Hadrian portrait, Museum, Nerva–Antonine dynasty, Roman Portraiture

The Nerva-Antonines in Copenhagen

The NY Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen has a spectacular imperial Roman sculpture gallery. Their collection of portraits of the members of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty is particularly impressive.

The Nerva–Antonine dynasty was a dynasty of seven Roman Emperors who ruled from 96 AD to 192 AD. These Emperors were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, and Commodus.

  • Nerva (ruled 96 – 98 AD)
  • Trajan (ruled 98 – 117 AD)
  • Hadrian (ruled 117 – 138 AD)
  • Empress Sabina, wife of Hadrian
  • Antinous, favorite of Hadrian
  • Antoninus Pius (ruled 138 – 161 AD)
Antoninus Pius, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
  • Empress Faustina the Elder, wife of Antoninus Pius
The Empress Faustina the Elder, wife of Antoninus Pius, c. AD 140, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
  • Marcus Aurelius (ruled 161 – 180 AD)
Marcus Aurelius, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
  • Empress Faustina the Younger, wife of Marcus Aurelius
  • Lucius Verus (ruled 161 – 169 AD)
  • Commodus (ruled 177 – 192 AD)
Commodus, AD 191-192, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
  • Empress Crispina, wife of Commodus
The Empress Crispina, wife of Commodus, c. AD 180, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

In the view of Dio Cassius, Commodus’ accession marked the descent “from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust” (Dio 72.36.4) – a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbon, to take Commodus’ reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire.

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