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I recently visited the impressive Hall of Emperors section in the Capitoline museum in Rome. I had assumed that it would display busts of all the emperors of Rome, but in reality it was obvious that a number of them were missing.

Discounting emperors who reigned for less than a year does anyone know if busts or statues exist for all the Roman emperors. I'm particularly interested in seeing examples of Aurelian (whose busts I've seen so far look suspiciously similar to busts of his successor Probus) and Majorian.

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Do full statues count, or just busts? Also, how strict is the "less than a year"? –  American Luke Jul 6 '13 at 22:30
Full statues or bust. Essentially an artwork with recognizable facial features, i.e. something more than a roman coin. "Less than a year" means just that. –  Karlth Jul 6 '13 at 23:22

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

After going through every Roman Emperor, I found only six who served over a year and did not have a bust or statue in known existence. Here is the list:

My basic methodology for finding this list was

  1. Open every emperor Wiki page who served over one year and hope Chrome doesn't crash

  2. Close every tab with a bust or statue of the emperor present

  3. Google the remaining twenty or so

  4. Advanced search the remaining dozen-ish

And I arrived at these six here.

This is hardly a doctoral thesis, so if anyone finds a bust or statue of one of these men, just remove him from the list and leave a comment explaining where you found the statue/bust.

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Honorious: and Gratian: Joannes wasn't actually an emperor was he? –  Karlth Jul 7 '13 at 15:16
Valentinian III: –  Karlth Jul 7 '13 at 15:20
I'm pretty amazed to see that no statue of Aurelian exists, especially considering his reputation during and after his rule. –  Karlth Jul 7 '13 at 15:22
Whether or not Joannes was an emperor depends on who you ask. Wikipedia listed him with the other emperors, so he I put him in there to be on the safe side. –  American Luke Jul 7 '13 at 17:07
That bust of Aurelian is usually attributed to be of his predecessor Claudius II ( (also it makes him look suspiciously like Probus: and… ) –  Karlth Jul 8 '13 at 15:51

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