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Head of Alexander "Helios"

Roman copy of a larger-than-life Hellenistic head.

One of the titles given to Alexander the Great was Helios, the sun king. This idealised portrait has Alexander’s characteristic wild thick hair, but it partially tied back with a band around his head. There are holes in the band where a metal radiate crown would have been attached, hence this piece’s name.

The original is thought to date from at least a century after Alexander’s death in 323 BCE

Location of Original: 

Rome, Capitoline Museum, Stanza del Gladiatore 3


Purchased from Malpieri of Rome in 1884


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 327 (n.10)
Stuart-Jones: Catalogue of the Capitoline Museum (1912), 341, pl. 85
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 88, no.471
cf. Bieber: American Journal of Archaeology XLIX (1945), 425-9 (head in Boston Museum of Fine Arts)

Roman. Original: late C3 or early C2 BCE

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