Revisiting Italic and Roman Portraiture

From NPR story

Like so much else the San Casciano find will change how we study and think about almost everything visual from Roman Republican Italy. I collected more images of the portrait heads below (these are just heads, they were never attached to bodies). They are inscribed on the necks by the individuals who commissioned the images and dedicated them. Prior to these discoveries our best evidence for such portraits were coins and gems and those mostly from the end of the first century BCE, whereas these new finds are 2nd Century BCE or earlier. They show what bullae and other occasional evidence have long suggested, Roman portrait styles were distinctive, stable, advanced, and well developed long before their appearance on coinage.

Below are examples from Boussac 1988, all from the same deposit on Delos all pre-69 BCE.

The Tel Kedesh cache of similar sealings are all before 145 BCE, but it is even harder to find images (cf. Ariel and Naveh 2003 ; and Cakmak 2009), but portrait examples have been published

I have lots of posts over the years on portraiture, maybe one day it will add up to something. Or not.

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