Roman Portrait of Cleopatra

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Arienne King
by Sergey Sosnovskiy
published on 14 March 2018
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This marble copy of a portrait dates to between 40-30 BCE and is believed to depict the Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII. The bust is in fairly good condition although the nose has broken off.

A broken off piece of marble on the statue's forehead has puzzled historians. It has been hypothesized that it was once a part of her diadem, perhaps a rearing cobra. However, the lump of marble does not appear to have been a part of the diadem and it has recently been suggested that the full statue originally portrayed Cleopatra with her young son Caesarion, and that the piece was part of the infant's hand.

The bust is a part of the Vatican's collection of Antiquities in the Gregorian Profane Museum.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Sosnovskiy, S. (2018, March 14). Roman Portrait of Cleopatra. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Sosnovskiy, Sergey. "Roman Portrait of Cleopatra." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 14, 2018.

MLA Style

Sosnovskiy, Sergey. "Roman Portrait of Cleopatra." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 14 Mar 2018. Web. 01 Dec 2020.

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