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Claudius was Roman emperor from 41 to 54 and was responsible for the successful invasion of Britain. Despite this and other annexations to the Roman empire during his reign, he saw himself more as a scholarly and cultured man — perhaps because he was hampered by ill health from childhood.

This head originally formed part of a life-size bronze statue, something of a rarity in Roman Britain. The alloy of bronze shows a close resemblance to earlier Iron Age British work, not like the mix of metals found in European Roman bronzes of that period. It had probably been originally placed in a public or official space, maybe at nearby Colchester

Location of Original: 

London, British Museum 1965 12.1 I


Kluge & Lehmann-Hartleben: Die Antiken Grossbronzen, 5, fig.3
Macdonald: JRS XVI (1926), 3-, pls. II-III
Huskinson: Roman Sculpture from Eastern England, no.23

Mid C1 CE

Found in the River Alde at Rendham in Suffolk in 1907. Later in Saxmundham Hall, Suffolk, in the possession of Mrs Holland

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