Sculpture works from the Roman period are abundant, although generally they do not stand out for their quality. There is, though, an extraordinary series of public works, mainly portraits of eminent Romans and Athenians. The most celebrated Roman sculpture of the Agora is the fragmentary statue of Emperor Hadrian, which stylistically resembles statues from Hierapytna in Crete. Hadrian is depicted wearing a breastplate decorated with the Palladion and is crowned by two Nikes, while he is stepping on the she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. One of the most beautiful portraits from the Agora is the head of an elderly priest of Isis, dating to the mid-1st cent BC; although by a Greek artist, it is heavily influenced by the Roman art of portrait-making of c.70 BC, while apparent are also some Egyptian influences.
Two other important pieces come from the Library of Pantainos, the personifications of the Iliad and the Odyssey. They are depicted as female figures wearing armour. Perhaps originally these flanked a seated statue of Homer, forming the complex crafted by the sculptor Jason.
The largest number of Roman works of sculpture has been unearthed in the so-called House Z, on the slope of Areios Pagos. This house was built in the 4th cent. AD, and functioned as a school of philosophy. Three different wells were discovered there containing a series of earlier works, which date from the 4th cent. BC to the 3rd cent. AD – two statues of Athena and Hercules, the head of an archaistic Nike, a portrait of a bearded philosopher, a statue of the god Helios, the portraits of Antoninus Pius and a Roman lady, as well as a wealth of smaller figurines and marble relief pieces. This marvellous collection was deliberately discarded in the early 6th cent. AD, while some other artworks were damaged, most likely by Christian zealots.
An important aspect of the pictorial repertoire are the bas-relief, or even high-relief works which decorate the clay oil lamps of the Early Christian period. Apart from the usual erotic themes we find subjects of specifically Athenian interest, like the bust of Athena and the figure of Hephaestus. After the 4th cent. AD, oil lamps bearing symbols of Judaism and Christianity become very popular. Many lamps of this kind have been discovered in House Z.

Agora Museum. Fragmentary statue of Hadrian. 117-138 AD (Camp, p. 230, fig. 162)
2.  Agora Museum S 133. Portrait of an Isis priest. 40 BC. Harrison, E.B., Agora I. Portrait Sculpture (Princeton 1953), pl. 3.
3.  Agora Museum S 2039. Jason’s Odyssey, from the Library of Pantainos. From the period of Trajan’s reign. (Wycherley, Thompson, pl. 63b).
4.  Agora Museum. Head of Nike from House Z. 2nd cent. AD. (Camp, p. 244, fig. 173).
5.  Agora Museum S 1214. Head from a Triton sculpture from the Auditoruim’s façade. 2nd cent. AD. (Wycherley, Thompson, pl. 61).
6.  Agora Museum L 1731. Clay oil lamp with the figure of Athena. 3rd cent. AD. Camp J.M. II, Gods and Heroes in the Athenian Agora, Princeton 1980, p. 6, fig. 7.

The project "Virtual Reality Digital Collection 'The Ancient Agora of Athens'" has been co-funded in a percentage of 80% by the European Regional Development Fund and in a percentage of 20% by state funds in the framework of the Operational Programme "Information Society" of the 3rd Community Support Framework.

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