My icon very likely gave it away at the outset, but yes, it is in fact the Roman emperor Nero! A weird choice, you may say. But no! Not when you really think about it. See, I'm a Classicist and as I've had to study the emperors somewhat in depth, after reading Suetonius and Tacitus as well as various modern biographies about him, I just fell in love with Nero. Yeah, he was a bit eccentric, a bit vain, a bit paranoid by the end of his rule. But I believe he gets a really bad rap in the histories largely because of the writers' biases against the way he preferred to live his life, ie. as an artist, musician, actor, etc. Not to say that he did no wrong, as the Great Fire fallout demonstrates. But he did do some good things that get glossed over or canceled out by the historians. Ultimately, it was that reliance on popularity with the people, that charisma that ended up destroying him. It was lost on the Senate and the army.
I love the creative, carefree, sensual and charming man that he was - not to mention I've always found him rather handsome, even into the later years of his reign - and I'd do almost anything to be able to go back in time and get to know him. He would have been fun. I know it. ♥
Look at that face! And that hint of smirk. Adorable!
Nero and his infamous mother Agrippina
I love this statue. I wish I could find a reproduction of it for sale!
Aaaand, because I like pictures and I like to abuse the lj-cut, I have included my secondary crush here.
I hate to admit, but I also have a small crush on Augustus. I mean, come on, look at those busts and tell me he doesn't look good? And also, you gotta give the man credit for transforming Rome from a limping republic to a strident empire - and with such finesse. As much as he kind of gets on my nerves when I'm translating his Res Gestae into English, he still holds a place in my heart. Just...not as big a place as Nero. Don't think he'd be able to wrap his mind around that, but, it is what it is.
He can Pontifex my Maximus any day. ...Yeah, I went there.
Also, I thought I might mention that I have just opened two stamping communities: imperator_stamp (Roman Emperors) and iclaudius_stamp (I, Claudius). Please feel free to join if you're at all interested! /plugging