A Roman marble bust of the Greek philosopher Plato (427-347 BCE) has several characteristics that date its composition to at least the second half of the second century. Yet, the sculptor’s renditions of the philosopher’s beard and mustache are in the style of the Greek Classical Period (5th-4th century BCE). Perhaps the bust is a copy of an earlier Greek version? What we do know for certain is that the Romans loved to keep portraits of the great Greek philosophers in their libraries, where scrolls of the writings of Plato and Aristotle were housed.
The 26 cm. (10.2 inch) sculpture is currently on view and for sale at Phoenix Ancient Art. Like many of the works to be found in the gallery, it evokes a sense of the time in which it was made. Hicham and Ali Aboutaam, the owners of Phoenix Ancient Art, like the educational aspect as well as the beauty of antiquities. In this superb bust we can learn a bit about the culture of the Romans of the second century.