Dedicated to Baena´s historian Francisco Valverde y Perales, this room exhibits one of the most important collections of Roman statuary in the country. Robed sculptures of great beauty, pedestals dedicated to illustrious characters who inhabited this region 2,000 years ago, magnificent imperial portraits and, above all, a spectacular toracatha that represents the torso of the emperor as supreme chief of the legions. An entire propaganda apparatus of the Empire that also served as a means of social ascent for different family clans in the provinces, some of them managing to reach the highest peaks of the State administration and others to the government of their respective cities in whose ruins appeared the memories and sculptures shown here.
The members of the imperial family are the ones that stand out in number, since most of the pieces that are exposed correspond to the deified emperor (heads of Augustus and Claudius) or to the empress represented in this case as Dea Roma (seated sculpture next to the entrance of the Hall) or as goddess of Abundance carrying the characteristic cornucopia that identifies her. In both cases it was Livia, the third wife of Augustus, one of the most influential women in history.
The pieces exhibited here come entirely from three important sites in the Baena terminus where ancient Iberian-Roman cities existed: the Torreparedones Archaeological Park (Ituci Virtus Julia according to some authors, Bora if we opt for the most recent hypotheses); Cerro del Minguillar (Municipium Flavium Iponobensis) and Cerro de la Aldea or Izcar (Municipium Contributum Ipcense). The pedestals of Gaius Livio Severino (cylindrical) and of (rectangular) shown in the room come from the latter, while the different sculptures, mostly dating from the first quarter of the 1st century, were found in the former.
The second could originally have been a portrait of Caligula on which the current one of Claudius, already deified, was recomposed, as evidenced by the holes in the upper part that would indicate the presence of the metallic radiated crown. It is very possible that we find here a case of Damnatio Memoriae or condemnation of the memory of an enemy of the State after his death. This was Romana, who raised the altars or tried to erase forever the memory of some of her emperors.
Collection of Roman statuary in Room II.
Head of Augustus found in Torreparedones.
The Forum was the commercial, religious, political and judicial center of the Roman cities, a place of “sacred” memories where the main buildings for public use and the sculptures of the different members of the imperial family or of local heroes to whom they were located were located. It could be said, therefore, that the Forum was a space of representation in which dedicated pedestals and sculptural ensembles would be found such as those exhibited in Room II of the Historical Museum of Baena.