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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 2. Tiberius

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spiritual look that more than counterbalances the refine-
ment of the Julians; but the beauty of the former is less
a heritage than a personal gain; is more of a spiritual
than of a bodily kind. In their features, as in their time,
the antique strives for a higher form of life—an ethical
form—to escape death. After them, faces of doubtful or
barbaric mould are usual. Rude soldiers change with
dull stewards of the realm, and the peculiarities of both
kinds unite in a repulsive whole in Constantius Chlorus
and Constantine.
Art, unbrokenly sinking, at last even technically im-
potent, does its share to cast upon the counterfeits of
Rome’s emperors the shadow of Rome’s decline ; but
the deterioration in type and expression is not therefore
a mere illusion bred by the chisel ; as little as the decay
of the Roman empire is a cheating vision, called up by
its degenerate historians. Did we own a consecutive
line of statues going through all ages, that faithfully re-
produced the features of their distinguished men, we
should with wonder perceive on the outside of humanity,
the stamp of different epochs. The bust of Julian called
the Apostate, which is the next to last head in the Capi-
toline gallery, clearly shows that antique art, even upon
its lowest step, was not quite insensible to genius in the
features it had to reproduce.
• •••***
To the great works of art of its time, belonged a
monument erected in front of the temple of Venus gen-
etrix, to Tiberius, by fourteen Asiatic cities which an
earthquake had devastated, and he had rebuilt. The
cities, in a gracefully wrought allegorical ring, surrounded
the pedestal of the emperor’s colossal statue, a free imi-
tation of which, dug up at Puteoli, has come down to our

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