This statue comes from the so-called basilica of Herculaneum — the Augusteum — a building dedicated to the imperial cult where various statues of the Julio-Claudian dynasty were found (Augustus, Claudius). The statue is of the reigning emperor when Vesuvius erupted in AD 79; Titus had in fact been elected a few months before the catastrophe, on 24 June of that year. The image is therefore to be considered his first official portrait. The elephants depicted on his chest plate are a symbol of triumph in war, but are also forerunners of the games in the Colosseum that would be inaugurated shortly after in 80 AD.
Keywords: white marble statue statua loricata of Titus roman emperor Titus Flavius Flavii Flavian dynasty chestplate armour cuirass military dress cloak paludamentum head of Medusa Gorgon griffin gryphon griffins gryphons Inv No 6059