Digital Sculpture Project: Caligula

Beyond 'Damnatio Memoriae': Memory Sanctions, Caligula's Portraits and the Richmond Togatus

Eric Varner

After his assassination on 24 January A.D. 41, Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus) became the first of Rome's "bad" emperors to suffer some form of memory sanctions (popularly known as damnatio memoriae, a term coined in the early modern period). As a result, Caligula's name was erased in inscriptions; some of his coins defaced, recalled, or countermarked; certain portraits were intentionally mutilated; and, according to Cassius Dio, his images were removed from public display under cover of night.[1] Suetonius records that at the time of Caligula's death, the Senate also contemplated abolishing the memories of all the Caesars and destroying the temples of the deified rulers Julius Caesar and Augustus.[2] Caligula was only the third emperor of Rome and, as a direct descendant of Augustus, vital for notions of dynastic legitimacy and the continuity of the imperial system. Indeed, Claudius actually refused to permit formal sanctions against his nephew's memory (Suet. Claud. 11.3; Dio 60.4.5-6). Caligula's lingering posthumous popularity with the Praetorians ensured that his principal assassin, Cassius Chaerea was tried and forced to commit suicide (Suet. Claud. 11.1; Jos. AJ 19.268-73; Dio 60.3.4-5; Barett (1989) 176). Nevertheless, Claudius tacitly permitted what amounted to a de facto condemnation; Caligula's acts were annulled, and his corpse was initially denied burial in the Mausoleum of Augustus (Suet. Claud. 11.3; Calig. 59; Dio 60.45).

The political volatility in the aftermath of Caligula's assassination encouraged a wide variety of responses to his surviving images which reveal highly ambivalent attitudes towards his legacy. Cassius Dio describes the destruction of Caligula's statues in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, and at least three of the emperor's portraits may have been intentionally mutilated as a result of spontaneous demonstrations against his memory, including a miniature bronze bust in a Swiss private collection, a fragment of a colossal portrait from Saguntum in Spain, and another fragment of a marble head from Aquileia (59.30.1a; mutilated portraits: Swiss private collection, h. 0.97 m.; Jucker (1973) 20; Jucker (1982) 112; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 49-50, 54-57, 91, 92, 100, 115, no. 30, pls. 27.1-4, 45.1 (with previous literature); Barrett (1989) 178, n. 30; Pollini (1993) 425 and n. 14; Varner (2004) 23-4; Saguntum, Museo Archeológico; Varner (2004) 24; Aquileia, Museo Archeologico, inv. 128, h. 0.12 m.; Boschung 120, no. 49, pl. 39.5-6 (with previous literature)). Other portraits were disposed of violently, including several bronze or marble miniature portraits which were hurled into the Tiber, as for instance a small marble bust in the Palazzo Massimo in Rome (Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Term, inv. 4256, h. 0.16 m.; A. Giuliano, ed. (1987) 141-3, no. R.98 (B. Di Leo); Boschung (1989) 41-4, 51, 54-57, 60, 72, 86, 92, 100, 112, no. 19, pls. 19.1-4, 46.3; Donderer (1991-2) 22, n. 126; La Regin, ed., (1998) 48; Varner (2004) 6, n. 32, 39, 45, 130).

Fig. 1 Caligula, Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 4256, (photo E.R. Varner).

The disposal of Caligula's images in the Tiber recalled practices of corpse abuse, poena post mortem. While Caligula's own cadaver was not thrown into the Tiber, the bodies of other "bad' emperors, most notably Elagabalus, were dumped into the river (H.A. Elag. 17.6; Varner (2001) 59). At the outset of Caligula's own reign, the urban plebs had shouted "Tiberius in Tiberim" (Tiberius into the Tiber!) when they learned of the former emperor's demise (Suet. Tib. 75.1).

The most common response to Caligula's images, however, was reconfiguration, and over half of his surviving likenesses have been recut to represent other emperors, most often his successor Claudius or his great-grandfather Augustus.[3] At least eighteen portraits have been refashioned into representations of Claudius, including a colossal image from Carsulae on the Via Flaminia (Carsulae, Museo, h. 0.65; Kreikenbom (1992), 198-9, no. 3.61, pl. 15a; Massner (1994) 168; Varner (2010) 47-8, fig. 40).

Fig. 2 Caligula, Carsulae, Museo (photo author).

In the re-carved likeness, insistent signs of aging including horizontal furrows in the forehead, pouches beneath the eyes, and strong naso-labial lines have obliterated Caligula's youthful facial features. Nevertheless, Caligula's characteristic main type coiffure remains largely unaltered, including the long hair on the nape of the neck, whose arrangement follows the Richmond portrait precisely.

Fig. 3a-b Caligula/Claudius, Carsulae, Museo; Caligula, Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, acc. no. 71-20 (photos E.R. Varner).

A head from Rome now at the Centrale Montemartini was reconfigured similarly with recut facial features rendering more emphatic signs of aging for Claudius combined with a hairstyle left largely intact from the original Caligulan likeness, also a replica of his main type (Centrale Montemartini 2.74, inv. 2443, h. 0.358 m; Fittschen and Zanker (1985) 16, no. 15, pl. 16; Boschung (1989) 120, no. 50, pl. 40.1-2; Varner (2004) 10, n. 60, 26, 101, n. 159, 231, 234, no. 1.31, fig. 4a-d).

Fig. 4 Caligula/Claudius, Rome, Centrale Montemartini 2.74, inv. 2443 (Palazzo dei Conservatori) (photo E.R. Varner).

Another portrait from a cycle of Julio-Claudian statues at Rosellae and now in Grosseto has been refashioned in the same way (Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d'Arte della Maremma,, inv. 97765; Boschung (2002) 70, no. 20.9, pl. 60.1; Varner (2004) 28-9, 80, 230-31, no. 1.20).

Fig. 5 Caligula/Claudius, Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d'Arte della Maremma, inv. 97765 (photo E.R.Varner).

Additional portraits of Caligula recut to Claudius could adopt an entirely different approach. A colossal head in the Vatican from Otricoli and also from a cycle of Julio-Claudian portraits opts for a radical reconfiguration of the coiffure, but leaves the youthful and idealized facial features of Caligula unaltered, thereby underscoring the wide degree of variability possible within Claudius's sculpted portraits (Sala Rotonda 551, inv. 242, h. 0.78; Hallett (2005) 178; Galinsky (2008) 4-5, fig. 6; Varner (2010) 46-7, fig. 39).

Fig. 6 Caligula/Claudius, Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala Rotonda 551, inv. 242 (photo E.R. Varner).

Archaeological context suggests that some of Caligula's portraits, however, were entirely unaffected by the memory sanctions and may have continued to be displayed publicly. The Richmond portrait is one of only two surviving unaltered full-length statues of Caligula; both depict the emperor wearing the toga and are carved from single blocks of marble. The other is from Gortyna on Crete where it was discovered at the city's Agora (Gortyna, Antiquarium, h. 2.04 m; Boschung (1989) 29, note 12, 35-37, 52, 54-7, 63, 89, 109, no. 8, sketch 8, pls. 8.1-3, and 41.1-2 (with earlier literature); Goette (1989) 34, no. 147 b, 28, n. 176, 119, no. 105, pl. 7.6; Varner (2004) 7, n. 43, 43; Ostergard in this volume). The Agora also yielded a second well-preserved portrait of Caligula, a head worked for insertion into a veiled togate statue and was discovered together with heads worked for insertion of Livia, Tiberius, and Gaius Caesar, suggesting that Caligula's portrait continued to form part of a dynastic group, even after his assassination.[4] The statue's close proximity to the group of portrait heads worked for insertion indicates that it also may have remained on view in the Agora; the two veiled togate images would have heightened Caligula's posthumous public prominence at Gortyna despite the de facto memory sanctions. Similarly, a head now in Iesi, which was discovered in 1784 together with portraits of Augustus and Tiberius and fragments of five togate statues and 2 draped female statues, seems to have remained on display within the dynastic grouping (Caligula: Iesi, Palazzo della Signoria, h. 0.34 m; Boschung (1989) 29, n. 14, 35-6, 54-56, 63, 89, 96, 108-9, no. 7, sketch 7, pl. 7.1-4 (with earlier literature); Rose (1997) 81, no. 1, pl 57; Augustus; Iesi, Palazzo della Signoria, h. 0.37 m., ; Rose (1997) 81, no. 1, pl. 55; Tiberius; Palazzo della. Signoria, h. 0.42 m.; Rose (1997) 81, no. 1, pl. 56). It, too, is worked for insertion into a veiled togate statue.

Like the Gortyna and Iesi heads, the Gortyna statue depicts the emperor veiled (capite velato) as pontifex maximus, whereas the Richmond statue is bareheaded and represents Caligula in a highly conventional manner as magistrate, orator, and civilis princeps. Indeed, the body type employed by the Richmond portrait is notable for its traditional presentation of the emperor, unlike several other sculpted portraits which broke innovative new ground and depicted the emperor in free standing statuary with the attributes of Jupiter, including a statue reconfigured as Augustus in Zadar and the colossal portraits reworked to Claudius from Carsulae and Otricoli which are themselves both derived from seated representations of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus (Otricoli: Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala Rotonda 551, inv. 242; Boschung (2002) 68, no. 19.4, pl. 53.1; Varner (2010) 46-7, fig. 39; Carsulae, Museo, h. 0.65 m.; Varner (2010) 47-8, fig. 40). The standard iconography of the Richmond statue would have visually linked it to countless togate portrait statues that populated the city of Rome and its environs and would have stressed the emperor's collective membership in the Roman elite. In addition, it would have shared important resonances with the togate statues of Rome's kings displayed on the Capitoline (Pliny, HN 33.9-10, 24; 34.22-3; Asconius, in Cic. Scaur 25 (Stangl 29); Appian, BellCiv 1.16; Dio 43.45.3-4; CIL 16.24 (military diploma in basi Pompil(i) ; Dionysus of Halicarnasus 2. 58; Evans (1990); Richardson (1992) 372 (Statuae Regum Romanorum); Coarelli (1999) 368-9). A head worked for insertion into a togate statue similar to the Richmond portrait is said to be from Asia Minor and is now in the Getty, while a bust in Trieste seems to have been cut down from a togate statue similar to the Richmond portrait, and both attest to the dissemination of this type of imagery outside of Rome in Italy and the provinces (Malibu, J.Paul Getty Villa, inv. 72.AA.155, h. 0.43 m; Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 38-9, 53-57, 90, 110, no. 12, sketch 12, pl. 12.1-4 (with earlier literature). Born and Stemmer (1996) 97, fig. 41; Varner, ed. (2000) 96-99, cat. 4; Varner (2004) 36; Trieste, Museo Civico, inv. 2177, h. 0.52 m.; Boschung (1989) 29, 35, 37, 54-6, 89, 109, no. 9, sketch 9, pls. 9.1-4, 46.1).

Fig. 7 Caligula, Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum, 72 AA 155 (photo E.R. Varner).

Nevertheless, the greater number of representations that are capite velato, like the Gortyna and Iesi portraits, as well as a cameo in the Vatican, a cameo in Vienna re-carved to Claudius, and a head in Arles reconfigured as Titus, all suggest that the veiled images which represented the young emperor as pontifex maximus, the head of Roman religion, may have been the preferred mode for his togate likenesses (Musei Vaticani, Biblioteca, inv. 5286, 0.049 x 0.038 m.; Boschung (1989) 113-6, no. 33, pl. 29.3; Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum 18, inv. IX A 23, h. 0.0145 m.; Boschung (1989) 51-2, 90, 116, no. 36, sketch 29, pl. 30.4 (with previous literature); Herrmann, jr., (1991) 45; Arles, Musée Reattu, Cellar Depot; D. Boschung (1989) 29, n. 12, 44-45, 49, 50, 53, 555, 89-90, 113, cat. No. 22, sketch 21, pl. 23.1-4 (with previous literature); Varner (2004) 34, 235-6, no. 1.35, fig. 23).

Nevertheless, the conventional pose and costume of the Richmond statue are also commensurate with the iconography of the portrait itself, which squarely positions Caligula as member of the Julio-Claudian gens directly descended from Augustus and Germanicus. Comparison of the Richmond likeness to the portrait of Augustus from Prima Porta abundantly reveals the similarities in idealized physiognomy and coiffure as well as the classicizing treatment of sculptural details which stress Caligula's position as great grandson of the first emperor (also readily apparent in another portrait of Augustus from the via Labicana in Rome) (Rome, Musei Vaticani, Braccio Nuovo 14, inv. 2290, h. ; D. Boschung (1993) 179-81, no. 171, pls. 1.5, 69-70, 82.1, 148.1, 213 (with previous literature); Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 56230, h. 2.17; D. Boschung (1993) 176-77, no. 165, pls. 80, 148.8, 214.1 (with previous literature)).

Fig. 8a-b Caligula, Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, acc no. 71-20; Augustus, Rome, Musei Vaticani, Braccio Nuovo 14, inv. 2290 (photos E.R. Varner).
Fig. 9 Augustus, Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 56230 (photo E.R. Varner).

Caligula's presentation in portraiture is also elided with that of his great-uncle and predecessor, Tiberius, as seen in an over life-sized portrait of his main type in Parian marble, now in Emory's Michael C. Carlos Museum and designed to visually underscore the unbroken nature of the dynasty.[5]

Fig. 10 Tiberius, Atlanta, Emory University, Michael C. Carlos Museum, inv. (photo B. White).

Caligula's portraits further reinforce his dynastic standing as the sole surviving male heir of Germanicus, and the Richmond likeness finds very close correspondences with representations of Germanicus of both his Gabii and Lepcis Magna types in the Museo Capitolino, the Palazzo Massimo, and Grosseto (Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 5, inv. 415, h. 0.355 m.(Gabii Type); Fittschen and Zanker (1985) 29-31, no. 23, pl. 25; Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo delle Terme, inv. 1058, h. 0.315 m. (Lepcis Magna Type); Giuliano, ed. (1987) 137-9, no. R 95 (A.L. Cesarano); Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d'Arte della Maremma, inv. 97769 (Gabii Type); Boschung (2002) 70, no. 20.5, pl. 56.3-5).

Fig. 11 Germanicus, Rome, Museo Capitolino, Stanza degli Imperatori 5, inv. 415 (photo E.R. Varner).

Fig. 12 Germanicus, Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, inv. 1058 (photo E.R. Varner).

Fig. 13a-b Germanicus, Grosseto, Museo Archeologico e d'Arte della Maremma, inv. 97769 (photo E.R. Varner).

Indeed, the Richmond portrait is strikingly similar in all respects and almost exactly contemporary with the togate statue of his father in Grosseto which comes from a series of Julio-Claudian likenesses initiated under Caligula. Unlike his nephew Nero, whose later images would mark a radical break with Augustan and Julio-Claudian tradition, Caligula's sculpted likenesses are not innovative in terms of physiognomy and coiffure but rather extremely consistent and homogeneous within the dynasty. As a result, it is not surprising that Luigi Poletti originally identified the Richmond statue not as Caligula, but rather the founder of the dynasty, Augustus, or that the sculptor Pietro Tenarani identified the image as a generic consul in his 1848 inventory.[6]

The Richmond togatus was not subjected to the radical sculptural reconfiguration of the majority of Caligula's portraits, nor was it compromised through isolated acts of vandalism. Recent investigations of the Colonna archives carried out by Maria Grazia Picozzi suggest that the Richmond statue, an example of Caligula's primary portrait type introduced to celebrate his accession in A.D. 37, which was formerly believed (by most scholars, including myself) to have been discovered near the Theater of Marcellus in Rome, was actually excavated in 1825 at Bovillae, south of Rome on the Via Appia (See M.G. Picozzi (2010) and her contribution to this volume). As Picozzi has noted, the statue's loan to Vittoria Colonna, the Duchess of Sermonetta, for the decoration of the Palazzo Savelli at the Theater of Marcellus occasioned the mistaken provenance recorded by Hans Jucker (Jucker (1973).) Paolo Liverani has underscored that Bovillae proves an even more interesting locale for the statue with rich Julio-Claudian associations (see Liverani's contribution in this volume). The city was an ancient colony of Alba Longa and eventually became the seat of the worship of the Julian family, and it is within this framework that the Richmond statue, representing Gaius Iulius Caesar Germanicus, was originally displayed. It was at Bovillae that Augustus's body lay in state after its journey from Nola as it awaited its cavalry escort of Equites to accompany it into Rome (Suet. Aug. 100). In order to commemorate the occasion and reinforce the close connections of the city with the ruling dynasty, Tiberius dedicated a sacrarium to the gens Iulia and a statue (effigies) of Divus Augustus there, as well as a circus to house games instituted in honor of the family.[7] Here, the statue would have formed part of the unbroken continuum of the gens Iulia stretching back to Aeneas himself.

As both Picozzi and Liverani have demonstrated, the Colonna togatus is likely the statue mentioned by Luigi Poletti as associated with the large building and inscriptions that may have been a kind of collegium (see Picozzi and Liverani in this volume). Although Antonio Nibby wanted to identify the circular building on a square base at the site as the sacrarium gentis Iuliae mentioned by Tacitus, it seems more likely that this structure is a tomb or mausoleum, and Liverani's interpretation that Poletti's large building with inscriptions is in fact the sacrarium is very convincing (Nibby (1849) 310). Inscriptional evidence further underscores the elevated level of the cult and its elite overseers, the sodales augustales (Granino (1991)).

The structure is also linked architecturally to the 'basilicae" which housed the Julio-Claudian statuary groups at Otricoli, Rusellae, Carsulae, and Velleia, which were also associated with the worship of deified emperors and the gens augusta (Otricoli: Dareggi (1982); Rose (1997) 97-8, cat. 25; Boschung (2002) 67-69; Rusellae: Rose (1997) 116-118, cat. 45; Boschung (2002) 69-76; Carsulae: Dareggi (1982) 12; Velleia: Rose (1997) 121-6, cat. 50; Boschung (2002) 25-35).

It is certainly reasonable to suggest that the sacrarium contained more than just images of Divus Augustus and Caligula and that the Richmond statue may have formed part of a dynastic cycle, such as those from Otricoli, Rusellae, Carsulae, (Carsulae: The colossal Caligula/Claudius was discovered together with a Julio-Claudian female portrait near a building whose plan suggests an association with the Augustales, Dareggi (1982) 12 and n. 104) and Velleia which all originally contained portraits of Caligula. Although they lack the secure archival evidence of the Richmond togatus, other portraits have also been attributed to Bovillae and include a statue of Augustus enthroned as Jupiter, a heroic statue ("Julius Caesar"), a republican bust ("Antius Restio"), and a Claudian veristic portrait ("Cicero"), all now in the Torlonia collection (Augustus: Amaduzzi and Venuti (1776-79) 1, 76-77, pl. 76; Clarac 5 (1851) 193, no. 2324 b, pl. 917; Visconti (1884-85) 114, no. 164, pl. 41; C. Robert (1897) 42, n. 173; Gasparri (1980) 175, no. 164; Boschung (1993) 177; no. 166; Hallett (2005) 167, 318, B 86; "Julius Caesar:" Visconti (1884-85) 83, no. 118, pl. 30; Hallett (2005) 165, n. 6, 329, B 286; "Antius Restio:" Visconti (1884-85) 86, no. 124, pl. 31; "Cicero:" Visconti (1884-85) 99, no. 143, pl. 36).

Significantly, the Richmond statue avoided the fates of the other three portraits. As already noted, the Grosetto, Otricoli, and Carsulae portraits were reconfigured as Claudius, as was the Velleia statue (albeit in a more destructive manner)( Parma, Museo Nazionale d'Antichità, no. 1, inv. 280 (1870), 834 (1952), h. 2.22 m.; Boschung (2002) 26, no. 2.9, pls. 17.2, 18.4; Varner (2004) 32, n. 84, 38, 79-80, 97, 232-3, no. 1.27, 258, 276, fig. 34a-b). The Velleia togatus in its original Caligulan format was carved from a single block of Luna marble like the Richmond statue. After Caligula's assassination, the portrait was decapitated and a mortis carved at the base of the neck to receive the tenon of the new head of Claudius. As a result, there is a noticeable gap between the new neck and the old border of the toga, and the folds of the new veil do not line up exactly with those of the pre-existing toga.

The very different treatment accorded the Richmond togatus suggests that, like the Cretan togatus, it may have remained on view or at the very least was largely undamaged and warehoused in a protected location as many of Caligula's surviving portraits seem to have been.[8] Indeed, the Richmond portrait is closely linked to a group of exceedingly well preserved representations of Caligula that appear to have been stored following his death, including a portrait in Copenhagen which is so well preserved that traces of paint are still visible (especially in the area of the left eye), and areas of original surface finish are also still present (fig. 13a-b) (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 637a, inv. 2687, h. 0.31 m.; D. Boschung (1989) 29, 41, 51, 52-4, 60, 86, 100, 111-12, no. 18, sketch 17, pls. 17, 18.1-4; F. Johansen (1994) 136-7, no. 56; Papini and Polito, eds. (2004); Varner (2004) 23, n. 20, 36-7, 233). A bust in New York is similarly well preserved with only very limited damage to the rim of the left ear and most of its ancient surfaces still intact (Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 1914.37 (Rogers Fund), h. 0.51 m.; Boschung (1989) 28, 29, 46, 60-62, 86, 119, no. ?46, sketch 36, pls. 37.1-4, 47.1; Varner (2004) 23, n. 20, 36-7). A head worked for insertion now in the Worcester Art Museum is also remarkably well preserved (Worcester Museum of Art, acc. no. 1914.23; h. 0.486 m.; Boschung (1989) 29, 43-5, 51-52, 55-57, 60-61, 72, 90, 112, no. 20, sketch 19, pls. 20, 21.1-4; Varner (2004) 23, n. 20, 36-7).

Fig. 14a-b Caligula, Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 6371, inv. 2637 (photo E.R. Varner).

Significantly, both the New York and Worcester heads were acquired in the same year, 1914, and are said to have been discovered in the area of Marino putting them squarely in the geographical orbit of the Richmond statue.[9] Evidence for the storage of the images of condemned emperors is rather extensive, and Suetonius records, for instance, that portraits of Nero and Poppaea which had been removed from public display were re-erected under Otho indicating that they had been stored and were readily accessible; further evidence for the warehousing of Caligula's representations is provided by a portrait in the White Levy collection that was not recut until the end of the third century when it was reconceived, perhaps as Claudius Gothicus, suggesting that it was stored for over two centuries before its reconfiguration.[10]

Fig. 15a-b Caligula, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 1914.37 (Rogers Fund) (photo E.R. Varner).

Other likenesses of Caligula could be preserved as a by-product of more derogatory disposal. A head, now in Yale, was likely decapitated from its original statue and buried near the Ponte Milivio before its rediscovery in the 20th century(Yale University Art Gallery, inv. 1987.70.1, h. 0.33m.; Boschung (1989) 29, n. 1, 58-60, 116-17, no. 37, sketch 30, pls. 31, 32.1-3; Varner (2004) 23, n. 20, 36-7). Extensive root marks cover the head, and many areas of ancient surface polish are still visible beneath them.

In its original context at the sacrarium of the Julian family at Bovillae, the choice of a togate statue for Caligula would have additionally underscored the emperor's romanitas as a direct descendent of Aeneas, founder of the gens togata as formulated by Vergil in the Aeneid (1.282) and made forceful statements concerning imperial continuum in the formative years of the Empire on the very outskirts of the capital itself. Other monuments from the area of Bovillae would have reinforced the significant Julio-Claudian linkages with the origins of Rome and its empire. The Tabula Iliaca Capitolina was discovered in 1683 at the Tor Messer Paolo in the area of Bovillae and narrates the story of the destruction of Troy, Aeneas's escape from the city, and the voyage to Italy where he established a new homeland for the Trojans which would culminate in the Romulus's foundation of Rome (Museo Capitolino, Sala delle Colombe, inv. 316, 25 x 29 x 1.5 cm.; A. Sadurska (1964) 24-37; Rouveret (1989) 354-xx; Horsfall (1979) 25-48; Cornell (1977) 77; Dubordieu (1989) 163-71; M. Grazia Granino Cecere (1995) 380-, fgis. 10-11; Braccesi (1996) 87-88; Torelli (1996) 121-22; R. Capelli in Carrandini and Capelli, eds. (2000) 198; Salimbene (2002); Papini (2008) 62, fig. 2).

Fig. 16a-b Caligula/Claudius Gothicus?, New York, White-Levy Collection (photo E.R. Varner).

Aeneas is depicted together with his young son, Iulus Ascanius, who would give his name to the Julian Gens.

An opus sectile panel, also discovered at Tor Messer Paolo in unauthorized excavations in 1838, not long after the discovery of the Richmond togatus and now in the Palazzo Colonna, also narrates scenes relating to the foundation of Rome including Romulus and Remus; the ficus Ruminalis; Faustulus, the goddess of Rome; and the white sow with piglets.[11]

Fig. 17 Tabula Iliaca Capitolina, Rome, Museo Capitolino, sala delle Colombe, inv. 316 (photo E.R. Varner).

While suggestions concerning the dates of both the Tabula Iliaca Capitolina and the Colonna opus sectile panel have varied (for instance, M. Cagiano de Azevedo proposed an interesting reading of the Colonna intarsia which situated it in the early fourth century and related it to Maxentian monuments and renovations in the Forum Romanum), the most recent assessments place it in the first century A.D.; similarly, the Tabula Iliaca also seems to most comfortably fit in the late first century B.C. or early first century A.D. and is likely Julio-Claudian, and both monuments may not be far removed chronologically, as well as geographically, from the Richmond Togatus (Cagiano de Azevedo (1960-6) 200-01). Not far from the center of Bovillae off the Via Appia, the site of Tor Messer Paolo, where both the Tabula Iliaca and the Colonna intarsia were discovered, comprised a very large villa, perhaps the Villa Mamurrana once belonging to Mamurra, the praefectus fabrum of Julius Caesar.[12] Epigraphic evidence associated with the villa, including a funerary dedication to Claudia Prisca by an imperial slave, Eutyches, suggests that by the middle of the first century, the villa had become imperial property, perhaps as early as the reign of Tiberius.[13]

Tor Messer Paolo also yielded the famous relief of the apotheosis of Homer by Archelaos, the son of Apollonios, now in the British Museum (British Museum, nv. 2191, h. 1.15 m.; Papini (2008) (with earlier bibliography); M.G. Picozzi in Picozzi, ed (2010) 39, 82, ns. 256-7). Although the dating of the relief has proved problematic, a date for its creation in the second century B.C. seems likely and its re-use in the villa at Bovillae has been recently associated with Mamurra himself. Whatever its original context, it is now known that Homeric references align very well with the narrative and imagery of the Tabula Iliaca as well as the Colonna Intarsia at the Tor Messer Paolo villa.

The villa itself was extensive and lavishly decorated.[14] P.S. Bartoli noted excavations carried out at the site beginning in 1645 for the richness of the finds including nineteen statues of exceptional quality.[15] Bartoli also records that beautiful things were found there during the pontificate of Paul III Farnese. The site also yielded the well-known "pastiche" of the Deification of Claudius which was displayed in the Palazzo Colonna before it was given by Cardinal Girolamo Colonna to Philip the IV of Spain where it formed part of the decoration of the Ritiro palace (Bartoli and Bellori (1693) pl. 80;; Lanciani (1884) 196; Bernoulli 2 (1886) 337-8, no. 29; Justi (1889) 364; Justi (1933) 584; Blanco (1957) 115-6, no. 225, pl. 66; Harris (1960) 113, 122; Sadurska (1964) 24, n. 6; F. Carinci in Carninci, Keutner, Musso, and Picozzi, eds (1981) 21-2, fig. 5; Schröder (1993) 13; Lanciani (1994) 150, fig. 119; M.G.Granino Cecere (1995) 377-80, figs. 7-8; Bergmann (1998) 132; fig. 1; M.G. Picozzi in Picozzi, ed. (2011) 39 and forthcoming.). The work included a radiate bust length portrait of Claudius of his main type. The emperor wears the aegis, and the bust is supported by an eagle grasping a thunderbolt and globe on top of a pile of arms and armor. The bust itself no longer survives but is known from earlier illustrations, and the base is now in the Prado. The base itself has recently been dated to the Hadrianic period or later, and the antiquity of the head has been doubted (Polito (1998) 207-9). Nevertheless, P.S. Bartoli's illustration of the piece reveals a portrait consistent with both Claudius's established iconography as well as stylistically compatible with a late Claudian or Neronian date. Since the head is now lost, the question of its antiquity must remain moot, but it seems odd that Orfeo Boselli, who claims to have restored the piece, would have manufactured a new head of Claudius for display on the base. Rather, he says that he was chosen to restore the statue of the deification of Claudius on an eagle and trofies ("essendo io eletto a ristaurare la statua dell'Imperatore Claudio deificato sopra una Aquila et Trofei"), and it seems far more likely that he created a pastiche out of two ancient pieces that had been found together at Tor Messer Paolo.[16] Indeed, it may ultimately have been recognized that the two pieces did not belong together already by the late 18th century, for Carlo Fea records in 1790 that the two were separated with the head displayed on a table in the Palazzo del Ritiro while the base was then in a basement room (Fea (1790) 264; Dent Weil, ed. (1978) 83, no. 61). Boselli was also likely responsible for the elaborate pedestal created for the group, and the style of the portrait is far different from that of the pedestal, which further speaks against the head as a 17th century creation (Lavin (1972) 181; Dent Weil (1978) 82; for Boselli's own sculptural style, see de Stefano (2002).). It is tempting to read the radiate depiction of Claudius as a representation of the new Divus and associate it with events at the sacrarium of the Gens Iuliae at Bovillae where the sodales augustales became the sodales augustales claudiales after the death and deification of Claudius. In any event, the known finds from the villa, including the Tabula Iliaca and the Colonna intarsia, all reflect the intense interest in the Julian origins of Rome reflected at Bovillae.

The Richmond togatus, then, presented Caligula as the glorious inheritor and guarantor of the legacy of Aeneas and Augustus, and its context amidst the continuity of Roman tradition seems to have ensured that it was left on display or preserved through warehousing. Significantly, it was not subjected to the destructive or reconstructive interventions that were leveled against so many of Caligula's images. The elite status of the sodales augustales, the custodians of the sacrarium, and presumably the statue itself, also sounds a cautionary note about the monolithic nature of senatorial opposition to Caligula. Indeed, the continued display of the statue within the sacrarium would have been analogous to the continued display of inscriptions containing the names of condemned emperors at the Arval sanctuary of the Dea Dia just outside of Rome at La Magliana. Here, the names of Caligula, Nero, and Domitian were not erased from the inscribed acts of the Arval brethren. The Arval priesthood had been resuscitated and promoted by Augustus and was closely associated with Romulus and the origins of Rome. This priesthood, perhaps the most exclusive in Rome, was limited to twelve members, and the emperor may have acted as the thirteenth Arval brother. Like Bovillae, the sanctuary at La Magliana contained a circus also possibly built by Tiberius (or Claudius) (Scheid (2004) 190, figs. 187-88). Indeed, Bovillae's similarities to the Arval complex at La Magliana further reinforce the elite status of the Sodales Augustales. Harriet Flower has characterized the Arval sanctuary as "separate memory space" where imperial continuity was prized over erasure or oblivion ( Flower (2006) 224). With its close ties to the emperor and the imperial family, the sacrarium at Bovillae may have operated similarly, thus ensuring the preservation of Caligula's image rather than its removal. In addition, the Sodales in charge of the sacrarium may have been very cognizant of Claudius's prohibition of formal sanctions against Caligula's memory and monuments. Elsewhere, the monumental record confirms a de facto or ad hoc condemnation of Caligula as expressed in erased inscriptions and damaged or recycled portraits, but the Richmond togatus actually takes us beyond damnatio memoriae and restores a more balanced historical picture of the emperor that is not strictly black and white, as has been posited, but much more nuanced and richly colored, like the statue itself.

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[1]60.4.5; also according to Dio, the Senate ordered the recall of Caligula's bronze coinage in 43 apparently limited to the mint at Rome, 60.22.3. For the destruction and mutilation of Caligula's coins, see Jucker (1982) 117. For the countermarking of Caligula's coins, see Barrett (1989) 179., n. 42.

[2]Suet. Calig. 60 (quidam ver sentitiae loco abolendam Caesarum memoriam ac diruenda templa consuerint).

[3] At least 18 portraits have been refashioned into likenesses of Claudius, while at least 12 have been refashioned into likenesses of Augustus; Varner (2004) 25-30, 225-29, nos. 1.4-1.15 (Augustus), 229-35, nos 1.17-34 (Claudius).

[4]For the group, see Boschung (2002) 62-3; Caligula: Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 64, h. 0.393 m; Boschung (1989) 29, 32-6, 57-7, 61, 63, 89, 98-99, 107, no. 1, sketch 1, pl. 1.1-4 (with earlier literature); Goette (1989) 34, n. 147c; .Rose (1997) 152-3, cat. No. 85, pl. 194; Varner (2004) 7, n. 43, 42; Livia: Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, no. 67, h. 040 m; Boschung (1989) 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, cat. no. 85, pl. 196; Tiberius: Heraklion Archaeological Museum, no. 65, h. 0.43 m,; Boschung (1989) 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, no. 85, pl. 195; Varner (2004) 7, n. 43, 42; Gaius Caesar: Heraklikon, Archaeological Museum, inv. 66, h. 0442 m.; Boschung (1989) 98-99, 107; Rose (1997) 152-3, no. 85, pl. 197. According to L. Fabbrini, the original togate body belonging to the head of Caligula may also be illustrated in old photographs once belonging to R. Paribeni, (1966-7) 142, n. 55.

[5]inv. 203.551; h. ;

[6]For Poletti and Tenerani's idenifications of the Richmond statue, see in this collection.

[7]Tacitus Ann. 2.41 (sacrarium genti Iuliae effigiesque divo Augusto apud Bovillas, 15.23).

[8]Portraits that were stored or warehoused include images from Cumae, Sabratha, Tunis, and the fine states of preservation of several others, including likenesses in New York, Paris, Venice, Worcester, Cpenhagen and Schloss Fasanerie suggest that they also may have been warehoused; Varner (2004) 35-7.

[9]A togate statue of Nero's first portrait type now in the Torlonia collection is also alleged to be from Marino and, like the New York and Worcester Caligulas, may have been similarly stored or warehoused, Visconti (1884-85) 248, no. 372.

[10]h. 0.407 m.; D. Von Bothmer, ed. (1994) 224 (M. L. Anderson); E.R. Varner (2004) 34, fig. 25a-e.

[11]Appartamento Principessa Isabelle, 0.59 x 0.74 m.; E. Fileri in Picozzi, ed. (2010) 181-87, no. 32 (with earlier literature).

[12]Although the villa had been associated with Valerius Messala and C. Valerius Paulinus, it seems more likely to be that of Mamurra, see Cecere (1995) 376-7.

[13]CIL 14.2431; see also CIL 14.2426, an altar to Hercules also from Tor Ser Paolo dedicated by another imperial slave, Delphus, Cecere (1995) 370-71.

[14] For the 17th century excavations, see Picozzi (2010) 38-40 (and forthcoming); for 18th century activity at the site, see Picozzi (1990) 54, n. 224.

[15]Memorie 145; Bartoli mistakenly dates the finds to 1654, but in reality the excavations began in late 1645 as recorded by the Viceduca Cesare Ferretti in correspondence to Girolamo Colonna (AC, III G.A. Marino Corrispondenza 1630-48, 18 maggio 1645, 6 giugno 1647; A.C. III K. B. 4, Marino n. 46 15 giugno 1647; A.C. II C.N., Corrispondenze, Pacco 1: 2, 4, 6, 10 luglio 1647; and correspondence by Ferretti to Marcantonio V Colonna, A.C. III, K.B.4, Marino, n. 46, 13 dicembre 1647; see Carinci in Carinci, Keutner, Musso, and . Picozzi, eds. (1981) 21, n. 116; M.G. Picozzi in Picozzi, ed. (2011) 38-40.

[16]"Et ultimamente, col parere de più dotti, essendo io eletto a ristaurare la statue dell'Imperator Claudio deificato, sopra una Aquila et Trofei de Signori Colonnesi, quale l'Eminent. (Girolamo) Colonna ha portata in dono al Re di Spagna vi ho taticato in guisa che ne ho riportato premio e lode; sopra la quale feci anco un discorso, esplicando il di lei significato per l'istessa eminenza;" Boselli also says of the sculpture, "Che dirò del Claudio deificato dei Colonnesi dove si mira espressa quella balodagine, che diede animo a sposarsi con Caio Silio Gladiatore (menr'egl'era ad Ostia) publicamente a Roma?" Dent Weil (1978) 84, no. 61.

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