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Head of Julius Caesar (forgery)

Julius Caesar was one of Republican Rome’s most talented generals. His armies were loyal and followed him on many successful campaigns. After conquering Gaul and starting a drive against Britain he returned to Rome, where his success was viewed with increasing suspicion.

Having defeated his rival Pompey, he clashed with the strongly Republican senate as he tried to cement his political strength into an absolute monarchy. A group of senators, led by Cassius and Brutus, assassinated Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. This brought about the final round of civil wars that ended the Roman Republic and led to the elevation of Octavian as Augustus, the first emperor.

Lacking provenance, and without a strong resemblance to other portraits of Julius Caesar, this bust is thought to be a forgery. The incised pupils are also anachronistic for the first century BCE

Italian marble
Location of Original: 

London, British Museum 1870


Purchased in 1884 from Brucciani of London


Bernoulli: Griechische Ikonographie (1901), I, 162, no.43, pl. XV
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 116, no.609
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 895, no.545

Post antique (?)

Said to be Rome

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