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This young woman with a braid has traditionally but incorrectly been called Berenice, the name of three queens of Hellenistic Egypt, and also the name of a daughter of the Roman ruler of Judaea, with whom the emperor Titus fell in love. It is probably an example of the myriad idealised copies of a lost prototype made by Greek sculptors that wealthy Roman patrons were so fond.

The top of the head is restored, which accounts for the curious hairstyle. The lips of the original were overlaid with silver.

On stylistic grounds the date is no earlier than the first century BCE, and of course she can be no later than 79 CE, when Herculaneum was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius

Location of Original: 

Naples, National Museum 849


Purchased from the Paris Beaux Arts in 1884


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 291 (n.10)
Ruesch: Guide to the National Museum, Naples, 210
De la Coste-Messelière: Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique XLVIII (1924), 276, pls. IV-VII
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 80, no.377
Mattusch: The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, 225

No earlier than C1 BCE

Found in 1756 in the garden of the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum near Naples

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