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.

  1. Statuette of Nike, Br 4792, Musée du Louvre, Paris
  2. Victory relief on Trajan’s Column, AD 113, Rome
  3. Roman lamp (Victory), CP 4409, Musée du Louvre, Paris
  4. The Brescia Victory, 1st century AD, Monastic Complex of San Salvatore and Santa Giulia, Brescia
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