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Statue of the Emperor Hadrian
Camp of the Sixth Roman Legion, Tel Shalem, Beth Shean Valley
Roman period, 117–138 CE
Bronze and lead
H: 89; W: 75 cm
Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 1975-763

A statue of Hadrian, apparently used for the ritual worship of the emperor, was discovered in a camp of the Roman army. One of the few extant bronze sculptures of an emperor from the Roman Period, it portrays Hadrian in the typical pose of the supreme military commander greeting his troops. His muscle cuirass is decorated with an enigmatic depiction of archaic warriors. Probably cast in an imperial workshop, the statue features the standardized likeness of the emperor, down to the unique shape of his earlobe, a symptom of the heart disease that eventually caused his death.


From the Israel Museum publications:
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005
Zalmona, Yigal, ed., The Israel Museum at 40: Masterworks of Beauty and Sanctity, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005
Beauty and Sanctity: the Israel Museum at 40. A Series of Exhibitions Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2006

Exhibitions:
The Beauty of Sanctity: Masterworks from Every Age, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Spring-Summer 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir


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