Colossal statues of Ptolemy Philadelphos
Collections OnlineGregorian Egyptian MuseumRoom V

Colossal statues of Ptolemy Philadelphos

Da Heliopolis
Greek - Roman period, reign of Tolomeo II, 285-246 BC.
Pink granite
Height 266 cm (Ptolemy); 270 cm (Arsinoe II)
cat. 22681, 22682

Colossal statues in pink granite of Ptolemy II Philadelphos and of queen Arsinoe II, two of the promoters of the Hellenization of Egypt during the second quarter of the 3rd century BC (285-246 BC). The statues were brought to Rome by Caligula (37-41 AD) to decorate the Sallustian gardens and decorated the same pavilion in which the Statue of queen Tuya had been placed, near the present-day Piazza Fiume. On this occasion Caligula had a copy made of the statue of queen Arsinoe II in honour of his sister Drusilla (cat. 22683), whom he had married and whom he wanted to celebrate as a divinity. The mania for greatness of the emperor brought him in fact to comparing himself with the pharaohs, to whom the divine nature was not denied.