Head of Alexander the Great or a youthful hero, perhaps Meleager

Later Imperial Period
A.D. 225–275

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 127A; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 110 (additional published references).


Height x width: 14 x 10 cm (5 1/2 x 3 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, Gray and white, probably from Dokimeion (Afyon) in west-central Turkey

Not On View


The Ancient World



The eyes are pierced, the pupils being indicated by small circles. There is a fillet in the hair, and traces of drapery are visible on the right shoulder. The circles for pupils and the deep cutting of the upswept hair contribute to the appearance of Hellenistic dramatic emotion frozen into a proto-Byzantine feeling of stiffness, a formal lack of life and relationship to nature.
The head has been broken irregularly at the base of the neck and the start of the shoulders. The tip of the nose is damaged. Some locks and curls have broken away. The face was polished. There are areas of incrustation here and in the hair, a calcium-like deposit.


By 1962: Istanbul art market; purchased by Horace L. Mayer from Petro Hanazoglou (supposedly from Smyrna according to a letter in the Mayer file dated December 8,1962); by 1964: loaned by Horace L. Mayer to MFA as 102.64; by 1974: Mrs. Horace L. Mayer Collection; gift of Mrs. Horace L. Mayer to MFA, December 27, 1974

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Horace L. Mayer