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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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In accordance with the statues, Suetonius draws him
as handsome, well-knit and broad-shouldered. But he
does not inspire confidence. In particular, the lines
around the mouth are apt to awaken mistrust. The en-
throned statues in the Museo Chiaramonti have an af-
fected sweet smile, that would like to express goodness,
while the small, finely cut under-lip, that rises from the
strongly marked hollow over the chin, ought in its nat-
ural position to sharpen with a dash of contempt the
conscious superiority that lies upon his broad, magnifi-
cently formed forehead. One of the busts in the Capi-
toline gallery discloses around the mouth the long re-
pressed sensual desire, that in old age broke out in un-
bridled force. The smile described, is in strong contrast
with the cold gaze of the large open eyes. As we have
heard so much of the mistrustfulness of Tiberius, we
might expect the eyes to betray that quality ;
but it is
not so. The mistrustful man yet is curious, with regard
to the object he perceives ; he hesitates still between a
probability that it will lose, and a possibility that it
may gain upon nearer scrutiny. But this gaze exam-
ines not, hesitates not, but without mercy verifies a judg-
ment fixed in advance, that gives up every one to con-
tempt. The outlines of the head are noble, and the profile
is stately. Tacitus tells us that the well-formed face was
disfigured by pimples and boils: with such things, art
rightly refuses to make us acquainted.
The statues do not give us an idea of his usual bear-
ing. This was purposely the opposite of that to be found
in many an upstart, who imposes on himself constrained
gestures and a haughty look, as he feels within that he
must represent something other than he really is. Ti-
berius had by nature these gestures and this look ; but

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