Portraits of Vespasian, Museo Nazionale Romano: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome.
A shrewd, plain-speaking man with a nice line in self-deprecating, down-to-earth humour, Vespasian had been born to parents of equestrian status at Falacrina near the Sabine town of Reate in 9 CE, and he had the accent to prove it. Suetonius describes him as well-proportioned, with strong sturdy limbs, and the expression of someone straining to empty his bowels.
Photos © S.P. Kershaw.