Thursday, June 06, 2013
little boots & the hoodie man
It was late in the day for tired old Rome when this head of the emperor Caracalla was made, but the raw power of Roman monumental portraiture jumps easily over the centuries, and glares from the emperor's sullen & belligerent countenance. It's easy to see that Caracalla would be just as unpleasant a person to encounter today as he was when the sculptor took his likeness.
Caracalla was a nick-name, designating the French-style hoodie cloak he liked to wear. Some of the worst of the crew went by nick-names -- Caligula means "little boots." Caracalla, the furious and violent son of Septimius Severus, was also a fratricidal pervert who built the world's biggest bath house.
I tremble for the future of us when I look at some of the exotic types who ruled the Romans when their empire was growing long in the tooth.