Captive barbarian

Imperial Period
1st century A.D.


H x W: 52 x 24.5 cm (20 1/2 x 9 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from the Greek island of Skyros

On View

Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)


The Ancient World



The standing figure is dressed in a long tunic and trousers, which suggests that he is a barbarian. The head, neck, upper bust, and hands, which were made separately, probably of white marble, are missing. His forearms rest on his thighs; his hands may have been bound, although similar figures sometimes hold a ladle. The right leg is crossed over left, but the lower legs and feet are missing.

Variegated purple and white marble.


By date unknown: with Robin Symes Ltd., 3 Ormond Yard, Duke of York Street, St. James's, London S.W.I, England; purchased by Emily T. Vermeule and Cornelius C. Vermeule from Robin Symes Ltd., November 5, 1993; gift of Emily Townsend Vermeule and Cornelius Vermeule to MFA in honor of Mary Bryce Comstock, December 31, 2000; accessioned by MFA, January 24, 2001

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Townsend Vermeule and Cornelius Vermeule in honor of Mary Bryce Comstock