Statue ritratto "ideali" a Gortina


The paper deals with the category of the “statua - rischen Idealporträts”, treating the few specimens until now recognizable within the large corpus of Roman sculptures collected in the city of Gortyn at Crete. A high-quality example of Hadrianic age was found by Prof. Antonino Di Vita, head of the large scale excavations in the site, during the 1988–1990 field season in the area NW of the “Praetorium”, adjoining the Caput aquae of the Roman aqueduct. Beside this spectacular find, two acephalous torsos of the “Diomedes” type are suitable to have been used for portrait statues, most probably for a couple of emperors. These latter are old surface finds in an area (W of the theatre near the Pythion) where also an important inscription was found, that commemorates the restoration by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus of a competum cum statuis principum. The hypothesis is discussed that the sculptures, which were found nearby, pertained to this dynastic ensemble, functioning as an “actualisation”, and represented perhaps the Antonine reigning emperors like Greek heroes. An alternative hypothesis by L. Caliò recognizes instead the compitum in the same sacellum near the Caput aquae from which (from a Byzantine context) the afore-mentioned Hadrianic ideal statue was found. Through a detailed analysis I argue that such a statue, adapting a portrait head to the “Hermes Richelieu” body type, could represent a noble young man, praising him for his athletic excellence and agonal beauty, and suggesting concepts of heroization. The area of the “Strada Nord”- Caput aquae, between the Pythion sanctuary and the great gymnasium-thermae complex (“Praetorium”), with a stadium, a nymphaeum and a series of honorary and funerary monuments along the street, offers a proper context for such a prestigious representation of a member of the Greek elite during the Hadrianic age

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Archivio istituzionale della ricerca - Università di Palermo

Last time updated on 14/03/2019

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