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Commodus - Bust of the Roman Emperor

Commodus - Bust of the Roman Emperor Visual Arts Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Biographies Film Philosophy Legends and Legendary People

This bust of Commodus is currently maintained by MK&G (the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) in Hamburg, Germany.

These sculptures are an important way to study how the Roman Caesars appeared at the time of their rule. It is also a way to tell how they viewed themselves.

Here we see a bust of Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (161-192 AD). Wearing the clothes of a commander tells us something about his political claim. This kind of costume displays, among other things, the symbol of his power.

Wearing a beard, Commodus wants to let people know that he is an educated man. The costume and his general appearance, however, do not tell us anything about the vices of this Roman ruler. His excessive way of life and rule led to his death, reportedly by murder, in 192 AD.

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image, described above, online courtesy MK&G (a German-language museum website).

 

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