The relief recalls the foundation of Aquileia, which took place in 181 BC in the presence of the magistrates sent from Rome, according to a rite that tradition led back to Romulus. The furrow left by the plow pulled by an ox and a cow adorned with rich harnesses defined the pomerium, the sacred and impassable perimeter of the city. The representation was exhibited in a place of great importance, probably above one of the city gates.
The statue crowned the funerary monument of a naval officer, represented in heroic nakedness with the armor resting on the leg and the cingulum for the sword. The gemstone ring indicates that it was a high-ranking character, whose achievements at sea are evoked by the bow of a ship originally inserted in the monument. The statue was found in a locality a few kilometers from Aquileia, where the villa of the deceased probably stood.
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