The Constantinian bronze Colossus: Nero's hairstyle and the beard of Commodus


  • Marina Prusac Kulturhistorisk museum University of Oslo



archaeology, art history, sculpture, colossi, statues,


The colossal Constantinian bronze portrait in the Capitoline Museum stands out as a unique example of Roman, large-scale portraiture. It is a rare bronze portrait of colossal size, which included a lot of material of a kind which was usually remolded into exchangeable goods in Late Antiquity. It was constructed from separately cast parts, and with a close look, there are traces of retouching and alterations. The reuse was undertaken by way of highly skilled refashioning techniques. In the present paper, I venture to suggest that the bronze colossus originally portrayed Nero (AD 54-68), thereafter Commodus (AD 177-192), before it was given its present appearance in the early fourth century.


Author Biography

Marina Prusac, Kulturhistorisk museum University of Oslo

Kulturhistorisk museum
University of Oslo


How to Cite

Prusac, M. (2018) “The Constantinian bronze Colossus: Nero’s hairstyle and the beard of Commodus”, Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia, 29(15 N.S.), pp. 113–130. doi: 10.5617/acta.6078.