Oldest bust of Emperor Caesar found in French river
The bust of the Roman emperor has been found at the bottom of the River Rhone in Arles.14 May 2008
PARIS - A bust of Julius Caesar, believed to be the oldest representation of the Roman emperor yet known, has been found at the bottom of the River Rhone in Arles, a town founded by him in 46 BC, the French culture ministry said Tuesday.
The imperial bust, showing a balding and aging man, was found with other artefacts in the bed of the river in the south of France.
It is "the oldest representation yet known of Caesar," and "typical of a series of realistic portraits from the period of the (Roman) republic," said a ministry statement.
Three other statues, including one of the god Neptune dating from the beginning of the third century AD, were found at the same site.
"I suspect the bust was thrown in the river after he was assassinated because it would not have been good at that time to be considered a follower of his," said French archaeologist Luc Long, who directed excavations at the underwater site.
"In Rome you don't find any statues of Caesar dating from the time he lived, they were all posthumous," he added.
[AFP / Expatica]