The Roman depiction of Victory
The Romans discovered the goddess Victory when they conquered the Greek world. They immediately adopted and adapted her as a symbol of Rome’s domination of the known world (orbi), and as an incarnation of imperial power embodying the virtue of the Roman people.
She is shown crowning the emperor, holding a shield inscribed with the glory of Rome or standing on the globe. Yet her appearance differed little from the most usual Greek depictions: a standing figure wearing a woman’s chiton belted beneath the breasts, with a fold hanging down to the hips.
- Statuette of Nike, Br 4792, Musée du Louvre, Paris
- Victory relief on Trajan’s Column, AD 113, Rome
- Roman lamp (Victory), CP 4409, Musée du Louvre, Paris
- The Brescia Victory, 1st century AD, Monastic Complex of San Salvatore and Santa Giulia, Brescia