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Pompey the Great: Copenhagen (3/4 right) | by Roger B. Ulrich
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Pompey the Great: Copenhagen (3/4 right)

Roman marble portrait of Pompey the Great (Gnaeus [or Cnaius] Pompeius Magnus; lived 106-48 BCE) now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen (now inv. 773; #733 in Poulsen's cat. of 1962).

Three-quarter view facing right.

This is the best surviving portrait of Pompey; the museum dates this as a posthumous image (probably a copy of an earlier portrait made in the 50s BCE); this example dating to ca. 30-50 CE (i.e., Claudian in date). H: 26 cm.

The treatment of the hair over Pompey's forehead (the raised locks, or "anastole") is thought to have referenced the official portraiture of Alexander the Great. The portrait can thus be considered both a masterpiece of the Late Hellenistic period and an important landmark in the development of official propagandistic Roman portraiture.

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Taken on September 14, 2010