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Portrait of Diadumenian (also known as Geta)

Roman art

217 A.D. circa
Third Corridor (A24)
Italic marble
52 cm (height)
1914 n. 226

This piece shows a boy who has barely left the age of infancy, still with the soft features and skin: the head is slightly turned to the right, with prominent eyelids and carved irises. The boy is wearing a breastplate, concealed by the drapes of his cloak, which is buckled over his left shoulder with a circular fibula. His hair is the result of hurried workmanship on the back. Part of the nose and some of the pieces of neck and bust are later additions. It was initially mistaken for the young Geta (209-212 A.D.), younger brother of Caracalla, but it has since been identified as Diadumenian, son of Macrinus, who became emperor on Caracalla’s death in 217 A.D. When, barely a year later, a plot overthrew Macrinus to guarantee the throne to Elegabalus (218-222 A.D.), the young Diadumenian, who was just ten years old, was assassinated while fleeing to the Parthian Empire.


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