Romans At Iwo Jima?

Okay … can’t resist this one. I’m zonked from the first day of school so I’m idly doing one of my semi-regular checks of ebay items and I come across this:

from an ebay auction … click for a larger version

It is described as a Roman lead relief from the 1th (sic) century A.D. depicting the capture of Vercingetorix. Here’s the original auction … is it just me or does it remind anyone else of:

wikimedia

2 thoughts on “Romans At Iwo Jima?

  1. Apparently, history DOES indeed repeat itself. Men planting a flag in victory after a really tough battle. Planting a flag to let everybody know their side won. (Which is also a signal the battle is over, and fighting can come to a stop.) As old as Rome (possibly even older), and as recent as tomorrow. Such is the fate of humanity.

  2. Actually, that scene is a pretty much direct copy of the bottom left-hand corner of the Gemma Augustea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kunsthistorisches_Museum_Vienna_June_2006_031.png

    That makes it unlikely to represent the capture of Vercingetorix, but also interesting for its own reasons. Either it is a post-antique fake, and the creator used the Gemma Augustea as a model. Or it is genuinely from the Roman era, and the scene on the Gemma was well-known enough for people to copy it in cheaper medium – either directly or from a common original. I haven’t got time now to scrutinise the auction page or seller in detail, but I’m afraid my instinct is that it’s a fake.

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