Julius CAESAR Tusculum - Didier THERY - Dithernet

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Augmented Reality of the Julius Caesar bust discovered at the Tusculum forum / Latium

In collaboration with the Musei Reali – Museo di Antichità, Turin, Italy.
This bust was formally identified in 1943 by the Italian archaeologist Maurizio BORDA. This portrait is unanimously recognized as the only known portrait made during his lifetime. It therefore predates his assassination at Idus Martias 44 BC.

Description of Julius Caesar by Caius Suetonius Tranquillus : The lives of the Twelve Caesars XLV. It is said that he was tall, of a fair complexion, round limbed, rather full faced, with eyes black and piercing ; and that he enjoyed excellent health, except towards the close of his life, when he was subject to sudden fainting-fits, and disturbance in his sleep. He was likewise twice seized with the falling sickness while engaged in active service. He was so nice in the care of his person, that he not only kept the hair of his head closely cut and had his face smoothly shaved, but even caused the hair on other parts of the body to be plucked out by the roots, a practice for which some persons rallied him. His baldness gave him much uneasiness, having often found himself on that account exposed to the jibes of his enemies. He therefore used to bring forward the hair from the crown of his head ; and of all the honours conferred upon him by the senate and people, there was none which he either accepted or used with greater pleasure, than the right of wearing constantly a laurel crown. It is said that he was particular in his dress. For he used the Latus Clavus with fringes about the wrists, and always had it girded about him, but rather loosely. This circumstance gave origin to the expression of Sylla, who often advised the nobles to beware of " the ill-girt boy."

In his book " MONUMENTI ARCHEOLOGICI / TUSCOLANI / NEL CASTELLO DI AGLIÈ ", Maurizio BORDA argues in a convincing way pages 20 to 23 " A comparison with coins, and especially with the gold coins minted by the Quattuorviri monetales in 44 B.C., which bear the effigy of Julius Caesar, leaves no doubt about the identification with the face of the great Roman : the salient and developed head on the occiput, the profile, the thinness, the wrinkled neck with the accentuated thyroid gland of Adam's apple, the sarcastic expression, even the arrangement of the hair agree perfectly. Preferable are the matrix of L. Flaminius Chilo and M. Mettius, especially the latter, for which the date of 44 is sure. ... No other portrait of Caesar corresponds so exactly, lineament by lineament, to ours, even if the style is different ; the sharp shape of the skull is made more rounded and massive, everything in the Tusculum head is incisive, sharp, dry, rounded and blunt ; so, in the cheeks, the cavities due to the thinness are reduced to a slight sinkhole, in the neck the wrinkles are barely hinted at ; the skin no longer sags, but adheres to the firmness of the flesh ; but the pride, the superior dignity have remained, though mitigated by a mild benevolence, as the irony of the mouth has not completely disappeared."

Crédits :
  • 3D modeling of the bust and Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications by Didier THERY –  Dithernet ;
  • Photogrammetric 3D model of the bust by David ROMEUF, based on a series of Turin Museum high resolution photographs ( ©MiBACT - Musei Reali, Museo di Antichità ) ;
  • 2D textured image of the face reconstructed by iterations with the artificial intelligence AI of StyleGAN2 / Artbreeder, parameterized by David ROMEUF.
  • Gabriella Pantò, Director of the  Museum of Antiquities - Royal Museums of Turin, for her advice on the  appearance and physiognomy of Julius Caesar's face.


Bibliography :

  • Suetonius (Caius Suetonius Tranquillus), beginning of the 2nd century AD. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Translation

  • Maurizio BORDA 1943 Monumenti archeologici tuscolani nel Castello di Agliè : Giulio Cesare.

  • Flemming  S. Johansen 1987 Ancient Portraits in the J. Paul Getty Museum  Volume 1. The portraits in Marble of Gaius Julius Caesar : A Review

  • Thomas Schäfer 2004 Drei Porträts aus Pantelleria: Caesar, Antonia Minor und Titus. In: Th.Schäfer – M.Osanna – R.- M. Weiss (Hrsg.), Caesar ist in der Stadt. Ausstellungskatalog Hamburg/Tübingen (2004). ISBN 3-931429-08-3.

Numismatics coins :

DITHERNET - Didier THERY - route de Lausanne 12A - 1055 Froideville - Suisse
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