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article imageItaly displays statue of Roman emperor Caligula found near Rome

By Igor I. Solar     Jul 14, 2011 in Entertainment
Rome - The Italian authorities unveiled a marble statue found in the district of Ostia which experts believe depicts infamous Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Caligula.
The 2.5-meters tall statue made of rare Greek marble had been covered with soil for about 2,000 years in Ostia, near Lake Nemi, where Roman emperors, including Caligula were believed to have summer villas and palaces. The statue which was fragmented in several pieces was found last January by agents of the Italian government at the time illegal excavators where about to load a piece into a container to be transported abroad. Now the marble work of art has been cleaned up, restored and will be displayed at Nemi’s Ships Museum, announced the Italian Ministry of Culture.
The figure shows Caligula (12-41 AD) who was emperor of Rome between 37 and 41 AD sitting on a throne wearing in his left foot the typical “caligae” or legionaries’ sandal which he is known to have used since childhood and earned him the nickname of Caligula.
The two individuals allegedly responsible for the illegal excavation were brought to justice on charges of violation of an archaeological site and unlawful possession of cultural property belonging to the State.
The discovery of the statue has allowed Italian authorities to carry out further excavations in the area where it was found, leading to the discovery of other 250 archaeological pieces of historical interest, possibly part of the remains of a thermal resort of the Roman emperors located by Nemi Lake.
Left view of the throne and Emperor Caligula s left foot wearing the caligae or Roman soldier s  san...
Left view of the throne and Emperor Caligula's left foot wearing the caligae or Roman soldier's sandal.
Italy Ministry of Culture
Some doubts have arisen in connection with the attribution of the statue as an image of Caligula. The man was not liked. In fact he was considered a cruel and insane monster. He was accused of incest with three of his sisters and that he also prostituted them to other men. Political enemies accused him of sending troops to irrational military practices and that he turned his palace into a brothel. "Worst of all", shortly before he was assassinated in a conspiracy involving officers of the Praetorian Guard, the Roman Senate and other parties of the Imperial Court, he had appointed his horse Incitatus as a priest and was planning to name him a consul.
Who would want to erect a glorious 2.5 metre Greek marble statue to a hated man?
More about Caligula, Roman empire, Nemi Lake, Ostia, Rome
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