A noble woman as the goddess Venus
dressing her hair. The diadem identifies her as Venus.
Bronze; 9 ½ inches high
ca. First Century
Through Aeneas, the gens (clan) of the Julians claimed that Venus was their ancestor. The Julians included Julius Caesar as well as Augustus. Aeneas was the son of Anchises and Aphrodite. According to Homer, Aeneas was an officer in the Trojan army who was treated as an equal of the gods. He left Troy with his father and son and wandered around the Mediterranean. In Homer’s Iliad, Aeneas went to Sicily, and perhaps the Italian peninsula. Other ancient writers associate Aeneas with the founding of the Latin League, though not Rome itself. In Vergil’s Aeneid, Aeneas was much more closely tied to the actual establishment of Rome.
Because there are so many similar versions of this depiction of Venus, scholars believe there was a Greek statue, now lost, from which they were copied.