woburn Abbey180 which may have been ware-
the Julio-Claudian dynasty gave them the pow- housed following Ptolemy’s downfall. Portraits
er of legitimizing, either through marriage or by from Ptolemy’s capital, Cherchel, in Paris181 and
using their poliitical influence and connections, Cherchel,182 were also likely removed from public
rival claimants to the principate, which conse- view after the annexation of the province, as was
quently made them potentially serious threats to a bronze bust of unknown provenance.183 Dam-
the reigning emperor or empress. aged, weathered, and fragmentary portraits from
Cherchel may have been also disposed of in a
more violent or summary fashion.184
Ptolemy of Mauretania

As the grandson of Cleopatra and Marcus An- Conclusions: Established Mechanisms of Political
tonius, the last of the Ptolemies, Ptolemy of Repression
Mauretania was related to the final three Julio-
Claudian emperors, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. A review of the condemnations enacted in the
Ptolemy was the son of Cleopatra and Antonius’s first century reveals that the political repression
daughter, Cleopatra Selene and Juba II of Mau- of memory was by no means limited to emper-
retania. Ptolemy succeeded his father as king of ors and empresses. Indeed, at least eleven addi-
Mauretania in 23. Ptolemey’s sculpted images, tional members of the imperial family (including
especially those of his first portrait type created Sejanus) were exiled or executed and their mem-
during the reign of his father, visually stress his ories and monuments condemned. All of these
links to the Julio-Claudians in the youthful phys- individuals were damned because of their actu-
iognomy and the arrangement of comma shaped al or potential political influence in opposition to
locks over the forehead. 175 Ptolemy’s distant the regime. As with emperors and empresses,
cousin, Caligula, however, apparently grew sus- commemorative monuments and inscriptions
picious of the young king and his ties to the Julio- were the targets of the condemnations. Coins
Claudian dynasty and had him executed on could also be included in the sanctions, and the
charges of treason in 40; the kingdom of Mau-
retania was then promptly annexed as a province
of the Roman Empire.176 Indeed, Ptolemy may 178 Braccio Nuovo 65, inv. 2253; R.R.R. Smith (1988a)

have been involved in the conspiracy of 39, which 180, no. 130.1 (with earlier literature).
179 inv. no. 58, h. 0.25 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180,
also included Caligula’s sisters (and Ptolemy’s no. 130.4; P.C. Bol (1990) 181-2, no. 205, pls. 118-19 (with
cousins) and Ptolemy also had connections with earlier literature).
Gaetulicus, another of the conspirators.177 After 180 h. 0.34 m.; E. Angelicoussis (1992) 56, no. 24, figs.

his execution, images of Ptolemy would likely 117-20, 127 (with earlier literature).
181 MA 1888 (type 2), h. 0.28 m.; K. de Kersauson
have been destroyed or removed from public (1986) 126-7, no. 57, with figs. (with earlier literature); R.R.
display. This would be especially true of well- R. Smith (1988a) 179, no. 129.3, pls. 69.1-2.
preserved type 2 likenesses from the environs of MA 1887 (type 2), h. 0.37 m.; K. de Kersauson (1986)
128-9, no. 58, with figs. (with earlier literature); R.R.R.
Smith (1988a) 180, no. 130.5, pl. 69.3-4.
182 Museum 52; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 179, no. 129.2

(with earlier literature).

183 Sweden, private collection; R.R.R. Smith (1988a)
174 Tac. Ann. 64.4-6; 65.1; Suit. Nero 7.1; Barrett (1997) 179, no. 129.1 (with earlier literature).
137-8. 184 Louvre, MA 3183, h. 0.19 m.(type I); K. de
175 K. Fittschen (1974) 169-73; R.R.R. Smith (1988) Kersauson (1986) 130-31, with figs. (with earlier literatu-
141. re); R.R. Smith (1988a) 179, no. 129.4; Cherchel, Museum;
176 Sen. Tranq. 11.12; Suet. Cal 35.1; Dio 59.29.1; A. R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180, no. 130.3 (with earlier litera-
Barrett (1989) 116-8. ture); Cherchel, Museum 40; R.R.R. Smith (1988a) 180,
177 A. Barrett (1989) 118. no. 130.6 (with earlier literature).
104 chapter four

issues from Bilbillis in Spain which originally Julia Minor, Agrippina Maior, Livilla, Valeria
honored Sejanus are the first attested examples Messalina, Julia Drusilla, Julia Livilla, Lollia
of numismatic damnatio in the imperial period. Paullina, Domitia Lepida, Agrippina Maior,
Because many of these individuals were not com- Claudia Octavia, and Claudia Antonia were con-
memorated with portraits on the scale of emper- demned. Although their condemnations were
ors and empresses, the repression of their mem- often cloaked in charges of sexual misconduct, the
ory and monuments has resulted in a lack of underlying motivations were actual conspiracies
securely identifiable extant sculpted portraits in against the reigning emperor or their potential
marble or bronze. to disrupt the regime. Just as the images of these
What is even more striking in the Julio-Clau- women were often integral and prominent com-
dian evidence is the preponderance of condem- ponents of dynastic visual propaganda, so too
nations aimed against imperial women, not men. were they liable to repression as a result of con-
During this period twelve women, Julia Maior, demnation.
a.d. 69 105


A.D. 69

Galba troops in Lower Germany repudiated Galba’s

authority entirely and declared Vitellius emperor
Servius Sulpicius Galba was the son of Gaius on 2 January 69. Meanwhile in Rome, Otho
Sulpicius Galba and Mummia Achaica, both of successfully plotted Galba’s overthrow and the
renowned patrician families. Born in 3 B.C., emperor was murdered in the Forum Romanum,
Galba held a number of important positions together with his adopted son and heir Lucius
during the course of his career, including the Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, by members of
governorship of Aquitania, the consulship (A.D. the praetorians on 15 January. The corpses of
33), the command of Upper Germany, the both Galba and Piso were denigrated and their
proconsulship of Africa, and eventually the gov- heads cut off, and the head of Galba may have
ernorship of Hispania Tarraconensis. While gov- been further abused by being thrown into the
ernor of Spain, Galba allied himself with Gaius Sessorium, a place of execution for condemned
Julius Vindex, after the latter revolted against criminals.3 Otho was subsequently proclaimed
Nero’s authority in 68 and it was Galba whom emperor by the praetorians and their choice was
the Senate confirmed as emperor following quickly ratified by the Senate.
Nero’s death. Although initially supported by the Visual images of Galba continued to be inti-
praetorians, Galba dismissed Nymphidius, their mately involved in the events surrounding his
praefect, and refused to pay out promised bo- overthrow. Just prior to his murder, his imago was
nuses. Consequently, the praetorians quickly grew ripped from a military standard and thrown on
dissatisfied with Galba. Additional resentment the ground as a signal of the soldier’s rejection
existed among the first and fifth legions stationed of Galba in favor of Otho (vexilarius...dereptam
in Germany and soldiers actually hurled stones Galbae imaginem solo adflixit).4 After his murder,
at Galba’s statues when asked to renew their oath Galba’s portraits in the capital were destroyed.5
of allegiance to him (primani quintanique turbidi adeo Although almost certainly a literary construct and
ut quidam saxa in Galbae imagines iecerint).1 The not strictly historical, it is also tempting to asso-
fourth and twenty-second legions in upper Ger- ciate Juvenal’s description of an earless and
many expressed their anger against the emperor noseless portrait of Galba with his intentionally
by attacking his images and smashing them to disfigured images (Galbam auriculis nasoque caren-
pieces (At in superiore exercitu quarta ac duetvicensima tem).6 Ultimately, following Otho’s own over-
legiones, isdem hibernis tendentes, ipso kalendarum Ianu- throw, Tacitus records that images of Galba were
ariarum die dirumpunt imagines Galbae).2 Finally, the paraded through the city and garlands were piled
over the Lacus Curtius, the site of his murder in

1 “Members of the first and fifth legions were so agi-

tated that they even hurled stones at the images of Galba,” 3 Tac. Hist. 1.41; Plut. Galb. 28.2-3. Suetonius mentions
Tac. Hist. 1.55. that the head was cut off, placed on a spear and mocked,
2 “And in the upper army, the fourth and twenty sec- but eventually buried together with the body, Galba 20.2;
ond legions, who were spending the winter together in the J.L. Voissin (1984) 251; D.G. Kyle (1998) 221, 233, n. 40,
same place, smashed the images of Galba to pieces on the 235, n. 54; E.R. Varner (2001b) 57.
first day of January,” Tac. Hist. 1.55.3, and also 1.56; 4 Tac. Hist 1.41.1; see also A.F. Gregory (1994).

Elsewhere, soldiers loyal to Galba attempted to protect his 5 Plut. Galb. 26.7; Plut. Galb. 22.

portraits, Tac. Hist. 1.56 6 8..5; Flower (1996) 295-6.

106 chapter five

the Fourm.7 Galba’s rehabilitation continued racy, decisively differentiates representations of

after Vespasian’s accession to the principate when the new emperor from those of his condemned
one of his generals, Antonius Primus, ordered predecessor Nero.13
statues of Galba to be re-erected, providing im- An overlifesized marble portrait head deliber-
portant substantiation that images were still ac- ately removed from a relief has convincingly been
cessible and well preserved, presumably in ware- associated with Galba and reproduces several
houses or storerooms.8 The Senate also voted to physiognomical details present in his numismatic
restore Galba’s honors 9 and even desired to erect likenesses (fig. 102).14 Chisel marks around the
a memorial to him where he was murdered in back edge of the head document the portrait’s
the Forum “as soon as it was lawful (ut primum removal from its relief background.15 A hole over
lictum est),” underscoring that official sanctions the forehead and one at the back of the head
against Galba’s memory and portraits had been which still contains the remnants of a metal dowel
enacted after his assassination.10 However, confirm that the portrait was completed with a
Vespasian may not have wholeheartedly sup- metal wreath. Although the baldness of the Getty
ported Galba’s rehabilitation, as he refused to head conflicts with Galba’s numismatic portraits
allow the proposed monument in the Forum.11 which depict him with a short military coiffure,
Identification of sculpted portraits of Galba is it is consonant with Suetonius’s literary depiction
complicated by the damnatio and his relatively of the emperor as quite bald (capite praecalvo).16
short duration as princeps.12 Coin portraits por- The scale, quality, and metal head ornament of
tray Galba with aged, fleshy facial features and the Malibu portrait suggest that it is an imperial
a coiffure of fairly thin, short locks. His forehead image from an official monument. If the portrait
is furrowed, and the eyes are deeply set beneath does indeed depict Galba, as seems highly likely,
the brows. The nose is hooked. His cheeks are then it was removed from the monument in re-
wrinkled and jowls are usually indicated. The sponse to his damnatio memoriae. Galba may also
emperor is depicted with deep naso-labial lines be represented in a small silver bust from Her-
and a mouth with thin lips turned down mark- culaneum, which might reflect the kind of imag-
edly at the corners. He has a fleshy underchin ines attached to military standards which were at-
and the neck is wrinkled. The pronounced verism tacked during his overthrow.17
in Galba’s images, clearly intended to evoke In addition to the Getty and Naples portraits,
republican precedents and appeal to the aristoc- a cameo in Paris depicts Galba with corona civica

7 Tac. Hist. 2.55 (populus cum lauru ac floribus Galbae imag- 13 On the iconographic importance of the verism in

ines circum templa tulit, congestis in modum tumuli coronis iuxta Galba’s numismatic portraits, see D.E.E. Kleiner (1992)
lacum Curtii, quem locum Galba moriens sanguine infecerat). 168-9.
8 postquam Galbae imagines discordia temporum subversas in 14 Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 74.AA.37, h. 0.29

omnibus municipiis recoli jussit Antonius (Afterward, Antonius m.; J. Frel (1981) 59, no. 32, with figs., 124, no. 32 (with
commanded that images of Galba which had been over- earlier literature); J. Chamay and J.L. Maier (1982) 101,
turned in every municipality during the discord of the times pl. 17. The marble used in the portrait is from Asia Mi-
be honored again) Tac. Hist. 3.7; see also L. Fabbricotti nor and may indicate that it was discovered in the east.
(1967) 54, n. 48 and A.F. Gregory (1994) 95. The brows, eyes, nose, lips, chin and ear are damaged. The
9 Tac. Hist. 4.40. The restoration of Galba’s honors was portrait agrees with the coin images in the deep set eyes,
proposed by Domitian (Referente Caesare de restituendis Galbae the wrinkled cheeks, the naso-labial lines, the thin,
honoribus...Patres...iussere). J. Gagé (1952) 290-315; C. W. downturned lips, the jowls and fleshy underchin. Although
Hedrick.(2000) 126. the nose is missing, it is apparent that the nose was indented
10 Suet. Galb. 23, Senatus, ut primum licitum est, statuam ei at the bridge and it may have been hooked.
decreverat rostratae columnae superstantem in parte Fori, qua trucidatus 15 J. Pollini (1977) 63.

est. 16 Suet. Galb. 21. In addition, it is possible that the metal

11 Suetonius suggests that Vespasian denied the Senate’s head ornament attached to the Malibu head masked the
request because he believed that Galba had sent assassins top of the head, thus eliminating the necessity of indicat-
against him while he was in Judaea; Galba 23. ing a coiffure.
12 The major study of Galba’s career and portraiture 17 Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico 110127; F.

remains L. Fabbricotti (1967). Johansen (1995a) 8, fig. 2.

a.d. 69 107

and aegis (cat. 2.14; fig. 74), reconfigured from a Otho governor of Lusitania in order to remove
pre-existing likeness of Nero’s third type.18 The him from the capital. In the final days of Nero’s
previous reworking obviously precluded any fur- reign, Otho supported Galba, hoping to be
ther attempt at recarving. Moreover, the cameo’s named his successor. But Galba repudiated Otho
inherent value as a gem, as well as Galba’s re- and named L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus
habilitation under Vespasian helped to further as his heir, with the result that Otho arranged
ensure the survival of the Paris cameo. The re- the murder of Galba and Calpurnius Piso on 15
cutting of the gem may even have been carried January 69. Otho’s accession was immediately
out under Vespasian, as part of Galba’s rehabili- challenged by Vitellius who eventually defeated
tation. As already noted, the full coiffure and Otho’s forces outside Cremona, causing Otho to
divine attribute of the aegis, which are remnants take his own life on 16 April 69. Otho’s memo-
of the Neronian image, are inconsistent with ry was condemned under his successor and his
Galba’s iconography and may support a posthu- name eradicated from inscriptions.23 Otho’s
mous date for the recarving. Other unaltered birthday was clearly declared a dies nefastus, for,
glyptic representations of Galba include cameos under Domitian, Salvius Cocceianus was execut-
in Florence19 and Naples.20 ed for celebrating the birthday of his uncle,
A headless, seated togatus in the Villa Massimo Otho.24 Otho also suffers a kind of literary dam-
presents strong claims as a representation of natio in Juvenal’s Satires, where his memory and
Galba.21 C.F. Konrad has suggested that the reputation are denigrated.25
reliefs on the sella curulis and the toga itself, make Upon his accession, Otho presented himself as
it highly probable that this statue commemorates the new Nero and his coin portraits alternately
Galba’s proconsulship in Africa of 44-45.22 As a recall Nero’s second type and his final types with
monument honoring Galba’s early career, this their elaborately waved coiffures and heavier
image would not have remained on public dis- facial features.26 Although surviving portraits with
play during the reigns of his predecessors Otho such elaborately waved hairstyles, strongly remi-
and Vitellius. Indeed, the portrait features may niscent of Nero’s coma in gradus formata arrange-
have been intentionally vandalized, or simply ment have been identified with Otho, no replica
removed and the statue reused with the addition series can be securely established and most of
of a new head. Alternatively, the statue could these represent private individuals.27 Neverthe-
have been removed, warehoused, and returned less, persuasive evidence for the destruction of
to public display under Vespasian. Otho’s images is provided by a deliberately dam-
aged colossal portrait in Ostia (cat. 4.1; fig. 103).28
The waved coiffure, short broad forehead, fairly
Otho small eyes, and heavy facial features are closely
paralleled in Otho’s numismatic likenesses.29 The
Marcus Salvius Otho, born in A.D. 32, was the portrait was discovered in 1938 in a sewer near
second husband of Poppaea Sabina. After Nero
became interested in Poppaea, he appointed
23 R. Cagnat (1914) 173.
24 Suet. Dom. 10.3.
18 Bibliothèque National, Cabinet des Médailles, inv. 25 See, E.S. Ramage (1989) 679-80.

238. 26 On Otho’s presentation of himself as a new Nero, see,

19 Museo Archeologico inv. 14543, onyx, 1.1 x 0.8 cm; Suet. Otho 7.3, 10.2; Tacit. Hist. 1.78; Plut. Otho 3.
A. Giuliano, ed. (1989) 242, no. 173 (with figs) (with ear- 27 For instance, the well-known portrait in the Museo

lier literature); Museo Archoleogico, inv. 14656, carnelian Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori, no. 19, rejected by K.
cameo, 4.7 x 3.1 cm.; A. Giuliano, ed (1989) 244, no. 174 Fittschen and P. Zanker in their catalogue of the male
(with figs)(with earlier literature). imperial portraits in the Musei Capitolini.
20 Museo Nazionale Archeologico 11021. 28 Ostia, Magazzini, inv. 446.
21 T. Schäfer (1989) 149-50; T. Schäfer (1990) 187-94; 29 In addition, the colossal scale of the portrait indicates

C.F. Konrad (1994) 151-62. that an emperor is intended. Nero and Domitian are the
22 C.F. Konrad (1994) 151-62. only two emperors to wear similar hairstyles, and the Ostian
108 chapter five

the Temple of Hercules and has sustained con- tellius, himself, held a consulship under Claudi-
siderable injury, including damage to both eyes, us in 48, and was later named proconsul to Af-
most of the nose and the lips.30 The portrait must rica. In 68, Galba appointed him to the com-
have been attacked and damaged after Otho’s mand of the restive troops stationed in Lower
suicide and subsequent senatorial and praetorian Germany. On 2 January 69, shortly after assum-
recognition of Vitellius as emperor. After its ing command, Vitellius was saluted as emperor
destruction, the portrait was doubtless thrown in by his new forces. After Galba’s murder, Vitel-
the sewer in a vehement gesture of poena post lius’s troops, under the command of Fabius
mortem and denigration of Otho’s memory. The Valens and Aulus Caecina Alienus, marched into
disposal of the image in the sewer also recalls a Italy and defeated Otho and his troops north of
relatively rare form of the abuse of corpses of Cremona. As a result, Otho committed suicide
condemned criminals and others who were and the soldiers and Senate at Rome formally
stuffed into the drains leading to the Tiber.31 In recognized Vitellius as the new emperor.
the politically uncertain and chaotic year of the However, troops stationed in the east refused
four emperors, it would have been especially to recognize Vitellius as the legitimate princeps and
expedient to disavow public honors and support instead declared in favor of Vespasian. Vitellius
given an overthrown princeps and simultaneously managed to hold the capital for some time, but
affirm loyalty to the newly recognized regime. his forces ultimately were either defeated by or
The intentional damage and degraded form of defected to Vespasian’s cause.33 On the 20th of
disposal inflicted on the Ostian portrait effectively December 69, Vitellius was dragged to the Fo-
fulfills both purposes.32 rum and forced to suffer the indignities of a
common criminal (ceu noxii solent): he was insulted
by the populace, forced to watch his statues
Vitellius overturned (cadentes statuas suas)34 pelted with
dung, and finally tortured to death on the
Aulus Vitellius was born in A.D. 15. His father, Gemonian steps;35 his corpse was mutilated36 and
Lucius Vitellius, was an important advisor to then dragged by a hook and thrown into the
Claudius and held three consulships. Aulus Vi- Tiber (unco tractus in Tiberim), a fate reserved for
the bodies of traitors, capital offenders and vic-
tims of the arena (noxii).37 Vitellius is the first

head is not a replica of any of their well-established por-

trait types. 33 During this period, Tacitus records the overturning
30 Although she identified the portrait as Domitian, R. and removal of Vitellius’s portraits set up in the camps of
Calza suggested that fragments of a colossal statue discov- troops which were considering defecting to Vespasian’s side:
ered in the Temple of Hercules originally belonged with simul Vitelli imagines dereptae (Hist. 3.13); these portraits were
this head, and that together they formed a statue of the subsequently reerected: Haec singuli, haec universi, ut quemque
emperor in the guise of Hercules (1964) 47. dolor impulerat, vociferantes, initio a quinta legione orto, repositis
31 The portrait’s disposal recalls that of the miniature Vitelli imaginibus (Hist. 3.14).
busts of Caligula and Domitian in the Tiber, the portrait 34 Tac. Hist.3.85.

of Nero from the Alde, or the portraits of Caligula and 35 veste discissa seminudus in Forum tractus est inter magna rerum

Domitian found in wells. In addition, the Ostian images verborumque ludibria per totum viae Sacrae spatium, reducto coma
disposal in a sewer predicts the reported abuse of the capite, ceu noxii solent, atque etiam mento mucrone gladii subrecto,
corpses of Elagabalus and Julia Soemias , which were thrust ut visendum praeberet faciem neve summitteret; quibusdam stercore
into the sewers which led to the Tiber; HA.Elag. 17.4-7, et caeno incessentibus, aliis incendiarium et patinarium vociferantibus,
23.7; Dio 80.20.2; Herod. 8.8.9; or the inscription of parte vulgi etiam corporis vitia exprobrante; Suet. Vit.17.1-2; see
Diadumenianus discovered in the latrine of the barracks also Aur.Vict. Caes. 8.6.
belonging of the Vigili in Ostia (ILS 465). D.G. Kyle (1998) 36 Tac. Hist. 3.85; Et vulgus eadem pravitate insectabatur

223-4; E.R. Varner (2001b) 58-9. interfectum qua foverat viventem (And the common people at-
32 As was the case with other condemned emperors of tacked his dead body with the same depravity with which
the first century, the destruction of Otho’s portraits in an- they had cherished him while living).
tiquity led to the creation of modern portraits of the em- 37 Suet. Vit. 17.2; D.G. Kyle (1998) 219; see also J.

peror, such as an example the Uffizi (inv. 1914.111). Scheid (1984) 181-82, 185.
a.d. 69 109

Roman emperor whose corpse was publicly des- sertion. It reproduces the short coiffure, low
ecrated in this way and it most have been a fairly forhead, deep set eyes, heavy facial features,
shocking act of denigration intended to assert double chin, thick neck and rolls of fat at the back
loyalty to his victorious rival, Vespasian.38 of the neck of the coin portraits. Although the
Vitellius’s violent and bloody end is symptom- Copenhagen head is not well preserved, with
atic of his damnatio memoriae, as is the destruction damage to the brows, nose, lips and ears and
of his images.39 As troops defected to Vespasian’s general corrosion of the surfaces, there are no
side, Vitellius’s portraits were destroyed and re- signs of deliberate defacement. The portrait is
placed with representations of Vespasian.40 Fur- alleged to have been discovered near the Piazza
thermore, Vitellius’s character and reign are Colonna in Rome. Once Vespasian’s partisans
consistently vilified by the ancient authors, and had gained control of the capital, the image was
in the Historia Augusta, he is firmly linked with removed from public display in the Campus
other condemned emperors, including Nero, Martius and warehoused or buried. The statue
Domitian, and Elagabalus.41 into which it had been inserted was probably
Vitellius’s numismatic images depict him with reused, through the addition of a new portrait of
a short coiffure and decidedly corpulent physi- Vespasian or one of his sons.
ognomy. His forehead is low and bulges out over As strong indications of the Flavian tendency
the nose. The eyes are deep set, with full pouches to appropriate and recarve the images of con-
beneath them. The nose is aquiline. The cheeks demned predecessors, three portraits of Vitellius,
are very wide and fleshy and naso labial lines are in Hannover (cat. 4.2; fig. 105a-b),43 Thessalonika
indicated. Both the mouth and chin are small. (cat. 4.3; fig. 106a-c)44 and Trier (cat. 4.4; fig.
The emperor is depicted with a substantial 107a-b)45 were refashioned into likenesses of
underchin and exceedingly thick neck. Rolls of Vespasian. All three retain the rolls of flesh on
flesh appear on the back of the head and nape the nape of the neck which betray their origins
of the neck. as images of the corpulent Vitellius. The Han-
A colossal portrait of Vitellius in Copenhagen nover and Thessalonika portraits have been re-
agrees closely with the details of his numismatic cut into replicas of Vespasian’s main, older type.
images (fig. 104).42 The head is worked for in- The Thessalonika head attests to the production
of Vitellius’s portraits in Greece, as well as to their
reworking after his assassination. The Trier por-
38 As mentioned earlier, certain members of the Sen- trait is also worked for insertion into a draped
ate wished to throw the body of Julius Caesar in the Tiber statue or bust and has been recut into Vespasian’s
(Suet. Iul. 82.4) and the mob had threatened to throw
Tiberius’s corpse in the Tiber (Suet. Tib. 75.1). Later, the
more youthful portrait type. Not surprisingly, the
Senate wished to drag the body of Commodus by a hook portrait confirms the dissemination of images of
and throw it in the Tiber (HA Comm. 17.4; 18-19, quoting Vitellius in the geographical region of his initial
Marius Maximus; Dio 74.2.1); Elagabalus’s corpse was, in support. All three portraits provided important
fact, thrown in the Tiber (HA. Elag. 17.4-7; 23.7; Epit.Caes.
23.5-7; Dio 80.20.2; Herod. 58.9). evidence for the repudiation of Vitellius and his
39 Indeed, Vespasian may have felt especially virulently
reign following his defeat by Vespasian. As with
towards his defeated rival, since Vespasian’s brother Caligula and Nero, the scarcity of extant unal-
Sabinus, the praefectus urbi, was killed during the siege of
the Capitoline by Vitellian partisans in December of 68. tered representations of Vitellius as a result of his
40 Vitelli imagines dereptae, Tac. Hist.3.13; repositis Vitellii condemnation, has spawned numerous post an-
imaginibus, Tac. Hist. 3.14; Primores castrorum nomen atque imag-
ines Vitellii amoliunutr, Tac. Hist. 3.31.2; 6"Â J`Jg :¥< JVH Jg
J@Ø ?Û4Jg88\@L gÆ6`<"H •BÎ Jä< F0:g\T< 6"2gÃ8@< 6"Â ßB@
J@Ø ?ÛgFB"F4"<@Ø •DP2ZFgF2"4 ê:@F"<, Dio 64(65).10.3. bom 210, no. 3.82; F. Johansen (1995a) 24, no. 1, with figs;
41 For example, Car. 1.3 and Elag. 1.1. H. Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 98, fig. 44; H. Meyer
42 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 655a, inv. 3167; V. Poulsen (2000) 63.
(1974) no. 1, pls. 1-2 (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann 43 Kestnermuseum.

and P. Zanker (1981) 346, 349, fig. 23c. N. Hannestad 44 Archaeological Museum, inv. 1055.

(1988) 328; D.E.E. Kleiner, (1992) 169, fig. 137. Kreiken- 45 Rheinisches Landesmuseum, ST 5223.
110 chapter five

tique portraits. The Grimani “Vitellius,” which commemorative monuments which were attacked
may be a work of the 16th century, exists in sev- and destroyed. In addition, portraits of Vitellius
eral modern copies.46 were also recycled into images of his immediate
successor, Vespasian.
Written accounts of the downfalls of all three
Conclusion: Condemnation and Violent Political regimes stress the prominent roles which artistic
Transitions representations played in these periods of violent
political transition. Legionaries are recorded to
Not surprisingly, the condemnations of Galba, have destroyed and hurled stones at Galba’s
Otho and Vitellius followed the precedents set by images to express their dissatisfaction with his
those of Caligula and Nero. Although the prin- regime. Moreover, just before his assassination,
cipates of all three were brief, they generated his imago was ripped from a military standard to
visually signal his overthrow. Later in A.D. 69,
Vitellius would be forced to watch the destruc-
46 Venice, Museo Archeologico, inv. 20, h. 0.48 m; G.
tion of his portraits prior to his murder. Like
Traversari (1968) 63-64, no. 43, figs. 44a-d; S. Bailey (1975) Sejanus, Vitellius is forced to witness the muti-
105-22, and n. 22; I. Favoretto and G.L. Ravagna, eds. lation of his own images as a kind of artistic pre-
(1997) 156, no. 18; J. Fejfer (1997) 10-11, fig. 12. See also enactment of the desecration of his corpse, which
a modern copy in the Palazzo Colonna (fid. no. 15); F.
Carinci, H. Keutner, L. Musso, M.G. Picozzi, eds. (1990) was abused by the populace and eventually
133-5, no. 71, with fig. thrown into the Tiber.
domitian 111



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

1 Suet. Dom. 1.1.

2 Domitian’s Portrait Typology
On Domitian’s career under Vespasian and Titus, see
B.W. Jones (1992) 18-21.
3 Suet. Titus 11. Domitian was not officially acclaimed
Suetonius records the following details of Domi-
by the Senate until 14 September, CIL 6.2060 and B.W. tian’s physical appearance:
Jones (1992) 20-21.
4 On Domitian’s relations with the Senate, see, B.W.

Jones (1979).
5 censor perpetuus: Dio 67.4.3-4; B.W. Jones (1992) 76, 7 Suet. Dom. 17; J.D. Grainger (2003) 1-3.
106-7; dominus et deus: Suet. Dom. 13.2; Dio 67.13.3-4; Dio 8 Suet. Dom. 14.1; see also E.R. Varner (1995) 202-3.
Chrys. 45.1; Aur.Vict. Caes. 11.2; Epit.Caes. 11.6; Eutr. 7.23; 9 Suet. Dom. 23.1.

Orosius 7.10; and B.W. Jones (1992) 107-9, suggesting that 10 De Mort.Pers. 3.2-3. See also P. Stewart (1999) 181.

the term was not official (it is not attested epigraphically), 11 Suet. Dom. 17.3. Remains of both the house and the

but used by flatterers and perpetuated by later hostile temple have been identified beneath the modern Caserma
sources. dei Corazzieri on the Via XX Settembre, F. Coarelli (1997)
6 Suet. Dom. 13.3. 273 and P. Davies (2000) 2, 24, 27, 104, 150-58.
112 chapter six

Statura fuit procera, vultu modesto ruborisque pleno, hair is curlier over the forehead and recedes
grandibus oculis, verum acie hebetiore; praeterea pulcher slightly at the temples. Some of these locks are
ac decens, maxime in iuventa...postea calvito quoque
deformis et obesitate ventris et crurum gracilitate, quae tamen often treated as full corkscrew curls. The hair
ei valitudine longa remacruerant.12 over the forehead maintains the right to left
orientation of the first portrait type, but, in
His stature was tall, and he had a modest de-
meanor, with a ruddy complexion. His eyes were sculpted examples, any locks which reverse their
large, but, in fact, his vision was rather weak. orientation appear over the left eye instead of the
Moreover, he was fair and handsome, especially right. The facial features are somewhat heavier
in his youth...later, he suffered the deformities of and generally more mature.
baldness, a protruding stomach, and skinny legs, The third and final type first occurs on coins
which had indeed grown thin as a result of pro-
tracted sickness. in A.D. 81 and was conceived to mark Domitian’s
accession to the principate. Long strands of hair
As in his unflattering descriptions of Caligula and are now brushed forward from the occiput and
Nero, Suetonius’s inclusion of unpleasant phys- are arranged in a series of waves over the top of
ical details such as weak eyes, bloated stomach, the head, recalling Nero’s coma in gradus formata
baldness and skinny legs, rely heavily on contem- hairstyles. The curving locks over the forehead
porary physiognomical theory and are carefully retain the right to left orientation of the first types,
constructed as negative physical reflections of the but they are much more meticulously arranged
princeps’ flawed moral character. In contrast, and the hair over the left temple reverses its
numismatic and sculpted portraits, as officially direction. The artful arrangement of this coiffure
sanctioned works commissioned during Domi- evokes Nero’s last two hairstyles with their strong
tian’s lifetime, portray him with handsome facial associations with luxuria and may also reflect the
features. Domitian’s later portraits do, however, treatise Domitian is known to have written on
include a coiffure in which the hair is combed hair care.14
directly forward from the occiput, perhaps in an
effort to cover the baldness mentioned by Sue-
tonius. The Mutilation and Destruction of Domitian’s Portraits
Domitian’s sculpted and coin portraits can be
divided into three types.13 His earliest portrait Pliny the Younger provides a vivid and dramat-
type appears on coins from A.D. 72-75, intended
ic description of the destruction of Domitian’s
to celebrate his position as Caesar under
Vespasian. Domitian is depicted with a full, curly
coiffure. The curving locks over the forehead are Illae autem aureae et innumerabiles strage ac ruina pub-
combed from right to left, and a portion of these lico gaudio et litaverunt. Iuvabat illidere solo superbissimos
vultus, instare ferro, saevire securibus, ut si singulos ictus
locks sometimes reverse their orientation over the
sanguis dolorque sequeretur. Nemo tam temperans gaudii
right eye. Domitian’s nose is hooked like that of seraeque laetitiae, quin instar ultionis videretur cernere
his father and the face is broad. The mouth is laceros artus truncata membra, postremo truces horendasque
long, with a full slightly receding lower lip. The imagines obiectas excoctasque flammis, ut ex illo terrore
chin is firm and square et minis in usum hominum ac voluptates ignibus
A second portrait type is attested on coins from mutarentur.15
75 until Domitian’s accession in 81. In this type, However, his [Domitian’s] countless golden stat-
the coiffure is similar to that of the first, but the ues, in a heap of rubble and ruin, were offered
as fitting sacrifice to the public joy. It was a delight
to smash those arrogant faces to pieces in the dust,
12 Suet. Dom. 18.1. to threaten them with the sword, and savagely
13 On Domitian’s portrait typology see, M. Wegner, G.
Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 30-42, 97-108; M.
Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 349-70; Fittschen-Zanker 14 Suet. Dom. 18.2.
I, 35-37, nos. 31-33; W. Grünhagen (1986) 312-21. 15 Pan. 52.4-5.
domitian 113

attack them with axes, as if blood and pain would Roman Forum, the statue must have been one
follow every single blow. No one controlled their of the first portraits to be melted down in the
joy and long awaited happiness, when vengeance
destruction of images recorded by Pliny.18
was taken in beholding his likenesses hacked into
mutilated limbs and pieces, and above all, in seeing As was the case with Caligula and Nero, ar-
his savage and hideous portraits hurled into the chaeological evidence for the intentional muti-
flames and burned up, in order that they might lation of Domitian’s images is rare. However, two
be transformed from things of such terror and little known Domitianic reliefs in the Antiquarium
menace into something useful and pleasing. of the Villa Barberini at Castel Gandalfo (cat. 5.2;
Pliny’s account is striking for its anthropomorphic fig. 108a-b)19 and Anacapri (cat. 5.1)20 appear to
depiction of Domitian’s images as living beings have been deliberately vandalized in antiquity.
capable of suffering pain; their savage mutilation The Castel Gandalfo relief preserves the upper
represents the collective destruction of the em- sections of a cuirassed torso, including a muti-
peror himself in effigy. Pliny also emphasizes the lated head, whose facial features have been en-
transformation of Domitian’s images into useful tirely disfigured by a claw chisel. Despite its
and pleasing objects. Pliny’s account, however, destruction, surviving remnants of the coiffure on
is hardly unbiased and is embedded within the the side of the head secure an identification of
framework of a panegyric to Trajan who is de- the figure as Domitian, in a reflection of his third
picted by contemporary authors as the direct portrait type.21 The background of the relief
antithesis of the tyrannical Domitian. As a mem- contains indications of wings, likely belonging to
ber of the senatorial aristocracy, Pliny is presum- a figure of victory. The combination of victory
ably writing for an elite, primarily male audience, figure with cuirassed emperor raises the strong
many of whom would have had family members, possibility that the relief is historical, commemo-
or been themselves persecuted under Domitian. rating the military achievements of Domitian’s
Pliny represents the entire Roman populace as reign.22 The relief and the monument it originally
willing participants in the destruction of Domi- decorated almost certainly derive from the Villa
tian’s monuments, when, in fact, certain segments of Domitian located in the grounds and substruc-
of the society, including the military, and lower tures of the modern Villa Barberini at Castel
class inhabitants of Rome, did not perceive Gandalfo.23
Domitian in the same negative light as the elite. At the proper right of the Anacapri relief, a
The Equus Domitiani, a colossal bronze stat- figure dressed in the garb of the traveling im-
ue located at the western end of the Roman Fo- perator (tunica and paludamentum) gestures with his
rum between the Basilica Aemilia and the Basil- outstretched right hand. This figure’s larger scale
ica Julia, was the most celebrated and prominent and his costume identify him as an emperor.
of Domitian’s public images.16 Memorialized by
Statius as one of the great artistic achievements
of the reign, the portrait, dedicated in 91, depict- 18 Archaeological evidence suggests that the Domitianic
ed Domitian with his right hand outstretched in base may have remained in place after the emperor’s over-
a gesture of clementia (dextra vetat pugnas), while his throw, perhaps supporting a subsequent equestrian monu-
ment of Septimius Severus, the Equus Severi; C.P. Giuliani
left hand supported an image of his patron de- in E. Steinby, ed. (1995)228-9.
ity Minerva holding the head of Medusa.17 The 19 Antiquario.
20 Museo della Torre.
horse’s foreleg was raised over a personification
21 F. Magi (1968-69) 140-41. P. Liverani has suggested
of the Rhine, in commemoration of Domitian’s
that the destruction of the portrait features was more prac-
German victories. As a colossal monument to tical in nature and may have been occasioned by the block’s
Domitian’s accomplishments in the heart of the reuse as building material, (1989a) 17.
22 P. Liverani (1989a) 17-18. F. Magi has suggested a

ceiling panel in the bay of an arch dedicated to Domitian

16 C.P. Giuliani in E. Steinby, ed. (1995) 228-9 (with and cites the panel from the Arch of Trajan at Benevento
earlier literature); F. Coarelli (1997) 83. as a possible parallel (1968-69) 144.
17 Stat. Sil. 1.1.32-60. 23 See P. Liverani (1989a).
114 chapter six

Minerva stands to his right, glancing back at him. depicts the goddess Fortuna and Domitian,
At the emperor’s left is a lictor in tunic and dressed in a tunica and paludamentum.30 In a
mantle and to the lictor’s left, is the goddess potent act of denigration, the emperor’s portrait
Roma, flanked by a second lictor, followed by the features have been almost entirely removed, as
front half of a horse and a cuirassed soldier. has the head of his tutelary goddess.
Strong correspondences with frieze A of the Although they do not contain portraits of
Cancelleria Reliefs (cat. 5.17), the prominence Domitian, the reliefs decorating the cuirasses in
Domitian’s patron deity Minerva, and the full, Princeton and Osimo have also been deliberately
curly coiffure of the lictor at Roma’s left suggest disfigured. The Princeton torso depicts an icono-
a Domitianic date for the Anacapri relief and an graphically complex scene of two Victories
identification of the imperial figure as Domitian crowning a trophy with a bound German cap-
himself.24 After Domitian’s damnatio, the relief tive, referring to Domitian’s victory over the
appears to have been vandalized and the head Chatti.31 As a way of posthumously disparaging
of Domitian destroyed. The original context of Domitian’s military triumphs, the heads of both
the relief is unknown, but it may be from the Victories on the Princeton torso were attacked
vicinity of Naples. If so, the relief would be con- with chisels, as well as some or the figures on the
sonant with other important public monuments lappets.32 The heads of the victories on the
celebrating Domitian on the bay of Naples in- Osimo cuirass have also been similarly removed.
cluding the bronze equestrian statue reconfigured The disfigurement of the Victories strongly re-
as Nerva at Misenum and the honorific inscrip- calls the similar mutilation under Marius of the
tion from Pozzuoli (cat. 5.7).25 monument of Sulla set up by the Mauretanian
Other Domitianic monuments were intention- king Bocchus on the Capitoline.33 The vandal-
ally mutilated and include cuirassed torsos in ization of these three cuirasses is all the more
Rome (cat. 5.3),26 Princeton (fig. 109),27 and striking in that it rendered them unsuitable for
Osimo.28 Like the Castel Gandalfo and Anacapri future reuse and were thus economically expen-
reliefs, the torso in Rome contains a damaged sive expressions of dissatisfaction with Domitian’s
relief portrait of Domitian. The unusual gorgo- regime.
neion and aegis on the upper section of the cui- None of Domitian’s sculpted portraits exhibit
rass indicate that the statue was originally com- the kind of systematic and intentional mutilation
bined with a likeness of Domitian.29 The cuirass of the facial features seen in the images of Nero
in Cagliari and Cos (cat. 2.1-2). However, the
fragmentary nature of the portrait of Nero re-
24 The relief is too poorly preserved to determine worked to Domitian and later incorporated into
whether it reproduces the scene represented in Frieze A a modern representation of Nero (cat. 2.51),
(Domitian’s dedication of weapons to Jupiter Optimus suggests that it was attacked in much the same
Maximus after the Sarmatian campaign in 93) or whether manner as the fragmentary portrait of Caligula
it is a scene of imperial adventus, as F. Magi has suggested
(1954-55) 47-54. in Aquileia (cat. 1.1; fig. 3), or the fragmentary
25 On these monuments, see infra.
images of Nero in Syracuse (cat. 2.3; fig. 43) and
26 Rome, Art Market.
27 The Art Museum, inv. 84-2, h. 1.2 m.; Sotheby’s,
Vienne (cat. 2.5; fig. 44).34
London, Catalogue of Antiquities (15 July 1980) lot no. 207;
Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 44.1 (1985) 45-
46, with figs.; R. Gergel (1986) 3-15, figs. 1-4, 7-9, 14-18; 30 K. Stemmer (1978) 113.
R. Gergel (1994) , fig. 12.11; E.R. Varner in E.R. Varner, 31 For an explication of the imagery, see R. Gergel
ed. (2000) 162-63, no. 36, with figs; E.R. Varner (2001) 49, (1986) 3-15.
fig. 1; H. Meyer in J.M. Padgett, ed. (2001) 27-33, no.7. 32 R. Gergel (1986) 7.
28 Commune, K. Stemmer (1978) 174, no. 328. 33 Palazzo dei Conservatori (Braccio Nuovo, inv. 2750).
29 The aegis and gorgoneion have close parallels to the 34 Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 14,

bronze equestrian statue of Domitian reworked to Nerva inv. 427. As mentioned above, the ancient fragment
from Miseno (Baia, Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei consists of the forehead, eyes, nose, left cheek and upper
nel Castello di Baia, 155743). lip.
domitian 115

Domitian’s portrait, name and titles have also distinct sections, with the locks usually parted
been attacked and effaced from an as from Cibyra over both the left and right eye. The forehead
in Phrygia (fig. 110).35 The obverse originally de- itself is unusually high and narrow, with hollow
picted facing busts of Domitian and Domitia. temples. Nerva’s distinctive nose is long and
Domitian’s image and identifying legend (DOMI- hooked. Strong naso-labial lines further empha-
TIANOS KAISAR) have been removed from the size his maturity. In addition to a basic discrep-
coin with a chisel and stands in stark contrast to ancy in age (Nerva was approximately twenty
the untouched portrait of his wife. The Phrygian years older than Domitian), Nerva’s physiognomy
coin is a unique example of the defacement of differs radically from that of Domitian, diverg-
Domitian’s numismatic likenesses. As with the ing in almost every particular: Nerva’s face is long
earlier defaced coins of Caligula and Nero, and and thin, where Domitian’s is more full and
later with those of Geta, the Domitianic coin was square; Nerva’s eyes are small, where Domitian’s
likely altered by a private individual or soldier. are long and wide; Nerva’s nose is thin and in-
Like the mutilated coinage of Caligula and Nero, cludes a very pronounced hook, whereas Domi-
the defacement of the Cibyra as is probably an tian’s is wider, less hooked and tends to be more
isolated and spontaneous act, expressive of dis- aquiline; and Nerva’s neck is long and thin, with
content with the overthrown emperor and sup- a pronounced Adam’s apple, where Domitian’s
port of the new regime. neck is shorter and stockier, often without any
adam’s apple indicated. Despite the enormous
technical problems which the differing facial
The Transformation of Domitian’s Images structures presented to sculptors, Domitian’s
images were nonetheless routinely altered into
Domitian/Nerva images of the new princeps.
Portraits of Nerva which have been reworked
Continuing the patterns of reuse established for
from Domitian’s likenesses naturally contain
representations of Caligula and Nero, images of
details of physiognomy, coiffure, or even style
Domitian were commonly transformed into like-
which differentiate them from the unreworked
nesses of his immediate successors Nerva and
images. In a full length statue of Nerva as Jupi-
Trajan. Fourteen of Domitian’s portraits, a sub-
ter in Copenhagen, Domitian’s type 3 coiffure has
stantial majority, were altered to represent Ner-
been only slightly modified through the addition
va. The number is all the more startling in that
of a second row of locks over the forehead (cat.
it represents approximately 82% of Nerva’s ex-
5.9; fig. 111a-e).37 The statue is carved from a
tant images, standing as a salient reminder of the
single block of marble and depicts the emperor
iconographic impact of sculptural reuse.
standing with hip mantle. Although naso-labial
Nerva enjoyed only one portrait type during
lines have been added to the face, and the chin
his brief reign. Nerva was 66 at the time of his
has been substantially cut down to endow it with
accession; coins and his three unreworked marble
Nerva’s narrower, more pointed shape, the re-
portraits reflect his age and depict him with a full
sulting image is a youthful and idealized depic-
head of hair with thick, curling locks.36 The
tion of the emperor. A portrait of Nerva in Ber-
coiffure is arranged over the forehead in three
lin, part of a colossal seated image of the emperor
as Jupiter also retains recognizable elements of
the original Domitianic coiffure (cat. 5.8).38 Both
Berlin; R. Mowat (1901) 450-51, pl. 10.1; K. Regling
(1904) 144; K. Harl (1987), pl.12.1 . sculptures bear witness to the production and
36 The three unreworked portraits are in Copenhagen,

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 668, inv. 772 (F. Johansen [1995a]

88, no. 31, with figs); Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi, inv.
1914.132 (G.A. Mansuelli [1961] 77, no. 79, fig. 75; Rome,
Musei Vaticani, Cortile Ottagono 101a, inv. 975 (G. 37 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 542, inv. 1454.
Spinola [1996] 47-8, no. PE 40). 38 Schloss Klein-Glienicke, inv. G1 324.
116 chapter six

dissemination of representation of Domitian as is reputedly from sixteenth century excavations

Jupiter (recalling Statius’s evocation of Domitian at Tivoli. The Palazzo dei Conservatori portrait
as Jupiter Ausonius), as well as Nerva’s willing- also has retained much of the character of the
ness to appropriate such divine imagery.39 original Domitianic likeness. Remnants of
Other recarved marble representations of Domitian’s type 3 coiffure are evident at the back
Nerva also exhibit a more idealizing, less idio- of the head and the forehead, brows, and eyes
syncratic handling of the facial features when essentially remain intact from Domitian’s portrait.
compared to his numismatic and unaltered por- Very light crows’ feet have been added at the
traits and have clearly retained physiognomic and outer corners of both eyes. Like the Holkham
stylistic aspects of the Domitianic originals. In- Hall head, the square shape of the face is unchar-
deed, a recut portrait in the Sala dei Busti of the acteristic of Nerva’s portraits and is a stark re-
Vatican is the most idealizing of Nerva’s surviv- minder of the limitations imposed by the origi-
ing sculpted images (cat. 5.18; fig. 112a-b).40 nal likeness of Domitian. All three portraits are
Domitian’s type 3 hairstyle, swept forward from from the environs of Rome and underscore the
the occiput is clearly visible on the back and sides frequency with which Domitian’s images were re-
of the head. Very shallow naso-labial lines have fashioned into youthful representations of Nerva
been added and modifications to the eyes, nose, in the capital.
and mouth have resulted in certain asymmetri- The recutting of a fifth portrait from Rome,
calities endowing the portrait with faint traces of now in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme has re-
verism, but the smoothly modeled surfaces and sulted in a more emphatically modeled likeness
crisply delineated details of the likeness, combine which exhibits stylistic features foreign to Nerva’s
to make this Nerva’s most classicizing and youth- other images (cat. 5.15; fig. 116a-d).43 The head
ful image. is well over life-sized and is worked for insertion
Although not as idealized as the Sala dei Busti into a togate statue. In an effort to obliterate all
head, recut portraits in the Museo Capitolino trace of Domitian’s coiffure, the individual locks
(cat. 5.14; fig. 113a-d),41 Holkham Hall (cat. 5.10; of Nerva’s hair have been dramatically undercut
fig. 114), and the Palazzo dei Conservatori (cat. and deeply drilled, resulting in an exuberant play
5.20; fig. 115a-e)42 are remarkable for their of light and shadow. The recarving of the brows
youthful portrayal of the elderly emperor. The has given them a more emphatic, calligraphic
portrait in the Museo Capitolino is unusual in curve, and has caused deep pockets of shadow
that it has been recut from a replica of Domitian’s to surround the eyes. The resulting sculptural
first portrait type, retaining much its youthfulness. effects are reminiscent of later baroque sculpture
Evidence of Domitian’s first hairstyle is still vis- and have led the portrait to be incorrectly con-
ible at the back of the head. Signs of aging which demned as a modern.
have been added to the portrait are superficial Although their provenances are unknown, two
and consist of light furrows on the forehead and additional recarved likenesses of Nerva in Stutt-
naso-labial lines. The square shape of the gart (cat. 5.21)44 and formerly in Leipzig (cat.
Holkham Hall head and the portrait’s smooth, 5.11; fig. 117)45 achieve only superficial signs of
classicizing aspect are also clear indications of its aging. The Stuttgart portrait is said to be of Greek
origins as a representation of Domitian. The head marble; Domitian’s type 3 hairstyle has survived
behind both ears and the eyes have retained their
length from the original likeness. The bust with
39 Silv. 4.18. The literary reference may, however, be

ironic, intended for an audience hostile to Domitian. On

the problems of interpretation see: B.W. Jones (1992) 31-
2 and E.R. Varner, (1995) 201, n. 73. 43 Inv. 318.
40 Sala dei Busti 317, inv. 674. 44 Württembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. arch. 68/3.
41 Stanza degli Imperatori, inv. 417. 45 Archäologisches Institut der Universität (now de-
42 Sala Verde, inv. 423. stroyed).
domitian 117

paludamentum formerly in Leipzig preserves the months after Domitian’s assassination. Because
deep waves of Domitian’s type 3 coiffure almost of its sculptural anomalies the Parma image in-
in their entirety. In fact, only the hair immedi- sists on its identity as a reconfigured likeness and
ately over the forehead has been recconfigured. it may have been deliberately conceived as a rec-
As in the other recarved youthful images of ognizable sculptural record of two phases of
Nerva, signs of aging are limited to the naso-labial political transformation and transition.
lines. The enigmatic appearance of a seated statue
An additional full length portrait of Nerva in of an emperor as Jupiter in Lucera is also likely
Parma stands as an extremely unusual example the result of multiple reworkings, one of which
of an image subjected to two separate stages of may have been a transformation from Domitian
recutting (cat. 2.50; cat. 5.13; fig. 61a-e).46 As al- to Nerva (fig. 118a-b).49 The statue preserves the
ready noted, this cuirassed statue originally rep- upper torso and left arm, but all of the portrait
resented Nero and came from the cycle of por- features, including the coiffure, ears and face,
traits decorating the Julio-Claudian Basilica at have been entirely eradicated and all that remains
Velleiea. After Nero’s death, the image was of the head is a cylinder of marble roughly
recarved into a likeness of Domitian. Subsequent worked over with a point. The treatment of the
to Domitian’s damnatio, the portrait features were musculature and drapery has similarities with the
again recut, this time into Nerva’s likeness. The seated Jupiter statues from Caere and may indi-
double recarving has resulted in an awkward and cate that piece was originally created in the later
aberrational likeness of Nerva. As a result of the Julio-Claudian period.50 Scant traces of a curls
substantial reduction in sculptural volume, the still visible just above the remains of a fillet at the
current modeling of the likeness fails to give a back of the head, however, are not consonant
coherent sense of the organic structure underly- with the comma-shaped locks which make up
ing the face. In its final form as an image of Julio-Claudian hairstyles, but are more charac-
Nerva, the portrait stands in striking contrast to teristic of Flavian coiffures. Perhaps like the
the classicizing and naturalistic handling of the Parma statue, the original image represented
cuirassed body into which it is inserted. The hair Nero and was subsequently reworked to Domit-
of the portrait has been overworked to such an ian. If so, after Domitian’s overthrow, the avail-
extent that only the faintest trace of Domitian’s able marble in the area of the head may have
coiffure remains, likely from his first portrait been deemed insufficient to recarve into Nerva,
type.47 Further support for an identification of the and so the head was roughened for the adher-
secondary likeness as a type 1 replica of Domitian ence of new stucco facial features. This solution
is provided by a fragmentary inscription from the would be unique among refashioned imperial
Basilica originally honoring Domitian as princeps images and may be the result of the paucity of
iuventutis and subsequently recut to commemorate marble in the area around Lucera.51 The sculp-
Divus Nerva.48 The recutting of the inscription ture was discovered in the remains of baths, and
parallels the recarving of the image and Nerva’s evidently continued to be displayed there after
commemoration as divus in the inscription indi- its transformation.
cates that, if the recutting of the inscription and Sculptors could also choose to suppress the
portrait are contemporary, then the alterations youthful, classicizing aspects of the original
took place no earlier than 98, at least seventeen Domitianic portrait and create supra-realistic

46 Museo Nazionale d’Antichità, inv. 146 (1870), inv.

827 (1954). 49 Lucera, Museo Civico, inv. 25, h. 1.64 m.; M.

47 A majority of Domitian’s type I portraits have been Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 318, fig. 1; G. Legrottaglie
recarved from portraits of Nero. (1999) 123-29, pl. 35 (with earlier lieterature).
48 CIL 11.1172, 1173; C.C. Vermeule (1959) 47, no. 50 C. Maderna (1988) 175; G. Legrottaglie (1999) 125-

113; H. Gabelmann (1971) 733; K.P. Goethert (1972) 245; 7.

C. Saletti (1972) 188; H. Jucker (1977) 212-3. 51 G. Legrottaglie (1999) 127-8.
118 chapter six

likenesses of the aged Nerva. It is not surprising, Domitian’s type 3 coiffure are discernible behind
then, that Nerva’s most veristic image, in Los the left ear. In order to imbue the portrait with
Angeles, has been recut from a representation of emphatic signs of aging, the temples have been
Domitian, recalling the realistic portraits of drastically recut, making them exaggeratedly
Claudius recut from Caligula, and of Vespasian hollow, and deep furrows have been added to the
recut from Nero (cat. 5.12; fig. 119a-d).52 The forehead.54 Again, the classicizing, youthful ele-
hair over the forehead has been recarved, as evi- ments of the Domitianic likeness have been en-
denced by the sharp straight line which runs tirely obliterated by the new veristic indications
along the current hairline. Domitian’s type 3 of aging. The portrait juxtaposes Nerva’s realis-
coiffure remains above the left temple, behind the tic, middle aged physiognomy with the divine
right ear, and on the top of the head and below body type of Jupiter and, like the portraits in
the occiput. The striking asymmetricalities Copenhagen and Berlin, attests to the dissemi-
present in the facial features have resulted from nation of images of Domitian as Jupiter, and their
the image’s extensive sculptural alterations. Ac- subsequent expropriation by Nerva.
centuated indications of age added to the por- Another recarved portrait of Nerva now in the
trait include heavy pouches beneath both eyes, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, from Tivoli, em-
conspicuous crow’s-feet wrinkles and substantial phasizes realistic details of aging (cat. 5.16; fig.
naso-labial lines. Even the neck has been refash- 121a-d).55 Traces of Domitian’s third coiffure,
ioned and a deep furrow added on the right side combed forward from the occiput, are clearly
and Nerva’s adam’s apple carved into the exist- visible on both sides of the head. Horizontal
ing mass. The transformation of the Getty por- furrows have been added to the forehead and
trait has resulted in a veristic image of Nerva vertical creases carved above the nose. In addi-
remarkable for its exaggerated effects of aging. tion, deep naso-labial lines have been carved
Nevertheless, recognizable signs of the image’s around the mouth. Like the Getty image, this
previous identity are still strongly present in the exaggerated realism underscores the care which
reconfigured likeness, most notably in the coif- was taken to obliterate all trace of Domitian’s
fure, and the relatively smooth and unlined fore- more youthful and classicizing countenance from
head which contrasts with the emphatic signs of the recarved likeness. The portrait was discov-
age in the lower face. The portrait is constructed ered at the Temple of Hercules Victor complex
of three pieces of marble, with the back and top at Tivoli in the excavations of an apsidal hall
of the head separately attached. Significantly the originally dedicated to Augustus.56 This find-spot
artist who refashioned the image did not choose suggests that the reworked image, and perhaps
to replace these pieces, which are essentially the Domitianic original, should be associated with
unaltered segments of Domtian’s coiffure. the imperial cult.
A heavily restored statue of Nerva in the Sala The political implications inherent in the re-
Rotonda of the Vatican, reworked from an ear- worked veristic representations of Nerva are
lier representation of Domitian, achieves similar clear. Not only do they visually distance Nerva
veristic effects of aging (cat. 5.19; fig. 120a-b).53 from his condemned friend and predecessor,
The ancient sections of the statue, consisting of effectively subsuming the classicizing and youthful
the head and torso belonged to a seated image aspects of the Domitianic originals, but they also
depicting the emperor as Jupiter. Although the play to senatorial sympathies for the republican
hairline over the forehead has been recarved so
that it recedes as in Nerva’s coiffure, individual 54 Deeply hollow temples are a hallmark of Nerva’s three
details are not well articulated. Remnants of unreworked likenesses and are especially apparent in the
replicas in the Cortile Ottagono of the Vatican (101 a, inv.
975) and the Uffizi (inv. 1914.132).
55 Inv. 106538.
52 J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 83.AA.43. 56 On the portrait’s discovery, see V. Pacifici (1920) 91-
53 No. 548, inv. 246. 3, figs. 8-9.
domitian 119

past. Nerva’s former position as an imperial Minerva’s gesture of touching Domitian’s elbow
amicus of Domitian certainly necessitated his re- has led to the predominant interpretation of this
pudiation of Domitian’s memory, and is ex- scene as an imperial profectio with Minerva urg-
pressed in visual terms by the revival of repub- ing the reluctant Domitian to leave the city and
lican verism evident in many of his reworked set out for his German campaigns. However, this
images.57 Verism had been used in exactly the interpretation is extremely unsatisfactory as it is
same way by Claudius and Vespasian to visually highly unlikely that Domitian would have been
distance themselves from Caligula and Nero. portrayed in so unflattering a light. Rather, F.
Certainly the most well documented image of Ghedini’s proposal that the scene depicts Domi-
Nerva to have been refashioned from a preex- tian’s reditus from the Sarmatian campaign in
isting likeness of Domitian is that from frieze A A.D. 93 is surely correct.59 At that time, Domitian
of the Cancelleria reliefs (cat. 5.17; fig. 122a-b).58 refused a triumph, but made a dedication (dona
Given the unknown (and probably unknowable) militaria) to Jupiter Capitolinus in gratitude for his
fate of Julia on the Ara Pacis, as well as the lack military victories. The ceremonial nature of the
of iconographic context for the Neronian relief spears and shields which the soldiers carry un-
portraits recarved to Domitian (cat. 2.54) and derscore that the occasion depicted is the impend-
Augustus (cat. 2.8), the Cancelleria reliefs pro- ing donation to Jupiter Capitolinus rather than
vide the first unambiguous evidence for the an emperor and his army setting out for battle.60
reconfiguration of imperial likenesses on Roman In fact, Ghedini has plausibly suggested that the
historical reliefs. Domitian’s deeply waved hair- figures move towards Jupiter himself who would
style is still strikingly visible in the frieze and has have completed the relief in the missing right
only been cursorily altered. The facial features section. Thus, the relief is a commemoration of
have also been modified; as in the three-dimen- Domitian’s actual return to Rome in 93 and a
sional portraits, a naso-labial line has been added subtle and symbolic celebration of the emperor’s
as an indication of Nerva’s age. Nevertheless, the victories, his modesty in refusing a triumph, and
likeness retains much of the fuller, more rectan- his pietas as evidenced by the dona militaria. The
gular facial structure of Domitian. The overall deities who accompany Domitian further under-
reduction in the volume of the head has rendered score his imperial virtues and his exalted status.
it disproportionately small in comparison the Domitian’s reditus and his refusal of honors have
emperor’s body and illustrates the great difficul- striking, and deliberate, parallels in the two reditås
ties peculiar to recutting portraits in relief. Al- of Augustus in 19 and 13 B.C.61
though the Cancelleria reliefs are much larger in Domitian, in this case not recarved, also ap-
scale, they present similar problems to those of pears in Frieze B, the companion relief to Frieze
cameos: namely, that the surfaces available for A. This panel is more fragmentary than its coun-
recarving are extremely limited. terpart, but Domitian, in a replica of his first
The interpretation of the relief, and even its portrait type, is depicted together with his father
date, have proven problematic. The emperor, Vespasian.62 Behind Vespasian appears the god-
dressed in the tunic and paludamentum of the trav-
eling Roman general, appears together with 59 (1986) 292-97.
Minerva, Mars, Roma, Victoria, the Genius 60 F. Ghedini (1986) 294.
Senatus, the Genius Populi Romani, lictors and 61 For a full explication of Domitian’s adoption of

soldiers with ceremonial shields and spears. Augustan propaganda and models, see F. Ghedini (1986)
62 The most recent suggestions concerning the content

of frieze B rest on the hypothesis that the portrait of

Vespasian has been recut from an original representation
57 On Nerva’s prominent position at the court of of Domitian. In order to maintain this hypothesis, the fig-
Domitian and his pro-Domitianic sympathies, see B.W. ure of the youth cannot be identified as Domitian. The
Jones (1992) 52-3. exact correspondences of the youth’s physiognomy and
58 Rome, Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano. coiffure with Domitian’s first portrait type, as well as the
120 chapter six

dess victory, crowning the emperor, and sur- iconography of both friezes, strongly suggests that
rounded by soldiers and lictors. Between the they were intended for the Temple of Fortuna
imperial pair, the Genius Populi Romani stands Redux, which Domitian vowed at the time of his
on a square plinth, and behind Domitian are the return from the Sarmatian campaign in 93 and
Genius Senatus, lictors, soldiers, and finally which was constructed in the Campus Martius.65
vestals. Vespasian’s gesture of greeting confirms However, they may not have been in place at the
that the scene depicts his initial entry into Rome time of Domitian’s assassination in 96. The
which did not occur until September of 70. recarving of Nerva’s portrait was never com-
Domitian welcomes his father, having acted as pleted, as evinced by the unarticulated locks over
a kind of legate at the capital from December to the forehead. The recutting was likely interrupted
September. Frieze B forms a perfect complement by Nerva’s own death in 98. Clearly, there was
to Frieze A. Both depict the triumphant returns no longer enough marble to recarve the portrait
of the princepes to Rome and underscore the virtus features a second time. In addition, the specific-
of the Flavian gens and the parallel positions of ity of the events portrayed, as well as the promi-
father and son. In frieze A, foreign conflicts have nence of Minerva, Domitian’s protectress in
been successfully overcome, and in frieze B, civil Frieze A, may have added further conceptual
strife brought to an end. difficulties to reusing these pieces. However, the
There are no clear indications that the Can- reliefs are of the highest artistic quality and ap-
celleria reliefs were ever set up. They were dis- pear to have been preserved in the sculptor’s
covered in 1937 leaning against a wall of the depot as examples of extremely fine workman-
tomb of Aulus Hirtius, together with other sculp- ship or with the hope that sections of the relief
tural fragments beneath the Palazzo della may have been able to be reused at a later date.
Cancelleria. The area may have been used in An equestrian portrait of Nerva from the sanc-
antiquity as storage for a sculptor’s workshop, tuary of the Augustales at Misenum is the only
which often occur in close proximity to burial surviving bronze imperial image to exhibit signs
sites or in populous urban areas.63 Indeed, this of reworking and furthermore is one of only three
entire area of the city has been described by A. bronze imperial equestrian statues to have sur-
Claridge as a “marble workers’ quarter.”64 The vived from antiquity (cat. 5.7; fig. 123a-c).66 The
statue depicts the emperor in cuirass and paluda-
hierarchic prominence of the figure in the frieze, ensure mentum. Domitian originally held a lance in his
that this figure must be Domitian. Evidence for the raised right hand while the left hand pulled
recarving of the portrait of Vespasian is also scanty, espe- sharply back on the horse’s reigns. The head and
cially in comparison to the indisputably recut features of
Nerva in Frieze A. The portrait of Vespasian does not
torso are turned to the right. The partially pre-
exhibit the overwhelming discrepancies of scale, asym- served horse rears up on its hind legs.67 The
metricalities and wholesale retention of Domitianic ele-
ments, like the deeply waved coiffure, that are apparent
in the recarved portrait of Nerva on Frieze A. The relief 65 F. Ghedini (1986) 298-300.
portrait of Vespasian does contain striking resemblances 66 Baia, Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei nel
to likenesses of Domitian, especially in the full head of hair, Castello di Baia, inv. 155743. The other surviving eques-
the smoother facial features, and the slightly receding trian statues are the Augustus discovered in the Aegean
underlip. However, the portrait is clearly recognizable as (Athens, National Museum), and the Marcus Aurelius, on
Vespasian and resemblances to Domitian must have been the Campidoglio. The Misenum portrait differs significantly
intentional and designed to stress the similarities between from the other two in both gesture and costume. Augustus
the father and son. Thus, they are the product of the and Marcus Aurelius both wear the tunic and paluda-
Domitianic artist originally responsible for the sculpture and mentum of the traveling Roman general and raise their
not the result of recarving under Nerva. See F. Ghedini right hands in gestures of clementia, while Domitian/Nerva
(1986) 297-300. wears a cuirass and brandishes a lance.
63 For the sculptor’s workshop at Aphrodisias located 67 The composition must have been completed with

near the city’s Odeum and which functioned both as a some supporting element beneath the horses raised fore-
working studio and storefront, see P. Rockwell, in R.R. legs, perhaps a foreigner. the figure of Oceanus, or a deco-
Smith and K.T. Erim (1991) 127-43. rative support; see R. Cantilena in Domiziano/Nerva 37-8:
64 (1998) 180. D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 201.
domitian 121

statue’s dynamic disposition indicates that it is method of recycling adopted for the statue was
ultimately derived from equestrian representa- certainly more economical than replacing the
tions of Alexander the Great.68 If the statue also head in its entirety and, more importantly, the
included a fallen enemy in front of the horse’s image maintains deliberately readable signs in the
raised forelegs, its aggressive military composition coiffure of its original Domitianic identity.
would have recalled similar depictions of the The figural decoration of the cuirass includes
emperor on Domitianic coin reverses.69 a variety of marine creatures, an aegis and gor-
In an extremely effective and practical gesture goneion on the breast, and a representation of
of reuse, Domitian’s facial features have been cut the infant Hercules strangling snakes on the left
from the head and removed as if they were a shoulder. Domitian’s preparations for a campaign
mask.70 A clearly visible line runs beneath the against the Parthians at the end of his principate
chin, along the jaw line, behind the ears, and over may have inspired the imagery on the cuirass.73
the forehead, documenting the removal of Domitian intended to embark on this campaign
Domitian’s face. The coiffure which lies behind from Puteoli, and the marine creatures on the
this line belongs to the original likeness, a rep- breastplate refer to the emperor’s coming sea
lica of Domitian’s third portrait type. In front of voyage, as well as his dominion over the ocean.74
the line are the new coiffure and facial features A fragmentary Domitianic inscription from the
belonging to Nerva. Naturally, individual locks Augustales complex, which was reinscribed un-
in the two coiffures do not match along the line der Nerva may have been set up in conjunction
of removal. However, Nerva’s coiffure over the with the statue between December of 94 and
forehead is relatively full and strategically masks September of 95, which would further suggest
these discrepancies when the statue is viewed that the image commemorates the completion of
frontally and from below.71 Nevertheless, the the Via Domitiana linking Rome with the port
position of the new face of Nerva does not ac- of Puteoli;75 the new road facilitated transport of
curately reflect the torsion of the neck and torso; troops and supplies from the capital to the port
consequently, and perhaps not surprisingly, the and would have been crucial for the coming
face appears curiously static and mask-like when Parthian expedition.76
compared to the fluid motion of the body. An- Fragments of the statue were excavated in
cient repairs in lead to the statue suggest that the 1968 in Building B of a complex associated with
image was attacked and damaged prior to its the Augustales of Misenum. The statue is likely to
reuse and Domitian’s portrait features may have have been displayed within the complex, whose
been vandalized at this time.72 In any case, the main temple contained heroic nude statues of
Vespasian and Titus.77 Despite its specifically
68 As preserved in a bronze statuette from Herculaneum, Domitianic connotations, as expressed in the
now in Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico. The statu-
ette may be based on the equestrian portrait of Alexander
by Lysippus from the Granikos Monument, which was
transported to Rome by Metellus in 146 B.C.; see J.J. Pollitt 73 S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 54-65; B.W.
(1986) 43, n. 41, fig. 36, and R. Cantilena in Domiziano/ Jones (1992) 159.
Nerva 32-33, fig. 30a-c. 74 Ibid.
69 As, for instance a sestertius from Rome, BMCRE 409; 75 S. Adamo Musecettola (2000) 89; S. Adamo

RIC 361; American Numismatic Society, inv. 1957. Musecettola in P. Miniero, ed. (2000) 34.
172.1603; E.R. Varner, ed. (2000) 154-55, no. 34, with figs. 76 S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 65.
70 A colossal marble statue of Elagabalus has undergone 77 Alternatively, the statue may have fallen into this area

the same form of reuse, in which the facial features were during seismic disturbances which destroyed the complex
removed, and a new face, belonging to Severus Alexander and other sections of the city at the end of the second
was attached, Naples Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. century since no base for the statue has been discovered
5993, here, cat. 7.17. supports this idea. M. Borriello in Domiziano/Nerva 18-19;
71 The statue would presumably have been mounted on S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 63. For the
a base, insuring that the statue was viewed from below. portaits of Vespasian and Titus, see Domiziano/Nerva figs.
72 R. Cantilena in Domiziano/Nerva 36; S. Adamo 9-10; S. Adamo Muscettola in P. Miniero, ed. (2000) 34-
Muscettola in P. Miniero, ed. (2000) 31. 7, figs. 2a-b.
122 chapter six

reliefs on the cuirass, the image was nevertheless time, the statue must have been warehoused out
refashioned as a representation of Nerva, a fur- of public view.
ther example of the rampant visual cannibalism In addition to the Sabratha statue, a second
which characterized Nerva’s short reign. provincial image of Trajan was recut from a
portrait of Domitian. This recarved head was
discovered in two fragments near the Temple of
Zeus at Olympia (cat. 5.22.).81 The locks over the
Nerva reigned approximately seventeen months, forehead are a variant Trajan’s (fourth) Opfer-
and at the time of his death, the fund of Domi- bildtypus.82 However, traces of Domitian’s type 3
tianic images available for reuse was by no means hairstyle are clearly visible at the back of the
exhausted, as evidenced by the numerous por- head. The use of the Opferbildtypus, (which appears
traits recarved into likeness of Nerva’s successor, on the Column of Trajan and is clearly in use
Trajan. Although many of these reworked images by the time of the Column’s dedication on 12
have gone unrecognized, most of Trajan’s por- May 113), suggests that a considerable lapse of
trait types are attested among the altered repre- time (perhaps as many as 17 years) occurred
sentations, and indicate that the sculptural trans- between Domitian’s damnatio and the reuse of the
formation of Domitian’s portraits was carried out portrait.
throughout Trajan’s reign. A third provincial portrait of Trajan in Split
Most of the likenesses recut to Trajan retain has also been reconfigured from a likeness of
strong aspects of Domitian’s more youthful and Domitian (cat. 5.28; fig. 125a-b).83 The over-
idealized physiognomy, as is especially apparent lifesized head is worked for insertion and may
in a full length togate statue in Sabratha, refash- originally have formed part of a Flavian dynas-
ioned from a provincial variant of Domitian’s tic group decorating the Fourm at Issa in
third portrait type (cat. 5.27; fig. 124).78 A styl- Dalmatia. Domitian appears to have initially been
ized version of Domitian’s coiffure is visible at the depicted together with his father Vespasian. After
back of the head. The coiffure at the front of the Domitian’s assassination, Trajan usurped Domit-
head has been largely recut to reflect Trajan’s ian’s role in the paired portraits and linked him-
second type (Bürgerkronen-Typus) in which the locks self to the revered founder of the Flavian dynasty.
over the forehead are combed from proper left The Olympia, Sabratha and Split portraits are
to right. This type may have been introduced in all important testaments to the recarving of
103 to commemorate Trajan’s first Dacian Domitian’s portraits in the provinces.84
Triumph.79 The statue was discovered during ex- Many vestiges of Domitian’s third portrait type
cavations of the Forum at Sabratha, together with are also present in a head of Trajan formerly in
a cuirassed portrait of Titus, suggesting the pos- Ostia (cat. 5.25).85 Like the portrait in Sabratha,
sibility of an original Flavian group dedication the hair was recarved into Trajan’s second type
consisting of the two brothers.80 The use of (Bürgerkronen-Typus), but traces of the original
Trajan’s second type with its likely date of A.D. Domitianic coiffure are visible above the ears and
103, indicates that a minimum of seven years
elapsed between the time of Domitian’s damnatio
and the portrait’s eventual reuse, during which 81 Olympia, Museum, inv. A 129.
82 The Olympia portrait introduces a part over the left
eye; on the Opferbildtypus, see W.H. Gross (1940) 105-7.
83 Archaeological Museum, inv. C 271.
84 H.R. Goette and K. Hitzle mention two additional
78 Museum. portraits of Trajan which may be recarved from likenesses
79 W.H. Gross (1940) 75-77; W.H. Gross (1965) 1109- of Domitian; both are unpublished: a portrait of Trajan
10; K. Fittschen (1977a) 71. from the theater at Corinth, and a portrait in Larissa,
80 Sabratha, Museum; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop and U. Archaeological Museum, inv. no. 802 + 825 (1987) 292,
Hausmann (1966) 26-7, 29, 95-6, pls. 21c-d, 22b; M. n. 59.
Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 404. 85 Now lost, formerly Museo, no. 24.
domitian 123

at the back of the head. Despite the addition of from a preexisting likeness of Domitian stands as
vertical furrows above the nose and deep naso- the only instance of a recarved imperial image
labials, the facial features of the Ostia head, in a colored or hard stone (cat. 5.26; fig. 127a-
which are relatively smooth and youthful, are d).89 The portrait is again a variant of Trajan’s
remnants of the underlying representation of fourth Opferbildtypus but contains several elements
Domitian. A second head from Ostia also exhibits of Domitian’s coiffure and iconography such as
clear signs of reworking (cat. 5.24).86 The eyes remnants of his type 3 hairstyle at the back and
and mouth have retained their Domitianic con- top of the head. The large eyes and hooked nose
figuration and there are traces of Domitian’s are additional remnants of the Domitianic image.
type 3 hairstyle on the nape of the neck at the The Terme portrait’s status as the only recarved
left. Like the Olympia portrait, the image is a basalt image underscores enormous technical
replica of the Opferbildtypus (type 4), introduced difficulties inherent in recutting hard stones.
by 113, which again suggests that as many as
17 years had elapsed before the portrait was
recut. Domitian/Titus
A portrait of Trajan in Oslo, reportedly ac-
quired in Rome, has also been reworked from an In contrast to the numerous portraits recut to
image of Domitian (cat. 5.23).87 Domitian’s coif- represent Nerva or Trajan, only two portraits of
fure has been entirely worked away, but strong Domitian were recarved into the images of his
traces of his facial features remain including the brother and predecessor, Titus. These reworked
large eyes and shape of the lower lip, which is likenesses were intended as posthumous com-
long, full, and flat along the bottom. In its cur- memorations of Divus Titus and are likely to have
rent incarnation, the likeness is a variant of been recut shortly after Domitian’s overthrow,
Trajan’s decennalia type, introduced in 108 and either in the reign of Nerva or early in the reign
provides further evidence for the storage of of Trajan as the result of Titus’s enormous pop-
Domitian’s images prior to reworking, in this ularity during his lifetime and subsequent deifi-
instance for a period of at least twelve years. cation. By celebrating the memory of Titus
Several atypical elements of coiffure and physi- through recarved portrait dedications, Domitian’s
ognomy of a portrait of Trajan in Venice betray successors could reaffirm the continuity of the
its origins as a likeness of Domitian (cat. 5.29; fig. principate, and concomitantly dishonor the
126a-c).88 The hair over the forehead has been memory of the condemned brother Domitian.90
recut into an arrangement resembling that of The well known portrait of Titus inserted into
Trajan’s first portrait type, nevertheless the steep a togate statue in the Braccio Nuovo of the
arc of the coiffure over the forehead is unchar- Vatican originally depicted Domitian (cat. 5.5).91
acteristic of Trajan’s portraiture, as is the fullness The reconfigured likeness combines elements of
of the coiffure over both ears. Remnants of both Titus’s Erbach and Herculaneum types, but
Domitian’s type 3 coiffure are also visible at the several traces of Domitian’s coiffure are still evi-
back of the head. No overt signs of aging have dent: the locks over the left temple have been
been added to the face, and, with its very full almost entirely retained, as have the orientation
head of hair, this representation of Trajan is and shape of the locks over the forehead. How-
extremely youthful and among the most idealized ever, the facial features have been substantially
of Trajan’s images. adjusted. Exaggerated veristic effects in the new
A basalt head of Trajan in the Terme altered image of Titus, such as the deep furrows in the

89 Inv. 61160.
86 Museo, inv. 14. 90 Just as Vespasian honored the memory of Claudius,
87 Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. SK 1154. while dishonoring that of Nero.
88 Museo Archeologico, inv. 249. 91 26, inv. 2282.
124 chapter six

forehead and the emphatically modeled surfaces Domitian/Constantinian Emperor

of the face, distance the portrait from more ide-
The late recarving, over two hundred years af-
alizing representations of Domitian, and associ-
ter Domitian’s assassination, of a head in Boston
ate Titus with the more realistic likenesses of his
(cat. 5.30; fig. 129a-d) confirms the warehousing
father Vespasian, as well as the veristically
of the emperor’s images.94 As with the late
handled portraits of Nerva. Although its volume
recarved portraits of Caligula and Nero, this
has been reduced, the head still appears to be too
portrait was clearly well-preserved and accessible
large for the togate body (proportions of roughly
to fourth century sculptors who reworked it into
1:6), which suggests that this statue body was not
the likeness of a Constantinian emperor (perhaps
the one on which the original portrait of
one of the sons of Constantine). Although the
Domitian was displayed. The portrait of Domit-
portrait has been subjected to a substantial mod-
ian must have been removed from its original
ern cleaning and retouching in the area of the
context, recarved, and ultimately reused on the
face, likely carried out in the eighteenth century,
current togate body. The statue’s discovery in
the generally classicizing tone of the image, as
1828, together with a representation of Julia
well as the handling of the iris and pupils as a
Titi,92 in gardens near the Lateran Baptistery
two connected dots within semi-circles secures a
suggests that it may have been displayed on the
Constantinian date for the recarving.95 Although
imperial properties which had been expropriated
the coiffure has been altered, especially over the
under Nero in this area of the city.
forehead, the coma in gradus formata arrangement
A second portrait of Titus, in the Galleria
on the top of the head and the orientation of the
Chiaramonti of the Vatican, was also refashioned
locks over the forehead, which are parted over
from a likeness of Domitian (cat. 5.6.; fig. 128a-
the right eye, have been retained from a type 3
d).93 Remains of Domitians’s type 3 coiffure are
portrait of Domitian. The coiffure finds compel-
clearly visible on each side of the head. The treat-
ling parallels in a portrait of Constantine in
ment of the hair on the back of the head, with
Madrid96 and a portrait of one of Constantine’s
its cluster of curls on the nape of the neck is a
sons in Rome, although the locks in these por-
standard feature of Domitian’s sculpted type 3
traits are not as dramatically undercut as in the
images but not of those of his elder brother. As
Boston head.97 The new identification of the
with the Braccio Nuovo portrait of Titus, the
recarved portrait was undoubtedly secured by an
waved arrangement on the top of the head has
accompanying inscription. As part of the Ludovisi
been partially worked away, giving the head a flat
collection, the piece may have been discovered
appearance when seen from behind. The
in the area of the Villa Ludovisi. If so, the por-
Chiaramonti likeness eschews the more pro-
trait’s reuse and display may be considered within
nounced realism of the Braccio Nuovo togatus
the context of the imperial gardens of the Horti
and retains more of the classicism of the origi-
nal Domitianic image. Both of these reworked
portraits are posthumous likenesses of Titus and
attest to his abiding popularity and importance
for the continuum of imperial authority and le-
gitimacy. The sculptural reconfiguration of the 94 Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 89.6.
Vatican portraits was greatly facilitated by the 95 For instance, a portrait of Constantine in Schloss
strong resemblances in physiognomy and coiffure Fasanerie, FAS. ARP. 54, (H.P. L’Orange [1984] 70, 118-
19, pl. 49a-b, and a Constantinian portrait in New York,
which existed between the brothers. Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 67.107, (H.P. L’Orange
(1984) 87, 133, pl. 58a-b.
96 Prado, inv. 125-E; S.F. Schröder (1993) 296-8, no.

89, with figs. (with earlier literature).

92 Musei Vaticani, Braccio Nuovo 108, inv. 2225; M. 97 Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala dei Magistrati 1, inv.

Donderer (1991-92) 244, no. 27. 843; Fittschen-Zanker I, 155-56, no. 124, pl. 155 (with
93 31.20, inv. 1687. earlier literature).
domitian 125

Domitian/Augustus 130a-b).103 The shape of the brows, nose, and

mouth are also clear remnants of the original
Two of Domitian’s gem portraits were also re-
portrait. Like the marble portrait in Boston, the
cut in antiquity, including a sardonyx head re-
Paris gem attests to the preservation of Domi-
fashioned retrospectively into a representation
tian’s images, in this case glyptic, prior to their
Augustus, which was discovered in 1980 at recarving in the fourth century.
Saragoza in Spain (cat. 5.47). 98 The head is
worked for insertion into a miniature bust, per-
haps of marble or bronze.99 Remnants of Domi- The Removal of Domitian’s Images
tian’s type 3 coiffure are still clearly visible over
both ears and at the back of the head. The locks Like the portraits of condemned emperor’s be-
over the forehead have been recarved into a fore him, Domitian’s images were systematically
version of Augustus’s Prima Porta hairstyle. As removed from public display and many were
with the portraits of Caligula and Nero refash- destroyed. But the removal of Domitian’s repre-
ioned to Augustus, overt signs of aging, which can sentations was also affected by the highly unusual
be a feature of Augustus’s posthumous images, circumstance that so many of his own images had
have been added to the gem and consist of ver- in fact been reworked from likenesse of Nero.
tical furrows over the nose and naso-labial lines. They must have been removed from public dis-
Again, the emphatic verism of the portrait, dif- play and warehoused, their further recarving
ferentiates it stylistically from the images of precluded by the fact that they had already been
Domitian. Furthermore, the head evinces stylis- reconfigured.
tic affinities with portraits of Trajan which sug- Three of the images reworked from Neronian
gests a Trajanic date for the recutting.100 Because likenesses are full length portrait statues, includ-
of its small scale and the use of precious stone, ing the two cuirassed portraits in the Vatican (cat.
both the original and recarved likenesses were 2.53; fig. 59)104 and Vaison (cat. 2.58; fig. 60a-
likely displayed in public or private shrine asso- b),105 and the statue as Diomedes in Munich (cat.
ciated with the imperial cult.101 The skill neces- 2.46; fig. 60a-c).106 The Vatican statue is from
sary for recarving such a small portrait worked Rome or its environs and was certainly removed
in a semi-precious stone suggests that the rework- from display following Domitian’s overthrow.
ing may have taken place at Rome.102 Likewise, there is no archaeological evidence that
the Vaison statue continued to be displayed in
the theater and it is likely to have been buried
Domitian/4th Century Emperor or stored in a structure associated with the the-
Yet another of Domitian’s gem portraits was ater. The Munich portrait, heavily restored in the
recarved in the fourth century. A sardonyx bust eighteenth century by Bartolommeo Cavaceppi,
of an unidentified fourth century emperor in Paris is reported to have been discovered in the ruins
contains several details of physiognomy and coif- of a villa belonging to one of Domitian’s freed-
fure which indicate that it originally conformed men at Labicum. Political expediency would have
to Domitian’s third portrait type (cat. 5.31; fig. dictated that former supporters or associates of
Domitian remove his images from their homes,
so the Munich portrait must have been stored at
the villa following Domtian’s damnatio. The prior
98 Museo de Zaragoza en Tarazona 80-5-1.
99 M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 128.
100 M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 120-23.
101 M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 128-29, also discusses the 103 Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Médailles.
magical properties, which the Romans associated with sard- 104 Braccio Nuovo 126, inv. 2213 (Domitian, type 1).
onyx. 105 Musée Lapidaire (Domitian type 1).
102 M. Beltrán Lloris (1984) 133. 106 Glyptothek 394 (Domitian type 1).
126 chapter six

reworking of all three portraits undoubtedly pre- images’ previous recutting precluded further
vented them from being altered a second time. reconfiguration.
Other likenesses of Domitian reworked from Additionally, representations of Domitian re-
Nero include two portraits in Naples (cat. 2.49; worked from likeness of Nero were removed from
cat. 2.48; fig. 66a-b),107 and likenesses in the public display in Spain and Germany as attested
Terme (cat. 2.52; fig. 63a-d),108 the American by portraits in Cologne (cat. 2.42),117 Madrid (cat.
Embassy in Rome (cat. 2.55; fig. 67),109 the Prado 2.43)118 and Sevilla (cat. 2.56).119 The Madrid
(cat. 2.44),110 Boston (cat. 2.41; fig. 64a-c),111 portrait was discovered at Almendilla near
Vasto (cat. 2.59; fig. 65),112 Munich (cat. 2.47),113 Cordova. Like the other portraits of Domitian
and Stuttgart (cat. 2.57).114 One of the busts in recarved from Nero, the image was removed
Naples is a type 3 replica from the Farnese from its original context and stored or buried and
Collection which strongly suggests a provenance the prior reworking prevented a second alter-
of Rome or its immediate environs.115 The por- ation. In contrast, the likeness from Munigua was
traits in the Terme, the American Embassy, and apparently disposed of more savagely. The head
in the Prado all provide additional evidence for was discovered with other marble fragments in
the removal and storage of Domitian’s images at an ancient well.120 The likeness may have origi-
the capital.116 The second Naples bust, a type 2 nally pertained to a group dedication in the city’s
replica, is presumably from the environs of Forum, which also honored Titus and
Naples. The Boston image, a replica of Domi- Vespasian.121 Like the portrait of Caligula from
tian’s first portrait type, was discovered at the Huelva, Domitian’s image was thrown into the
ruins of his villa in Tusculum and is likely to have well in a deliberate act of denigration with fur-
originally been displayed, and ultimately ware- ther intimations of post mortem corpse abuse.122
housed on the imperial property. The statue to The reworked relief portrait in the Vatican
which it initially belonged was likely reused via must also have been removed from public view
the insertion of a new portrait likeness. As noted (cat. 2.54; fig. 68).123 Its isolated context suggests
above, the stylized and linear quality of the Vasto that the head was removed from the monument
head indicates that the original likeness and the to which it belonged. Alternatively, the entire
subsequent recutting are products of a local work- monument may have been dismantled or de-
shop. The head attests to the removal and stor- stroyed.
age or burial of Domitian’s images in Apulia. Naturally, Domitian’s unreworked likenesses
Both the Munich and Stuttgart heads are exceed- were also removed and warehoused in great
ingly well preserved and provide additional evi- numbers. A well preserved bust formerly in the
dence for the removal and storage of Domitian’s Palazzo dei Conservatori was discovered along
images. Like the three full-length statues, these the Via Principe Amadeo on the Esquiline dur-
ing excavations carried out between 1894 and
1904.124 The portrait’s find-spot suggests that it
107 Museo Nazionale Archeologico, 6061 (Domitian type

3); and Museo Nazionale 5907 (Domitian type 2, see cat.

108 Inv. 226. 117 Römisch-Germanisches Museum (Domitian type 1).
109 Domitian type 3. 118 Museo Arqueológico Nacional, 2770 (Domitian type
110 321-E (Domitian type 1). 3).
111 Museum of Fine Arts 88.633 (Domitian type 1). 119 Museo (Domitian type 1). The head is worked for
112 Museo Civico (Domitian type 1). insertion into a togate statue.
113 Glyptothek, inv. 418 (Domitian type 1). 120 See supra.
114 Württembergisches Landesmuseum, inv. 64/28 121 W. Grünhagen (1986) 321-23.

(Domitian type 1). 122 The togate statue body to which the likeness be-
115 The head is worked for insertion and is currently longed was undoubtedly reused.
displayed on a modern bust. 123 Museo Gregoriano Profano 644, inv. 4065.
116 All three portraits are substantially intact. 124 Museo Nuovo, VII.24, Inv. 1156 (Centrale Monte-
domitian 127

may have been originally displayed in the con- of sculpture were uncovered in the excavations,
text of the imperial gardens and residences which including a portrait statue identified by inscrip-
covered the hill.125 The Conservatori bust is one tion as Julia Procula in the guise of Hygeia, and
of four well-preserved images of condemned em- a herm portrait of Hippocrates.129 Julius Proculus
perors discovered on the Esquiline where they came to public prominence late in the reign of
were buried or stored following their removal.126 Domitian, and the tomb at Isola Sacra may
The unusual find-spot of a portrait of Domi- belong to freedmen associated with the family.130
tian in Ostia suggests a rather different scenario The representation of Domitian was possibly
for its preservation (fig. 131).127 This type 1 rep- placed in the tomb while the family enjoyed
lica was discovered in the tomb of Julia Procula emperor’s favor, or removed and stored there
at Isola Sacra in March of 1938.128 Other pieces following his damnatio.131
Additionally, the removal and storage of Do-
mitian’s images in Rome and Italy in sizable
martini 2.76), h. 0.35 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 36-37, no.
33, pls. 35, 37 (with earlier literature); C. Häuber in M. numbers is corroborated by likenesses in the
Cima and E. La Rocca, eds. (1986) 177, n. 25 (with ear- Centrale Montemartini,132 the Uffizi,133 two por-
lier literature); A.M Leander Touati (1987), 94, pl. 43.1- traits in Naples,134 and representations in Ber-
2; S.Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 52, figs. 52a-c;
D.E.E. Kleiner (1992) 177, fig. 145; F. Johansen (1995a)
10, fig. 9. C. Häuber suggests that the Conservatori por-
trait is identical with the Domitian mentioned in BullCom in the arrangement of locks over the forehead and the
26 (1898) 350, no.4 and 351 and in Nsc (1898) 391 (op.cit.). coiffure of the Ostia head is close enough to other repli-
The back of the head and sides of the bust form have been cas, especially over the left temple (i.e.. Museo Nazionale
broken off and there are abrasions to the tip of the nose, Romano delle Terme, inv. 226 and Munich, Glyptothek,
the chin and damage to the upper edge of the right ear. If inv. 418) that it should be considered a variant of type I.
the damage to the bust form and back of the head occurred In addition, the physiognomy is unmistakably Domitianic.
in antiquity, it would have rendered the portrait unsuit- 129 C. Pavolini (1983) 90.

able for reuse. 130 Julius Proculus was ab actis under Domitian, and
125 The head is turned sharply to the left, which may consul in 109. His sister, Julia Procula married M. Flavius
indicate that the portrait originally had a pendant piece Aper, consul c. 103. On Procula, see M. T. Raepsaet-
perhaps depicting Domitian’s wife, Domitia Longina; his Charlier (1987) 390-91, no. 455; and B.W. Jones (1992) 176.
niece, Julia Titi; his brother, Titus; or his father, Vespasian. 131. The Trajanic hairstyle of the Isola Sacra statue
126 The other images represent Commodus as Hercules indicates that it represents a contemporary of the elite Julia
(Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Avazzi, inv. 1120) Procula, who is also known to have been the Domina figli-
Carinus (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Centrale Montemartini narum Viccianarum Tonneianarum under Trajan and Hadrian,
2.83, inv. 850) and Nero/Domitian, Palazzo Massimo alle if not that woman herself; see M. Raepsaet-Charlier (1987)
Terme, inv. 226 (cat. 2.52). 390.
127 Museo, inv. 19, h. 0.30 m.; R. Calza (1964) 46-7, 132 (Type 3), Braccio Nuovo III.12, inv. 2451 (Centrale

no. 64, pl. 37 (with earlier literature); M. Wegner, G. Montemartini 2.75), h. 0.46 m.; Fittschen-Zanker I, 35-36,
Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 33, 104, pl. 24a-b; K.T. no. 32, pls. 34, 36 (with earlier literature); W. Grünhagen
Erim (1973) 139, figs. 10-11; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1986) pl. 316, 318, 52c-d; H. Meyer (2000) 128, figs. 235-
(1981) 358 (not Domitian); C. Pavolini (1983) 90; J. Pollini 6, 241. The head was formerly displayed on a togate statue,
(1984) 548, n.7. M. Donderer (1991) 225, fig. 5. The back to which it did not belong, in the Villa Borghese. It has
of the head and the lower right corner of the face of the suffered minimal damage, including abrasions to the brows,
portrait are missing and there is damage to the tip of the eyes, cheeks, lips and chin. In addition, most of the nose
nose, the bottom of the left ear and the top of the right has been broken off and there is slight damage to the top
ear. A light crack runs from the right side of the lower lip of the right ear. The occiput is also missing; regular chisel
through the lower left side of the face. marks and an iron dowel in this area are indicative of a
128 As the only surviving type 1 replica that has not been modern, rather than an ancient repair.
recarved from a preexisting likeness of Nero, the portrait 133 (Type 3), inv. 1914.130 h. 0.25 (head); G. Mansuelli

differs slightly from the other replicas in the arrangement (1961) 75, no. 74, with fig. (with earlier literature); M.
of the hair over the forehead, which is treated as fuller curls Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 100 (mod-
comparable to the portrait in Boston. The hair is gener- ern); L. de Lachenal and B. Palma in MusNazRom 1.6, 103
ally more curly than in other examples and omits the part (ancient). From the Ludovisi Collection. A section of the
over the right eye. The curls are slightly parted over the right eyebrow, the nose, upper lip, chin, and ears are
outer corner of the left eye. The discrepancies of the hair- modern restorations.
style led M. Bergmann and P. Zanker to reject this image 134 (Type 2), Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 150-

as a likeness of Domitian, (1981) 358. However, the por- 216, h. 0.245 m.; M. Wegner, Flavier 24, 29, 89, pl. 17a-
traits which they accept as Domitian’s first type vary greatly b (Titus) (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann and P.
128 chapter six

lin,135 Cambridge,136 and Chatsworth House137 nally dedicated to Domitian at Ephesus.138 Af-
which are all substantially well preserved and ter Domitian’s assassination, the temple was re-
exhibit no evidence of deliberate vandalization. dedicated to Vespasian.139 The head was discov-
The Conservatori image, worked for insertion ered broken in four pieces, together with a left
into a cuirassed statue, would have been yet an- hand and forearm, during excavations carried out
other militaristic representations of the emperor, in 1930.140 Based on the accumulated fragments,
underscoring their importance in Domitianic R. Meriç has suggested that the statue was a
visual propaganda. cuirassed standing portrait of the emperor.141 The
Domitian’s representations were also removed acrolith may have been overturned as a result of
from public display and warehoused throughout Domitian’s damnatio, thus damaging the head and
the provinces, as attested by four type 3 portraits. other body parts, which would then have been
A colossal image from Ephesus was originally stored, with several fragments eventually being
inserted into an acrolithic statue and subsequently reused in the later wall.142 The statue was defi-
stored in the cryptoporticus of the temple origi- nitely not reused as a likeness of Vespasian as has
been suggested. Within the temple itself, Do-
mitian’s name was also erased on statue bases
which had been dedicated by various cities in
Asia Minor and Vespasian’s name was substi-
Zanker (1981) 360-63, figs. 35a-d. The portrait was discov- tuted.143 Ironically, the storage and eventual
ered at Minturno. A crack runs through the head and the
portrait has suffered severe damage to the left side of the
reuse of the fragments from Domitian’s portrait
forehead, the left eye, the nose, lips and lower left section insured their survival when the rest of the temple
of the face. However, the random nature of this damage
indicates that it is not the result of intentional mutilation.
The portrait is worked for insertion and was removed from
its original context as a result of Domitian’s condemnation; 138 Museum, inv. 670. h. 1.20 m.; M. Wegner, G.

its bust or statue was then reused with the addition of a Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 26, 86, pl. 15b (with
new portrait head. earlier literature); J. Inan and E. Rosenbaum (1966) 67-
(Type 2), Museo Nazionale Archeologico, inv. 6058; h.; 68, no. 27 pl. 16.1; H. Blanck (1969) 85; H. Vetters (1972-
M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 103 75) 59-60; D.E. Strong (1976) 136, fig. 75; S.R.F. Price
(with earlier literature); B. Candida (1967) 33, r. 2, figs. (1984) 129, 140, 178, 182, 255, cat. no. 31. R. Meriç (1985)
3-4; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 360, fig. 33a-d; 239-41, pls. 20-23; S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva
W. Grünhagen (1986) 315, pl. 52b; A. Amadio, in 49; N.H. and A. Ramage (1991) 137, fig. 5.22; D.
MusNazRom 1.9.1, 199;H. Meyer (2000) 136, fig. 255. As Kreikenbom (1992) 213-5, no. 3.93, pl. 19. Although this
part of the Farnese Collection, the piece is from Rome or portrait has been identified with Titus, the hairstyle is
its environs. The portrait includes a corona civica. The head clearly a colossal interpretation of the coiffure of Domitian’s
has undergone extensive modern cleaning. Only the tip of third portrait type. In addition, inscriptions from the site
the nose has been restored. mention only Vespasian and Domitian.
135 (Type 3) Staatliche Museen, R 28 (351), h. 0.495 m.; 139 S.R.F. Price (1984) 140, 255, cat. no. 31.

M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 37, 98 140 The fragments had been incorporated into later

(with earlier literature); A. Amadio, MusNazRom 9.1, 198; masonry work. Further excavations in 1969-70 uncovered
The portrait allegedly comes from Sans Souci, and was part other fragments of the statue also used as spoilia in a later
of the Polignac Collection and is likely to have been ac- wall at the west of the cryptoporticus; among the new frag-
quired in Italy. The head has been inserted into a bust to ments were: the right hand and forearm, the right knee and
which it does not belong. shin, the left knee, the right foot and the left foot; see, R.
136 (Type 3), Fitzwilliam Museum, GR 14.1850, h. 0.309 Meriç (1985) 239-40, pls. 22-23.
m.; L. Budde and R. Nicholls (1964) 68, no. 108, pl. 36 141 R. Meriç (1985) 240.

(with earlier literature); M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. 142 R. Meriç (1985) 240. The image was definitely not

Hausmann (1966) 99; Fittschen-Zanker I, 36, no. 32, n. 4. reused as a likeness of Vespasian as suggested by S.R.F.
The portrait was presumably acquired in Italy. It has Price (1984) 255, (with earlier literature). The portrait bears
undergone a harsh modern cleaning. The nose of the no resemblance to images of Vespasian, and its survival
portrait is lost and the tenon has been cut down for inser- suggests that it was in a secure location during the Arab
tion into the bust form. destruction of iconic images. In addition, fragments of a
137 C.C. Vermeule (1995) 132, pl. 41.3; M. Wegner, G. colossal hand, which does not belong to the statue of
Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 99-100 (with earlier Domitian, were discovered in 1969-70, and they may be-
literature); D. Boschung, H. Von Hesberg and A. Linfert long to an image of Vespasian, R. Meriç, op.cit. 240.
(1997) 55-56, no. 49, pl. 45. 143 S. Adamo Muscettola in Domiziano/Nerva 49.
domitian 129

and its sculpture were destroyed during the Arab some type of headgear. The portrait is likely to
conquest of the city. have been removed from its original context
A likeness from Pergamum provides additional following Domitian’s assassination.
testimony for the removal of Domitian’s images Two pharaonic basalt images in Mantua149
in Asia Minor,144 while heads in Constantine145 and the Louvre150 were also removed from public
and Kotor146 attest to the removal and storage display. The pharaonic imagery, as well as the
of portraits in North Africa and Dalmatia (Mon- hard stone from which these Egyptianizing stat-
tenegro). Both the Pergamum and Constantine ues were carved may have mitigated against their
portraits are worked for insertion, and the busts reworking.151 The provenance of the Louvre
or statues to which they originally belonged were head is unknown, but the Mantua statue, as part
undoubtedly reused through the addition of new of the Gonzaga Collection, is likely from Italy,
portrait likeness, likely of Nerva or Trajan. A perhaps displayed in a temple dedicated to Isis
portrait in Munich is a provincial variant in dark or Serapis; the cults of both deities were pro-
local stone of type 3.147 The unusual stone used moted by Domitian.152
for the image suggests that it was of local crafts- The archaeological contexts of two other rep-
manship and provides evidence for the removal resentations of Domitian, in the Terme (fig.
of Domitian’s images in Germany, an area which 133)153 and Copenhagen (fig. 134),154 indicate
had formerly witnessed his most important mili- that they were disposed of in a much more vio-
tary exploits. lent fashion with overtones of poena post mortem ac-
Although poorly preserved and badly weath- corded the corpses of condemned criminals. The
ered, a head in the Getty also exhibits no indi-
cations that it was intentionally vandalized (fig.
132).148 At some point subsequent to its creation, 149 Palazzo Ducale; Z. Kiss (1975) 293ff, pls. 84, 88c;
the portrait was retrofitted with two square M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 350, fig. 24. The ar-
mortises over each temple in order to anchor rangement of comma shaped locks over the forehead re-
flect Domitian’s type 1 coiffure.
150 Départment des Antiquités Egyptiennes A. 35 (N.

36); h. 0.316 m.; H. Kyrieleis (1975) 177, no. H12; R.

144 Now lost; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and U. Haus- Bianchi in R. Bianchi, ed. (1988) 249-50, no. 137, with figs.
mann (1966) 38, 105, pl. 33a-b (with earlier literature). The The pattern of locks over the forehead, with part over the
head is worked for insertion. Although the back of the head right eye and a section of locks reversing direction over the
has been sheared off, the portrait was remarkably well- left eye, clearly places this portrait within Domitian’s sec-
preserved. The nose was entirely intact and there was only ond type. The arrangement of locks strongly recalls that
minor damage to the surface of the face. of the type 2 portrait in Naples with corona civica. The shape
145 Musée Gustave Mercier; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, of the mouth, with thin upper lip and fuller lower lip, are
and U. Hausmann (1966) 38-9, 102, fig. 33c; M. Bergmann also paralleled in other sculpted portraits which are not
and P. Zanker (1981) 366, figs. 38a-b (with earlier litera- egyptianizing in character.
ture); Fittschen-Zanker I, 35. S. Adamo Muscettola in 151 Several relief representations of Domitian as Pha-

Domiziano/Nerva 51; H. Meyer (2000) 128, fig. 238. The raoh in purely Egyptian style, identifiable by cartouche,
portrait is worked for insertion and has suffered only mini- survive from Egypt: Edfu, Esna, Dendera, Kom, Omblo,
mal damage; the nose and parts of the rims of both ears Philae, and Dêt-esch-schelwît, M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and
have broken off. U. Hausmann (1966) 39, ns. 29, 30, 98.
146 Lapidarium, h. 0.52 m; M. Wegner, G. Daltrop, and 152 And also by Vespasian and Titus, see B.W. Jones

U. Hausmann (1966) 38-39, 101, pl. 33d; O. Velimiroviƒ- (1992) 100-101.

ðiñiƒ in N. Cambi et al. (1988) 89- 90, no. 82, with figs. 153 Inv. 115191, h. 0.42 m.; A.A. Amadio, MusNazRom

(with earlier literature). The portrait was discovered at 9.1, 198-99, no. R 150, with figs. (with earlier literature).
Kumbor in in 1951. The tip of the nose is broken and there The portrait is worked for insertion but into a draped bust
are slight abrasions to the left brow. or statue. The nose appears to be an ancient repair.
147 Residenz, Antiquarium, inv. 271, h. 0.265 m.; E. 154 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 664, inv. 768; B. Andreae

Weski in G Hojer, ed. (1987) 229-30, no. 110, pl. 150; H. (1977) fig. 67; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker (1981) 365-66,
Born and K. Stemmer (1996) 99, fig. 47. figs. 36a-c; W. Grünhagen (1986) 315, n. 13; A. Amadio
148 Inv. 76.AA.72, h. 0.40 m.; R.R.R. Smith (1986) 59- in MusNazRom 1.9.1, 199. F. Johansen (1995a) 38, no. 8,
78, figs. 1.a-d; R.R.R. Smith (1988) 163, no. 41, pl. 29.3- (with figs., with earlier literature); The portrait is a
4 (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann (1998) 242, pl. 44.3- conflation of Domitian’s second and third types and in-
6. cludes an acanthus leaf motif at the base of the bust form.
130 chapter six

under life-sized bronze bust of Domitian in eliminated the need for their completion. A type
Copenhagen was reportedly found in the Tiber 3 portrait from Athens is only blocked out on the
in 1891 and consequently recalls the derogatory top and back of the head and never received the
treatment of the miniature bronze and marble final surface finish for the face and neck.158 Simi-
images of Caligula from the Tiber, or the bronze larly, work on a portrait from Asia Minor, now
portrait of Nero from the River Alde. Like the in Los Angeles, must have been interrupted by
miniature busts of Caligula, the small-scale of the Domitian’s overthrow (fig. 136a-d).159 Although
image suggests that it was originally associated it is only summarily blocked out, the portrait re-
with a public or private shrine dedicated to the produces physiognomical details of Domitian’s
imperial cult. The Terme portrait, which includes third portrait type, including the shape of the
a corona civica is severely corroded. It was discov- mouth and chin. Like the Athenian portrait, the
ered at the mouth of the Rio Martino (near Lake completion of the Getty head was forestalled by
Fogliano and Lake Monaci), into which it may Domitian’s assassination.160
have been thrown in response to the damnatio. Numerous extant cuirassed statue bodies are
A well preserved bust in Toledo also depicts dated to the Flavian period and many must have
Domitian and, if ancient, must have been ware- originally belonged to images of Domitian. Cui-
housed or buried after Domitian’s condemnation rasses in the Vatican,161 the Palazzo Farnese,162
(fig. 135).155 The image is a replica of Domitian’s the Louvre,163 London,164 Auch, 165 Boston,166
third portrait type and presents many highly Los Angeles,167 and Merida168 either lack their
polished surfaces, especially in the area of the
face. The bust form itself is somewhat unusual 158 National Museum, inv. 345, h. 0.35 m.; M. Wegner,
for the Flavian period, as is the handling of the G. Daltrop, and U. Hausmann (1966) 37-38, 97, pl. 32c-
baldric and the drapery covering the left shoul- d (with earlier literature); M. Bergmann and P. Zanker
(1981) 365; M. Bergmann and P. Zanker assign this head
der.156 The marble is likely to be Parian which to Domitian’s second portrait type. However, the mature
would accord well Domitian’s known predilec- physiognomy of the portrait. as well as the locks which have
tion for Greek marble.157 been carved over the right temple and behind the right ear,
Two marble portraits of Domitian were never clearly mark the portrait as a replica or variant of Domi-
tian’s third type. The section over the left eye which re-
finished, presumably because his assassination verse the right to left orientation of the locks over the fore-
head may simply be a provincial variant or a contamination
from Domitian’s second portrait type.
155 Museum of Art, 1990.3, h. 0.596 m.; R.M. Berko- 159 J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 75.AA.26, K.P. Erhart,

witz (2001) 258, fig. 111; S.E. Knudsen, C. Craine and R. J. Frel, Sandra Knudsen Morgan, and S. Nodelman (1980)
H. Tykot (2002) 237-38. 46-49, with figs.; J. Frel (1981) 50, no. 34, 124, with figs.;
156 The baldric is wider than most and the fold at the J. Chamay and J.L. Maier (1982) 111, pl. 20.
bottom is unusual although it does occur in a portrait of 160 For unfinished Roman sculpture, see also H. Blanck

Trajan (Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 22, inv. (1966) 171-4.
276). The coiffure also does not exactly correspond to any 161 Galleria delle Statue, 248; K. Stemmer (1978) 80,

other type 3 likenesses. The Toledo portrait includes a no. VII 10; C. Vermeule (1980b) 4; R. Gergel (1994) 199-
clump of locks which reverse direction over the inner cor- 203.
ner of the left eye which occurs in no other Domitianic 162 K. Stemmer (1978) 94, n. 244; C. Vermeule (1980b)

portraits except the type 1 likeness from Ostia (inv. 19). The 4.
hair at the back of the head also omits the swirl of curls 163 Inv. MA 1150; R. Gergel (1994) 199; K. de Kersau-

that appear in the altered bronze equestrian portrait from son (1996) 76-79, no. 28, with figs.
Misenum and the head worked for insertion from the Villa 164 British Museum, inv. 1895 (currently displayed at

Borghese (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Braccio Nuovo 3.12, Hampton Court); R. Gergel (1994) 203.
inv. 2451, Centrale Montemartini 2.75) or the Domitian/ 165 Inv. MA 1154, Cliché Samuel, dépôt du Musée du

Titus in the Galleria Chiaramonti of the Vatican, 31.20., Luovre au Musée des Jacobins; R. Gergel (1994) 199; K.
inv. 1687 (cat. 5.6). In general, the hair is also more exu- de Kersauson (1996) 80-83, no. 29, with figs.
berantly modeled than in most of the other replicas. 166 Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 99.346; K. Stemmer
157 Suet. Dom. 8.5 records the Pentelic marble used in (1978) no. VII 11, pl. 54.2; C. Vermeule (1980b) 4.
Domitianic constructions including the Arch of Titus, the 167 J. Paul Getty Museum, inv. 71.11.436; K. Stemmer

Temple of the Flavian Gens, and the reconstruction of the (1978) no. VII 12, pl. 55.3-5; C. Vermeule (1980b) 4.
Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus; S. E. 168 Museo Arqueologico, inv. no. 1.138; K. Stemmer (1978)

Knudsen, C. Craine, and R.H. Tykot, (2002) 237-38. no. III 6, pls. 18.2-19.1; C. Vermeule (1980b) 5, fig. 40.
domitian 131

portrait heads entirely, or have had new portraits of extensive Domitianic building activity. The
added. It is reasonable to assume that these stat- statue may have originally been displayed in the
ues were eventually reused after the original like- Theater. As a result of Domitian’s damnatio, the
nesses of Domitian were removed, and images of original portrait features of the statue may have
one of his successors, most probably Nerva or been deliberately damaged, or alternatively, the
Trajan, were substituted.169 The upper section of head may have been removed from the statue.174
a cuirassed statue in the Vatican which includes Like the Cancelleria Reliefs, the body itself may
a representation of Romulus and Remus with the have been stored in a sculptor’s workshop in the
she wolf also originally seems to have been com- Campus Martius or in structures associated with
bined with a portrait of Domitian and formed a the Theater.
pendant with a cuirassed statue likely represent- Five gem portraits of Domitian have sur-
ing Titus or Vespasian.170 The Domitianic por- vived.175 All are type 3 likenesses created during
trait must have been transformed immediately Domitian’s tenure as Augustus. A sardonyx
after Domitian’s condemnation and eventually re- cameo, formerly in the Ponsonby Collection,
used in the early third century at the baths of depicts busts of Domitian and Domitia or Julia
Caracalla where both cuirass fragments were Titi in profile being carried aloft on the back of
found. an eagle.176 The imagery of apotheosis and the
The heroic nude statue popularly identified inclusion of Domitia or Julia Titi precluded the
as Pompey in the Palazzo Spada may provide recutting of the piece. Furthermore, the overlap-
additional evidence for the removal of Domitian’s ping portraits would have made recarving ex-
images.171 It essentially reproduces the same tremely difficult. Similarly, the highly unusual
fourth century statuary type of Diomedes as the transgendered iconography of three gem portraits
portrait of Nero reworked to Domitian in Munich in Paris, which depicts Domitian in the guise of
(cat. 2.46; fig. 62a-c).172 The current head is a his protectress Minerva, undoubtedly prevented
modern restoration or ancient and doesn’t be- their recutting.177 A sardonyx bust, again in Paris,
long. The unusual and elaborate fibula with a also represents Domitian.178 As noted above, the
gorgoneion placed on the drapery of the Palazzo
Spada statue is likely intended as a deliberate
174 In either case, rew