Fragmentary bronze portrait of the emperor Caracalla

Period: Mid-Imperial, Severan

Date: ca. A.D. 212–217

Culture: Roman

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989

Accession Number: 1989.281.80


This portrait depicts Caracalla as a grown man, when he was sole emperor. He succeeded his father, Septimius Severus, who died at York in A.D. 211 during campaigns in northern Britain. Caracalla reigned for only six years before his own death near Carrhae in northern Mesopotamia while campaigning against the Parthians.
The bronze head is said to be from Bubon, a small Roman city in southwestern Anatolia, and was part of a full-length statue set up in the city's Sebasteion, the temple to the imperial cult.