Togaed statue of a youth with “bulla aurea”


Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona (MNAT)

Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona (MNAT)

Luni-Carrara marble statue of a youth dressed in the “praetexta” toga, a white cloth with purple trim (depicted on the statue by polychrome decoration that has since disappeared). This was the attire of magistrates and the sons of Roman citizens. The latter also wore around their necks a leather or metal amulet known as a “bulla”, which in this case must have been made of gold, a “bulla aurea”.
The feet and the head of the sculpture have not been preserved. The forearms, the most protruding part, have also been lost. Other smaller fragmentations can also be seen, especially in the folds of the toga.
It was found during the excavation of the Forum of the “Colonia” Tarraco (1881-1882) and was part of a group of statues of the Julian-Claudian imperial family, meaning that it portrayed a prince. Its dating to the Claudian period means it can be identified either as the emperor’s son, Britannicus, or the person who would later succeed him, Nero.

Inventory number: MNAT 382

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  • Title: Togaed statue of a youth with “bulla aurea”
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Location: Forum of the "Colonia" Tarraco
  • Physical Dimensions: 87 x 43 x 21 cm
  • Type: Statue
  • Medium: Luni-Carrara marble


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