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A New Head of the So-Called Scipio Type: An Attempt at Its Identification


Dennison suggest that the 'Scipio type' Roman portrait bust, once thought to represent Scipio the elder, actually depicts priests of Isis, whose cult rose to prominence at the time these busts were carved.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-510-0
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Series: Analecta Gorgiana 281
Publication Date: Aug 4,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 34
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-510-0
$37.00

The 'Scipio type' Roman portrait bust, once thought to represent Scipio the elder, is a certain style of bust in which the male subject is bald with a mark on the right side of the forehead. Dennison suggests that these are not attempts at rendering the hero Scipio, but instead are busts of priests of Isis whose cult rose to prominence at the time these busts were carved. The shaven head, typical of Egyptian priesthood, as well as the mark support the suggestion. This piece is interesting as much for the ways in which it illustrates the uncertainty involved in identifying ancient portraiture as it is for its immediate subject matter.

The 'Scipio type' Roman portrait bust, once thought to represent Scipio the elder, is a certain style of bust in which the male subject is bald with a mark on the right side of the forehead. Dennison suggests that these are not attempts at rendering the hero Scipio, but instead are busts of priests of Isis whose cult rose to prominence at the time these busts were carved. The shaven head, typical of Egyptian priesthood, as well as the mark support the suggestion. This piece is interesting as much for the ways in which it illustrates the uncertainty involved in identifying ancient portraiture as it is for its immediate subject matter.

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Contributor

Walter Dennison

  • A NEW HEAD OF THE SO-CALLED SCIPIO TYPE: AN ATTEMPT AT ITS IDENTIFICATION [PLATE I] (page 5)