Roman / Intaglio with a portrait of the empress Julia Domna / ca. 205?210Roman
Intaglio with a portrait of the empress Julia Domna
ca. 205?210

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Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Roman
Creator Name-CRT: Roman
Title: Intaglio with a portrait of the empress Julia Domna
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 205
Creation End Date: 210
Creation Date: ca. 205?210
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Beryl
Dimensions: H. 15/16 in. (2.4 cm)
Description: The Severan dynasty commenced with the reign of Septimius Severus (r. 193?211), from Leptis Magna in North Africa (modern Libya). With his marriage to Julia Domna, by whom he fathered two sons, Caracalla (r. 211?17) and Geta, Septimius allied himself to a powerful and ambitious Syrian family. Some sources say that Julia Domna was the daughter of the high priest of the Syrian god Elagabalus, and that the future Roman emperor may have met her while stationed at a legionary camp near Antioch. She was an educated woman and held considerable power during the reigns of her husband and her elder son, Caracalla. Julia and her relatives came to dominate the imperial court, giving the Severan dynasty a very oriental character with their predilection for luxuriant materials, richly decorated mosaics, and other exotica. This likeness of the empress in intaglio is unique in its combination of spiral locks with features of an earlier hairstyle, and is thought to be a nostalgic work from the end of her husband's reign.
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 25.78.90
Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1925
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
Style or Period: Severan
AMICA ID: MMA_.25.78.90
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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