University of Kansas, Lippincott Hall

Publius Vergilius Maro

Publius Vergilius Maro ("Vergil")  (15 Oct. 70 - 19 BCE), not on display

Modern plaster replica of a Roman marble original of the 1st century CE. Vergil may be considered the poet laureate of the age of Augustus, best known for Rome's national epic, the Aeneid, as well as the poems Eclogues and the Georgics. The twelve books of his Aeneid trace the travels and trials of the legendary hero Aeneas from Troy to Italy where he establishes a new kingdom which eventually develops into the Roman state.

The original of this head is in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. But there are several portrait types of Vergil; ours is the most boyish, although it seems related to another portrait in the Capitoline Museum. Two other portraits are similar to each other and both are in the Ny Carlsberg Museum in Copenhagen; a mosaic from Sousse, Tunisia, seems to resemble the Danish portraits.

Featured item:

Nike (Victory) of Samothrace (reduced size)
Modern plaster replica (given to the Wilcox by the KU Department of French and Italian) at a about 1/2 scale of a Greek original of ca. 190 BCE (original is just over 8 ft tall). According to the small metal oval in the back, the cast was purchased from the Caproni Bros. cast company of Boston probably in 1885.

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