Different Roman non-Romans: why are they dressed like this?

We keep on running into various 18th-19th century individuals whose monuments remind everybody of the Roman Empire. The Western Empire fell (officially that is) circa 476 AD. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, but the attire style depicted on those monuments is clearly very very old.

The monuments, if we follow out traditional chronology, were built over a thousand years later. Where was this infatuation with the Roman Empire coming from? May be there was no thousand+ years between those 18th, and 19th century monuments, and the actual time the Empire existed.

Who of the historical individuals officially pertaining to the 18th, or 19th century had a roman looking monument dedicated to him?

I was gonna start with Napoleon, but ran into this Suvorov guy, so he is going to be the topic starter.

Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (1729 or 1730 - 1800) was a Russian military leader, considered a national hero. He was the Count of Rymnik, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Italy, and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire. (so much for being Russian I guess).

The monument was installed in 1801.

statue vs "actual" person

monument-suvorov.jpg monument-suvorov_1.jpg general-alexander-suvorov-in-st-petersburg.jpg

KD: I have two possible explanations.
  1. These monuments used to be dedicated to some totally different individuals. We simply put a different tag on them.
  2. The paintings were made up later, and the statues depicted the actual individuals.
Please feel free to share your Roman non-Romans in the comments section below.
Korben, I remember you talking about falling in love with everything Roman in the 18th century. I found this statue in the heart of Mexico City. The image is about Carlos IV, but because he was "romanized" with his toga, laurel wreath.
  • What do you think? Doesn't it look very similar to this Saint Petersburg statue?
1885: The plaza in Mexico City
Beginning of the 19th century by Antonio Garcia Cubas
1885 la plaza de la ciudad de mexico a principios del siglo XIX aNTONIO gARCIA cUBAS.jpg

Reyno de la Nueva Expana a Principios del Siglo XIX.

1885: Carlos IV
1885 carlos IV.jpg

Mexico y Sus Cercanias.

2017: Equestrian Sculpture of Carlos IV
- after restoration 2017 -


Peter the Great
There are some similarities, of course. Carlos IV's statue has way more details though.

Peter the Great - Carlos IV of Spain
  • Wondering who we actually have depicted there. I highly doubt it was Carlos IV.
From what we know, neither of these guys should have been depicted wearing ancient Roman attire. They both are, and this's probably the main similarity trait.

KD: Considering that just about every "ancient" Roman bust I know was discovered in the 19th century and later, certain things are highly suspicious.
Great that first comparison image, lets see a little better the position of both sculptures.
Great that first comparison image, lets see a little better the position of both sculptures.
I think there are hundreds of these equestrian statues in Roman garb, and all look fairly similar.

I think it could be one impressive collection.

Here is the destroyed equestrian statue of George II.


George II
1683 - 1760

SH source

George III and George III
1738 - 1820

Source - Source

George III vs. Carlos IV

Source - Source
I think there are hundreds of these equestrian statues in Roman garb, and all look fairly similar.

I think it could be one impressive collection.
I'm sure there must be several of those throughout South America, it would be a matter of looking for them. I remember having seen interesting things but it never crossed my mind to make a type of capture or save an image, an Argentine friend commented to me for example: On a historical similarity to the Fomenko style:
The famous South American liberator hero who dedicated his life to liberating the current countries of Argentina, Peru and Chile from the control of the Spanish empire. one of the most emblematic characters in Argentine history.

However, if the history of this "supposed" national and patriotic hero is carefully analyzed, one can observe quite suspicious, atypical things, especially in the context in which the Buenos Aires neighborhood was submerged during the first years of "revolution. "in the early nineteenth century. This story also has several elements in common with another important character for the Catholic Church. Saint Martin Knight.

Several similarities could be highlighted between the history of the South American hero with that of the Roman:
  • Although both characters have different names. in history they are particularly recognized by the name of SAN MARTIN
  • Both characters were born in the colonies of their respective empires, their parents being important military generals who would influence them and join the armies of their respective empires.
  • Both would soon adopt a way of thinking discriminated against and persecuted by their respective empires (Jose de San Martin would adopt Masonic ideals against the interests of Spain / San Martin de Tours would adopt the Catholic religion contrary to the original religion of the Roman Empire).
  • Both would achieve unique feats, of great renown that would make them worth the title of father / employer. which no other character has done before or since. believing they were "enlightened people".
  • Both would gain much support and devotion from the poorest and most marginalized sectors of their respective empires. hence the two characters are also known as "popular figure" (Argentina), and "patron of the poor" (Rome) respectively.
  • Both are emblematic characters. praised and respected in different countries and cities for their dedication to spreading their way of thinking. one being an important hero, and the other an important patron.
  • Both are represented in various portraits riding a white horse.
  • The two Saint Martins would also have great relevance in France, the country where they die, coincidentally.

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