Bust of Roman Emperor Caracalla to Sell at Bonhams in London

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A bust of Caracalla, the notorious Roman Emperor who reigned from 211-217 and is remembered as one of the worst and cruelest rulers in the history of the Empire, will be auctioned at Bonhams Antiquities sale on 28 October in New Bond Street. It is estimated to sell for £150,000 - £250,000.

Edward Gibbon described him thus: "Caracalla was the common enemy of mankind," his reign characterized by "rapine and cruelty." (E. Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter VI).

Caracalla (A.D. 212-217) executed his brother and co-emperor Geta and massacred thousands of his brother's supporters, as well as his own wife and his brother-in-law (amongst other family members) in an effort to take sole control of the Empire.

'Caracalla' was born Lucius Septimius Bassianus, and as Roman emperor he became Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. The nickname 'Caracalla' is thought to derive from the Gallic hooded cloak that he made popular...

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