The Emperor as Philosopher, probably Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180)

The Emperor as Philosopher, probably Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180)

c. AD 180-200

Bronze, hollow cast in several pieces and joined

Overall: 193 cm (76 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1986.5


Fun Fact

The pose and dress of this statue tell us he's a philosopher.


The extremely high quality and monumental scale of this bronze draped figure suggest that this is an imperial portrait. The pose with left leg forward, right arm raised to the chest, and right hand visible - is identical to several Greek portraits of philosophers. The figure is most probably the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who was a student of Stoicism, a set of Greek philosophical beliefs popular among educated Romans of his day. Marcus Aurelius wrote a collection of philosophical reflections called Meditations.


Monumental Masterpiece
Philosopher's Costume
Imperial Portrait?
Bronze Casting
See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email