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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.

Antoninus Pius, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
The Empress Faustina the Elder, wife of Antoninus Pius, c. AD 140, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Marcus Aurelius, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Commodus, AD 191-192, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
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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