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Julius Caesar

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Gaius Iulius Caesar (100-44 BC) was the first Roman general to cross the Low Countries. This portrait head may have been part of a statue in the encampment at Nijmegen. The marble head has suffered considerable damage. There are horizontal grooves in the forehead, and most of the chin and nose has been knocked off. The lost nose was apparently not the original one; a circular hole proves that a new one had once been mounted with an iron pin. The neck has broken off diagonally. In spite of these mutilations, the head can be identified quite confidently as a portrait of Julius Caesar, the general who advanced through the Low Countries in 56 BC. The head is believed to originate from the Hunerberg in Nijmegen, but this is not certain. On this site, between AD 71 and approximately 104, lay the camp of the Tenth Legion, which was originally set up by Caesar. So it would not have been surprising if this encampment at Nijmegen had possessed a statue of its legendary founder.

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