Sculpture of a figure wearing a toga

UnknownRoman Second half of the 1st century AD.

Museo Arqueológico de Alicante MARQ

Museo Arqueológico de Alicante MARQ
Alicante/Alacant, Spain

Sandstone sculpture of a male torso. Only the trunk of the figure has survived, from below the shoulders to above the knees, as well as parts of the arms.
The figure is dressed in a praetexta or pallium toga, a form of dress used in the Later Roman Republican period, which was derived from the Greek himation. It was simpler to put on than the heavy and uncomfortable toga of the Imperial Roman period.
The shawl covers the body going around the shoulders and covering the flexed right arm, in such a way that the hand can be seen holding the pleats to the chest, which cross towards the left shoulder. The left arm is also covered by the toga, and it would have been bent but hugging the side with the hand uncovered. The pleats of the pallium are carved in steps to form oblique lines towards the right and back of the body. On the back, the edge of the cloak can be seen with a band with zig zag shaped folds.
The shawl leaves part of the chest open which would have been covered by a tunic. On the chest is a bulla which hangs from a triple string which goes around the neck.
The sculpture was found, as part of the make up of a wall attached to the bastion of the Eastern Gate of Lucentum during excavations directed by M. Tarradell and E. Llobregat between 1966 and 67.

The sculpture appears similar to a series of palliati from the sanctuary of Cerro de los Santos (Albacete) which reflect the early adoption, by a section of the native elite, of aspects of Roman culture (middle of the 2nd century BC). However, it is believed that the example from Tossal de Manises is a funerary sculpture as it was found on the slope at the foot of which was situated the cemetery of the Roman town of Lucentum. It also should be remembered that the inscription of P. Astranius was found (although it has nothing to do with this sculpture and was also found out of its original context), a few metres away from this sculpture. This figure would have been a small freestanding sculpture of a young person (because of the bulla), erected on a monumental structure in the cemetery.
Funeral palliati have appeared in a number of Roman towns and in Hispania, in particular, there are the important examples from Tarraco.
The type of carving probably indicates a native workshop. The date, according to the historical context of the site and the cemetery, is around the second half of the 1st century AD.
C.S.: 6322


  • Title: Sculpture of a figure wearing a toga
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Roman Second half of the 1st century AD.
  • Place Part Of: Alicante/Alacant (Alicante/Alacant, Spain)
  • Physical Dimensions: w24.5 x h42 x d12 cm
  • Finding: Lucentum (Tossal de Manises), Alicante/Alacant (Alicante/Alacant, Spain)
  • Denominación: Escultura de togado
  • Type: Sandstone-sculpture
  • Rights: Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Alicante. MARQ, Museo Arqueológico de Alicante MARQ
  • External Link: http://www.marqalicante.com/Paginas/es/CATALOGO-P262-M3.html

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