• Bust of the Bosporan Queen Dinamia

    height: 25,8 cm

Bust of the Bosporan Queen Dinamia

Created: second quarter of the 1st century A.D.

Found: Panticapaeum necropolis. Crimea, the environs of Kerch

This unusual portrait presents a mixture of Hellenistic, Eastern and Roman features. While royally Hellenistic in spirit due to the charismatic image of the ruler and the rhetoric of the attributes, it was executed with Eastern grand solemnity and symbolism. At the same time, the is a Roman-style realistic portrait with its inherent striving to record the physical peculiarities of the model and precise adherence to fashion in the presentation of the hairstyle. This is a depiction of a Bosporan queen, possibly Dynamis (reigned 44–17 BC), the daughter of Pharnaces II and granddaughter of Mithridates VI Eupator. Dynamis was one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Bosporan kingdom at the time of Roman hegemony. As queen she firmly pursued a policy of independence that was founded on the preservation of the Hellenistic principles of governance. She stressed her relationship to Mithridates, which is reflected in the symbols used in official depictions of the queen. She is wearing a Phrygian cap covered with depictions of suns and a tiara – a badge of power for Eastern rulers. That sort of cap appeared on coins from the reign of Mithridates the Great. The Pontic device of the Sun and Moon used by Mithridates features on the gold stater issued by his granddaughter Dynamis and other successors. There are, however, alternative theories about who might be the subject of this sculptural portrait – Bosporan queen consort Gepaepyris, Antonia the Younger, Agrippina or Livia.


Bust of the Bosporan Queen Dinamia

Epoch. Period:

Place of finding:

Archaeological site:

Panticapaeum necropolis


height: 25,8 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1899; transferred from the Imperial Archaeological Commission; purchased from a private person

Inventory Number: