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+39 0736 253562
Piazza Arringo, 28 - 63100 Ascoli Piceno
+39 0736 253562
Piazza Arringo, 28 - 63100 Ascoli Piceno

The Republican period

The Social War (91-88 BC) is followed by a long silence of the sources; we know almost nothing about what happened in Ascoli between the beginning and the middle of the 1st century BC. The war left ruins and desolation, as told by the small inscription of the Fortuna Respiciens (Fortune who turns back to help).  However, Ascoli was already on its way to becoming a city; the oldest phases of Porta Romana (access from the west) and a few other archaeological remains scattered around the city testify to this, as well as the account of the existence of a large library.
Objects of daily use from the Tyrrhenian Sea, black-glazed pottery, and wheel-thrown lamps became increasingly frequent, showing the spreading of the new Roman culture of which the current of realistic portraiture can be considered one of its most significant manifestations.

Masterpieces

Man portrait

Unknown provenance
Marble – beginning of the 1st century BC.

The head portrays a man at an advanced age. He has a high broad forehead, a wide central wrinkle, and finer ones. His big eyes are framed by long eyelids, and are characterised by two holes made with the drill in the inner part.  The bags under his eyes are emphasised by a strong chiaroscuro.   The thin closed mouth shows a thin smile; the lips are barely visible. His hair, which is styled in flowing locks, starts at the top of his head and is combed to the front.

The facial features resemble the ones of Caesar in many portraits, but the identity cannot be confirmed due the lack of the characteristic feature: the nose.

It was not possible to locate the provenance of the portrait; the style analysis indicates a production date around the second half of the 1st century BC.

Funerary inscription

Ascoli Piceno – PalazzoTrocchi Travertine – end of 1st century BC

The inscription fragment indicated the burial of an important person from Ascoli, whose name is unknown unfortunately, and his family. He was a member of the city aristocracy, and he had a brilliant career in politics. He held prestigious religious and political positions in the colony of Asculum. Among public positions, religious roles could be held also by freedmen (former slaves set free that did not have political rights), but civil ones could only be held by free men. The character of the epitaph (funerary inscription aimed at honouring and remembering the deceased) had been pontifex (pontifices were members of a council of priests with administrative roles who were guardians and interpreters of the Roman law); the duovir iure dicundo (the highest political office in Roman colonies); and duovir quinquennalis (every five years the duovir iure dicundo obtained the same power and roles of the censor of Rome, i.e. they were in charge of carrying our the population census.

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