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Items tagged "barbarians": 48

The Sarcophagus of St. Helena

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This sarcophagus was buried in the Imperial mausoleum at Tor Pignattara and is now on display at the Pio Clementino museum in the Vatican Museums. It is believed that it at least once held the remains of St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great.
This sarcophagus is made of red porphyry, a stone known for its hardness and closely associated…

The Portonaccio Sarcophagus

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The Portonaccio sarcophagus dates to 2nd century Rome and it depicts a battle between the Romans and their enemies--the barbaric Gauls. The sarcophagus was for a military general, but the face of the general remains unfinished. This leads us to believe that the sarcophagus was not made for a particular person and that the face would be carved in…

Dying Gaul and His Wife

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Much like the Dying Gaul, this sculpture is also a Roman copy of an earlier Hellenistic original [again, this is debated]. Both are part of the Ludovisi collection and are now housed at the Capitoline Museum and the National Museum of Rome. This sculpture depicts a barbarian male killing himself with a dying woman at his side. He appears to be…

Dying Gaul

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This Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture was commissioned in order to celebrate victory over Gauls by Attalus I [this is of course debated, see Marvin article]. The Dying Gaul was once thought to be a dying gladiator, but this has since been disproved. The dying Gaul, wounded with matted hair, facial hair, and a torque, is characteristic of proud…

Arch of Septimius Severus

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The monument, constructed out of white marble, depicts the battles of the Parthian wars on its four reliefs. Prisoners of war, barbarians, are depicted in parts of the reliefs, as well as Severus’ sons, Caracalla and Geta, who would later be joint rulers of the empire for a short moment before Caracalla assassinates Geta. This Arch, built in the…

Ara Pacis

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The Ara Pacis, also known as the Altar to Augustan Peace, was built in honor of the god Pax as Augustus returned from conquest. Currently situated in North West Rome, the elaborately inscribed Altar was built on the banks of the Tiber River in 13 AD [just off the Via Flaminia, and was completed in 9 BC]. The Ara Pacis depicts several images ranging…

Portonaccio Sarcophagus

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The Portonaccio Sarcophagus features a Roman battle scene and is noteworthy for its characteristic depiction of barbarians. Due to an inscription on the lid of the work, the sarcophagus can be dated to 180 C.E. and is known to have been created for Aulus Iulius Pompilius, an official of Marcus Aurelias. As such, the featured battle scene likely…

Grande Ludovisi Sarcophagus

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The Grande Ludovisi Sarcophagus dates to the mid-3rd century C.E. to a tomb near the Porta Tiburtina. The sarcophagus is made of Proconnesian marble and features a battle scene between Roman soldiers and northern barbarians. The barbarians can be identified by their tunics, beards, and matted hair which contrast with the depictions of the…

Arch of Septimius Severus

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The Arch of Septimius Severus is a triumphal arch located in the northwest end of the Roman Forum where it was first erected in 203 C.E. under Emperor Septimius Severus. Constructed from a travertine core and coated in Proconnesian marble, the impressive three-part arch stood along the triumphal route and served to emphasize Septimius Severus'…