What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

statue

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1805,0703.86

  • Description

    Marble bearded head of a companion of Ulysses, probably from a group showing Ulysses and companions blinding Polyphemus. The bust, nose and lips are modern.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 100-150 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 74 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Roman copy of a Hellenistic original of about 200BC.Opper 2008

    Saflund (1972); Raedear (1983), p. 40.Cook 2011, nr. 61:
    ‘A head, the size of large life, with an heroic countenance, expressing great agitation of mind, which with the violent twist of the neck, and the eager cast upwards of the face, might suit the character and situations of a Diomedes, or an Ajax, but tho’ it is uncertain what the subject was of the Statue, to which this head belonged, it certainly must have been in great action, exceeding perhaps that of the Gladiator or the Laocoon. the sculpture of this head is equal to any remains of ancient art. it was found along with a few small pieces of the statue by Mr Gavin Hamilton in the Pantanella before mentioned’ (GR 1, Heads 19).

    Several mythological identifications for this head were proposed by Townley:
    - Titan: ‘the character of this head is suitable to that of the Titan in groupes of Minerva, fighting with those fictitious beings’ (GR 2, park drawing room 38}
    - ‘Head of a Homeric hero’: In ‘Companion of Ulysses’ (TY 14/5/13), he hit the mark, as shown by the discovery of a duplicate in the cave of Tiberius at Sperlonga.
    - On Townley drawing 2010,5006.215, the bust is marked ‘Diomedes’.

    Excavated by Gavin Hamilton in the Pantanella at Hadrian’s villa, probably in 1769 as Townley reports in (TY 10/8), although he gives the date as 1770 in TY 10/3 (fo. 18) and Bodleian Ms Add D 71 (fo. 200), and as 1771 in ST 2 and TY 12/19/1.
    Acquired from Jenkins in part exchange on 18 February 1772 (TY 8/74/1), the price given as £200 in TY 10/3 (fo. 18), TY 10/5-7, and ST 1 (fo. 15r).

    Drawings:
    * Townley drawings: 2010,5006.196, attributed ‘possibly’ to Pacetti [I. D. Jenkins]; 2010,5006.215); 2010,5006.215; 2010,5006.118, annotated ‘Angeletti del:’ in ink and ‘Angeletti’ in pencil (cf. payment on 15 April 1772 recorded in ST 1, fo. 24r); and 2010,5006.119, annotated ‘Brown delt.’ in ink (although this attribution has been denied by I. D. Jenkins). There is also a drawing in the Townley Archive (TY 14/3/7).
    * Zoffany: B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury', The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 36-37, figs. 19-20, no. 31b.

    Date:
    Hellenistic 240-200 (Lipold); original late 3rd century BC (Himmelmann); Roman, probably copy of Hellenistic original (Burn); ‘It is astonishingly close in style and detail to the Sperlonga head, and shows that both are highly accurate copies of a common model’ (R. Smith 111).

    Bibliography:
    - Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum (1808) III.23.
    - Ancient Marbles of the British Museum, II, pl. 23.
    - A Guide to the Graeco-Roman Sculptures in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities (Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum) (2 vols., London 1874 [2nd ed. 1879] and 1876), I, no. 139.
    - Hermann Winnefeld, Die Villa des Hadrien bei Tivoli (JdI Ergänzungsheft III, Berlin 1895), 158.
    - A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 144-5, no. 1860.
    - P. R. von Bienkowski, Die Darstellungen der Gallier in der hellenistischen Kunst (Vienna 1908), 19, fig. 25; 20, no. 10.
    - A. J. B. Wace, 'Hellenistic Royal Portraits', Journal of Hellenic Studies 25 (1905), 88, no. 1.
    - G. Lippold, Die griechische Plastik (Handbuch der Archäologie III.1, Munich 1950), 342, note 8, pl. 114.4.
    - Bernard Andreae, ‘Die römischen Repliken der mythologischen Skulpturengruppen von Sperlonga’, Antike Plastik 14 (1974), 66, no. 1.2.3 14, Abb. 3-12, pls.55-58.
    - R. R. R. Smith, Hellenistic Sculpture (London 1991), 110-1, and fig. 146.4.
    - N. Himmelmann, ‘Laokoon’, Antike Kunst 34 (1991), 103, note 52, pl. 13, 1, 3.
    - B. F. Cook, The Townley Marbles (London 1985), 15-6, fig. 10.
    - Timothy Potts, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum (Exhibition Catalogue, Canberra/Melbourne 1990), 166-7, no. 86.
    - J. Raeder, Die statuarische Ausstattung der Villa Hadriana bei Tivoli (Frankfurt 1983), 40, no. I 12, pl. 12.
    - Nikolaus Himmelmann, Sperlonga. Die homerischen Gruppen und ihre Bildquellen (Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften Vorträge G 340, Opladen 1995), 44, pl. 7a (from a cast).
    - Lucilla Burn, Hellenistic Art (London 2004), 173, fig. 99.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Opper 2008 121 bibliographic details
    • Sculpture 1860 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G22

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.86
    1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.86
    2008 24 Jul-26 Aug, London, BM, 'Hadrian: Empire and Conflict'

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1805

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1805,0703.86


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: GAA8748

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...