The Portraiture of Clodius Albinus

Decimus Clodius Ceionius Septimius Albinus was born in about 150 and died by suicide or execution under the troops of Septimius Severus on Feb. 19, 197.

Many scholars, particularly those writing before the 1970s (e.g. Felleti Maj), identified this sculpture as Septimus Severus. Its similarity to early portraits of Severus are almost certainly intentional and is probably intended to convey solidarity in the same way that the tetrarch's iconography did a century later.

Despite the similarities, a few individual traits support the identification of this and a handful of other portrait heads as Albinus. Most significant of these is the degree of hairline recession around the temples, a slightly rounder nose, and the bit of hair below his lower lip.



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Clodius Albinus

Was preceded by Pertinax

Was succeeded by Septimius Severus

Reigned roughly at the same time as
Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus, &
Didius Julianus

  Photos by William Storage and Laura Maish
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Clodius Albinus. Capitoline Museum, Rome. Inv. MC463.

Denarius of Clodius Albinus as Caesar
RIC 11a, RSC 61, BMC 43
D CL SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right
ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma seated left, holding palladium and spear
Photo courtesy of Den of Antiquity


Copyright 2007 Bill Storage and Laura Maish. Updated 8/29/2008


Keywords: Clodius Albinus, Septimius Severus, emperor, Roman imperial portraits, pictures of roman emperors, sculpture, art history, iconography, William Storage, Bill Storage, Laura Maish, art history, Roman, ancient Rome