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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Athena Giustiniani, Head

This head shows the goddess Athena as a warrior, with a helmet perched on her head. Her helmet is decorated with rams’ heads. It is a Roman version of a sculpture which dates to the late fifth from early fourth century BCE.

This sculptural type takes its name from a full-length statue which was discovered on the Esquiline Hill in Rome at the start of the seventeenth century and then displayed in the collection of Vincenzo Giustiniani. This was believed to be not just a work of art but a holy cult object. It was said that in the mid eighteenth century Roman boys kissed her hand before going to school, a tradition supposedly continued in the next century by British tourists

Pentelic marble
Location of Original: 

Kassel 12


Purchased in 1884 from the Paris Beaux Arts


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 212 (n.15)
Bieber: Die Antiken Skulpturen in Cassel, 14, no.12, pls. XVII-XVIII
Furtwängler: Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture, 359 (n.4) & fig.157 (for replicas)
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 895, no.567
cf. Haskell & Penny: Taste and the Antique (1981), 269

Second century CE. Original: fifth century BCE


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