Bust of uncertain identification

Inv. Scu 820

The character represented by this portrait has been tentatively recognized as Athena for the presence of the Corinthian helmet; however, the typical features of the face of this goddess seem not to comply with her iconography, while the bust’s traits rather evoke a fairly masculine character.

Therefore, the bust might be the portrait of a strategist, even though the heavy reworking of the marble surface, probably carried out in the 16th century, does not allow us to make more precise a conjecture.

The face shows a frowning brow, framed by stiff curls made with a drill; the eyes are large, with carved iris and pupils.

Chronologically, this head falls between the second half of the 2nd century AD and the mid-3rd century AD, while the bust, wearing a body armour (lorica), with a brace-bracket on the right shoulder and a Gorgon’s head in the middle, is a modern integration, perhaps of the 16th century.