New blogs

Leherensuge was replaced in October 2010 by two new blogs: For what they were... we are and For what we are... they will be. Check them out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

He doesn't look like Caesar to me

There's been some noise around a bust head found in the Rhône river by archaeologists that has been atributed to Julius Caesar, the famous Roman general and populist dictator.

Some references: BBC, Telegraph.

The atribution to Caesar seems to be a "belief" of the French Ministry of Culture and it is not clear why they reached to that conclussion. There's no inscription on the bust that could identify the person portrayed.

Since the very first moment he struck as a different person, really. Just compare with other known images of the Roman leader:

You can surely find other images by searching online. But even if these are all somewhat different (and some may come from a later period) they show Caesar, unlike the French head, as having a rather high rooted, somewhat narrow and prominent nose, with both nostrils at the same height. The eyes are also more separated and possibly bigger than in the Rhône bust. And notice also the difference at the cheeks, much more marked (fleshier) in the best known images of Caesar.

The Rhône person doesn't look like Caesar to me at all. Who he was? No idea, really.


Update (May 21):

From post and comments at another blog, I found that this is the only known lifetime bust of Julius Caesar:

No resemblance with the Rhône man, right?

And that among the objects found there was a large statue of Neptune dated in the 3rd century CE. If all the objects fell/were thrown to the river at the same time (what seems likely), then the earliest possible date is that one. Most likely it happened in the time of the Bagaudae or the Germanic invasions (4th and 5th centuries) and that person could be anyone with enough money to pay for a bust (a governor, mayor or landowner surely).

No comments: