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Archeological Object

Kneeling Persian

Kneeling Persian

The statue represents a bearded Persian in oriental costume, his body made of pavonazzetto (a coloured type of rock known as breccia which came from Phrygia [modern Turkey]), his face and hands in nero antico (a black and white marble), dressed in a long-sleeved tunic fastened at the waist by a high belt, long trousers, a cloak gathered at the shoulders falling over the shoulders, fastened by a circular buckle, shoes and a Phrygian cap. With his head turned to the left, he kneels on his left leg, leaning his right hand on his right knee, while his left hand is raised towards the edge of a parallelepiped plinth. Works of this kind were intended to celebrate the victorious campaign of the emperor Trajan from 113 A.D. onwards, which led to the annexing of part of Armenia (114 A.D.) and of northern Mesopotamia (115 A.D.), and culminated in the conquest of Ctesiphon, the capital of the Parthian kingdom, in 116 A.D., which appeared to guarantee the maintenance of a certain security along the Eastern limes (border). The death of Trajan in 117 A.D., and continuous local uprisings, led his successor Hadrian to give up the new provinces, which became a buffer state placed under the control of a dynasty appointed by the emperor himself. However, it has also been suggested that the statue dates to the Augustan age (late 1st century BC - early 1st century AD); together with an identical statue conserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (inv. 6117) and another in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek of Copenhagen (inv. 1177), the statue may have been part of a single monument, consisting of a large metallic tripod held up by the three statues, built on the Palatine Hill in Rome to celebrate the victories over the Parthians in 20 BC: the kneeling position of the defeated barbarians would fall perfectly within the political and religious restoration programme undertaken by Augustus. Finally, it is worth noting that the use of coloured marble is typical in the sculptures of exotic characters while simultaneously alluding to the conquest of the remote lands from which these stones originated.

Further information
Codici (Label is not translated)
  Ente_competente: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Province di Napoli e Caserta
  SGTI: Barbaro inginocchiato
Localizzazione_geografico-amministrativa (Label is not translated)
  PVCS: Italia
  regione: CAMPANIA
  provincia: Napoli
  comune: Napoli
  LDCT: palazzo
  Name: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
  Indirizzo: Piazza Museo, 19 - 80135
  LDCM: Collezione Farnese
  Location: Room VII
Altre_localizzazioni_geografico_amministrative_reperimento (Label is not translated)
  PRVS: Italia
  regione: LAZIO
  provincia: Napoli
  comune: Napoli
Altre_localizzazioni_geografico_amministrative_provenienza (Label is not translated)
  Provenance: Rome, del Bufalo collection; subsequently Rome, Farnese collection
Dati_patrimoniali (Label is not translated)
  Inventory number: 6115
  INVD: 1870 post
Dati_tecnici (Label is not translated)
  MISU: cm.
  Height: 164
Dati_analitici (Label is not translated)
  Inscriptions - text:

Condizione_giuridica_e_vincoli (Label is not translated)
  CDGG: proprietà Stato
Fonti_e_documenti_di_riferimento (Label is not translated)

Documenti inediti, I, 1878, n. 192, p. 189; IV, 1880, n. 31, p. 168; Ruesch 666; Wrede 1983, pp. 6 e 11, Tav. 6,2; Schneider 1986, KO2, p. 194, tavv. I,1, 4, 5,1, 5,3 ; Collezioni Museo 1989, I.2, n. 67, p. 164; De Caro 1994, p. 316; De Caro 1999, p. 93; De Caro 2001b, p. 14; Marmi colorati 2002, n. 137, p. 433; Ancient Roman Civilization 2003, p. 60.