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Bust of the Emperor Augustus

Bust of the Emperor Augustus


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Archaeologists Just Unearthed an Ancient Bust of the Roman Emperor Augustus in a Small Italian Town

Archaeologists have uncovered a marble head of the Roman emperor Augustus in the Italian town of Isernia, located in the region of Molise. According to a report by the Italian publication Il Giornale del Molise, the finding sheds new light on the imperial Roman impact in the region.

Led by archaeologist Francesca Giancola, the team of researchers found the head on Thursday and the discovery was announced by the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise. Il Giornale del Molise reports that the Augustus head “bodes well for other and more important, historical finds” for a town that was conquered by the Romans in 295 B.C.E. In 90 B.C.E., it was subsequently taken by the Samnites, an ancient people of southern Italy, and then fell back into Roman control.

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The head of Augustus was found during an excavation of the city’s walls, on the Via Occidentale. In images posted to Facebook by the Archaeological Superintendence of Molise, the buried head appears in relatively good condition, with some visible damage to its nose.

Italian publications had previously reported that the parts of the Via Occidentale collapsed while being excavated. Speaking to the publication isNews, officials from the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise said that reports that the dig was mishandled contained “violent accusations.”

“Yes, it is really him, the emperor Augustus, found today during the excavation,” the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise wrote on social media. “Because behind the walls of a city, there are obviously the city and its history, which cannot be pierced with a concrete pile.”

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Augustus Caesar Bust (Green Bronze)

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Augustus Caesar Bust, reduction inspired by the ancient statue of Prima Porta. This bronze bust depicts Augustus (born Gaius Octavius Thurinus) (63 BC - AD 14), first Emperor of the Roman Empire. As the founder of the Roman Principate, he consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history.

The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale wars for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the short civil war during the Year of the Four Emperors (69 AD). Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire by annexing the regions of Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, and completing the long conquest of Hispania.

The stone socle of this bust can have veinings of different color and size which can alter the final appearance of the bust.

Our sculpture is produced by a unique and proprietary casting process. They are made of hot molten cast of copper alloys and brass with a green oxide patina. The sculpture has a look comparable to archaeological copper alloys and bronzes. They are finished by hand.

Please note there can be slight differences between the color of the item you receive and the website due to the handmade nature of the product.


Archaeologists in Italy Unearth Marble Bust of Rome’s First Emperor, Augustus

Last week, construction workers conducting renovations in Isernia, a town in south-central Italy, unearthed a long-lost portrait of an ancient ruler: namely, a weathered marble head that dates to the days of the Roman Empire.

Researchers suspect that the marble figure depicts Augustus, who ruled as the first Roman emperor from 27 B.C. to until his death in 14 A.D. The adoptive son of Julius Caesar, Augustus oversaw a period of immense colonization and imperial growth. Besides a badly damaged nose—and the loss of the rest of its body—the head has remained relatively intact, according to a statement released on Facebook by the local government’s archaeology department.

Scholars discovered the head while renovating Isernia’s historic city walls, parts of which were constructed under imperial Rome, reports Italian news agency ANSA. As local news station isNews notes, the walls collapsed during previous excavation work efforts to rebuild them have proven controversial in the small town.

Speaking with isNews, superintendent Dora Catalano and archaeologist Maria Diletta Colombo, both of whom are overseeing the new project, said that some locals had proposed supporting the historic walls with concrete pillars.

“We highlighted that the solution was not feasible, not in the least because the piling would have risked destroying the foundation of the walls and any traces of ancient presence in the area,” the pair explained, per Google Translate.

Instead, the archaeologists—who began work on March 30—are striving to restore the walls in a way that strengthens their structural integrity while preserving their cultural heritage.

“Yes, it is really him, the emperor Augustus, found today during the excavation,” writes the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise in the statement, per a translation by ARTNews’ Claire Selvin. “Because behind the walls of a city [lies] its history, which cannot be pierced with a concrete [pillar].”

Per a separate report from isNews, Mayor Giacomo D’Apollonio announced that the rare artifact will remain in Isernia and eventually go on display in the nearby Museum of Santa Maria Delle Monache.

The find testifies to the Romans’ presence in the ancient colony of Isernia, then known as Aesernia. Throughout the first century B.C., neighboring powers in Italy fought for control of the small town, which was strategically located as a “gateway” for expansion into the peninsula, writes Barbara Fino for local newspaper Il Giornale del Molise.

Roman forces first captured Isernia around 295 B.C. Its previous occupants, the Samnites, a group of powerful tribes from the mountainous south-central Apennine region, retook the city in 90 B.C. after a prolonged siege. As John Rickard notes for Historyofwar.org, the siege took place during the Social War, a three-year clash between the Roman Republic and its longtime allies, who wanted to be recognized as Roman citizens.

An ancient wall in the town of Isernia (TheFab4 via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0)

“Most insurrections are people trying to break away from some power—the Confederacy tries to break away from the United States, the American colonies try to break away from the British—and the weird thing about the Social War is the Italians are trying to fight their way into the Roman system,” Mike Duncan, author of The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic, told Smithsonian magazine’s Lorraine Boissoneault in 2017. “The ultimate consequences of allowing the Italians to become full Roman citizens was nothing. There were no consequences. Rome just became Italy and everybody thrived, and they only did it after this hugely destructive civil war that almost destroyed the republic right then and there.”

Pper Il Giornale del Molise, Roman forces soon recaptured the town and razed most of it to the ground, rebuilding the city as a Roman center.

As isNews reports, researchers identified the newly unearthed head as a portrait of Augustus based on his “swallow-tail” hairstyle: thick strands of hair that are divided and parted in a distinctive “V” or pincer shape.


Bust of the Emperor Augustus - History

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Curatorial note

The iconographic value of this head has been seriously impaired by the reworking of the surface - a fact which has heightened the expression conveyed by the lines and furrows of the face. The shape of the head, arrangement of the hair and surface details indicate a portrait of the first Emperor, Augustus (27 BC-14 AD) as he appeared in later life. Compare this bust with the head in the Museo Capitolino 1 which is said to represent Augustus in middle life, and the bust in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek, Copenhagen 2 , dated about 8 BC, both of which are shortly prior to the period from which the Soane portrait is drawn. The 'mouth slightly drawn in pain', and the 'older, more marked and also more sickly features' observed by Poulsen in the Copenhagen bust are more fully expressed in this small head, which nevertheless is modelled in the idealizing way as the celebrated Prima Porta statue of Augustus in the Vatican Museum. 3

The Copenhagen heads (and other portraits) of Augustus are discussed in F. Poulsen, Les portraits romains, I, République et Dynastie Julienne, Copenhagen, 1962 and 1974, pp.63-65, nos.32-33 see also, B.M. Felletti Maj, Museo Nazionale Romano: I ritratti, Rome, 1953, pp.60-61, no.97 (the Augustus as Pontiff from the Via Labicana) and C. Vermeule, Roman Imperial Art in Greece and Asia Minor, Cambridge (Mass.), 1968, pp.173, 380-382, list of 31 portraits from the Greek imperial world.

The Soane Augustus is a private portrait, probably for a family chapel, and gives every appearance of having been carved in the Hellenistic or Greek (imperial) East.


File:The so called “Augustus Bevilacqua”, bust of the emperor Augustus wearing the Corona Civica, Glyptothek, Munich (9897792145).jpg

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Augustus

27 BC — 19 AD (Died age 75 — Natural Causes)

Great-nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar

  • Born: Rome, Italy
  • Hair: light brown, fair, blondish “subflavum“ (Suet. Aug. 77)(ViaCocci)
  • Eyes: “clear, bright eyes” (Suetonius) bluish grey glauci(Pliny XI, 54) (ViaCocci)
  • Skin: “His complexion was between dark and fair” (Suetonius) ‘dark skin’ in an ancient context is not believed to be a statement of racial heritage (via Walton et al.)
  • Other: “His teeth were wide apart, small, and ill-kept … his eyebrows met. His ears were of moderate size, and his nose projected a little at the top and then bent ever so slightly inward. His complexion was between dark and fair.” (Suetonius)
  • Height: “He was short of stature, although Julius Marathus, his freedman and keeper of his records, says that he was five feet and nine inches (just under 5 ft. 7 in., or 1.70 meters, in modern height measurements), but this was concealed by the fine proportion and symmetry of his figure, and was noticeable only by comparison with some taller person standing beside him…” (Suetonius)


Archaeologists Just Unearthed an Ancient Bust of the Roman Emperor Augustus in a Small Italian Town

Archaeologists have uncovered a marble head of the Roman emperor Augustus in the Italian town of Isernia, located in the region of Molise. According to a report by the Italian publication Il Giornale del Molise, the finding sheds new light on the imperial Roman impact in the region.

Led by archaeologist Francesca Giancola, the team of researchers found the head on Thursday and the discovery was announced by the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise. Il Giornale del Molise reports that the Augustus head “bodes well for other and more important, historical finds” for a town that was conquered by the Romans in 295 B.C.E. In 90 B.C.E., it was subsequently taken by the Samnites, an ancient people of southern Italy, and then fell back into Roman control.

The head of Augustus was found during an excavation of the city’s walls, on the Via Occidentale. In images posted to Facebook by the Archaeological Superintendence of Molise, the buried head appears in relatively good condition, with some visible damage to its nose.

Italian publications had previously reported that the parts of the Via Occidentale collapsed while being excavated. Speaking to the publication isNews, officials from the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise said that reports that the dig was mishandled contained “violent accusations.”

“Yes, it is really him, the emperor Augustus, found today during the excavation,” the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise wrote on social media. “Because behind the walls of a city, there are obviously the city and its history, which cannot be pierced with a concrete pile.”


Early success

Ovid was born in 43 B.C. in Sulmo (now Sulmona) 100 miles east of Rome. His letters and the Tristia (Lamentations), a five-book collection of poems written in exile, have given historians a wealth of autobiographical details.

He describes himself as a natural poet from his youth: “Poetry in meter comes unbidden to me.” After a brief stint traveling and then studying in Athens, he turned his back on a political career, and went instead to Rome to become a poet. He fell in love with the city, and it embraced his poetry.

Completed in 16 B.C., Ovid’s first major work was the Amores, a collection of poems charting a love affair with a young woman called Corinna. In this first book of poems, Ovid employed an urbane, ironic voice. A famous poem describing a hot summer’s afternoon of lovemaking ends with the lines:

Fill in the rest for yourselves!
Tired at last, we lay sleeping.
May my siestas often turn out that way.

Some have theorized that Corinna had a real-life corollary: Fifth-century writer Sidonius Apollinaris identified her as Julia the Elder, Augustus’ daughter, and posited that Ovid enjoyed a dalliance with her. Sidonius credited that scandalous relationship for Ovid’s exile, but later historians have debunked this theory. Most commentators regard Corinna as a fictional character.

Following this debut, Ovid notched up one success after another. His Heroides (Heroines) was a series of dramatic monologues centering on mythological women, including Dido, Medea, and Ariadne, who lament their mistreatment by their lovers.


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