Caligula: Key Terms


General History Terms

Julio-Claudian (noun): dynastic name that refers to the family that produced the first five emperors (Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero) who ruled during the 1st century BC until A.D. 68

Patrician shoes(noun): laced, soft leather boots that rolled over the feet and folded at the ankles, indicating the position of authority patricians, the leaders of Ancient Rome, enjoyed

Princep (noun): “first citizen,” a title of the early rulers of the Imperial period

Conservation Terms

Acetone (noun): a colorless, water-soluble, flammable liquid used in paints and varnishes

Acryloid B-72 (noun): in terms of chemistry, ethyl methacrylate co-polymer can be diluted and used as a fixative and adhesive to secure markings on artifacts

Akemi (noun): a brand of knife-grade adhesive

Ancient polychromy (noun): the added pigments that were a part of all ancient marble statues

Calcium carbonate (noun): a white, insoluble solid that occurs naturally as chalk, limestone, marble, and calcite, and forms mollusk shells and stony corals

Carborundum (noun): a very hard black compound of silicon carbide used as an abrasive

Deionized water (noun): water free from all charged atoms or molecules (ions); used mainly in the manufacture of water-based cleaning chemicals

Dibasic esters (safest stripper) (noun): paint and varnish remover in the form of gel

Electroplated diamond wire (noun): extremely sharp wire saw made of diamond used for cutting raw stone blocks

Epoxy (noun): a synthetic material in adhesive, plastic, and paint made of permanently heated polymers

Fiberglass (noun): a lightweight, durable material consisting of a plastic resin reinforced with glass fiber

Isotope (noun): an atom of a certain element that has or is missing one or more extra neutrons

Photo-induced luminescence (noun): radiance induced by the absorption of infrared radiation, visible light, or ultraviolet radiation

Plaster of Paris (noun): a mixture of powdered and heat-treated gypsum that can be mixed with water, modeled, carved, or attached to another material and hardens to a smooth solid

Polyester resin (noun): resin in liquid form made to solidify with the addition of a catalyst;  resin, when reinforced with glass fiber, is commonly used as casting material, but may also be modeled when thickened with an inert filler such as powdered chalk. It can also be cut and abraded when hard

Pumice (noun): a porous or spongy form of volcanic glass, used as an abrasive

Raking light (noun): bright light, usually beamed obliquely, used to reveal such things as texture and detail

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) (noun): a non-destructive violet light-based analytical method that generates information on the elemental composition of the surface of a material


Boardman, John. The Oxford History of Classical Art. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Onians, John. Classical Art and the Cultures of Greece and Rome. Yale University Press, 1999.

Unknown Artist, Caligula, 1st century. Marble. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

VMFA Docent Manual. Caligula. VMFA, Richmond.

Woodford, Susan. The Art of Greece and Rome. Cambridge University Press, 1982.

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Caligula: Key Terms