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Photo, Print, Drawing Great Cameo of France. Grand camée de France

About this Item


  • Great Cameo of France.

Other Title

  • Grand camée de France


  • The Grand Camée de France (Great cameo of France), the largest cameo sculpture to survive from the ancient world, contains 24 engraved figures arrayed in three registers. The general meaning and the political goals of this commissioned work are clear: its aim is to assert the dynastic continuity and legitimacy of the Julio-Claudian emperors of the Roman Empire (the first five emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero). The dead are placed in the upper part, while the middle register represents the world of the living. In the lowest register are Parthian and Germanic captives. Emperor Augustus can be recognized in the upper register, with his head veiled and encircled by a radiant crown; he is surrounded by Germanicus, mounted on a winged horse, and the son of the Emperor Tiberius, Drusus Julius Caesar. The floating figure with Eastern-style dress, carrying a globe in his hands, could be Aeneas. The center of the gem is reserved for Tiberius, sitting on his throne with his mother Livia. He presides over a solemn ceremony that is believed to be the appointment of Nero (standing armed before him) as Prince of Youth in 23 AD. This five-layered sardonyx cameo was made at around that date.

Created / Published

  • Rome : [publisher not identified], 0023.


  • -  23
  • -  Augustus, Emperor of Rome, 63 B.C.-14 A.D
  • -  Caligula, Emperor of Rome, 12-41
  • -  Cameos
  • -  Drusus, Julius Caesar, 7-33
  • -  Germanicus Caesar, 15 B.C.-19 A.D
  • -  Glyptics
  • -  Kings and rulers
  • -  Livia, Empress, consort of Augustus, Emperor of Rome, circa 58 B.C.-29 A.D
  • -  Nero, Emperor of Rome, 37-68
  • -  Tiberius, Emperor of Rome, 42 B.C.-37 A.D


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 1 five-layer sardonyx cameo; maximum height 31 centimeters, maximum length 26.5 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of France.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021669238

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Great Cameo of France. , 0023. [Rome: Publisher Not Identified] Photograph.

APA citation style:

(0023) Great Cameo of France. , 0023. [Rome: Publisher Not Identified] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Great Cameo of France. [Rome: Publisher Not Identified] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.