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Portrait head of Britannicus

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The ill-fated young prince is represented as a participant in priestly ceremonies. He is shown about A.D. 48 or 49, at the age of eight or nine, with the edge of his garment, presumably a toga, drawn up over the back of his head to form a veil. There is a hole in the top of the head for a pin...

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By date unknown: according to the recommendation for acquisition: said to have been found locally and purchased by a G.I. at Sinope on the Black Sea; by date unknown: purchased from the G.I. by George Allen, 2031 Walnut Street, Philadelphia 3, Pennsylvania; purchased by MFA from George Allen, April 10, 1969

Credit Line

John Wheelock Elliot and John Morse Elliot Fund

Roman, Imperial Period, Julio-Claudian, about A.D. 48 or 49

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 342; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 115 (additional published references).


Height: 17 cm (6 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, possibly from the Greek islands of Naxos or Thasos


The Ancient World