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Medallion with Roman Emperor Caracalla
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Medallion with Roman Emperor Caracalla


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Together with 59.1 and 59.2, this piece was discovered in Egypt as part of a hoard that comprised about twenty similar medallions (now dispersed among various museums), eighteen gold ingots, and six hundred gold coins issued by Roman emperors from Severus Alexander (r. 222-235 CE) to Constantius I (r. 293-306 CE). One of the medallions, now in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, bears an inscription that possibly reads "Olympic games of the year 274", a date corresponding to 242-243 CE. It is possible that the medallions were intended as prizes to be given out at that event. Alternatively, they may have been issued by Emperor Caracalla (ruled 198-217 CE), who is potrayed on the this medallion in profile, bearing a shield on his shoulder decorated with the image of Nike in a racing-chariot. The back depicts Caracalla's distant predecessor King Alexander of Macedon (r. 336-323 BCE) in short chiton and chlamys (a cloak) hunting a boar. This depiction of a royal hunt was intended to emphasize the prowess that Alexander also showed in battle.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
12/31/1969Examinationx-ray
2/01/1939Treatmentother
11/01/1978Treatmentexamined for condition
11/08/1979Loan Considerationexamined for loan
9/01/2007Examinationtechnical study
Exhibitions
  • The Search for Alexander. National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. 1980-1983.
  • Alexander the Great: Treasures from an Epic Era of Hellenism. Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), New York. 2004-2005.
  • Excursions through the Collection: Portraiture, Adornment, and the Natural World. 2019-2020.
Provenance [Found at Aboukir, Egypt, 1902]; Panayotis Kyticas, Cairo, [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Dikran Kelekian, Constantinople and Paris [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Inscription, Greek] ΒΑCΙΛΕΟC ΑΛΕΧΑΝΔΡΟΥ [Transliteration and Translation] BASILEOS ALEXANDROY; Alexander the King
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
ca. 215-243 CE (Imperial Roman)
Medium
gold
(Coins & Medals)
Accession Number
59.3
Measurements
3/16 x 2 1/4 in. (0.6 x 5.7 cm) (d. x diam.)
Geography
  • Egypt, Aboukir (Place of Discovery)

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