Differentiating Roman and Slave

I was looking for something else on McCabe’s flickr stream and came across this image that really changed how I saw this type (but see my earlier post my earlier post for evolution of this line of thought).

RRC 294/1

Notice how the slave’s face is turned out to look at the audience.  Often the frontal face in Greek and Roman art is reserved for the monstrous, often the feminine monstrous.  Also his hair is longer than the Roman’s and that may be a torque around his neck…


Also notice the footwear on the Roman and the lack there of on the slave:


Update 12/31/19:

just memorializing this exceptionally good specimen from in trade: Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG, Auction 106, lot 387, 9/05/2018



The Thorii of Lanuvium


L. Thorius Balbus, RRC 316

there was a certain Lucius Thorius of Lanuvium, whom you cannot remember; he lived on the principle of enjoying in the fullest measure all the most exquisite pleasures that could possibly be found. His appetite for pleasures was only equalled by his taste and ingenuity in devising them. He was so devoid of superstition as to scoff at all the sacrifices and shrines for which his native place is famous; and so free from fear of death that he died in battle for his country.  Epicurus’s classification of the desires meant nothing to him; he knew no limit but satiety. At the same time he was careful of his health: took sufficient exercise to come hungry and thirsty to table; ate what was at once most appetizing and most digestible; drank enough wine for pleasure and not too much for health. Nor did he forgo those other indulgences in the absence of which Epicurus declares that he cannot understand what Good is. Pain he never experienced at all; had it come to him, he would have borne it with fortitude, yet would have called in a doctor sooner than a philosopher. He had excellent health and a sound constitution. He was extremely popular. In short, his life was replete with pleasure of every variety. Your school pronounces him a happy man, at least your theory requires you to do so. But I place above him — I do not venture to say whom: Virtue herself shall speak for me …

Cic. Fin. 2.63-5

Mid 20s BCE, RPC I 2029


RPC I 2063


Initial thought, ‘Could that ‘boar’ be a bull?!’ Nope it couldn’t!  Great 2016 article by Guney with better specimen:


Though those horns are still super odd.




Fimbria cistophori

Book captioning isn’t leaving lots of time for blogging or other research, but it’s almost done.  Today while doing a little image research I realized I had a photo on file from years back of the Ashmolean specimen of the Fimbria cistophorus (Metcalf 705).  It won’t work for the book as I need the IMPERAT to be legible.  I’ll pay for an image of Boston specimen instead.  Still, I like the photo as it has the tags and shows the back and forth over attribution. (Metcalf endorses Witschonke and Amandry’s attribution to Pergamon now).