Αρχαία Αγορά της Αθήνας / agathe.gr

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Barbarian - kneeling captive

Place of discovery: at the portico of the library of Titus Flavius Pantainos (Agora, Athens).

Material: white marble.

Dimensions: height 0.90 m, width 0.86 m, 0.50m chest perimeter.

State of preservation: the sculpture, very fragmented, was found in a pile of fragments, during excavations performed in the year 1972. This barbarian was part of a sculptural ensemble representing the portrait of Emperor Trajan with a Dacian knelt near his right leg. The Dacian captive sat squat rests on his left knee. According to the open angle of his arms, his hands seem to be tied on the rear. His head turned back and headed up looks to the standing character (Trajan). His face reveals a tough and fierce expression, with frowning forehead, marked by vertical wrinkles above the nose, sharp features, large expressive eyes, prominent cheeks. His face is marked by pain of the defeat suffered, but he shows no humility before his victor. Half standing he looks proudly and his bright eyes expresses a flash of anger, as someone who does not accept defeat easily. Even if the sculptor wanted to create an overall view of the captured barbarian rather than a personalized portrait, it seems that he wanted to refer to a particular barbarian people and to a precise imperial victory. The garments and physiognomy of the character indeed correspond to those of the Dacians represented on Trajan's Column. Specific shoes, pants, long tunic, pileus and the mantle fastened with a fibula on the shoulder are elements that appear on reliefs of the Trajan's Column and the Arch of Constantine in Rome.

Date: IInd century AD

Typology: Dacian