Marble head from a statue of the young Herakles or an athlete, 2nd c BCE, Ancient Rome
The British Museum
Temple of Bacchus, Baalbek, Lebanon. Dated around 150 AD.
Emperor Antoninus Pius commissioned the temple, which is larger than the Greek Parthenon, and in Baalbek it was one of three main temples in classical antiquity. The god Bacchus, also known as Dionysus, was the god of wine, although visitors from the 18th-19th centuries referred to it as the ‘Temple of the Sun’.
The temple was held up by 42 Corinthian columns, 19 of which are still standing. Inside the temple, Corinthian half-columns with two levels of niches are on each side, which contain various scenes from the life and birth of Bacchus. There is also a shrine inside the temple which is positioned above a flight of steps.
Hellenistic, Alexander the Great, c. 200-150 BCE
Dying Gaul, 230-220 BCE, Hellenistic
This particular marble is a Roman copy of a lost Hellenistic bronze. The statue represents a dying Celt with an astonishing amount of realism, especially the pain on his face. He is completely nude except the necklace, a mark of a Gallic warrior. The mustache and short hair is also a mark of a Gallic soldier. He lies in agony on his fallen shield. The amount of realism evident in the sculpture inspired a great amount of admiration among the educated classes in the 17th and 18th centuries, becoming a popular sight on the Grand Tour of Europe. Byron wrote about the statue in his poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage:
I see before me the gladiator lie
He leans upon his hand—his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually low—
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one…
Tyche of Antioch by Eutychides
Roman copy of a c. 300 BC bronze original
Marble. 96cm tall
Created shortly after the foundation of the city, Tyche appears as a draped female sitting on a rock, with a crown representing the fortifications of the city and a wheatsheaf in her right hand symbolizing the fertility of the land.
An assortment of denarii.
These Roman coins were found in Germany, which have the correct chronology with the Battle of Teutoburg, 9 AD. The Germanic tribes were defeated by the Romans between the Rhine and the Elbe, and marked the end of the Roman northern expansion to Germany.
 In the dawning spring, when icy streams trickle from snowy mountains, and the crumbling clod breaks at the Zephyr’s touch, even then would I have my bull groan over the deep-driven plough, and the share glisten when rubbed by the furrow. That field only answers the covetous farmer’s prayer which twice has felt the sun and twice the frost; from it boundless harvests burst the granaries. And ere our iron cleaves an unknown plain, be it first our care to learn the winds and the wavering moods of the sky, the wonted tillage and nature of the ground, what each clime yields and what each disowns.
Asclepius was the god of medicine and reputed ancestor of the Asklepiades, the ancient Greek doctors’ guild.
He was the son of Apollon and the Trikkaian princess Koronis. His mother died in labour and was laid out on the pyre to be consumed, but his father rescued the child, cutting him from her womb. From this he received the name Asklepios “to cut open.” The boy was raised by the kentauros (centaur) Kheiron who instructed him in the art of medicine. Asklepios grew so skilled in the craft that he was able to restore the dead to life. However, because this was a crime against the natural order, Zeus destroyed him with a thunderbolt. After his death Asklepios was placed amongst the stars as the constellation Ophiochus (“the Serpent Holder”). Some say his mother was also set in the heavens as Corvus, the crow (korônê in Greek). Asklepios’ apotheosis into godhood occurred at the same time. He was sometimes identified with Homer’s Paion, the physician of the gods.
Asklepios was depicted as a kindly, bearded man holding a serpent-entwined staff. He is almost completely absent from ancient Greek vase painting, but statues of the god are quite common.
Coin of Mark Antony and Octavia Aureus.
The inscriptions which are on the side of Mark Antony, reads: “M(arcus) ANTONIVS IMP(erator) IIIVIR R(ei) P(ublicae) C(onstituendae). The reverse side of the coin features the portrait of his wife Octavia, who was the sister of Octavian (he later became Augustus). Octavia wears her characteristic nodus hairstyle which she was often depicted with.