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Within the Roman world, portraits reflected a growing sense of Roman identity
at the same time the Romans were collectors of portraits of famous Greeks. Portraiture was of a particular importance in the 1st century BC when, with the collapse of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the empire, portraits were used to advance the causes of competing politicians - one example is the creation and dissemination of the image of the first emperor, Augustus, which is discussed in detail. The book examines the problems of interpreting ancient portraits and addresses some more unusual aspects of portraiture, such as the significance of the beard in the ancient world.
Posted July 9, 2014