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The Metals Collection

Front view of the statue
Statue of Octavius Augustus

This is the only extant life-size statue of the Emperor Octavius Augustus on horseback. Only the upper part of the emperor's figure is preserved, and the horse is missing. The emperor has fine facial characteristics and straight short hair. His face was enlivened by inlaid eyes, which are now missing. He wears a heavy chiton and a chlamys decorated with tassels and meanders along the edge. His sword is evident below his left hand, which once held the horse's reins. His right hand is raised either in a gesture of blessing or of oration (adlocutio gestus). On his left hand he wears a ring with a bezel engraved with a soothsayer's staff (lituus), a symbol of religious office. This cast statue is typical of Roman imperial portraiture, a work of art designed to impose itself on the viewer and exalt the emperor's power.

Exhibit Features
Date: Roman period, ca. 10 B.C.
Dimensions: height: 1,23 m
Material: Copper
Inventory number: Χ 23322
Exhibition hole: Exhibition hall 31
  Suggestive Bibliography
Καλτσάς Ν., Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο. Τα Γλυπτά, Αθήνα, 2001, σ. 318, αρ. 664