Palatine Museum

Torso of Diomedes

This torso, smaller than life-sized and carved in Parian marble, represents a nude male figure with a chlamys draped over the left shoulder. The body rests on its right leg while the left stretches rearward and the bust turns slightly left with the right arm at rest at the subject’s side and the left arm bent. The hint of the neck’s position – and a comparison with several copies — suggests that the head was turned left and bent slightly downward. This torso is one of the replicas of a statue type that scholars have identified as a portrayal of Diomedes, the Achaean hero known for his participation in the Trojan War. According to this interpretation, the hero would be portrayed here moments after his theft of the Palladium, held in the left hand, while the unsheathed sword in the right hand attempts to fight off Odysseus, who tries to steal it away from him. The piece is dated to the Julio-Claudian period, between the first century BC and the first century AD.