- Feb 2011
Yes indeed- (or ita vero) - poor ol' Boudicca!Lol. There was an ancient Roman battle along that street, wasn't there.
It would be one thing walking about in public pretending to be a queen- another thing in art. And some things are simply not susceptible to proof- there are too many gaps, unlike in science.You can't always cry 'prove it or lose it'! Short of a picture having a name next to it (like some mosaics of gladiators for instance) or an artists book on his work, how can one prove it? Even Ms Walker-Watling had to admit it cannot be ruled out.Sorry, I'm not convinced, not even in the slightest. To my knowledge Roman women did not portray themselves as foreign queens, and the very idea of Roman men taking on the trappings of Hellenistic kingship was deemed highly scandalous and frowned upon by regular Romans, especially the oligarchic Senate. This is something they chided Pompey for when he returned home from the east with riches and fine clothing. It's something Caesar was deftly aware of with his little play performance of refusing the diadem crown foisted on him by Mark Antony at the Lupercalia festival. It is something Octavian was very careful to avoid as he amassed constitutional powers to become the first emperor Augustus, or better yet the first among equals and citizens as he portrayed it. Much later Roman emperors were more comfortable presenting themselves as autocratic rulers, without question by the time of Diocletian and the Dominate-style government.
Let's put it another way: do you have any evidence, and I mean a tiny shred, that any Roman woman ever and I mean ever portrayed herself as a living foreign queen during the Republican period? If so you better publish your findings quick before someone beats you to it, because that ought to be the find of the decade.
None of these Pompeiian locals will have been confused with Caesar. But they want a painting. Most artists will not have had access to some sort of image database. No photos. They just might have seen a coin.In practice, who is to say if it is Cleo's face or not? That's the reason new Emperors sent official portraits round to those who would use it for coins, images, medallions, standards etc. Without those official images, artists just have to use their imaginations. Nobody is likely to be in a position to gainsay it. So a local Pompeii artist wanting to execute a portrait of Cleo- and preferring a sitting model- use a local lady to model for it. That is assuming it is Cleo after all, but in a way it wouldnt matter who it was meant to be.
Sculptors even used living models to pose for statutes of deities- the Roman view of interaction with their deities was very different from our own.
I think you may be getting it out of proportion. This wasn't about pretending to be a king, queen or god in public. Its just about someone modelling privately for a painting to be executed.
My pleasure! Roman Coins are sort of my area- been studying them 40 plus years now.Thanks for the speedy correction.
I am, fun really, you know! I like a good laugh and a bit of fun together and much prefer to get to know and like my fellow history lovers. We always have a lot in common when you come to look on it or we wouldnt be here! I like your views and sense of humour not to mention the way you build your points and all the lovely art you have taken the trouble to show us.Pfft. You're no fun.
Perhaps I forget myself sometimes, that I'm on a serious forum like Historum, and not somewhere else. Perhaps I'm too used to arguing with abrasive jerk-offs on Reddit and in Youtube commentary sections. Some of those places will slowly but surely drain away whatever politeness and humanity you might have had.
Also, this is kinda sorta my brand of sardonic humor.
But gosh you chose a hard time disputing with the people you get on youtube- that place really can make you feel a bit down about humanity! Hopefully people are much nicer here.