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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Commodus as Hercules

Emperor Commodus may not have had the best political, administrative, or social skills, seeing how everyone close to him planned his strangulation, he did commission some art works including this bust of himself as Hercules.  On his head, he has the skin of the Nemean lion, in his hands he holds the apples from the Garden of the Hesperides, and he also has Hercules’ club resting on his shoulder: all references to Hercules’ labors.  His likeness does reference his father, Marcus Aurelius (link), but his depiction as Hercules was seen as arrogant and vain.  Despite all this, the drillwork used to produce this bust is extremely refined and well done as it creates a sort of movement when hit by light.  

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