Statue of emperor posed as Hercules found in Rome

STORY: This statue of a Roman emperor posing as Hercules was dug up

during sewer repair works in Rome

Location: Rome, Italy

The marble sculpture features the hero's trademark lion skin and club

[Francesca Romana Paolillo, Archeologist]

“In recent days we began the first cleaning operations, and we have immediately started some activities to try to identify which character is represented, because we have said that it is not the demigod Hercules, but a character who wants to be represented as Hercules, and we can say this because all the typical attributes of the demigod are present, the 'Leontes,' the Nemean lion's skin, which is the garment of the first of Hercules' 12 labors, the club and quiver.'

Expert says the sculpture bears a resemblance to Emperor Decius

who ruled Rome from 249 to 251 AD