The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statuette of Mars-Cobannus

Object Details


Statuette of Mars-Cobannus






Roman Empire (Place Created)

Eastern Gaul (France), France (Place Found)


A.D. 125–175



Object Number:



76 × 25 × 18 cm (29 15/16 × 9 13/16 × 7 1/16 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

A youthful figure wears a typical costume for the northern Roman provinces: a long-sleeved tunic, leggings, and a cloak fastened with a round brooch. On his head he wears a contemporary Roman helmet, rather than the classicizing headgear found on most Roman sculpture. The whites of his eyes are silvered and the irises drilled. The figure's pose looks odd now, but he originally held a spear in his upraised right hand and rested his left hand on a shield. The Latin inscription on the base reads, "Sacred to the venerable god Cobannus, Lucius Maccius Aeternus, duumvir, [dedicated this] in accordance with a vow." The statue probably represents Cobannus, a local deity who was equivalent to Mars, the Roman god of war. The family of Lucius Maccius Aeternus is known from other inscriptions in Gaul and must have been important, for a duumvir was one of the two chief magistrates of a Roman colony.

This statuette is said to have been found in France, in the Roman province of Gaul, along with the Pair of Portrait Busts and the Offering Box. These pieces were probably all displayed together in a local shrine of the Iuventus, a Roman youth organization.


Found: Eastern Gaul (France), France (near Besancon in Fellman 2000; between Annecy and Annemasse in Pollini 2002)

- 1989

Jean-Luc Chalmin (Pfaffhausen, Switzerland), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1989.

1989 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire (March 24 to July 5, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), March 24 to July 5, 2010

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), pp. 310-13, cat. no. 162.

Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 13.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 40.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 66.

Lavagne, Henri. "Un nouveau dieu de la Gaule romaine: Mars Cobannus," (avec un appendice par P-Y. Lambert). Comptes rendus des Seances de l'annee 1999, Avril-Juin, Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Paris: 1999. pp. 699-720, figs. 1-3.

Fellmann, Rudolf, et al. "Une divinite gallo-romaine inconnue, son precurseur gaulois et un depot de statuettes trouve en France," La sculpture d'epoque romaine dans le nord, dans l'est des Gaules et dans les regions avoisinantes. 2000. pp. 163-175, p. 166, no. 3; pls. LXXII and LXXII bis.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 40.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 189.

Pollini, John. The Cobannus Hoard. Gallo-Roman Bronzes and the Process of Romanization (Leiden: Brill, 2002), no. 4, figs. 27-40.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 21, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 194.

Kaufmann-Heinimann, Annemarie. "Ikonographie und Stil. Zu Tracht und Ausstattung einheimischer Gottheiten in den Nordwestprovinzen". In Martine Denoyelle et al. (eds.),Bronzes grecs et romains, recherches récentes Hommage à Claude Rolley, INHA (Actes de colloques), 2012, figs. 12-13.

Trofimova, Anna. Imitatio Alexandri in Hellenistic Art: Portraits of Alexander the Great and Mythological Images. Studia Archaeologica 187 (Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2012), p. 122, fig. 134.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), pp. 18, 45-46, 94, fig. 23.

Kaufmann-Heinimann, Annemarie. “Function and Use of Roman Medium-Sized Statuettes in the Northwestern Provinces.” In Artistry in Bronze: The Greeks and Their Legacy (XIXth International Congress on Ancient Bronzes). Jens M. Daehner et al., eds. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; Getty Conservation Institute, 2017) http:​//​/publications​/artistryinbronze​/statuettes​/18-kaufmann​/ (accessed February 20, 2018).