Roman Head of Apollo
Antiquities - Roman
GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 9,420 - 11,770
USD ($) 10,250 - 12,810
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2nd-3rd century AD
A marble bust of Apollo, with soft, youthful features, hair in series of long locks swept back and held in place by a fillet; mounted on a custom-made stand. 10.41 kg total, 36cm including stand (14 1/4"). Fine condition.
From an old British private collection; formed between 1975 and 1985.
In Greek mythology Apollo was the son of Zeus (Roman Jupiter) and Leto, daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe; his twin sister was Artemis (Roman Diana). His cult influenced that of the Etruscan Apulu; as a quintessentially Greek god, Apollo had no direct Roman equivalent. He has been variously recognised as a god of music, healing, the sun and light, plague and poetry, but is most well known as an oracular god, being the patron of the Delphic oracle.
There was a tradition that the Delphic oracle was consulted as early as the period of the kings of Rome during the reign of Tarquinius Superbus in the sixth century BC. On the occasion of a pestilence in the fifth century BC, Apollo's first temple at Rome was established in the Flaminian fields, replacing an older cult site there known as the "Apollinare". During the Second Punic War in 212 BC, the Ludi Apollinares ("Apollonian Games") were instituted in his honour, on the instructions of a prophecy. In the time of Augustus, who considered himself under the special protection of Apollo and was even said to be his son, his worship developed and he became one of the chief gods of Rome. After the battle of Actium, which was fought near a sanctuary of Apollo, Augustus enlarged Apollo's temple, dedicated a portion of the spoils to him, and instituted quinquennial games in his honour. He also erected a new temple to the god on the Palatine hill close to his own home. Sacrifices and prayers on the Palatine to Apollo and Diana formed the culmination of the Secular Games, held in 17 BC to celebrate the dawn of the new Augustan era and the establishment of the principate.
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Lot No. 0141