Main Site . Sebasteion

11. Dedication of a statue of Marcus Aurelius

[Μ. Αὐρήλιο]ν Ἀντων͜εῖνον

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Inscription on the pedestal at the north wall of the Sebasteion. The inscription occupies blocks E 10 and 11.

Letters: 4.5-5 cm.

İnan 1993, p. 220-221, no. 14 (pl. XIII, E cf. pl. XV and XVII.13-14);

This is one of three inscriptions discovered during J. İnan's excavation, on stones forming the top course of the north pedestal. The text was inscribed to the right of the inscription for Poppaea Sabina and above the dedication in honor of Nero. The letters are symmetrical (though A. Öztürk's drawing, İnan, op. cit., pl. XV suggests otherwise) and apexed, and there are no traces of erasure beneath them. If, as seems plausible, the statue of M. Aurelius was re-located to fill the space created by the removal of the statue of Nero, that change must have taken place at an earlier stage than that reflected in the re-inscribed dedication for Nerva. A bronze torso representing a draped figure and belonging to this statue of Marcus Aurelius has survived (İnan 1993, pl. XXVI.29). The over-life-sized sculpture lacks the head. Judging by the body the statue must have belonged, according to Kozloff (1987), p. 87, to "one of the finest Antonine imperial portraits in existence" for it is "an unexcelled, perhaps unparalleled expression of the aesthetics, iconography, artistic organization, and craftsmanship of that period." It is now at the Cleveland Museum of Art (Inv. 86.5); cf. İnan, op. cit., pp. 220-221.