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Demetrios Poliorketes, Herm

Warrior king of Macedonia, 336 to 283 BCE.

The empire that Alexander the Great created broke up after his death in 323 BCE. Demetrios inherited part of it from his father Antigonus I, but failed to establish control over Asia Minor and consolidated his position in Macedonia. He briefly won control of Athens, where he restored democracy in 307 BCE, but lost as many battles as he won; his end came with a small band of mercenaries, isolated in Cilicia.

This portrait was originally mounted on a tall rectangular pillar called a herm. Notice the thin diadem around the hair, a symbol of Hellenistic kingship started by Alexander.

As it was found at Herculaneum, the sculpture is likely to be a Roman copy of a contemporary original

Location of Original: 

Naples, National Museum 1146


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 295 (n.15)
Hekler: Greek and Roman Portraits, pl. 72b
Ruesch: Guide to the National Museum, Naples, 273, no.1146

Roman. Original: Hellenistic

From Hadrian’s Villa in Herculaneum

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