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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Unknown Roman Emperor

The emperor shown in this portrait is wearing a toga and has light facial hair. These are features commonly found in portraits of the later rulers, especially those of the third century.

The head bears some resemblance to known portraits of two emperors, Gordian III and Gallienus. Gordian III ruled from 238 to 244 and was proclaimed emperor at the age of thirteen, but was murdered before he was twenty. The reign of Gallienus was a constant struggle against invasions and uprisings, and at his death the empire was in economic ruin and near-anarchy, but he managed to stay in power from 253 to 268

Location of Original: 

Paris, Louvre 1030


Transferred from the Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke, Munich, 29-30 October 1991


Wegner, M: Das Römische Herrscherbild III, 3 (1979)
Clarac: Musée de Sculpture (1841-53) VI, pl. 1083, no.330
Bergmann: Studien zum Römischen Porträt des 3. Jahrhundert n. Chr. (1977), 64, note 221

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