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Treasures of Yale: Portrait of the Emperor Commodus as a Boy

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Published on Oct 27, 2011

The hopes of the Roman Empire near its peak would soon rest on the narrow shoulders of Commodus, the only male child of Emperor Marcus Aurelius to escape an early death. This marble sculpture, carved by an unknown artist around 173AD, depicts Commodus as an innocent boy of about 11 - with no hint that he would become a tyrannical emperor who was assassinated 20 years later.

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